Fondant Sweats Because...

Decorating By nadia0411 Updated 27 Jun 2014 , 7:58pm by RedneckRuffle

nadia0411 Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 11:46am
post #1 of 25

recently i discovered something. apologies if this has been discussed already but might help someone.
I recently made a cake in which i used icing sugar+cornflour to roll out fondant.Previously i used shortening. When you use shortening or roll out on a mat that doesnt need anything to prevent sticking, the fondant in the fridge never sweats but if you use icing sugar to dust, the fondant will definitely sweat.
So if your cake needs to be refrigerated, use shortening to roll out fondant or non stick mat.
If it does, just keep it under fan or ac and it will be fine in couple of hours.
just wanted to share this.

24 replies
Claire138 Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 11:56am
post #2 of 25


artscallion Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 12:13pm
post #3 of 25

You can better deal with condensation once you understand the science of it...

Cakes do not sweat. The moisture you see is not coming from the cake...or from the fridge. Nor does it matter what your cake is made with. Condensation comes from the humidity in the warm air outside of your fridge, condensing on your cold cake when you take it out.

Water takes different forms depending on its temperature, from steam/humidity at the warm end, liquid in the middle range to solid/ice at the cold end.

When the humidity (warm/gas) in the air in your room hits the cool of your cake, the temperature changes the gas to a liquid which accumulates on the cool cake surface.

So, the cure for decorated cakes "sweating" when you take them out of the fridge is to prevent the humid air from getting to your cake. If the cake is in a sealed box when you take it out, the humid/warm/gas cannot reach the cool surface of the cake. It will hit the outside of the cool box and condense there instead, leaving your cake surface perfectly dry. The cake will be safe as it comes to room temp as long as you keep the humid air from reaching its surface.

What you use to roll your fondant out on has nothing to do with whether condensation will form on it. condensation will form on anything, paper, rocks, butter, your glass of iced tea, whatever. It doesn't matter what the object is or how it was made. What matters is the humidity in the room and the temperature change between the fridge and the room. It could just be a coincidence that the humidity and/or room temp was lower on the day you used your mat or PS instead of shortening.

Hope this helps.

nadia0411 Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 12:30pm
post #4 of 25

hmmmm right, actually this is the first time in 2 yrs of my cake decorating that fondant sweat, previously i only heard about it, and coincidently this was the first time i used sugar to roll out. I still think that the particles of sugar on fondant helped promote more condensation.
Thanks for information

Claireybear1121 Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 1:29pm
post #5 of 25

As a geologist and someone that has a far better than average understanding of phase changes of liquids/gas, I can assure you that the fondant rolled out with powdered sugar will likey develop much larger condensation beads as the sugar particles give the water in the air condensation nucleii on which to attach themselves. It is true that humidity in the air will be attracted to a cold surface regardless of is makeup, however drops of water will likely not be as readily able to form on fondant rolled in shortening as there aren't as many exposed sugary points to attch to. So, both are valid observations/conclusions.

artscallion Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 2:04pm
post #6 of 25

Thanks for the clarification claireybear.

...the more you know...

BlakesCakes Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 3:58am
post #7 of 25

I can tell you that I only roll on shortening and that I do refrigerate & sometimes freeze fondant covered cakes. For freezing, I box, wrap boxed in saran & foil, and defrost fully boxed & wrapped. I have never had condensation issues.

It makes perfect sense that sugar, being hygroscopic, would attract the humidity & form visible condensation, creating syrup drops. Shortening is an edible moisture barrier, keeping humidity from reaching the sugar in/on the fondant.


KarolynAndrea Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 4:23am
post #8 of 25

I've never rolled fondant on shortening. Do you have to flip it onto the cake and have the side that came in contact with the shortening facing out or does it not matter?
I'm definitely going to try it, being that the dreaded hotter months are coming!

BlakesCakes Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 6:03am
post #9 of 25

I don't flip my fondant over, but I do wipe my rolling pin with a smear of shortening. I also often use a bit of shortening on the surface to cure fresh imperfections.

If you use The Mat--a 2 piece food safe vinyl rolling surface--it is "cured" using shortening.


BuncoHappens Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 6:11am
post #10 of 25

I alway use cornstarch to roll out fondant. One time I used shortening and had trouble smoothing it as the smoother was sticking to the shortening on the fondant. Any tricks for smoothing the fondant when using shortening???

