New To Fondant: Making A Bday Cake In Sept. When Can I Make The Cake?

Decorating By MyTwinGirls Updated 19 Sep 2013 , 5:17am by MaurorLess67

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MyTwinGirls Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 12:06am
post #1 of 9

My twins are turning 7 and their party is Sept. 29th. I teach full-time so am hoping to get their cakes made in advance. I have several newby questions since I've NEVER used fondant in my life. I purchased Wilton's pre-made white kits, enough to cover 2 6" cakes. I am making 2 cakes that look like painters cans w/ color fondant strips rolling out of the small plastic paint can tins that will go on top.

1. How many days in advance can I make the cakes?

2. Do I let them sit on counter or put in air tight containers?


I'm also attempting to make a painters palette cupcake topper using white fondant and then multiple color fondant dots on top as "the paint". These will be decor for the cupcakes. How far in advance can I make these and how do I store them? I doubt kids will eat this part of the cake.


Thanks for ANY tips on working w/ fondant. I am excited but very intimidated to use fondant. I just can't imagine spending $60 some dollars per cake again like I did last year for the worlds smallest bday cakes. I thought I'd try my hand at it..I'm a pretty craft person. Thanks!

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Smckinney07 Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 3:45am
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AFirst of all I recommend making a practice cake now, just cook, ice and cover with fondant. Just to see how long it takes you.

You can bake your cakes a week or two in advance and store in the freezer, wrap well in plastic and foil. You can make your BC a few days early too. When your ready to start working on your cake (let's say three days in advance) pull cakes out of the freezer and let sit on the counter to thaw a bit, don't unwrap so the condensation forms on the foil. I like to torte/level my cakes partially frozen, makes it easier to cut. Use a long serrated knife (or leveler) to cut off any domes so your cakes are not flat (place a clean cardboard circle over cakes and put a level on top to make sure they are level :) Each cake should be at least 4" high (some go taller but 4" is standard) either torte your cakes (cut in halves or three layers-depends on how much frosting to cake you want) or use two layers (which would mean you'd need to have baked 4), start stacking. Underneath each cake you'll want a cardboard round or piece of foam core-cake circle, dab of icing (to make cake sit on board), filling (buttercream or whatever you'd like), another cake layer, etc. Since your new to this I highly recommend using a crumb coat of BC-this is a very thin layer of BC it holds the crumbs in your first layer of icing. This is where I let my cakes settle, you can do it overnight (just let the cake sit this avoids budging) but if your in a hurry place a large tile over the cake (something with enough pressure to Push the cake down without crushing it). Next day (2 days before party) apply a thicker layer of BC to your cake, smooth out any bumps-any imperfection will show under your fondant, let it setup and cover with fondant. Day before party finish adding decorations to fondant covered cakes. Are you just going to let the handles lay on the side of the can? For the paint cans I mean.

This is just a fake time table, you can split these steps up even more if you need to. The fondant painter pallets can be made as soon as you want. I'd make a template or find a picture othe computer, copy and paste into a word document, resize and print on card stock. You can also cover both sides with clear tape then cut out the design, this way you have a faux laminated template. Roll out fondant, place template on fondant and cut out with clean, new exacto knife, repeat. Let dry on cookie sheet covered in wax paper then add colored icing or fondant, just store them in a cool, dry place (make sure it's out of direct sunlight which makes fondant fade).

I hope this helps and makes sense to you. Good luck!

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Smckinney07 Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 3:47am
post #3 of 9

AAs long as the filling isn't perishable the cakes can set out of the fridge. I'd make sure to place in a box so no dust collects on the fondant or icing.

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MyTwinGirls Posted 18 Sep 2013 , 11:53pm
post #4 of 9

I know it's very late in my response, but THANK YOU so much for your guidelines. I've been reading and re=reading them and trying to use your timeline guide. I'm in the process of making all my cake layers now. I'm making 2 birthday cakes, each has 6 layers the colors of the rainbow. I have the finished cakes in the freezer in wrap and then a ziplock. Once they are all finished, I plan to pull out to start that buttercream process. If the party is next Sunday the 29th, when should I do the first bc layers and stacking? Do I then put it in the freezer wrapped again or the fridge? And then when should I do the 2nd bc layer to smooth out bumps? Do I then let it sit on the counter for a day once covered w/ the fondant?


