Covering Mini-Cake With Fondant Problem

Decorating By angelFcake Updated 1 May 2014 , 3:22am by angelFcake

angelFcake Posted 24 Apr 2014 , 3:26am
post #1 of 22

I would like to cover a 3 inches in diameter and hight cake with fondant. It has two layers of Swiss meringue buttercream and is also covered with thin SMBC. I freeze it completely and take it out of the freezer just before covering. ( I guess it's bad doing, too. ) When I try to cover, the top edge tends to slide down and tear. Also, the side gets tears and lots of creases. I try to fill the gap with mixture of fondant and a bit of water but it can't be enough. It looks very messy and worst of all, there is a big air pocket between the cake and the fondant. Bumpy look is completely NO, NO and moreover, I think having the air under the fondant is bad for cake's freshness.

I was not good at covering cakes with fondant, so I practiced with dummy. I could get the tip of it but when I try to do the same on real cakes, I do just the same as before.

 

Please tell me and teach me how I should do it right.

Is using SMBC a bad idea for beginner? How should I prepare cakes before covering with fondant? Should the cake inside have complete cylinder shape with clean edge? (Mine has sloping edge.) Which is better that having thick or thin SMBC coat? How about the thickness of the fondant, thicker is better or thiner? How can I avoid tears and creases? How can I completely seal the cake without any air inside? Should the cake board covered with fondant as well?

 

I am very sorry for my too many asking. As it sounds, it's a disaster. That is why I have to conquer the problem and I do need your help. Thank you so much for your time and knowledge.

21 replies
Smckinney07 Posted 24 Apr 2014 , 3:53am
post #2 of 22

AI would recommend getting on YouTube and watching some tutorials, I'm a visual learner! CupADeeCakes Blog has some great video tutorials on icing a cake-you want your surface as smooth as possible or those imperfections will show through your fondant.

I prefer meringue based BC, so your SMBC or IMBC are great (in my opinion) I also like using ganache but that's another story. Joshua Russell has a free Craftsy class online about making BC, prepping, and icing your cake.

Covering styrafoam cake dummies is more difficult because you usually have to work pretty fast, so it's a bit different but if you can do that you can cover a real cake! It takes practice!

You want your fondant to be thin, most say about 1/8" adding that extra thickness pulls the fondant and makes it more likely to tear. There's another free Craftsy class by Elisa Strauss that shows you the basics of working with fondant, covering a round and square cake, and some simple decoration.

I stack and fill my cakes, do a crumb coat then stick in the fridge for a few to harden up (for me this layer is pretty thin), then I do a final coat (depending on temp sometimes I'll stick back in the fridge to harden slightly). Freezing then trying to cover will give you a lot of condensation and make your fondant get wet and sticky.

I roll my fondant out then smooth on the counter I will use a needle to remove air bubbles, then I transfer to my cake. I start with the top and smooth, then the sides gently so my fondant doesn't want to stretch and tear, you sort of work your way down from there pulling the pleats out and smoothing downwards-continue all the way around the cake. It's difficult to explain,that's why I suggest watching a video!

I personally always cover my cake board, it just looks cleaner, but it's not necessary. Your cake should be on its own personal board so with the icing it's 'sealed'.

Avoid mixing fondant with water! If you mess up either cover with decorations or royal or simply redo if it's a big mess.

Smckinney07 Posted 24 Apr 2014 , 4:02am
post #3 of 22

AAlso, if you get an air bubble in the fondant when it's on your cake do the same poke with a needle designated for cake use only-don't go straight down poke it at an angle then smooth with your smoother or a ball of fondant.

Your main problem sounds like condensation mixed with thick fondant.

Rouner edges are fine, it's harder to get those razor sharp edges (use two smoothers for the sharp edges, one on top with the other on the side) but this is a preference. I'd focus on getting the fondant on cleanly first.

Also, make sure your cake is level when it's filled and stacked, makes everything easier if your cake is level to start. The amount of icing is your preference but you don't need a ton.

