Are There Any, Fondant Savvy, Kind Souls Out There???

Decorating By IHATEFONDANT Updated 4 May 2015 , 9:13pm by Coob

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IHATEFONDANT Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 12:14am
post #1 of 24

Who would be willing to do a tutorial on a fondant covered cake?

I'm at my wits end with the stuff. I have followed every suggestion I can find about this stuff and I'm still having problems.

No matter what I do I get bulges. I've tried stronger dam icing..less filling,thin fondant,thick fondant, put the crumb coated cake in the name it I've tried it.

I don't want to hate the stuff. I admire the beautiful cakes that are made with it. I want to learn how to use it.

I've bought books but they never show how to fill the cake,how much filling etc. They always show the crumb coat stage.

It just seems like the weight of the fondant ALWAYS squishes the damn, dam out of the sides. Am I taking too long to put it on the cake? Is there a time limit for applying and smoothing? Is that the key to this?

I'm begging someone to take pity on me!!! icon_cry.gif

23 replies
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moydear77 Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 12:17am
post #2 of 24

I think the key is to using a meringue type icing. It gets solid like butter when chilled so you can work the fondant ovet the cake nicely.

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IHATEFONDANT Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 1:11am
post #3 of 24

That makes sense much working time do you have?

It seems...that as I smooth the problem starts. It goes on OK and then..slowly I see the bulges start. Am I spendng too much time smoothing maybe? Creating too much heat?

I'll try the meringue type BC and see if I make out better.

How much filling do you put in? I use my coupler without a tip to pipe my dam. Is that too thick and as a reslut am I putting too much filling in?

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angelas2babies Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 1:18am
post #4 of 24

Great tip about the meringue icing...I will have to try that. I use a half butter frosting, but I learned that too much filling and too much frosting create problems for me, so I go thin on the filling and even if I pipe a dam without the coupler, I push down gently on the torted cake and let it sit for a while before I lightly frost, and finally cover with fondant.

I always smooth downward and I try to never touch it with my hands directly.

Your cakes are beautiful!
Good luck to you.

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DianaMarieMTV Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 1:26am
post #5 of 24

I came to the realization one day that i was putting my dam too close to the edge of the cake. Move your coupler in about a quarter to a half inch in on the cake that way when it squishes out a little, it's not out the sides of the cake.

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BakingGirl Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 1:26am
post #6 of 24

How long do you leave your cakes after filling and crumb coating them before covering in fondant? I find it is better to leave the cake crumb coated overnight in the fridge before covering in fondant. That way everything has had a chance to settle before adding the extra weight of the fondant.


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moydear77 Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 1:31am
post #7 of 24

Well I work quite sometime with my cakes. Some people say to keep it on the thicker side and I think the oposite. I get more tearing with thicker fondant and small pitting on the edges. I think the one thing I learned is not to be afraid. If you are then you will start panicking which means rushing. I start with a cake that has been baked the day before. I have torted once and also three times. I do not fill with a bag but just drop a mound with my spat and smooth out. Even a fondant cake I ice smooth as I would a normal cake.
Start with a small cake such as a 6" cake. I knead my fondant till it is smooth. I use crisco -I grease my board and my pin. Roll the fondant out. Set the cake above it to see if you have enough to cover all around. Take a pizza cutter and remove the extra. I found that the extra was weighing the fondant down.
I am no expert but this works for me. HTH!

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tracy702 Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 1:34am
post #8 of 24

Beacase I use French Buttercream, I put my cake in the freezer for at least one hour, before I apply the fondant. I don't like mine think, so I roll mine out 1/16inch thick. You have to do this quickly. I slide my left arm under my Wilton Fondant mat (the square one or round one works great). I place the mat aginst the cake, using my right hand to support the right side of the cake - so it doesn't slide around. Then I roll the fondant mat over the cake. Now checking the cake to make sure that the fondant is covering all my sides, I remove my mat, peeling it off the fondant. (If you have to adjust the fondant do it while the mat is attached - much eaiser this way). The quickly I use my hands (no rings on). I start at the sides and start smoothing. I gently press the fondant into the buttercream. Now it is very important that your buttercream be very smooth. Any flaws will been seen through the fondant. I smooth from the sides up. I do this to make sure I don't tear the corners. You can use fondant smoothing tools to help. I don't because I fond that my hands were much better - I have more control. Once you smooth it, start trimming the excess off. I like to cut mine at an angle with my razor blade, it kinda tucks it along the edge of the cake at the bottom.
Good Luck - I know this was long. Sorry.
I hope it helps.

