Much Needed Advice On Fondant Please Having A Nightmare :-( So Upset

Decorating By Nicki161 Updated 20 Mar 2014 , 12:22pm by Nicki161

Nicki161 Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 9:33pm
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AHi everyone , I would be really and truly grateful on any tips and advice please feel like never making another cake again it's really knocked my confidence spent all afternoon in tears :-( so disheartened Hubby has told me ask you guys for help and take it as a learning curve but it really does hurt when you try your very best as bet most of you have had off day , I'm having a huge problem with my last two cakes with covering them with fondant they have tiny splits all over the fondant , I don't no what I'm doing wrong I have googled and googled after the first time thinking what I have done wrong but it's happened again today ,so here goes I have made a 8" square cake 4" high and a 12" square cake 4" high The fondant/ rolled icing I use is from my local super market pre made morrisons as I'm in the uk as I've failed every time I've tried to make mmf it's always ended up in the bin, I used 1.25kg on the 8" and 2.5 kg on the 12" rolling 1/8" thick both times ,I used my large silcone mat only on the 8" but it kept gathering up but I made do and with the 12" I put it straight on my kitchen side using trex this time so it didn't stick , the 1st time no trex at all was added but the 2nd time I put a tiny bit of trex onto the fondant as I had read on here that it can make fondant more pliable . No icing sugar/ cornflower/ powder sugar was added or used at anytime on both cakes as I no it can dry it out , as soon as I got about half way on my rolling I noticed my fondant had started to have tiny sort of scratch marks in like it was tearing /splitting, so I'd re roll it but still happened both times not as bad on the 8" after applying it on the cake after trying many times to solve it it looked a mess so each time I had to throw the fondant away and undo more packs as it wasn't reusable due to buttercream and it still keeps happening in the end I had no choice but to leave in on and try to patch it up the best I could, it also seemed to be tearing from the sides which I always tried to seal first to ensure the weight wouldn't pull it down , after reading melting fondant would help cover it which on big areas looked a mess or mixing royal icing and patching it up which both times I ended up doing nearly to most of the sides and top, it has disguised it to some de[ATTACHMENT=1510]image.jpg (712k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT]gree but as I no it is there it's really got me down, I'll upload images I really hope you can shed some light on what I'm doing wrong I've only made about 15 cakes all have been mainly round and around 8" I no square are harder to do, Also please could you tell me how to lift or move fondant onto the cake I've tried lifting it on my forearms but it rips ,I've tried rolling it back on my rolling pin put seems to weight done and miss shape grrr today's not my day Fingers crossed you can help it's costing me a small fortune as I'm only making for family and friends so very little profit as you all no,

63 replies
BeesKnees578 Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 9:44pm
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By chance, are you kneading the fondant well before rolling it out?

BeesKnees578 Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 9:47pm
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At first glance, I thought it was textured royal icing.


Do you have more pictures you can upload to show more of what's going on?


Also, you can add shortening in by smearing it on your hands before kneading if it seems dried out.  If it's been sitting on a shelf for a really long time, it may be bad.

BeesKnees578 Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 9:48pm
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If you get white buttercream on it, you can still use it once you remove from cake.  Just make sure you don't have any cake crumbs in it, knead it back in.

LisaPeps Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 10:03pm
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Being from the UK too I would say your first issue is that you're using Morrison's fondant. I have never had much luck with any of the supermarket brands except Asda & Tesco. Unfortunately they have now changed their recipes so that their once brilliant fondant is now awful. Personally, I use Carma Massa Ticino, it is expensive and you have to order a lot (from wholesale suppliers) but the quality is so much higher than the rest that it is worth it (I'm not professional but charge for cakes for friends etc). Other options are Regalice/Renshaw/Covapaste, available online and from cake shops, I've not had much luck with these but the majority of the UK swears by these brands. Satin Ice has recently reached our shores, it is a good consistency but can be temperamental. I've had quite a lot of elephant skin with it and it has a weird smell but tastes okay. I have made MFF (Michelle Foster's Fondant) and added white chocolate to it and have found that it is brilliant with the added chocolate. It makes it a lot easier to use and gives it great elasticity but it is messy and time consuming to make. If you're on a budget I would definitely give MFF a go. 


I personally would try a round cake before you try squares. I swore I would never make another cake after making a practice square wedding cake as my first one. I couldn't cover it, cried my eyes out and ended up taking it to work uncovered and dished it out. 