Good luck!

morganchampagne Posted 24 Apr 2014 , 6:34am
post #4 of 22

AI love to see you around here Smckinney!! You're always so helpful! Hope all is well!

petitecat Posted 24 Apr 2014 , 7:26am
post #5 of 22

I used to have a big problem with tears in my fondant. I found the problem was the fondant itself- it just wasn't the good kind. How about trying a recommended brand? It worked for me! Maybe ask others in this forum who are from the same country as you. If you are in the UK try sugarpaste from sugarpastedirect.co.uk.

 

Good luck :)

Smckinney07 Posted 24 Apr 2014 , 7:55am
post #6 of 22

A

Original message sent by morganchampagne

I love to see you around here Smckinney!! You're always so helpful! Hope all is well!

Ditto!

I'm expecting and have had the worst morning (afternoon & evening) sickness lol! Finally feeling better so I'm trying to catch up :)

morganchampagne Posted 26 Apr 2014 , 9:30pm
post #7 of 22

AAww. So sorry about that!! Congrats on your bundle!

Siany01 Posted 26 Apr 2014 , 9:44pm
post #8 of 22

AWith mini cakes smoothers are not really going to be an option as they are two-three times the size of the cake.

Personally I have found a jam coat and marzipan before sugarpaste the best way to get a good finish. Or look at doing hot poured fondant instead.

I'm currently making lots of mini cakes so have tried various methods and the above both give a good finish.

With the pleating it's just a case of lifting again and working them out, it's hard with such a small cake but it's just practice. Don't roll too large a piece of sugarpaste out as it makes it harder to work with and you get more pleats and it will tear more easily.

Smckinney07 Posted 26 Apr 2014 , 10:50pm
post #9 of 22

AThanks Morgan! I'm feeling much better, finally lol!

I'm sorry Angel, I didn't see the MINI part. Yes, you want your cakes as round as possible. If you don't have pans for mini's I'd start with a sheet cake pan (depending on how many cakes you need to make, and the thickness you like your layers). I use sheet pans that look like the jelly roll pans, level if needed, then wrap and stick in the fridge or freezer for a bit, I like to cut my cakes out when they are cold. I cut out all my layers with a cutter, fill and frost. I hope you charge accordingly because they do take a lot more time! I do all my steps seperate, like frosting all at once, it's easier for me because I need to make sure they're all the same height in the end (I'm weird like that).

As for covering them, I roll my fondant very thin and measure so I don't have that extra weight.

I suppose you can always use poured fondant as suggested above but the look is very different also marzipan has a very different taste then fondant. That's more like a PF in my mind.

Again, try watching some videos on YouTube if you want a visual on covering the smaller cakes.

angelFcake Posted 27 Apr 2014 , 2:55am
post #10 of 22

Thank you so very much for your kind and very helpful reply, Smckinney07

I learned : a little cold cake is good but freezing cold one is bad, thiner fondant is better than thicker one. What I mentioned was not air bubbles, a big air pocket between the cake and the fondant. I don't know if others have ever got such terrible thing but I am sure it's because of tears of fondant and not sealing correctly. (You can see the weird gap there...) 
Could you teach me about poured fondant, please? It's new to me. I was amazed how much and how well you know things!! 
Thank you so much for your time, help and kindness!!!

 

 

angelFcake Posted 27 Apr 2014 , 3:12am
post #11 of 22

Thank you so much for your reply, petitecat! 

I live in the US and use FondArt. Is softer fondant always better to deal with? A little dried or hard one makes everything difficult? Is it depend on color? (like white one is better.)

I do appreciate your helpful suggestion!

  •  

angelFcake Posted 27 Apr 2014 , 3:26am
post #12 of 22

I do appreciate your tips and advice, Siany01!

Doesn't a jam coat and marzipan method cost more than using other? How much do you charge for your cakes?

Could you tell me about the poured fondant method?

I learned that I should not roll the fondant too large. Thank you so very much!!

petitecat Posted 27 Apr 2014 , 9:11am
post #13 of 22

Quote:

Originally Posted by angelFcake 
 

Thank you so much for your reply, petitecat! 

I live in the US and use FondArt. Is softer fondant always better to deal with? A little dried or hard one makes everything difficult? Is it depend on color? (like white one is better.)

I do appreciate your helpful suggestion!

