Why Can't I Cover Tall Cakes Properly?

Decorating By rubycurls Updated 2 Sep 2011 , 4:36pm by rubycurls

rubycurls Posted 1 Sep 2011 , 12:29am
post #1 of 13

seriously I almost threw the cake across my kitchen today in a fit of rage! I am in the process of making a dr who dalek cake. It is 13" tall and has two parts - a 6" wide 5" high dome and a tapered 6 to 9" wide, 8" high bottom. Hope that makes sense.
I covered the dome fine. It took 7 attempts to cover the bottom. I ended up wrapping the fondant around the cake instead of draping it over the top. Every time I tried covering it in one go it tore either right on the top edges or somewhere along the sides. I know it must be possible to cover cakes this high as I see super smooth tall cakes on here alot but I cannot work out how to do it myself. It's driving me crazy. I'll post my finished pics on Saturday. I am already disappointed in the finish of the cake though.
It really makes me doubt myself. I'm still really new to this but I feel like giving up. I'm feeling all style and no substance at the minute. Has anyone got any tips for me? I'd really appreciate any advice.

12 replies
BlakesCakes Posted 1 Sep 2011 , 2:07am
post #2 of 13

I'd definitely cover a cake like that in individual panels or in a wrap with a side seam and a top piece.

As for covering very tall tiers in one piece, it's pretty tricky. You have to roll a piece of fondant much, much larger than you'd expect, flare it way out from the cake, smooth the top and top edge, and then work it down in small sections to avoid pleats.


rubycurls Posted 1 Sep 2011 , 2:01pm
post #3 of 13

Thanks Rae. When you cover a tall cake how do you stop the weight of the fondant tearing long the sharp top edge? It seems impossible for me!

nanefy Posted 1 Sep 2011 , 4:13pm
post #4 of 13

when covering a tall cake the basic rule of thumb is that the cake must be no higher than the width of the cake so for example, if you have an 8" cake the height should be no more than 8" high. But when you then also start adding tapering etc then that gives the fondant even more reason to pleat and tear.

rubycurls Posted 1 Sep 2011 , 5:50pm
post #5 of 13

Thanks for the tip. So it sounds like it's not just my incompetence then!

nanefy Posted 1 Sep 2011 , 5:54pm
post #6 of 13

lol no definitely not incompetence icon_smile.gif

rubycurls Posted 1 Sep 2011 , 7:14pm
post #8 of 13

Thanks for the links. The first tutorial is great! Crazy fondant skills. I can't imagine how that fondant could be just left hanging there while the pic was being taken. In 2 flat seconds all of mine would be ringing the base of the cake lol. Honestly if I practice enough do you think I will get this? I can do the wrap around but I feel like the over the top method is more technically demanding and I want to be able to achieve this.

KoryAK Posted 1 Sep 2011 , 7:41pm
post #9 of 13

If your fondant is tearing that fast, perhaps it is overworked? Try new stuff (perhaps your brand could be part of them problem - don't know what you use) and roll it thicker than you would normally and work FAST to get the top 2 inches of the sides attached then you have a little more time to get it smoothed to the base.

Sugar_N_Spice_Cakes Posted 1 Sep 2011 , 8:41pm
post #10 of 13

I have also found that it tears more if the buttercream is crusted. When I covered my r2d2 cake it took 2 tries where the fondant tore before I frosted it again with fresh buttercream. The fondant seemed to stick better and not tear.

solascakes Posted 1 Sep 2011 , 9:54pm
post #11 of 13

Those tutorials are so helpful.

imagenthatnj Posted 1 Sep 2011 , 10:37pm
post #12 of 13

I know this has nothing to do with the OP's cake, but I wanted to share the tutorial anyway. It's Ron Ben Israel's assistant's blog, and she covers pretty much anything RBI does.

The cake is covered in fondant and then re-covered in very precise panels with a seam that's almost perfect.


rubycurls Posted 2 Sep 2011 , 4:36pm
post #13 of 13

that's a good tutorial too. I uploaded my finished cake if anyone was interested and thanks for the help.

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