Nicki161 Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 10:18pm
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AHi thank you for replying beesknees578,

[ATTACHMENT=1511]image.jpg (1,594k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT] only images I have before I applied the royal icing I have a couple of after images [ATTACHMENT=1512]image.jpg (105k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT] My buttercream is tinted yellow and it was covered in cake crumbs around the edges and little on the top so the mood I was in the bin was my first way of stress relief before throwing the cake up the wall lol, I do knead well but fear of over kneading as I have read you can do that too, the fondant doesn't seem dried out so I'm a little worried of adding to much shortening

Nicki161 Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 10:39pm
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AHi Lisa peps Thank you for replying ,I brought supermarket fondant as on average I am making 1 or 2 cakes a month, I have always used the same fondant apart from when I have used black or red then I have brought regalice from a local cake shop but the white works out really expensive morrisons is £2.20 a Kg the cake shop is £4 a kg is it a case of you get what you pay for ? I do work full time and have a young family so time is precious to a point ,I would like to spend what ever is required without spending more than I have to,I have made round cakes and never had this problem but the problem seems to start before I apply to the cake then the applying makes it stretch and get worse ,

LisaPeps Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 8:22am
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AUnfortunately it's a case of you get what you pay for then. Maybe try going to the other supermarkets and see if they are any better. I'd try sainsburys first.

ny20005 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 9:10am
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AI find supermarket brands too soft & it's just so much easier with the more expensive brands. I order renshaws on ebay

Siany01 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 9:24am
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AMorrisons icing is very cheap both in price and quality. I would say try sainsbury if you want to stick with supermarket brands. My local cake shop sells coverpaste, it does work out a bit more but I never have problems with it.

cupcakemaker Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 9:42am
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ATry sugarpaste direct. 5kg for about £13. No p&p. it has gum trag in and once you've given it a good need to activate it it never tears or rips. I also love squires sugarpaste but it's a bit more expensive. I'm a hobby baker too but I charge to cover the fondant so I'd rather have decent fondant!

Nicki161 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 10:09am
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ACan't thank you all enough for replying I will change my fondant to a better value one if you all think it's that. , me and hubby just couldn't work it out if it was that ,as I had used it on other cakes 9" round and it had never happened so I thought I would make my technique known and see if it was that I was doing was wrong, but as you all have commented on my icing I will look into ordering some better valve :-) Cupcakemaker do you no how long I can store the 5kg for once it has been opened ? Am I doing everything else right? Is adding a tiny bit of trex a good idea? Also please could you tell me your fondant moving technique ? I struggle with this I trying rolling it back on the rolling pin lifting it that way, I'll upload a image from the internet

[ATTACHMENT=1513]image.jpg (27k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT]

cupcakemaker Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 10:16am
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ASquares are much harder to cover! Your paste looked a little dry to me so maybe you had overworked it? Used too much icing sugar? I store the icing for ages. It comes in a big bag in a box so I just cut off what I want and leave it in the bag!

To move fondant I fold it over the rolling pin, I don't roll it up. I then hold one side up against the cake, drape it over, Smooth the top and top edge straight away. The quicker you adhere it to the cake the less likely it will tear. Your pin looks a bit thin to me. You might want to try a plastic pme one mine is 20 inches I think.

Have you tried craftsy? It's a web based tutorial site, there's a free fondant one you can sign up and watch.


cupcakemaker Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 10:18am
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AP.s yes I've been known to add trex to very dry fondant but I don't usually need to.

As you do more cakes I recommend trying ganache under your fondant. The results are so much better than buttercream!

Nicki161 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 12:14pm
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AMaybe I did over work it I did start to panic thinking oh no not again grrr, I didn't use any powdered or icing sugar ,that's good to no you keep it for a while as I don't make that many think its a confidence thing with wasn't my rolling pin it was a image I got off the internet I have a pme white plastic one that's 20" I use , I just used the image to show you how I do it,I've just joined crafty so going sit and watch the videos now . Thank you for all your advice I really do appreciate it :-)

cupcakemaker Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 12:16pm
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AEnjoy craftsy. You'll get addicted :)

Nicki161 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 12:17pm
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Alol thank you x

cupcakemaker Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 12:19pm
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Nicki161 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 1:26pm
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AJust been watching wow so many great ideas on there thank you , omg your not going belive this but I have just gone onto sugar paste direct to order some and they are 100 yards from me !! Lol x

Nicki161 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 1:30pm
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natt12321 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 2:04pm
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Sorry I haven't been able to look through all the posts so I'm not sure what was said before, but I had to respond as I completely sympathise with your issue cos I've had it before.

Personally I think the issue is the Morrisons sugarpaste, I am a huge fan of Tesco cos it tastes better IMHO than many of the more expensive ones and for the most part I find it easy to work with, but even that went through a faze where tesco re did the recipe and it didn't work as well! But at the moment I am loving it again, it's smooth, easy to roll, holds up well to being moved about and takes a fair bit of icing sugar to get to the point where it cracks! (plus I get clubcard points for buying it! Win-win I think!)

Some of it is practice but I would say be a little weary of American advice, I've worked with fondant from the US in college and it isn't the same to work with as British lines of sugarpaste are, not saying be weary the advice of Americans over all but just note that the products they are working with aren't necessarily the same as the ones we find easy to come by.

