Sharp Edges On A Fondant Cake That Is Condensating?

Decorating By jennicake Updated 30 Jul 2013 , 4:49am by jennicake

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jennicake Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 6:10pm
post #1 of 9

I have a strange question and I feel like the answer is probably obvious but I am missing something.  Please help!


When I cover a cake in fondant, my edges are usually quite rounded.  I really want to get the sharp edges I see on many cakes around here.  So I smooth my cake nicely with SMBC, stick it in the fridge for a while to harden, then take it out and cover with fondant.  But shortly after doing this, I start to get a lot of condensation on the outside of my fondant and can no longer touch it at all because it has become so sticky.  This means I no longer have the opportunity to continue working on it to get those nice sharp edges.


I know many of you chill your cakes before covering with fondant as well. Is there a trick I am missing to deal with all the condensation that turns up?

8 replies
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as you wish Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 6:45pm
post #2 of 9

AI also use buttercream, but I'm okay with the rounded edges. I have read that the best way to get sharp edges is to use ganache instead of buttercream. I have also put my buttercream cake in the fridge to firm it up before putting the fondant on. The reason that the fondant gets the condensation on it is because of the coldness from the refrigerated buttercream/cake transferring to the fondant. The moisture in the surrounding air then condenses on your cake, making it sticky. If you wait until it comes back up to room temperature you will be able to smooth it them. Just don't wait any longer than you have to because it will quickly go from a workable, smoothable state to a set-up, too firm to fix state.

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chrissypie Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 7:29pm
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AI had this problem the other night. It was the first time I used satin ice. I didn't know what to do! I usually use Wilton fondant and it never happened with Wilton. Maybe because its a drier fondant.

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cakegrandma Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 8:07pm
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Wilton is an inexpensive way to use fondant, however, I would not use it to cover a cake, only for figures to go on top or sides.  If you use a more expensive fondant it will taste much better, believe me.  If you use 2 fondant smoothers then you can hold one on top, over the side of the cake and use another one to smooth the sides.  As you smooth the side bring the one up to meet the bottom part of the one being held on the top of the cake.  If you continue doing this then you can achieve a crisper edge.  HTH  icon_smile.gif

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jennicake Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 8:26pm
post #5 of 9

I use scratch fondant (Michele Foster's recipe).  I understand how to get the sharp edges, that part isn't the problem (but thank you for the tips!).  My issue is that on a chilled cake (chilled so that my SMBC is solid enough to maintain its sharp edges), my fondant begins to condensate much faster than I can work to get my sharp edges -- literally in about 5 minutes.  Once it starts getting sticky, I have to stop touching it otherwise it will ruin my fondant.  I have considered letting the cake rest until the condensation evaporates, but by then my SMBC is to soft to be able to apply the pressure I need to get those sharp edges.


I know ganache is the easy solution to my problem, but I prefer to use buttercream (mainly for cost reasons... I'm a hobby caker, so there is no one for me to pass the extra cost to).  There are so many people who use SMBC/IMBC and don't have trouble getting their sharp edges though.  I'm sure they deal with the condensation issue as well.  But how?  I am missing something for sure :s

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as you wish Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 8:39pm
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AI see what you're getting at. Hmm... Maybe your buttercream is thicker than it needs to be?

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cakegrandma Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 8:46pm
post #7 of 9

Anytime you refrigerate your cake and put fondant over the top it will get condensation.  Using swiss meringue it is going to be harder to get those good crisp angles.  Have you tried no applying so much icing underneath the fondant to see how that will work? Normally you apply a small amount more than a crumb coat in order to have the fondant stick.  You would have the same problems with American buttercream, you would not get crisp corners and top edge if you apply too much.  The fondant will slip and slide all over it and if you were to refrigerate then the condensation all over again.  Try less icing is my suggestion.

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knlcox Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 9:22pm
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It's gotta be the fondant you're using! I'm wondering how your fondant becomes sticky so quickly since you don't have time to work on it.  I refrigerate my cakes all the time.  I put fondant on a cold solid cake, directly out of the refrigerator.  I at least have up to 10 minutes to work with the fondant before it starts some condensation issues.  I use SMBC also on my cakes. It only takes me about 5-10 minutes to rub the fondant on,  use my fingers to pinch the edges into a sharp corner and then smooth and pop air bubbles. Yeah, I trained myself to do it super quick because of the condensation that comes. 




Here I used my fingers to pinch the edges and it was a very cold cake I put the fondant on.  I used Liz Marek's fondant recipe for this one.  I bought the cheapest mallows from the dollar store.  Like she says, don't use the name brand stuff!   I usually use Fond Art by Albert Uster if I'm not using Liz Marek's recipe. That has a long play time as well. HTH!!

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jennicake Posted 30 Jul 2013 , 4:49am
post #9 of 9

Thanks for the suggestions!  I'll try a different fondant and see if that makes a difference.  If not, I'll try a thinner layer of SMBC.  I'm determined to get those beautiful edges!  

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