  •  

 

I used to buy the supermarket brands of fondant and they were too soft, so in my experience softer fondant is actually not great. They tore easily and had cracks on the top edges. I don't think colour is a factor, but a good brand and a good technique are important. Having said that, some people have said that the supermarket brands are great! If you have a bit of money to spare, buy a different brand (from the cheap to the more expensive) one at a time and try it out on a dummy cake or a real cake. Basically use trial and error to find the right fondant for you. If you use icing sugar (I think you call it 10x sugar?) then switch to cornstarch (or vice versa) as some people find icing sugar makes some fondant dry faster (and vice versa).

 

I've not tried covering very small cakes with fondant. The smallest I've ever covered is 4" round x 4" high so I can only advise you on fondant! I hope one day you will find the fondant that works for you :) 

petitecat Posted 27 Apr 2014 , 9:17am
post #14 of 22

Smckinney07, congrats on your pregnancy. Hope the sickness goes- I had it for both my pregnancies so you have my sympathy!

angelFcake Posted 27 Apr 2014 , 3:26pm
post #15 of 22

I do have another question about baking powder. How does the amount of baking powder effect on taste and texture of the cake? It is because I would like my cake to have more volume, I mean fluffier. I don't want it dense and heavy. In that case, increasing the amount of baking powder will work? For example, glance through the following ingredients : 2 sticks unsalted butter, 1 1/2 cups ap flour, 1 1/2 cups cake flour, 1 tbs baking powder, 1/2 ts salt, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 4 eggs, 2 ts vanilla, 1 1/4 cups milk. If I add a bit more like 1/8 ts baking powder, what will happen to the cake ?

I am sorry for asking such a basic question but if someone would answer me, it would be most appreciated. I found everybody here is really knowledgable and unbelievable!! Thank you so much!!!

angelFcake Posted 27 Apr 2014 , 3:35pm
post #16 of 22

Thank you so much for your reply, petitecat!!

Yes, I should try other kinds of fondant to find one works better for me!

Have a great day!!! :cake: 

petitecat Posted 27 Apr 2014 , 4:39pm
post #17 of 22

Quote:

Originally Posted by angelFcake 
 

I do have another question about baking powder. How does the amount of baking powder effect on taste and texture of the cake? It is because I would like my cake to have more volume, I mean fluffier. I don't want it dense and heavy. In that case, increasing the amount of baking powder will work? For example, glance through the following ingredients : 2 sticks unsalted butter, 1 1/2 cups ap flour, 1 1/2 cups cake flour, 1 tbs baking powder, 1/2 ts salt, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 4 eggs, 2 ts vanilla, 1 1/4 cups milk. If I add a bit more like 1/8 ts baking powder, what will happen to the cake ?

I am sorry for asking such a basic question but if someone would answer me, it would be most appreciated. I found everybody here is really knowledgable and unbelievable!! Thank you so much!!!

 

I wouldn't change the amount of baking powder in your recipes. Adding baking powder will cause your case to rise too fast, then sink afterwards. Why not try cake flour (called sponge flour here in the UK)? They result in fluffier cakes. If you can't purchase that, then I would experiment with recipes or look for them by googling 'fluffy cakes' or something like that. HTH :)

angelFcake Posted 29 Apr 2014 , 8:44pm
post #18 of 22

AppleMark

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by petitecat 
 

 

I wouldn't change the amount of baking powder in your recipes. Adding baking powder will cause your case to rise too fast, then sink afterwards. Why not try cake flour (called sponge flour here in the UK)? They result in fluffier cakes. If you can't purchase that, then I would experiment with recipes or look for them by googling 'fluffy cakes' or something like that. HTH :)

Thank you so very much Petitecat!!