Nicki161 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 2:28pm
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AHi nat12321 Thank you for replying it must be my fondant causing my issues , I think that's was why I was scared off mmf as I tried to follow American recipes and have worked out that they use different things than us , do you use tescos all the time on any size cakes ? or do you use sugar paste , regal ice , cover paste etc ?

natt12321 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 3:40pm
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AI pretty much exclusively use Tesco, I also liked Baco but haven't used it in a long time, and I'm not sure you can get it other than comercially (that could be wrong though). Personally I find regalice a little on the soft side and Tescos easier to work with cos its a bit firmer. It like all sugarpastes softens with warmth and firms up when its cold or too much icing sugar is added to it, but its my favourite to work with straight out of the packet, once I realised I liked it I didn't try others really.

jchuck Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 3:48pm
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AHello Nicki You poor dear. Been there, done that. Firstly....DON'T GIVE UP!! We have all had cake disasters of one type or another. I agree with the remarks regarding your brand of fondant. I don't have Morisons, I'm in Canada. But have Wilton.....nasty, nasty stuff. Develops "elephant skin" just like you showed in your pic. I am also a hobby baker, so try and keep costs down. I discovered Michelle Fosters fondant recipe. Very easy to make. You pair it with either a cheaper your Morrison's, or white chocolate. It's so, so easy to work with. Now that being said, you must knead your fondant well before rolling out. You can usually tell by the feel if it's dry. There's no pliability. That's when you add shortening, a bit at a time and knead in. Usually helps. But I have found, if your fondant is super amount of kneading/shortening is going to help. Chin up....and keep at it. :o)

Nicki161 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 4:01pm
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AThank you jchuck you always think at the time that it only ever happens to you, I've spend my day googling ,watch videos etc and I feel I'm doing everything right apart from the cheap fondant lesson learned . The more I read the more I have the fear of over kneading , drying out my fondant, using powders to drying it out :( adding to much trex omg lol Maybe I could just trail different ways and products and then stick to what I no best , Can't thank you all enough :-) moods lifting but heads pounding x

jchuck Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 4:34pm
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AWell it can be very disheartening. But your correct about trial and error. What works for some, doesn't work for others. You will find what works best for you. I have a cake friend in Harrow, hobbyist, like me. She uses Regalice fondant brand mixed with her own homemade MMF. Says it works well. The trick about making your own fondant is to not over melt your marshmallows in the micro....done that....ended up total disaster. Gooey, gummy fondant. I've been around a while...baking since I was 13 yrs of age. I don't get quite as ruffled as I've had some years of experience in just baking in general. But none the less...have had many bad cake days too. Just became a gives you a idea that I'm a wee bit older than you. Just glad your feeling better about the whole situation. Cake decorating is like any other endeavour ....there's many failures along the way to triumph. If you don't don't learn....... As they say.....try, try again. Practice makes perfect .....and I've practiced lots....and still do. Keep caking....:)

Nicki161 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 6:00pm
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AIf I could ( hug )you I would what a lovely lady you are full of knowledge and patience , you will become a wonderful grandmother , I will take all the advise on board hopefully with lots of good cakes and maybe a few mishaps (fingers crossed ) :-) I can start to help people on there disasters like everyone has helped me give a little back as at the moment I cannt really help any one with not knowing that much but I've every faith it will come in time, practise makes perfect ! I should no that really with my line if work , don't want people to think I'm not willing to do all the research myself by asking as it's easier I'm not I've reader and researched before coming to a dead end , Congratulations on your grandchild enjoy every moment :-) my dad was only saying today when he pooped in they grow up to fast and a grandchild's love is so much different to have than your child as you aren't around them as much and miss special moments and memories that now a days he tries to capture them all xx ,

jchuck Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 7:01pm
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AHow nice......virtual hug received!!!! Hopefully I will be a good grandma. As long as I don't stick my nose in where it doesn't belong....hee hee. Unfortunately, my daughter and son-in-law live on the other coast ....... Atlantic provinces........ :(. But they planning to come back our way, but not quite sure when. you gain experience, you can help others. This is what I try to do.

SweetShop5 Posted 16 Feb 2014 , 10:14pm
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Make sure you knead it a lot before you roll it out. Have you tried adding some water to it? Maybe the fondant is too dry. Every time my fondant is dry I add some water to it, and it becomes smooth and perfect again. Hope everything works out!

Nicki161 Posted 16 Feb 2014 , 11:33pm
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AThank you for replying, I haven't tried that but I will bear that in mind , to be honest I'm not really sure how the texture of fondant should feel , it seems to feel like new play doh firm, I have brought red and black regalice before and it felt nothing like that the regalice was really soft and pliable ,I do fear of over kneading as I have read this can be done is it true? What does the fondant feel like if it is over kneaded ? Thanks x

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