How Do I Finish Neatly The Fondant At The Base Of My Cakes When They Are Not Supposed To Take Any Ribbon Or Border Whatsoever At The Base?

Decorating By pastrymaniac Updated 30 Sep 2014 , 9:58am by cakebaby2

pastrymaniac Posted 22 Sep 2014 , 1:27am
post #1 of 24

Hi fellow cake decorators,


I have been trying to make some of my fondant wedding cakes without including any ribbon or border at the base of the tiers but I still need a little bit of help. 


I usually cut the lef over fondant at the base of the tiers with a sharp blade just below the cake board and get a very clean and neat finish but when I stack the tiers since I glue them to each other either on top of a thin layer of ganache or royal icng I still get a tiny gap, like the tier on top is elevated something like 1/8 inch from the one below.


How can I fill that empty space? With royal icing...but won´t it crack? It´s too hot where I live for buttercream (I use IMB). What if the cake is not white or even worse if it has a different colour than the tier below? In photos of cake online I see a very perfect finish that I would like to achieve in my modern cakes with sharp edges. What´s the trick of the best professionals to achieve this look does anyone have a clue?


Also what is the best tool to use to do the procedure (whatever it is)... a flexible scraper, a piece of acetate, a small crafts palette knife or some other? Different insights and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


Thanks everyone, cheers and happy decorating :)

23 replies
FioreCakes Posted 22 Sep 2014 , 3:37am
post #3 of 24


I havent seen this tutorial but from reading the thread are you sure it matches the OP's question? How to avoid the gap between tiers? 


OP-- I have heard people cake a caulk type substance out of the leftover fondant that would fill in the gap...I rarely do fondant so I fear I am not of much help

thecakewitch Posted 22 Sep 2014 , 4:05am
post #4 of 24


Original message sent by FioreCakes

I havent seen this tutorial but from reading the thread are you sure it matches the OP's question? How to avoid the gap between tiers? 

OP-- I have heard people cake a caulk type substance out of the leftover fondant that would fill in the gap...I rarely do fondant so I fear I am not of much help

Yes. There is a link in this thread about AZCouture's tutorial on how to fondant cake with clean edges.

julia1812 Posted 22 Sep 2014 , 5:11am
post #5 of 24

AI had the same problem and would like to know what to do/ how the pros do it... What works for me at the moment is to cut the excesses of with a pizza cutter, but leaving it a tiny bit longer than it needs to be. Before I lift the layer onto another layer, I go around the edge with a knife, tugging the extra bit ( about 1/8inch) in. Once it's on, I go about the edge with a sort of fondant smoother to make sure the is no "curve" going inwards.

AZCouture Posted 22 Sep 2014 , 6:54am
post #6 of 24

AIf you have a gap, then the problem is with how you're cutting your supports. Sounds like whatever you're supporting the tiers with are being cut too tall. My tutorial won't address that, but will definitely give you a neat flush bottom edge.

AZCouture Posted 22 Sep 2014 , 6:56am
post #7 of 24

ANicely done bottom edges [B]combined[/B] with supports that allow the tier to rest perfectly flat above the one below it will result in no need to caulk or fill anything.

pastrymaniac Posted 22 Sep 2014 , 2:11pm
post #8 of 24

Thanks so much for the reply everyone.


AZCouture I use wooden dowels for all my cakes because I always use ganache on the outside coating and they tend to be on the heavy side and I always cut them flush with the fondant so I don´t think that is the problem.Wooden dowels are normally used here in Europe instead of straws and I have been afraid to try the new poli dowels since I don´t know if they are as sturdy as they claim to be.


I haven´t seen the tutorial yet but do you think there is any problem in using wooden dowels? Am I cutting them too long? I think that the problem comes from the thin layer of royal icing that I use to glue the tiers instead, how do you deal with that?


My method so far is  elevating my fondant covered cake on top of a smaller cake pan and cut the fondant neatly right under the board with a sharp blade, what do you think?