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Loucinda Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 2:04am
post #9 of 24

I do not use any meringue type icings at all (NOR do I refrigerate/freeze my cakes) and usually have no issue with the bulge. What I find works is to bake the cake one day, fill it (usung the dam method and NOT using too much filling - just a couple of tablespoons is enough), crumb coat it and let it set until the next day. That way all the settling has taken place. When I get ready to do the fondant, I then put another layer of buttercream on the cake, and use that icing to "spackle" in the area between the layers that is not filled with icing. I elevate the cake, make sure to roll my fondant on the thick side (I use crisco on the mat and rolling pin), lay it on the cake, peel the mat off ~ then trim the excess fondant away with a pizza cutter. After doing that then I "work" the fondant with my hands to smooth it out. This is how I teach all of my students to do it, and they are always amazed how well it works!

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IHATEFONDANT Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 11:31am
post #10 of 24

OMG!! You guys are the best!!

I'm "seeing" what I should be doing.

I let my cakes sit overnight. Usually I try to get them done before 3pm the day before. So they sit for quite some time.

Quad, I understand that you don't refrigerate. Does that mean that you don't fill with something like a mousse?

I'm thinking now that maybe because I've reinforced my "dam" BC and refrigerate them immediately, that my cakes aren't "settling" and do so when I try to add the fondant.

Could that be the case? Maybe I need to let them sit for awhile BEFORE I stick them in the fridge?

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tracy702 Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 2:25pm
post #11 of 24

You set your cake out to settle and then it can be put in the frige or freezer if needed. Depending on the type of icing you use.

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Loucinda Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 3:20pm
post #12 of 24

I rarely fill them with anything that requires refrigeration. Luckily my customers have not requested any of those type fillings. They love my standard buttercream and usually just request that.

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Crimsicle Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 3:36pm
post #13 of 24
Originally Posted by Quadcrew

I rarely fill them with anything that requires refrigeration. Luckily my customers have not requested any of those type fillings. They love my standard buttercream and usually just request that.

Me, too! It's a very rare day I use a filling that requires refrigeration. I think refrigeration is Public Enemy #1 for any decorated cake and should be avoided at all costs. I use thin, thin, thin fillings. No oooze, no bulge. Very little settling when your fillings are thin. My favorite is a smple one of preserves...sometimes thinned with liqueur....sometimes mixed with a little buttercream. Or, I simply add a layer of whatever buttercream I'm using. Never enough to require a dam!

If I do want to use something ooey and gooey in the middle, I flake out about a quarter of an inch of cake in the bottom layer. I make a "well" instead of a dam. I take the "hole" out to about a half-inch from the edge. Then I fill that with the filling. Seems more stable than a dam on top of the cake.

One time I had bulging fondant, and it's been a long time. I can't remember what I put in the middle. But, usually, that's not a problem for me.

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Loucinda Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 3:51pm
post #14 of 24

I make a "well" instead of a dam. I take the "hole" out to about a half-inch from the edge. Then I fill that with the filling

That is an excellant idea!! Thanks for sharing it.

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ShirleyW Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 4:00pm
post #15 of 24

I used to hate fondant too, not the looks, just working with it. On the bulge thing, this was taught to me by another cake decorator and I swear by it. I use a #12 plain piping tip, make my dam just inside the edge of the bottom layer, fill the cake and add the top layer. Here is the part that is a life saver to me, use the same #12 tip and pipe a line of icing all the way around the sides of the cake where the two layers meet in the center. Then smooth that line with an icing spatula, crumb coat as usual, chill in fridge, add final coat for iced cake or just a thin coat if you are covering in fondant. Filling in that space between the layers not only holds in the filling, but eliminates an air space where it can create a bulge. Try it sometime and give me some feedback, I thing you will find that it makes a big difference.

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IHATEFONDANT Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 5:34pm
post #16 of 24

All of your suggestions are grand!!

I'm going to try them, right after my holiday rush, and let you know how it all comes out!!


I appreciate all of your input,more than I can say!!

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shebaben Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 7:55pm
post #17 of 24

You guys are the greatest!!! thumbs_up.gif I feel like I've been sitting in a master class as I've been reading this thread. What great questions! What great ideas!!I've learned so much from all of you - thanks! PAT

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IHATEFONDANT Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 8:02pm
post #18 of 24

We've got alot of angels on this site!!! thumbs_up.gif

I agree..this thread is much better than a tutorial.

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Zmama Posted 3 Dec 2006 , 9:08pm
post #19 of 24

I usually do my cakes in one day. However, it's an all-day process, not a rush. Get up, mix and bake. That evening, ice and decorate. Put a decent layer of bc under fondant, but not a ton. It tends to smooth it out easier that way.

