Any Pointers To Better My Craft?

Decorating By Jguerrero21 Updated 1 Apr 2014 , 12:53pm by maisie73

Jguerrero21 Posted 30 Mar 2014 , 5:15pm
post #1 of 16

AHi all, im new to cake decorating and new to this site. My interest began with cake pops! Ive recently moved on to trying single and double tiered cakes. I make and color my own fondant-MFF and have watched many tutorials to get to where i am now. I know my cake don't seem to have a polished, perfect finish to them but i am not sure what i am doing wrong or how to improve. Any suggestions you can make by looking at these-my first three cakes? Thanks in advance! :D

[IMG ALT="My first cake!! Doc McStuffin birthday cake for my niece, Jade. Top tier is two 6inch layers of carrot cake and cream cheese frosting. Bottom tier is two 9inch layers of chocolate cake and vanilla buttercream. Fondant is MFF."]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3213210/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

[IMG ALT="image.jpg"]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3213219/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

[IMG ALT="Baptism cake. Three 9 inch layers of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Fondant is MFF. Stars and cross made of fondant and dusted with silver luster dust."]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3213213/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

15 replies
AnnieCahill Posted 30 Mar 2014 , 9:42pm
post #2 of 16

AI think it's the MMF. Lots of us haven't had good experiences with it. I do think your cakes are cute!

Jguerrero21 Posted 31 Mar 2014 , 11:50am
post #3 of 16

AThanks Annie! I guess i will try switching to MMF. Ive always wanted to try it but ive read that it can be very sticky and difficult to work with.

cazza1 Posted 31 Mar 2014 , 12:04pm
post #4 of 16

Jguerrero21 I would recommend spending more time trying to get you crumb coat smoother, especially where the layers of your cake are.  Craftsy has a free class on this that it might be worth watching, if you haven't already.  Like anything lots of practice will make a world of difference.

didavista Posted 31 Mar 2014 , 12:10pm
post #5 of 16

AIf your using mff don't switch to mmf just yet. Get more practice with mff first, I personally prefer that over mmf. Cazza had good advice too.

DeniseNH Posted 31 Mar 2014 , 12:13pm
post #6 of 16

I work with MMF all the time and if yours is sticky - you haven't incorporated enough powdered sugar in it.  For designs, it's best to mix fondant and gumpaste 50/50 - with this mix you get nice clean lines with much less distortion.  Also, with anything in life, there's always a trick to it.  My trick and best friend is my freezer.  Lay out a length of waxed paper on a cookie sheet - tape it to the cookie sheet if you'd like, and lightly grease it with Crisco.  Place a ball of stiffer fondant/gumpaste on the waxed paper and roll to desired thinness.  Cut strips or design with a pizza cutter or Xacto knife - remove excess fondant and freeze the designs for about 10 minutes.  When you lift them up off of the waxed paper they will be nice and stiff - place immediately onto the fondant cake surface with a few dabs of water and you will have a more exact design.  Do the same with your circles.  Use a cutter, freeze and place.  You also need a cake leveler to remove the dome on top of your cakes and an alphabet tappit to cut out edible lettering.  This should get you started then later we can talk about the plate you're putting your cakes on :-)

FrostedMoon Posted 31 Mar 2014 , 12:48pm
post #7 of 16

Also, try using 50/50 powdered sugar and cornstarch to roll out and work with your fondant.  I've found adding too much powdered sugar can make the stickiness worse and make the fondant more likely to crack.  Also, I'd suggest letting your cakes settle a bit more before putting the fondant on.  It looks like the cakes are still settling a bit and then you get the wrinkles.  After settling, get a nice smooth crumb coat of frosting, then put it in the fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.  Enough to harden the crumb coat.  Then lightly mist the crumb coat and put the fondant on.  Smooth away!  Also, try using a very sharp exacto knife (cleaned and only used for food, of course) to make your decoration cuts.  You can then smooth the edges a bit if they are uneven.  I like the idea of popping decorations in the freezer to make them stiffer for application.  Just remember they may get a bit sticky as they defrost.  Don't touch them when they are sticky or you will see finger prints.  If they dry on their own they should be fine.

