I am making a shoebox cake and I have heard that freezing the panels helps with placing the fondant on the side of the cake. However, we currently have no freezer space and plenty of fridge space. Could you place them in the fridge instead or will it not work the same? Are there any other alternative choices? I just don't want the cake to end up being a huge mess because I can't freeze the panels.
i'm not sure that refrigerating would have the same effect as freezing the panels (too much moisture). mixing a little bit of tylose in with the fondant will stiffin it a bit and help with placement. i made two shoe box cakes, for one i froze the pannels, the second i didn't-but instead made the pannels thicker. seemed to work without any sagging. good luck!!
You can put them in the fridge for 10-20 mins. It'll just firm them up enough to make them easier to handle.
I roll my panels out about 1/4th inch thick, put them on a clear flexible cutting mat, front side down with the bottom edge lined up with the bottom edge of the mat, pipe on some fresh buttercream, line up the bottom edge of the panel with the cake and apply. I can smooth it nicely using my hand over the mat. I don't bother to refrigerate or freeze using this method.
I would use the tylose it will help it stand up better. also once have cut it out I would let it set up a few hours...make it easier to apply. However if you don't have that kind of time I would cut it to the size I need then use cornstarch on the surface and roll it like a bandge ...then unroll on the the side of your cake..use a exacto knife to trim it up. Good luck! P.S.if you don't have tylose go to Walmart or Michael's and get wilton gumtext.