Any Tips For Moving Shapes Cut Out Of Fondant Without Them Stretching Or Changing Shape?

Decorating By Magda_MI Updated 8 Mar 2016 , 1:44am by Magda_MI

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Magda_MI Posted 24 Jan 2016 , 4:38pm
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I'm making a cake where I'm going to be making a bunch (like about 60) of 1.5 x 3 inch rectangles (and a few half size squares) out of fondant a few weeks before i need them, decorating them with markers as time permits, and then arranging them on a cake to make a floor.  They're going to have to stay the same shape and size to fit together properly, and in the past I've had issues with shapes stretching or skewing a bit when I move them after cutting them out, even if I try to be careful to support them.

FWIW, this is the pattern they'll be arranged in on the cake:

I'm wondering if I can cut them with a pizza cutter on top of parchment, and then just move the parchment to a tray where they can dry enough to hold their shape, but I'm worried they'd stick together if I don't separate them.

Any tips/suggestions?

Also wondering if I can get away with not adding tylose to the fondant, since I'm going to making a lot of these, well ahead of time.  Fondant is Satin Ice Ivory, and I'm going to knead in some more ivory gel to get a tan background color.

*Last edited by Magda_MI on 24 Jan 2016 , 4:52pm
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-K8memphis Posted 24 Jan 2016 , 7:15pm
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since it's going to be the floor why don't you just make it on the bottom board -- but you did say you're arranging them on a cake didn't you --

i have two very flat cookie sheets that i can use a rolling pin on so i wouldn't have to move them after scoring -- however i knead cornstarch into my fondant to make something like this -- i'd never use tylose for this project -- and this stiffens enough that i could move them without changing the shape -- 

another random idea is to put the parchment on a cutting board--roll out your stuff -- cut with pizza wheel then take an exacto knife and cut out each square down through the parchment -- or use aluminum foil -- now i can see the paper bunching up in a spot or two if you're not exactly careful but these are some ideas/suggestions --

after they dry you can trim them with a microplane

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-K8memphis Posted 24 Jan 2016 , 7:19pm
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and i'd cut them a little on the thick side y'know quarter inch or so

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julia1812 Posted 24 Jan 2016 , 7:35pm
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I've done a few minecraft cakes recently and I tell you cutting those squares to a precise size is gonna be tough, matching them up perfectly after they dried will be even tougher and you might end up trimming at least half of them.

My advise would be a) invest in those rollers where you can cut multiple stripes and adjust the width (just cut across the stripes to get rectangles) and b) don't let them dry. Glue/stick them together into the dance floor pattern immediately.  Even if it's on a round cake f.e. you can them take the cake tin you and place it on top of your dance floor and cut around the tin - keep it on parchment paper until you need it and simply slide it into the cake once it's ready. Because you cut it to the right size already it will fit perfectly. 

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-K8memphis Posted 24 Jan 2016 , 8:16pm
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candy clay is nice too

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Magda_MI Posted 24 Jan 2016 , 10:54pm
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I don't think I want to try to put at 1 foot x 2 foot dance floor onto a sheet cake in one piece, so gluing them together ahead of time isn't a great option, I suspect.  And yes, they're going on top of a sheet cake, and are the main decoration for the cake.  Each piece is 1.5 x 3 inches, and will need to have detailed decoration drawn on it with edible markers.

I've already bought the fondant, and candy clay would be more expensive, and a pain to make that much, I suspect.

A quick google showed someone suggesting putting the mat in the fridge for 3-4 minutes to firm up the fondant before moving the pieces, which might be helpful.

Basically, I'm creating on a sheet cake this portable dance floor which is used at an annual medieval/renaissance event.  Most of the people who will be seeing and eating the cake have danced on it, many have helped assemble and disassemble it, and a few helped paint the boards.  Most of the squares with designs on them are different, and I won't have a lot of time during the last week beforehand, so I want to do the detail work as time permits over the next month.

I'm okay with the seams showing a bit, as they do on the real thing. And I"m not doing the tent, just the floor on a sheet cake with grass around the edges.