Many thanks.

pastrymaniac Posted 22 Sep 2014 , 6:16pm
post #9 of 24

Hi AZCouture,


I just bought and saw your great tutorial, what a great idea :) ! I have been able to achieve a similar result with the sharp razor cutting of the fondant method I described previously (as shown by Jessica Harris on Craftsy). My problems seem to appear after that so I have some questions,,, if you would be able to give me a hand and share a bit of your experience that would be awesome.


1. Let´s say the cake looks perfect with perfect bottom edges standing on the table with the board underneath, how do I move the cake inserting a spatula underneath it without damaging the neat edge? That´s one of my first problems


2. When I cover my cakes with fondant I do it leaving the cake board around the cake, should I not be doing this? This might seem confusing at first so I will explain...when I ganache my cakes I ganache the cake board where the cake is sitting to a bigger acrylic cake board and then fill and smooth as usual, when I cover the cake I still  do it on top of the acrylic board, then I remove the cake from the acrylic board, elevate it on top of a cake pan, cut the fondant around the edge and leave it neat, place the cake again on the same acrylic board and refrigerate. I have seen an australian decorator using this method and I have used it ever since.


3. When you are stacking and place the tier on top of another one how do you hold your cake and how do you remove your hands so that you don´t damage the bottom edge? If it is a small 8 inch we can hold it with our hands on the sides but how do you do it with heavier higher tiers?


4. How do you solve the issue of gluing the cake tier on top of a bit of ganache, royal icing or buttercream which creates the tiny bit of extra height? 


Thanks so much in advance.





rexygirl Posted 22 Sep 2014 , 7:31pm
post #10 of 24

AThis method popped up in my Pinterest feed the other day thought it looked ineteresting but I haven't tried it. If u read throu the blog she suggests putting the mixture into a piping bag and cleaning up the bottom edge with this method... Worth a look I'm definetly gonna give it a try

melmar02 Posted 22 Sep 2014 , 7:36pm
post #11 of 24

It sounds like you are using too much royal icing. You don't need 1/8" thick layer for the tier to stick to the one below. Look how thin the RI layer is on this tutorial found on Youtube.


AZCouture Posted 22 Sep 2014 , 7:52pm
post #12 of 24


So, I work with completely chilled cakes. I just pick them up by their sides and pop them on top of the tier they will sit on. Or, I will gently slide them to the edge of the table, and sort of scoop it up underneath, with one hand on the side.

If it has a painted design or fresh stenciling that I don't want to damage, then I'll slide a palette knife underneath and gently finagle it to where I can slip a hand underneath.

And then carefully place it on the tier it needs to sit on. If I'm worried that it will get dinged up, then I make sure to handle it on the back areas, or where I am planning to put a decorative element that will hide anything.

But mainly, all problems are generally avoided in the first place by working with chilled cake. That keeps finger dents and marred bottom edges to a minimum, really completely in most cases.

As for dowels, I don't like them but plenty of people have been using them successfully for years, so I really can't dismiss their value.

AZCouture Posted 22 Sep 2014 , 7:54pm
post #13 of 24

AI don't use anything to glue my tiers together, so there's no issue there either.

mcaulir Posted 22 Sep 2014 , 11:53pm
post #14 of 24

I just handle all my cakes at the back, so there's less issue if the bottom gets a bit ruined. If you can cover them a bit in advance, the fondant can get a bit firmer, and it's less likely to get dinged.


I think you're using too much RI to glue your tiers together if it's raising your tier literally 1/8 inch. A little smear is plenty, if you need it at all. I rarely glue my tiers together like that.

pastrymaniac Posted 29 Sep 2014 , 12:41am
post #15 of 24

Thanks so much everyone for you replies and suggestions.


Melmar 02 thanks for the Youtube tutorial really nice and useful :)


Just one question everyone...


When you are transporting multi tier cakes stacked to be delivered do you rely just on royal icing to secure tiers (and if so up until how many tiers) or do you use a central pole to join the tiers plus the royal icing? 


I usually tend to use a bit more royal icing in between my tiers because at venues most times my cakes are moved sometimes even a floor up or down from where I left them and I tend to freak out a bit regarding that... is a thin layer of royal icing still enough?


