No matter what we do - round or square - we end up with wrinkles around the bottom of the cake in one area or another. Often we can cover this up with a ribbon or something else - but sometimes we can't. We have worked and worked with the fondant to removes the wrinkles and understand the concept - but is there a trick other than keep working with it?
It's just a question of practice, I'm sorry to say. It took me several times to get the knack. One trick is to work as evenly as possible around the cake, not letting the fondant bunch up too much in any one place, but I feel your pain. The day I finally got a cake covered with no wrinkles I felt like throwing a party for myself!
Put the cake on a board cut to fit the cake exactly. Set the cake on a pan with a smaller diameter than the cake board, so that the cake is raised a couple inches from the counter. When you put the fondant on, immediately open any folds that form in the fondant, and cut off any really long pieces. Then smooth the fondant like normal, the difference being that any folds that want to form in it will form below the cake board. When the fondant is smooth, use kitchen scissors to trim off the excess fondant just below the cake board. Then transfer the cake (still on its board) to a larger, decorated cake board or drum and finish adding your decorations to it.
Something I think that helps is smooth the fondant from the top down all the way around the cake, rather than starting on one spot or side and working around the cake.
If you work from the top down, smoothing an inch or so at a time, then you can pull the fondant away from the cake as you work and help 'stretch' out the wrinkles. If you work from one spot around the cake you are left with one big wrinkle or several smaller ones to deal with.
Great advice, my Texas sisters (have I mentioned lately that I hail from Houston?). I do all the things you say, but I guess I'd never really analyzed it before!
I agree with TexasSugar on how to prevent this from happening.
I am not a fan of putting my cake up on a pan. The weight of the fondant fights with me and I get tears before I get wrinkles. Working all around the cake an inch at a time works for me. It worked for my last cake, no wrinkles.
But someone taught that there is always a back of a cake, so possibly your wrinkle spot is the back of the cake!
I think the reason I don't get tears is that I pick the fondant up and flip it several times while I'm rolling it out, so if it's got a weak spot, it will tear then, not on the cake.
I don't get tears from weak spots, I get it from the weight of the fondant pulling down on itself. It's heavy and needs support, IMO. I have just found it does not work for me to prop my cake up as was taught in the Wilton classes.
I agree with the OP about starting to smooth from the top & then go down little by little. At the same time you need to gently "fluff" the excess fondant like you would a skirt as you are smoothing with your other hand. Sweetwise has a great video showing how to smooth fondant. I also LOVE "The Mat" to easily roll out my fondant. HTH.
Video on how to cover a square cake with fondant (applies to round as well) by SweetWiseInc. They sell a thing called the Mat, which I dont use, but the video is a good visual on how to smooth the fondant while fluffing out the bottom to avoid the wrinkles at the bottom. I tried to cut and past the video but dont know if I did it right as I am very computer illiterate!
I do put mine on a pan, unless it is a really big cake or really soft fondant. And I do do what Texas Rose said about trimming the bulk of the fondant hanging down first. That takes some of the weight off, and that fondant doesn't get icing/ganache mixed in with it.
Well ... here's the results. First - patience. We were rushing it. Second - we tried to roll our fondant thinner which helped with the weight. Third - we raised the cake up slightly from the surface and trimmed the excess off. Helped with the weight issue and we had less excess in the way. Fourth - worked our way down 1" at a time. Took longer than how we did it before - but the result was perfect. So ... with that said we used everyone's advice and got what we needed!!! Thank you all very much - HAPPY BAKING and DECORATING!!