Your tips have been incredibly helpful! I've been doing all the other birthday party must do's  and waiting to do this til we got closer. Thank you so much for your tips.

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Smckinney07 Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 1:12am
post #6 of 9

AYou can make your cupcake toppers now if you'd like. You want them to sit flat on icing right? If so they'll need to harden.

Your filling, I just meant if you were using cream cheese or homemade compote you would want that refrigerated. If your using buttercream as a filling the high sugar content will keep the BC from spoiling so it can sit out overnight or whatever fine. Does that make sense?

For your other questions, let me ask you what type of buttercream are you using? I don't need the recipe or anything, I'm assuming it's a powdered sugar based icing: butter/shortening, powdered sugar, vanilla (or other flavor) and some liquid. Or is it an Italian Meringue BC or Swiss IMBC? I ask because you were asking about the smoothing process.

I'd pull your cakes from the freezer, layer, torte, fill and stack (use a level to check for evenness). You can crumb coat your cake then stick it back in the fridge so it can settle overnight.

Then pull it out and finish icing your cake smoothly. If you're using a butter based BC you'll want to go in and out of the fridge in 10-15 min intervals-your icing will harden in the fridge, then scrape away the excess, repeat until smooth. If you're using a crusting BC you just ice and let it crust before smoothing, I believe it crusts quicker when the cake & icing are at room temp (rather then sticking in the fridge and pulling out). I hope that makes sense.

There's a very good video tutorial on CupADeeCakes blog about icing cakes (or look her up on YouTube). This might make it a bit easier, I'm a visual person. I hope that makes sense to you.

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MaurorLess67 Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 1:26am
post #7 of 9

AWhen you take the cakes out of the freezer- a few days before the party- 3 at the most to ensure freshness (IMO) -- let them come to room temperature or slightly frozen while still wrapped. Tort- or level at this time-- stack and fill your cakes-- use a damn to minimize bulging- allow time or them to settle-- overnight (a plastic grocery bag /doubled works good) I also put a book on top.

Since you are making 6 layers -- be sure to use a second cake circle in between - so 3 layers torted and filled then a cake circle with the next 3 layers on top-- this makes it much easier to cut and serve normal sized pieces ( just lift the top 3 layers off by he cake circle) and the extra cake circle will add stability to the cake-

After the cake has settled out on counter overnight- crumb coat then a second smooth coat of either buttercream or ganache-- then you can fondant and decorate.

***Be sure to make anything that needs time to harden days in advance - and if at all possible make extra- inevitably something breaks at the worst time *** Don't forget to finish/decorate your cake board- ribbon, fondant, covering etc-- it would be a shame to do all that work and display it on a tin foil wrapped board- *** Everything takes longer than you think and uses more product then you think it will **** Make sure you complete the cake the night before-- this way you can enjoy the party!! ***Im not sure what you are filling it with but American Buttercream does not have to be refrigerated- Im pretty sure the sugar stabilizes the milk in the buttercream-after you have crumb coated and then smooth coated you do not have to put it back in fridge or freezer-- fruit does need to be put back in--

One suggestion-- Wilton fondant tastes horrible!!!!! If you can- google/ you tube LMF fondant- Liz Markey (spelling) has shared a great video with a recipe for amazing/forgiving fondant-- it is the best!!! It uses wilton and marshmallows-- and tastes great!!

So-- start you can start defrosting -torting- filling and crumb coat 3 maybe 4 days ahead- I wouldn't do it sooner --

I hope I was able to answer some of your questions and add a few hints/tips

Oooh one last tip-- make sure you post pictures!!!!

