Okay folks, here's the issue I'm having. I've yet to find a YouTube video that addresses this. The fondant tore a bunch this time - does that mean it was too thin? But more than anything I'm concerned about the pleating that happens at the bottom. How on earth do I avoid that? It looks horrible!
Looks like it won't let me insert a pic. Here's a link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/laluzphoto/5500502853/
There is a good video on YouTube by Sweet Wise. You can type in that or "The Mat". She is the best at explaining how to take care of the pleating at the bottom. It looks like your fondant is pretty thin which will make it more prone to tearing. The above mentioned video is probably the best I seen on applying the fondant in a way that you get less tearing and no pleating. You can also go to their website to see the video. It's just their name and the usual prefix and suffix. Hope that helps.
It's a little hard to tell what you can do to your fondant, without knowing what recipe you were using, to fix this, but I think it's got more to do with the pliability of your fondant than with the thickness to which it was rolled. No matter how thin you roll it, a good, pliable fondant whould not crack. Look at the top of your cake ... having creases and breaks in it there tells me it isn't stretching well, and that may be because it has been exposed to air for too long and has begun to dry/harden, or because it was rolled on too much powdered sugar (or had too much powdered sugar added in the first place). Depending on your recipe, I might add a bit of Crisco to work into this batch, or add more glycerin to the next batch. Have you tried Michelle Foster's Fondant? It's absolutely fail proof, and lovely.
HTH! Good luck!
Your fondant does look a little thin, because I can see the cake bumpyness underneath. Your fondant looks like it wasn't rolled out big enough. I usually lay on the fondant and smooth the top, and top edge, leaving the sides loose. I work out each pleat, gently pulling each pleat to the side and smooth. Do this with each pleat. Then go over the whole cake with the fondant smoother, also don't let your fondant dry out, so I don't walk away, I finish the cake. I'm sure you will get it, don't panic it does work.
I see your cake. First of all, i think it is a little too thin. Then, you have cut it off at the bottom , really raggy. You fit your fondant from top to bottom , before you trim any off the bottom. When you get it like you want it, then and only then, do you trim it with a pizza cutter, spatula, etc. So watch these videos on youbube(lots of them) and then won,t happen again. there are so many how tos on the internet for you to learn with. good luck!!!
I agree with everyone else about the fondant thickness, too thin. You don't want it too thick either though. The weight of thick fondant will tear fondant around top edges of cake and smash cake down causing bulges. I use guide rings on my rolling pin. http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=1B328F10-423B-522D-FAED3E399DF48561 I use the middle one for my cakes. You should use a good fondant also. HTH
I finally feel comfortable with fondant, mostly, and want to share how I fixed the issues you are having.
Everyone here keeps mentioning your fondant was too thin, which I agree with. See the problem is you're making a flat surface adhere to a cake-shape. It needs to stretch, compress, and contort. If you fondant is too thin, it will tear as it does this. If it is thick, it will thin out as it does this. See what I mean?
Next, you have pleats. It took me forever to figure out what I was doing wrong and I think you're doing the same. Here is how I learned:
I watched a video on how to cover a square. In said video she stressed that you do each corner first. Soooo...I did this with my square and bam...it hit me. You can't do an entire side at a time!!!! Remember the contorting and compressing and moving I mentioned? Yeah. If you try to do an entire side without touching the others...you push the fondant over there so when you get there it's all wrinkled.
Does that make sense?
Ok so yeah I adhere a small section on all four sides of my cake, circle or square (do corner first/edges of shaped/etc and it's it's a circle just do opposite sides) and then do a section at a side. This will stop the fondant from each section from spilling into the other sections and you won't get an excess anywhere.
Lastly, make sure you tug out gently on the bottom and smooth downwards. Smoothing side to side causes bunching.
First off, adorable family photos! Now, the thickness of your fondant is perfectly acceptable. I roll mine that thin at all times. However, it's only going to look as nice as the finished buttercream beneath it. Your ultimate goal should be to get your fondant that thin. But before you start worrying about fondant....work on that smoothness and level the tops of your cakes out. Then tackle the fondant. Once you master smoothing out your buttercream cakes, your fondant ones will rock. One thing that helped me immediately was to ditch the cardboard rounds for your bases. The jiggity-jagged edges can catch your spatula and make it skip along the sides of your cake. Not cool. I cut foam core circles for all of my tiers.
Yes, your fondant is too thin..it should be a nickel thick when rolled out..You dont want to see your boobs through a white t-shirt! Roll your fondant thicker and do not trim off bottom until you fully cover cake smoothed down, yet not letting it pull fondant to break either.
when i said the fondant was too thin, I am saying for her to be a beginner and learning how to smooth her buttercream under it first. We have to crawl before we walk . We were all beginners in covering cakes with fondant. We were all beginners in getting our cakes level and smoothing the buttercream,etc. So , she will get to that point also. Just watch videos on all this, and practice . Yes, the better we get at it, the thinner the fondant should be. I always say, your fondant covered cake , taste only as good as the cake under it. Seen some beautiful fondant covered cakes, but the cake tasted awful.
I would say your fondant was too thin from the picture. Always remember that your fondant will stretch a little. After laying your fondant on the cake, just let the fondant drape on the sides. Gently smooth out the top. Then smooth the top edge gently lift the "skirt to remove any pleats. Then move to the upper side of the cake...smoothing and gently lifting the skirt to remove any pleats. Then do the middle the same way. Before doing the bottom try to remove as much of the excess fondant at the bottom as you can without cutting it too short (leave slightly longer then the cake). This will make smoothing the bottom easier. Lift and smooth a section of the bottom, turn the cake and repeat all the way around the bottom of the cake until it is smoothed all the way around. Use the edge of the smoother to slightly indent the fondant around the bottom. Using a pizza cutter, trim off the remaining excess fondant. I would agree that "The Mat" video on youtube is excellent.
I have to give an exception to the don't trim until you're done thing. If you have a lot of excess fondant, the weight of it will put the fondant down and it will tear. I've done a quick trim when needed but I still make sure to leave plenty on there so it doesn't end up too short.
I also quickly adhere the fondant to the top of the cake and then the top edge before moving on down the sides. I've had fondant tear if I don't do that first. It's because of the weight. The fondant at the top edge is being pulled by the weight of the fondant around the sides so I adhere the top and the top edge first to take the weight off it.