Please Help! Basic Beginner Question.

Decorating By Debbie222 Updated 14 Aug 2009 , 7:38am by MLand

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Debbie222 Posted 12 Aug 2009 , 4:28am
post #1 of 17


I've only used fondant a few times and I always have the same problem.

If I don't use enough powdered sugar when I roll out the fondant, it sticks. If I use a little more sugar on my work surface and my rolling pin, I end up with sugar all over the fondant, especially if I try to roll a sheet of fondant onto a rolling pin to lift it over the cake.

I end up with white blotches and dusty-looking areas all over the fondant - not so bad if the fondant is white, but awful if it's colored. Even if I wipe it off with a paper towel, it leaves a dull residue and you can still tell where the powder was.

This weekend, I am doing a cake where it's all iced in buttercream except for a fondant ribbon along the bottom of the tiers. Tonight, practiced making a nice clean ribbon and it's the same problem - white dusty areas and blotches all over the ribbon. It looked horrible.

I never see this problem when I watch cake decorators on TV. They roll it out, loop it over their rolling pin to lift and drop it on the cake - no sugar residue on it.

What am I doing wrong???? Does anyone else have this problem?


16 replies
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Toptier Posted 12 Aug 2009 , 4:36am
post #2 of 17

A few things that you can do to see what works best for you:

Use a light coating of crisco or Pam spray instead of powdered sugar for rolling out your fondant...especially on the dark colors.

Or - use the powdered sugar to roll out, apply, take a soft clean makeup brush to brush the excess off, then paint the ribbon with vodka after applied to the cake. Or, use a small amount of crisco on a paper towel and carefully rub over the entire surface of the cake. The excess crisco will be absorbed into the fondant and you'll be left with a beautiful sheen.


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xstitcher Posted 12 Aug 2009 , 4:52am
post #3 of 17

Ditto to what pp said.

You might also want to invest in a silicone mat (ateco makes a nice size one) or use heavy duty vinyl (you can buy this from a fabric store) and then you can coat that with an extremely thin coating of shortening and then lift the whole thing and drape it over the cake and peel back the mat. If you use cornstarch or powder sugar and the marks show what I do is smear on small amounts of shortening and rub it in. Vodka/extracts as pp mentioned works as well.

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leah_s Posted 12 Aug 2009 , 11:33am
post #4 of 17

Yeah, using powdered sugar to roll on is the problem. I quit doing that years ago. Are you using purchased fondant?

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ski Posted 12 Aug 2009 , 11:56am
post #5 of 17

Another suggestion is to invest in a small steamer. Once you have brushed off the larger portions of P.sugar or cornstarch, then steam the whole thing. It will not only rid the dust but also shine up your piece.

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Debbie222 Posted 12 Aug 2009 , 5:03pm
post #6 of 17

Toptier and xstiticher: thanks so much for these awesome suggestions. I didn't know you could roll out fondant on shortening. I am going to practice tonight. And, excellent idea to paint over any sugar blotches with vodka. Thank you SO MUCH

LeahS - I've used both purchased and homemade fondant with the same problem. My current batch is homemade from a Colette Peters recipe. I think you're right - I guess the powdered sugar is not the best way to roll it out.

I really appreciate everyone's responses.

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Debbie222 Posted 12 Aug 2009 , 11:30pm
post #7 of 17

Thanks, Ski. Getting a small steamer might be my next purchase.

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LittleLinda Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 2:38am
post #8 of 17

Roll between two pieces of parchment paper.

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miny Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 2:52am
post #9 of 17

When your cake is done give it a light airbrush with vodka, only vodka to get rid of white spots. HTH

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jdub253 Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 9:50pm
post #10 of 17

Have you tried rolling on one of those Vinyl Mats?

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marknelliesmum Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 10:05pm
post #11 of 17

Was the purchased fondant from a professional cake supplier. I have no problem with 'professional' fondant (i'm a hobby baker) but the stuff you get in our equivalent of walmart is a disaster for rolling/sticking but perfect for going through a clay gun.
Just a thought

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Debbie222 Posted 14 Aug 2009 , 5:38am
post #12 of 17

jdub - I haven't tried a vinyl mat before but I am going to on this next cake. I'm sure it will be a better method than I was trying.

marknelliesmom - Twice I purchased Wilton fondant and twice I've made my own. I had the same problem with both.

Thanks everyone for all your input and help. I am feeling so much more confidant now.


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xstitcher Posted 14 Aug 2009 , 5:43am
post #13 of 17

Hey Debbie, I just wanted to say don't let the store associate fold up the vinyl. Roll it up otherwise it will get creases in it that will show up on your fondant. Store it rolled up too.

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madgeowens Posted 14 Aug 2009 , 5:53am
post #14 of 17

I tried corn starch for the first time, and that worked better for me than anything, except it so doesn't stick that the fondant can slide off before your wanting it to icon_smile.gif
Also I just caught my grand daughter folding my plastic, and made her roll don't want those creases just like stitcher said.

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xstitcher Posted 14 Aug 2009 , 6:17am
post #15 of 17

Hey Madge did you dampen your icing before applying the fondant. I usually use a very slightly damp towel and rub it gently on my crusted bc before applying fondant. It will help adhere your fondant to your icing. Some even use a light mist spray of water instead of the paper towel.

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rblee Posted 14 Aug 2009 , 6:53am
post #16 of 17

If you do want to use powdered sugar or cornstarch to roll your fondant, when you are rolling it out turn it a quarter or half turn then roll, then turn, etc. Don't turn it over while rolling it out.

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MLand Posted 14 Aug 2009 , 7:38am
post #17 of 17

I had the same problems until I ordered a mat. But I don't use alot of fondant- and the problems was the MAIN reason. Just haven't had a chance to cover a cake since I got my mat.

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