I have leaned a lot from you! Adding more BP means rising fast and sink. As you recommended, I search tips about fluffier cakes. Then, I found out I overmixed the batter after adding eggs. (not after the flour) I just thought mixing would incorporate more air and would make the cake fluffier. I was wrong. How about creaming butter and sugar? Is overmixing bad?
After getting some great advice, I practiced covering with dummy. I did all right (not perfect but OK) and learned thiner fondant is better. I used 2/3 fondant compare to the original amount I had used. I also did on a real cake, then, I got the result like the picture. It's still better because I didn't get tears and air bump (not air bubbles) like before (so far) but I got creases again! I ended up with using less fondant compare to the time I got all right result on the dummy. I guessed too thin is also bad... This time, I keep the cake at room temperature. (it's still cool) However, as always, I messed up SMBC and it's oozing out of the bottom. Is dealing with SMBC harder than American butter cream? I have never tried it.     
I have been getting better but I have to learn and practice more. Again, I do appreciate your kindness and wonderful knowledge!!
angelFcake Posted 29 Apr 2014 , 8:55pm
post #19 of 22

Quote:

Originally Posted by angelFcake 
 

Thank you so very much Petitecat!!

I have leaned a lot from you! Adding more BP means rising fast and sink. As you recommended, I search tips about fluffier cakes. Then, I found out I overmixed the batter after adding eggs. (not after the flour) I just thought mixing would incorporate more air and would make the cake fluffier. I was wrong. How about creaming butter and sugar? Is overmixing bad?
After getting some great advice, I practiced covering with dummy. I did all right (not perfect but OK) and learned thiner fondant is better. I used 2/3 fondant compare to the original amount I had used. I also did on a real cake, then, I got the result like the picture. It's still better because I didn't get tears and air bump (not air bubbles) like before (so far) but I got creases again! I ended up with using less fondant compare to the time I got all right result on the dummy. I guessed too thin is also bad... This time, I keep the cake at room temperature. (it's still cool) However, as always, I messed up SMBC and it's oozing out of the bottom. Is dealing with SMBC harder than American butter cream? I have never tried it.     
I have been getting better but I have to learn and practice more. Again, I do appreciate your kindness and wonderful knowledge!!

I just found there is the air layer between the cake and fondant. It's just terrible. Has someone ever got such problem? How can I prevent it? I guess it's also bad for keeping the cake fresh... 

Smckinney07 Posted 29 Apr 2014 , 11:25pm
post #20 of 22

AI'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner!

I tried many brands of fondant before I found one that I like (and I like using different brands for different things-modeling chocolate it something I like for sculpting or even Wilton for some things) but for covering a cake I like FondX or the Elite, I love CM (it's a bit more expensive but I've found I don't have to use as much). Some people swear by Satin Ice, I didn't care for it at all. So, again, it's personal preference. You can purchase sample sizes for most brands. Things like humidity can also effect your fondant. You asked about adding colors to fondant, too much color can change the consistency of your fondant.

As for your first picture, it's hard to get a good close up from my iPad but you are using an outer layer of icing right? That fondant was very thick, the newer picture does look better, also smaller cakes can be difficult to start practicing with.

I do not like working with American (or crusting) BC, I love SMBC/IMBC it hardens and makes smoothing much easier. I used to always let my cakes settle-basically I'd let them set stacked and filled overnight to push out any air but it doesn't seem necessary with SMBC or ganache.

I will pm you and send some links and videos that might help. It's frustrating but you'll get there!

PCat-thank you :)

petitecat Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 7:30am
post #21 of 22

Angelcake, if you see any air bubbles, push a thin needle through to let the air out, and smooth it out. I get these all the time- it's very common :)

 

I think your fondant may have been too heavy if its oozing out from the bottom. I use SMBC all the time and never had a problem with it. I have, however, always put the cake in the fridge after covering in SMBC so that the SMBC sets before covering in fondant. 

angelFcake Posted 1 May 2014 , 3:22am
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by petitecat 
 

Angelcake, if you see any air bubbles, push a thin needle through to let the air out, and smooth it out. I get these all the time- it's very common :)

 

I think your fondant may have been too heavy if its oozing out from the bottom. I use SMBC all the time and never had a problem with it. I have, however, always put the cake in the fridge after covering in SMBC so that the SMBC sets before covering in fondant. 

Again, thank you so much, petitecat! I have to admit that my fondant was too thick and learned thiner is better to deal with. About SMBC, while I try to cover with fondant, it slip off the cake and become melting messy. I guess the SMBC itself might have a problem because I feel the look and texture of it is more like butter than cream. I will keep on leaning for getting tips of covering cakes beautifully.

I do appreciate your time, kindness and knowledge to help me, petitecat!! :) 

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