All the baking and prepping is done while kids are up, decorating after they are in bed, about 12 hours after baking. It's not how I would do it in a shop, but it works GREAT as a sahm/student. Gives it time to rest, but not dry out. Cooling the layers individually seems to make it a bit denser for me for some reason, and they stopped cracking this way.

My fondant is too thick to read through, but just thin enough to see light through. I use mmf, not nearly all the sugar in the recipe, roll on Crisco. It's still stretchy, so is really forgiving. I leave a 1/4 inch when cutting the bottom, and tuck under the cake.

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chelleb1974 Posted 4 Dec 2006 , 7:09pm
post #20 of 24

I know you've gotten a lot of suggestions already, but I'm going to throw in my 2 cents too! icon_biggrin.gif

I bake my cakes the night before and either wrap them in saran wrap before I go to bed (if they are cool) or in the morning. Then the next night (or day if a weekend) I level and tort the cake. I have done as many as 2-2in cakes torted into 4 layers. I usually fill with pudding. I use tip 12 to pipe a dam of medium consistency icing (I use an all crisco buttercream). Then put the pudding in until it is just about level with the top of the frosting dam. Then put the next layer on and gently press down on the edges of the cake to seal the frosting dam. I put the dam about a 1/4 inch in from the side of the cake. Once all my layers are put on, I put on a thin coat of thin consistency icing on the cake. Thicker than a crumb coat but less then a full coat - probably about 1/2 of what I would normally ice with. I don't usually do a crumb coat, as I don't seem to have too many problems with crumbs thumbs_up.gif I use a paper towel or basting brush to brush the heavy crumbs off before I frost the cake.

I use Satin Ice fondant exclusively - I love it!!!! icon_lol.gif I put crisco on my hands and rolling pin and knead the fondant until it is workable. I roll it out thin - I hate thick fondant. I probably roll it about a 1/16th of an inch thick. I roll it out on a silpat - they are wonderful!! thumbs_up.gif I then have help icon_smile.gif and pick up the silpat and flip it over (the fondant will not fall off on its own) and place it over the cake. Once it is centered over the cake, we set it down on the cake and I slowly peel the silpat off the fondant. I then use my hand to gently press the fondant on the top of the cake and around the top edge of the cake. Then I trim the fondant at the bottom (I usually roll out a lot bigger than my cakes) usually to the edge of the cake board. Then start smoothing the fondant down the side of cake with my hands and making sure there are no wrinkles. I have found that the closer I have trimmed the fondant, the less liklihood that I will get wrinkles. Once the sides are smoothed onto the cake, I trim the fondant along the bottom of the cake and use my fondant smoother to make sure there are no hands indents on the cake.

Sorry this was long, but I tend to describe things in too much detail!! icon_biggrin.gif


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cakeguru Posted 5 Dec 2006 , 4:22pm
post #21 of 24

Ok, my Wilton teacher gave us the best suggestion ever to not get that middle bulge from filling a cake and covering it with fondant.

Its NOT the same dam method that you use for buttercream iced cakes where you pipe a dam around the circumference of your bottom layer and fill it in with your desired filling.

What you do is take a knife or your pointed tipped spatula and position it about 0.5" in from the outer edge of your bottom layer. Then I stick the tip of the knife in the cake so the tip is buried about a 0.25" to 0.5" in the cake. With the tip still sunken into the cake, trace around the shape of the cake. What you're doing is cutting out a "bowl" from your bottom layer. Then carefully with your fingers, start tearing out the cake you've cut to hollow out the bowl, but don't go down too far, or you will put a hole right through your layer!

Now you're bottom layer has a bowl shape and thats what you put your filling into. Fill the filling so that it levels out with the top of your layer. Then place the second cake layer on top and've filled your cake and its ready to be crumbcoate. What you've done is manage to make it so that both layers sit flush on top of eachother without any buldge in the center whatsoever.

No buldge in the center means no buldge in your fondant! And your cake has a filling still!!


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IHATEFONDANT Posted 10 Dec 2006 , 11:44am
post #22 of 24

Thanks to everyone who posted suggestions for me!!

After my holiday rush, I'm going to try them!! thumbs_up.gif

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cncgirl00 Posted 10 Dec 2006 , 12:22pm
post #23 of 24

I agree-these are all great ideas. I've been too chicken to try covering a cake with fondant but I might give it a try, now!

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Coob Posted 4 May 2015 , 9:13pm
post #24 of 24
Brilliant, "digging out a well"!

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