MaurorLess67 Posted 31 Mar 2014 , 1:55pm
post #8 of 16

AYou are off to a great start-- I will give a few if my suggestions- only because you asked- I am by far not a professional but have picked up a few things along the way:

1) the Craftsy classes are excellent as well as My Cake School (small yearly fee) 2) I just started using LMF fondant (Liz M from The Cake Artisan generously posted and shared the recipe AND a Youtube instruction video!!! LMF is SO great I can't even put into words!!!) 3) use a good size and thickness of cake drums/bases -- they are part of the cake deign- cover in fondant, material etc and a ribbon around the edges - really helps finish off the design- 4) level your cakes- either with a cake leveler or-- bake with flower nails in the center of baking pans- and with a clean dish towel(be careful they are hot) press down tops of cake to level as soon as they come out of the oven 5) disposable scalpels (Amazon) will help with clean cuts- or keep your exacto knife blade sharp-- you cant believe how fast they dull 6) be sure to dam your cakes then fill- let settle with a weight- like a tile- on top-- 7) a smooth straight sharp edged base for fondant can be achieved with ganache and buttercream - the two board/ and upside down method are great! 8) you can add tylose to your fondant -to make gum paste-- to make the stand alone features- leave enough time or them to dry

Your work is very good!! My suggestions are really just helpful things I picked up-

Mo

Jguerrero21 Posted 31 Mar 2014 , 11:07pm
post #9 of 16

AThanks for all the tips and tricks! I will for sure try them all! Im so glad i found this site

kellyk1234 Posted 1 Apr 2014 , 1:51am
post #10 of 16

I would suggest trying this marshmallow fondant, called LMF fondant. I just made some for the first time the other day after switching from regular MMF and it handles so nicely!! 

 

Here's a video, and as you can see at the end, she lifts the fondant up WITH HER HANDS to place on the cake without any tearing or "elephant skin."  Trust me, the addition of Wilton fondant does not make a difference in the taste at all. 

 

http://artisancakecompany.com/tutorials/lmf-fondant-recipe/

kellyk1234 Posted 1 Apr 2014 , 1:54am
post #11 of 16

Quote:

Originally Posted by MaurorLess67 


2) I just started using LMF fondant (Liz M from The Cake Artisan generously posted and shared the recipe AND a Youtube instruction video!!! LMF is SO great I can't even put into words!!!)
 

 I just noticed you posted this after I posted my comment. Isn't it wonderful? I can't see myself ever using any other fondant again!

cakefat Posted 1 Apr 2014 , 2:05am
post #12 of 16

I think taking a class in person with a great teacher is one of the best things you can do to improve. It really beats anything online by miles, there's just no comparison. If you can find someone in your area who is coming through who is really skilled at this craft (not just so-so or ok but BAM!) then I recommend that.

 

Also, try out different brands of fondant if you can and spring for the really good stuff at least once (like carma massa), it makes anything else look impossible to use.

rebecca67e Posted 1 Apr 2014 , 3:11am
post #13 of 16

your cakes are nice!

things I noticed, however...

tiers too rounded

sloppy writing (the Jade and Lamar ones)

unfinished looking boards

overall neatness - its the details that count!

AZCouture Posted 1 Apr 2014 , 3:15am
post #14 of 16

Quote:

Originally Posted by didavista 

If your using mff don't switch to mmf just yet. Get more practice with mff first, I personally prefer that over mmf. Cazza had good advice too.

Ohhh yes, much easier to work with in my never humble opinion. None of that stretchiness that can tend to occur with the marshmallow type. BUT, plenty of peeps use both with equal success, so don't discount either type. ;)

Jguerrero21 Posted 1 Apr 2014 , 11:35am
post #15 of 16

A

Original message sent by rebecca67e

your cakes are nice! things I noticed, however... tiers too rounded sloppy writing (the Jade and Lamar ones) unfinished looking boards overall neatness - its the details that count!

Certainly agreed.

Several people have mentioned the boards. Should i always cover them in fondant or just use a different kind?

Thanks the feedback!

maisie73 Posted 1 Apr 2014 , 12:53pm
post #16 of 16

AThey look so nice covered in fondant. I've only just started covering my boards and it makes such a difference.[IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3214489/width/200/height/400[/IMG]first giant cuocake I made 10 months ago.[IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3214491/width/200/height/400[/IMG] 6th one I made last week.

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