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Apti Posted 24 Jan 2016 , 11:39pm
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That's going to be a darling cake!  Personally, I follow the advice above and then when I placed the individually decorated/designed squares on the cake, I'd use black (or dark brown) buttercream for the lines between each tile.  Buttercream will cover any tiles that aren't exactly square and can provide a uniform "join" between the tiles.

What is your medieval character?

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Magda_MI Posted 25 Jan 2016 , 12:09am
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I'm planning to put the brown borders on the squares (especially since most of the pieces will be 2 squares big, as in the original), but I'll also ice the cake in chocolate buttercream, and use it as fill in between if I have any gaps.  Then once the floor is done, I'll pipe green buttercream grass around the edges of the floor.  Cake will be 2" bigger than the floor in each dimension (2 14" squares side by side), so I should have a 1" border of grass around the floor.

I'm also going to carve the top of the cake a bit, since the location where the tent is set up is not quite flat, so one corner of the floor always slopes down.  People will definitely recognize that if I reproduce it.

In the Society for Creative Anachronism, I'm Lady Magdalena Vogelsang, from Frankfurt am Mainz.  My original persona was 14th century, but that was in my 20s when I looked better in a coathardie.  I'm more apt to wear either early period or Italian renaissance these days.

*Last edited by Magda_MI on 25 Jan 2016 , 12:14am
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Apti Posted 25 Jan 2016 , 4:03am
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Magda_MI ~~ I thought the Society changed its name?  Like you, I went for a while 40 years ago when I was in my 20's and looked hot.   Ah yes... the opportunity to flaunt bosoms when you're 20.   Now....not so much....  Anyway, I went off on a search for cotehardies and Italian renaissance after reading your response and spent some fascinating time reading about the Elizabethan Sumptuary Statutes.  This is a fun excerpt:

The excess of apparel and the superfluity of unnecessary foreign wares thereto belonging now of late years is grown by sufferance to such an extremity that the manifest decay of the whole realm generally is like to follow (by bringing into the realm such superfluities of silks, cloths of gold, silver, and other most vain devices of so great cost for the quantity thereof as of necessity the moneys and treasure of the realm is and must be yearly conveyed out of the same to answer the said excess) but also particularly the wasting and undoing of a great number of young gentlemen, otherwise serviceable, and others seeking by show of apparel to be esteemed as gentlemen, who, allured by the vain show of those things, do not only consume themselves, their goods, and lands which their parents left unto them, but also run into such debts and shifts as they cannot live out of danger of laws without attempting unlawful acts, whereby they are not any ways serviceable to their country as otherwise they might be.

 p.s.  Getting the cake dance floor to slope on one side is a great idea!

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deuceofcakes Posted 25 Jan 2016 , 4:40am
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I'd cut them on a piece of parchment or wax paper on a tray, then put in the freezer. Once they're frozen, you can move them without harm. I'd keep them frozen until you need to use them, separating them by layers of wax paper or parchment. I freeze panels to go on large square cakes if I'm using the panel method of covering them. It works great. 

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Magda_MI Posted 25 Jan 2016 , 10:03pm
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Unfortunately, storing them in the freezer isn't practical for me, with my apartment sized fridge's freezer section already stuffed full, and I need to be able to decorate them gradually with edible markers over the next few weeks, which will be hard to do with them frozen, so I think drying them will be necessary.  I live in a small one bedroom place and have a full time job, so my time and space are limited.

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Apti Posted 26 Jan 2016 , 2:58am
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@Magdi_MI Thanks for the pics!  Alas indeed for the Tudor....

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810whitechoc Posted 26 Jan 2016 , 8:13am
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Given your time, space and freezer constraints I would roll it out in small enough sheets that will fit in your fridge.  Chill for 10-15 minutes and cut to the correct size rectangles -  you will have to do this quickly as you are going to have a small window of opportunity before it softens.  Then carefully place on baking paper on a flat tray to dry and K8 suggested roll it a little thicker.

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Magda_MI Posted 7 Feb 2016 , 10:11pm
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Thanks for all the advice.  Just finished decorating my first board (with one of the designs visible in the lower photo of the floor above).  This is going to take a long time, with almost all of them being different, but I think people will be impressed.


