Help! Tried To Cover A Cake And It's A Mess :(

Decorating By hailinguk Updated 11 Jul 2012 , 7:43pm by justleeanne

hailinguk Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 2:54pm
post #1 of 13


I'm teaching myself cake decorating and want to practice on dummy cakes. I've watched countless videos and stupidly thought it looked pretty straightforward.

I bought a couple of packs of store bought sugarpaste, lightly covered the dummy in water and applied the sugarpaste using the smoothers. Well... it looks awful. There's marks and dents all over - it was almost impossible to get smooth. Not only that but there's marks all over it as if parts got wet - almost shiny blotches. I used cornflour as the smoother was sticking a little to the sugarpaste.

What have I done wrong? Could it be the cheap storebought fondant?

Any help would be appreciated icon_sad.gif

12 replies
icer101 Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 3:05pm
post #2 of 13

Truly, i have never seen any cheap store bought fondant. It sounds like, maybe you didn,t roll it thin enough and you were maybe , accidently poking your fingers in it. Take it off, reknead it and keep trying. Too much water underneath it will mess up the fondant also. good luck

hailinguk Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 3:17pm
post #3 of 13


Thanks for your rely. The thing is, it rolled out perfectly, really smooth but as soon as I got it on the dummy it just went wrong! I didn't touch the fondant apart from with the smoother tool.

Don't get me wrong, the bumps and marks are only slight but I want a perfectly smooth, flat cake. It seems the light shows every little imperfection. I've bought some more fondant from a cake decorating supply company so will try again.

Fingers crossed!

carmijok Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 3:30pm
post #4 of 13

If you're covering a dummy, then it most likely is the dummy that has the lumps and bumps. And don't use water to adhere it...use piping gel. When you're covering a real cake you'll be covering a (hopefully) smooth layer of buttercream or ganache. Remember, anything that's underneath your fondant will show up so the surface that you're covering should be as smooth as possible.

And perhaps roll your fondant a bit thicker than you have been.

MaurorLess67 Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 3:34pm
post #5 of 13

If you are using dummies- round the edges just a little with a small rolling pin, as they can tear your fondant-

Coat the dummy with shortening- not too much. roll fondant out pretty thin- maybe- 1/8th of an inch if you can. When using a dummy to practice- they have a tendency to move around alot, try taping it down to a cake board or use the shelf line to help hold it in place.

I never fail to poke my fondant- ugh! so frustrating- weather its my finger or the smoother- It all takes so much more practice then you can imagine- just keep rolling, and applying- eventually you will get a feel for it,

Since you are using a dummy- you can get some vinyl from the fabric store (similiar to the food safe "The Mat" from Sweetwise)-- coat that with shortening as well, -- ooh boy- what a difference it makes!

The store bought (Wilton) does have a very different texture then say, Satin Ice, but with a 50% coupon and being able to grab it locally, its a good way to start- on real cakes- I suggest taste testing as well as texture testing other brands.

Practice makes perfect, don't be so hard on yourself- I am learning on my own as well, and that poses it's own challenges-

May I suggest Sharon Zambito's Instructional DVD's (SugarEdProductions)-- they range from the basic to advanced techniques- one of the best series of tutorials out there- you will see many mention them- --

Good Luck-

hailinguk Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 3:46pm
post #6 of 13

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it.

carmijok - the dummy is brand new and is perfectly smooth although the edges are quite sharp so will round them off.

Mo - Thanks for all your advice. What do you mean ref the vinyl? Wrap the dummy in vinyl before adding the fondant? or use it underneath to hold the dummy in place on the cake board?

Thanks icon_smile.gif

debidehm Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 4:12pm
post #7 of 13

The vinyl she's talking about is that clear vinyl from the fabric store that people sometimes use to cover things like dining room chairs that have fabric on the seats to protect them. The suggestion is to buy some of that, lightly oil it, and roll your fondant out on that. Keep the fondant on the "mat", then drape over your dummy and slowly pull the vinyl back, leaving the fondant on the dummy as you pull (carefully. You might have to work it off a little on the edge to get it going). Once it's on the dummy, smooth and trim as you usually do.

hailinguk Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 5:27pm
post #8 of 13

Ahhhh I see. Thanks so much for explaining it.

Well I've just tried it again using the better fondant and it was much better. I think where I'm going wrong is because I only have 1 smoother tool and need 2...

I wish fondant didn't cost so much though as it's making this an expensive hobby to practice!


carmijok Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 6:06pm
post #9 of 13
Originally Posted by hailinguk

Ahhhh I see. Thanks so much for explaining it.

Well I've just tried it again using the better fondant and it was much better. I think where I'm going wrong is because I only have 1 smoother tool and need 2...

I wish fondant didn't cost so much though as it's making this an expensive hobby to practice!


Which is one of the reasons I don't cover my cakes with fondant...just buttercream...and use the fondant for decor. It's still expensive! ;D

Jackie_S Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 6:43pm
post #10 of 13

If buying fondant gets to expensive for you, try making your own with powdered sugar and marshmallows. I belive there is a receipe on here for marshmallow fondant. HTH!! icon_biggrin.gif

Tjensen Posted 10 Jul 2012 , 11:50am
post #11 of 13

I cover all my dummies with MMF (marshmallow fondant). Below is the recipe I use. I LOVE and use the Sweetwise mat on EVERY cake I do now. It's amazing! I've provided a link to Sweetwise and they have a video you can watch. Hope this helps

hailinguk Posted 10 Jul 2012 , 9:47pm
post #12 of 13

Ahh thanks so much for your replies icon_smile.gif

justleeanne Posted 11 Jul 2012 , 7:43pm
post #13 of 13

My first few attempts at covering cakes were horrendous and are still far from perfect now but it does get better I promise!

I have found using a mat to transfer my paste onto the cake works well for me as my fingers always seemed to dent/mark/tear/scratch it when I picked it up to move it onto the cake.

Good luck! icon_smile.gif

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