Good luck!!! Mo

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MyTwinGirls Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 1:55am
post #8 of 9  head is spinning. Thank you so much for all your helpful tips ladies. I'm worried I'm over my head! Fortunately, I have a friend (cake decorator) who is actually making my add on's out of fondant. I'm just baking the cakes, stacking and covering w/ fondant. Then adding the little decorations she's making and then my added touches of candles, etc..


To answer some of both of your questions: 1. I'm using Wilton Buttercream Icing Mix. I assumed I would use that between layers after I level each layer and then would use it as my crumb coat. I also bought the Wilton Fondant white to roll and cover the cakes. I love the idea of homemade fondant but def. don't think I can tackle that. Maybe next time..thank you for the link and I will def. watch the videos on youtube. I need visuals for sure.


So just to be clear, torte means level right? I planned on leveling off each layer of the cake to make them thinner. They are currently only about 2" thick so figured I'd freeze them, then thaw slightly before slicing them in half. Then add buttercream b/t each layer to stack up to 6. I will take that suggestion and add a cardboard circle halfway through when stacking.


Regarding the crumb coat, that just basically means taking my store bought Wilton Buttercream frosting and covering the outside of the cake right? Then I let that sit (overnight refrigerated or on the counter?) Then I do another coat of that right to smooth it out and then let that sit over night again or just an hour or so? Then I roll the fondant over and smooth?


Thinking of my timeline backwards: Is this right?

Sunday; party

Saturday; top smooth coat, let set a bit, cover in fondant, decorate

Friday: level, stack, fill, crumb coat, fridge

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MaurorLess67 Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 5:17am
post #9 of 9

AHi :)

Torting is when you have a layer and after leveling you cut that layer in half dam it and add your filling-- to create a dam-- use your filling buttercream and add extra powdered sugar so that it is thicker than your filling- pipe with a bage and coupler or a large round tip- this keeps the filling in and also after settling fills in the whole-empty space between layers. After cake has settled scrape the excess dam or filling off or up around the cake.

Here is the timeline I would follow-- planning to be done by Sat the latest-

THURSDAY--take cakes out of freezer- allow to semi defrost in wrapping- then level - tort -dam and fill. I would then put cake in a plastic bag- dbl bagged (I use grocery bags) I also put a book on top of the bag to add some weight- leave out on your counter over night

FRIDAY -- crumb coat with buttercream (a thin coat to catch yhe crumbs- smooth with a spatula or bench scraper- put back in fridge to harden if it is butterbased- or leave on counter uncovered to crust up-- usually 30-40 minutes is more than enough time. Add a second coat of buttercream and smooth -- once it is crusted (no fridge) I use the Vica paper towel method-- many demos on you tube-- works like a charm!!

After it crusted and smoothed you can add rub crisco or use a spritz bottle of water- you can cover with fondant- and start decorating immediately- if you get any air bubbles under fondant- poke with a pin on an angle and work out the air- remember that fondant doesn't hide flaws,bumps,divets - it enhances them- a smooth coat under fondant is key!! Fondant should be thin-- not too thin- but thin no more than 1/4 in thick-- (also when rolling it out- account for the height- so if I had a 10 in round- 4 inches in ht-- I woukd roll out my fondant at least 22 inches (round)-- this gives you a nice skirt to work with-- you can cut a reuse the extra)

SATURDAY-- finish decorating -finish your board etc-- I always leave that extra day (well I try too-- I have pulled many all-nighters and have shown up late because I was finishing the cake--ha)

Since you dont have to make the add-ons and decorations - you can get everything done by Friday-- the cake will stay fresh under the fondant.

Allow enough time- so you are not rushed- not tired- so you can take pictures( you will be so happy you did-good lighting and different angles!)-- last minute touch ups etc- and plenty of time for clean-up (my house is a disaster through the caking process)

Add a ribbon on bottom of thr cake if the dedign allows-to finish it off- ribbon/cover on cake drum- take your time, enjoy what your doing- dont stress, the BEST cakes are the ones made from love :) This is a very addicting hobby!! Ha

I hope this helped Mo

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