AZCouture if you don´t glue your tiers together how do you transport your cakes or make them safe to be transported by other people? Also what do you use instead of dowels as a suppor system that is able to hold high heavy tiers? I am already getting there with your great tips (a perfect bottom edge when stacking) thanks :)



AZCouture Posted 29 Sep 2014 , 12:44am
post #16 of 24

In the rare instance someone collects their own, they're probably heading out of town or something, I'll skewer it thru like a center dowel, and I glue the bottom tier down to the base board with some gooey fondant. I use bubble straws. But otherwise, no glue, no central dowels. I don't people to have to pry the cakes apart, and makes cutting and serving a lot easier for the staff.

cakebaby2 Posted 29 Sep 2014 , 7:38am
post #17 of 24

I practiced with the straws as supports until I was confident they could take the weight and they are wonderful, easy to cut flush with the surface and really strong (the hollows fill with cake and become rigid)

I transported  heavy fruit cakes on top of a sponge along motorways at rush hour and never lost a crumb. 

I am sold on the straws for future projects.

810whitechoc Posted 29 Sep 2014 , 10:25am
post #18 of 24

In regards to your gap, I did a 2 day course with Handi from Handi's Cakes, his cakes are awesome (Google if you don't know his work) he uses wooden dowels and cut them about 1mm lower than the surface of the fondant.  You then put a small smear of Ganache on the surface of the lower cake and put the second tier on.  The top cake settles that 1mm and has no gap.  I have been doing that and it works well for me.

pastrymaniac Posted 29 Sep 2014 , 12:52pm
post #19 of 24

Awesome tip 810whitechoc thanks so much :) !! I willl try that asap and google Handi´s work for sure.


Thanks for your feedback regarding cake support cakebaby2 unfortunately here in Europe we haven´t available the same kind of sturdy straws as you have in the States so I guess I will also be trying the poly dowels very soon which supposedly are also very easily cut flush with the surface and then will decide between using those or keep using the wooden dowels using the method suggested by 810whitechoc. Anyway where do you buy your straws and how are they called so that I search a bit online?


AZCouture so do you ever transport /deliver stacked cakes yourself? I don´t suppose you assemble them at the venue because you mentioned stacking your cakes cold. Sorry to be a pain but I must be missing something here ;), so I guess you will just use a center dowel in those cases right?


Thanks everyone.

shanter Posted 29 Sep 2014 , 7:08pm
post #20 of 24
pastrymaniac Posted 29 Sep 2014 , 7:17pm
post #21 of 24

Thanks shanter, are they flimsy like the ones we use to drink coke or a bit more rigid and sturdy? Do they hold ganached tiers 5 and 6 inches high ok?

cakebaby2 Posted 29 Sep 2014 , 7:30pm
post #22 of 24

They are thick plastic straws wider than the ones in coke drinks......however, I used normal straws for my grandaughter's two tier cake for her first birthday just as an experiment and they were fine too.

(Not that I'm advocating using these for many tiered wedding cakes)

A cylindrical hollow object is very strong and unlikely to bend especially as it fills up with cake.

mcaulir Posted 30 Sep 2014 , 5:38am
post #23 of 24


Original message sent by pastrymaniac

Thanks shanter, are they flimsy like the ones we use to drink coke or a bit more rigid and sturdy? Do they hold ganached tiers 5 and 6 inches high ok?

There's a four tier white cake in my photos somewhere that was held up with regular drinking straws. Not even the bubble tea ones. It was all ganached tiers. I didn't transport it stacked because it was too tall for my car, but regular drinking straws hold up a lot of weight, and the bubble tea ones are even more sturdy.

Every single one of my cakes are held up with straws, and I've transported a lot of the three tier ones stacked. I never use a centre dowel, and I rarely glue the tiers together. You just drive carefully. It's completely fine.

cakebaby2 Posted 30 Sep 2014 , 9:58am
post #24 of 24

Took a lot of faith from a novice like me to go with the straws but they really do work x

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