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Apti Posted 7 Feb 2016 , 11:33pm
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Magda_MI, those are going to be gorgeous!  Please post photos of the finished cake!

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Magda_MI Posted 8 Feb 2016 , 3:48am
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I will, but that won't be until early March.  Which is good, since these are taking forever.  Hopefully I'll speed up as I go, at least at getting the borders measured.  It's tedious when you're doing a bunch of different designs, at 1" = 1/32" scale.  Got a few more done this evening.

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Magda_MI Posted 5 Mar 2016 , 5:41am
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Cake is finished, and will be eaten tomorrow evening, after being on display all day.  Decided to add copies of the bandshell and some benches, since I had time.

More photos, including close ups, are here:

As expected, the floor tiles took an insane amount of time, but I'm very pleased with the result.


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Apti Posted 5 Mar 2016 , 7:08am
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Better than you'd hoped for!  Have a wonderful time dancing on the real thing as you eat cake.

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Faru Posted 5 Mar 2016 , 7:17am
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When rolling fondant make sure that fondant is not sticking to the mat so you don't end up pulling the shapes ... Then cut your shapes and pick them up with bench scraper or dough scrapper and transfer it

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Magda_MI Posted 5 Mar 2016 , 12:17pm
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Quote by @Apti on 5 hours ago

Better than you'd hoped for!  Have a wonderful time dancing on the real thing as you eat cake.

Thanks!  Won't get to dance on the real thing until August.  This event is indoors, which is a good thing, given that there's snow on the ground at the moment.

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-K8memphis Posted 5 Mar 2016 , 1:03pm
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tremendous work, magda! you hit it out of the park -- the painstakingly beautifully done tiles and the extra benches and bandshell are all crafted perfectly -- well done you -- that's gotta feel great -- and i loved all the 'in process' photos 


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Magda_MI Posted 6 Mar 2016 , 9:47pm
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Found out last night that a friend overheard someone explaining to someone else that the tiles were clearly wood, done with a laser cutter, since there was no other way to have gotten that fine detail.  She then watched them pick one up and get a look of dismayed realization in their face, before she dashed off before bursting out laughing at them.

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Apti Posted 7 Mar 2016 , 3:56am
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Good one!   Was everyone appreciative of the "slope"?

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MBalaska Posted 7 Mar 2016 , 4:11am
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Ateco stainless steel cone fondant spatula: in answer to your original question.

The cake is awsome!!

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Magda_MI Posted 7 Mar 2016 , 4:33am
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Quote by @Apti on 32 minutes ago

Good one!   Was everyone appreciative of the "slope"?

Oh yes, a LOT of people commented on the fact that I'd gotten the slope correct, and quite a few were able to pick out tiles that they'd painted on the real floor.  Some of those either ate their tile, or took it home to keep.

And one friend decided to photoshop some of us onto the cake:

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Apti Posted 7 Mar 2016 , 8:33am
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OMG!!!!   I LOVE the photoshop dancing on the cake!!!   Doesn't this JUST make every single minute/hour/day/week(s) worthwhile!

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-K8memphis Posted 7 Mar 2016 , 12:20pm
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the cake that keeps on giving -- way cool photoshopped dancing sentiment -- and 'the slope' -- and the whole idea was brilliant because you chose a design that worked so well for your time management and the amazing impact of the serving/enjoying of the cake -- 

to me you hit the big bang of caking -- it's not price -- it's not the latest greatest trend/technique -- it's making this painstaking work of art happen in a reasonable way where it makes everyone happy to awe inspired by the looking and the eating and the sweet memories

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Apti Posted 7 Mar 2016 , 11:02pm
post #29 of 30

I absolutely agree K8memphis.  I've done two "big" projects (a 100th birthday and a college graduation) which used all the painstaking knowledge I've gained through trial and error.  The people who were present at those 'cake occasions' still talk about the cake years later. 

This labor of love for the dance floor will also create happy memories and be talked about for years.

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Magda_MI Posted 8 Mar 2016 , 1:44am
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It's also going to change the way I look at the real floor from now on.  I'll be going "I remember doing that one.  Oh yeah, that one was a pain in the butt.  Ooh, that one is new...."

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