BlakesCakes Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 7:01am
post #11 of 25
Originally Posted by BuncoHappens

I alway use cornstarch to roll out fondant. One time I used shortening and had trouble smoothing it as the smoother was sticking to the shortening on the fondant. Any tricks for smoothing the fondant when using shortening???

If you don't turn the fondant over--I was taught to never turn it over--the fondant smoother won't stick to it and it smooths easily & beautifully.


BuncoHappens Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 2:26pm
post #12 of 25

That would work but I roll the fondant around the rolling pin to unroll it on the cake and that's when I had problems smoothing it. How do you move larger pieces of fondant?

BlakesCakes Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 1:52am
post #13 of 25

I don't roll the entire piece onto the pin. I "drape" the fondant over the pin so that the front (rolled) sides are on the inside and the pin is halfway down the fondant piece.

Hope that makes some sense.

BuncoHappens Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 3:02am
post #14 of 25

Thanks...I'll try that next time!

cocoanna Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 3:51pm
post #15 of 25

Very informative. Thanks for the scientific explanation!

solascakes Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 4:11pm
post #16 of 25

very educative,thanks guys

verosuperstar Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 9:03pm
post #17 of 25

That's good to know, I always use cornstarch. Ok, can you put decoration (flowers, butterflies,faces)around the cake and still put it in the fridge? I am affraid they will fall off.

CakeswLove Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 9:38pm
post #18 of 25

Very interesting .......... icon_rolleyes.gif But I read from another member that you can freeze your fondant cakes icon_confused.gif I always advice my customer to NOT freeze them, how do they hold up, do they taste the same?

BlakesCakes Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 2:23am
post #19 of 25
Originally Posted by CakeswLove

Very interesting .......... icon_rolleyes.gif But I read from another member that you can freeze your fondant cakes icon_confused.gif I always advice my customer to NOT freeze them, how do they hold up, do they taste the same?

If boxed, wrapped, refrigerated, & allowed to come to room temp while still wrapped, any decos should be perfectly fine. If condensation is allowed to form by having the cold cake sit at room temp--unboxed & unwrapped--then you may have problems with wilting, bleeding colors, or items falling off.

I've had cakes frozen, but wrapped the way I described, and they're fine when defrosted, wrapped, in the fridge, & then brought to room temp while still wrapped. They taste fine.

The one distinct change that I find is that the fondant can be a bit gummy on the backside, against the buttercream--not a big issue to me if freezing is a necessity. Never had a complaint about it.


getcakeeatcak Posted 21 Oct 2013 , 2:18pm
post #20 of 25

i have problems regarding my fondant never used to and now even my 3D models are sweating, not a cake in site or a fridge... i simply dont understand, and help would be great, i ve been using Renshaw icing

maybenot Posted 21 Oct 2013 , 10:20pm
post #21 of 25

Sugar is hygroscopic--it attracts water--so I would assume that your things are "sweating" is due to a moist, humidified environment as a result of rain or humid weather.  If your home/kitchen/shop is cold and it's a warm/humid/rainy day, the humidity will condense into droplets and those will sit on the surface of the sugar.

getcakeeatcak Posted 22 Oct 2013 , 9:42am
post #22 of 25

Thank you, i guess i need to try a dehumidifier, tho i dont think its that humid and i ve been making cake all through the summer and not had a problem, plus they wont dry out, i ve had it in a dry place over night and still sticky....apart from the white parts that seem fine.

ksaw29 Posted 27 Jun 2014 , 5:08am
post #23 of 25

AHi. I found your post very helpful. I have this problem a lot and its very stressful trying to fix it. I once had a cake get completely ruined by condensation. My question now is if I don't have a large enough box to put the cakes in, can I cover and seal with parchment paper? Will that work?

maybenot Posted 27 Jun 2014 , 7:44pm
post #24 of 25

No, parchment paper won't do the job.  The idea is that the box will absorb the condensation, rather than letting it sit on the cake.  It's also not touching the cake.

RedneckRuffle Posted 27 Jun 2014 , 7:58pm
post #25 of 25


You could toss a couple of these silica gel packs into the box to wick out any condensation. It's the same ones you find in medicine bottles and beef jerky bags.

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