Hi guys! I have a 9 month old son and with his birthday coming up, I've decided it's about time I learn to make cakes! im wanting to start with a fondant covered cake and have been watching YouTube videos. I'm really wanting a step by step timeline and advice please see questions below
Is it best to fondant a mud cake / something more dense?
Is it better or easier to do ganache filling and crumb coat or butter cream?
Can you please let me know your timeline for doing a buttercream cake with fondant OR a ganache cake with fondant (over maximum of 3 days - say I start Thursday for Saturday delivery). Include when the cake must be refrigerated / must be room temp etc.
can I make the little fondant shapes e.g jungle animals in advance to making the cake? If so how do I store them?
Sorry for the questions! I'm pretty excited to make this my new thing! Thanks for your help!
you can make the cakes in advance and freeze if you want to get ahead, that's what I normally do. Wrap twice in plastic wrap, then foil. I've only done this a week or two in advance so I'm not sure how long they are good for.
Yellow cake or chocolate is fine whatever the preference is. I would probably avoid a very light sponge type cake especially if you are new to this and/or if the cake will have more than one tier. (well you could do a light cake on the top I suppose)
you can make the sugar paste characters in advance for sure. I've made them a month or more in advance and had no issues. store them in a cardboard box to stop them from getting dusty.
In terms of timeline, I think you can fully decorate and cover in fondant two days in advance. Normally I just defrost the cakes the day before and just do all my decorating then. Since I always make any figures in advance and I make my fondant a few days in advance it's not a huge deal to do all the decorating at once.
I'm not an expert by any means! I've only made a few cakes and I don't have a business or anything I just make cakes for my kids and close family
I've heard ganache gets a sharper edge under fondant, but honestly when you have never used fondant before it's unlikely you'll be worrying about sharp edges. I always use buttercream but I'm considering trying ganache the next time I do a cake and seeing if it makes applying the fondant easier.
I have heard that it makes it easier but I've also heard that buttercream tastes better! Just not sure which ones can be left out of the fridge
Oh so I don't need to keep the little animals wrapped up or air tight or anything? Just in a box in the pantry?
No I've heard wrapping them airtight might actually be bad? but I'm not sure as I've never done that. with the box it still lets a little air in but also keeps them from getting dusty.
I love ganache myself but for kids parties I do think buttercream makes more sense. Kids sure do love that sugary buttercream!
Have you considered using poured fondant? It's much easier, and it will give you a smooth surface for any decorations you might use. (Haven't checked here for recipes, but King Arthur Flour has a great one along with detailed instructions on their blog.) Also, rather than fondant shapes I always use modelling chocolate--the taste is so much better and it's really easy and fun to work with. Bonus is that you can find many recipes/tutorials for it (I started with the one that uses candy melts--great because of all the colors/flavors). It can be made well in advance, and any decorations that you make will keep in airtight food containers as well. I even roll it flat (not too thin) on parchment and use cookie cutters or even freehand with a knife to make shapes, etc. (My first ever experience was making red roses, and I have never gone back to that off-tasting red buttercream rose since!) Good luck!
I'm no Professional by any means but will share some if he things I do.
As I work a public job and decorate on the side I usually bake my cakes on Sunday's, chill them, 2 layers of plastic wrap and then foil (just like the others do) and freeze. If I have a Saturday delivery I will defrost on Wednesday. Crumb Coat on Thursday and cover with fondant. Friday I will decorate and finish up on Saturday morning with last minute touches.
As far as toppers or figures as soon as the cake is under contract with deposit I will make them. I actually bought a cheap storage box (Dollar General) poked holes in it for air flow and store mine in it to keep dust away.
I usually use buttercream under my fondant unless it is specific order for other. I have just found that my temperament and chocolate's are not a good pairing....lol...and I'm not a big Chocolate fan either..
JustBakeIr17 that's perfect! so is that a thing like coffeelover said? The figures should have air flow? How do you keep leftover fondant that's unused? I thought that's supposed to be in airtight wrapping so I thought the figures were the same. Also once you do your crumb coat, do you refrigerate before putting the fondant on? And if so, do you let it get back to room temp before fondant, or do it cold? Then afterwards, do you refrigerate the fondantcake or just leave it out until delivery? This is where I'm getting confused haha what needs to be done at what temp etc
If storing unused fondant, I put a little shortening on plastic wrap and wrap it well. You don't want any air getting to it then or it will start drying out. Once the figures are made you want them to dry out as quickly as possible
i usually fridge after crumb coat then fridge again before fondant if it's hot/humid. I haven't stored fondant covered cake in the fridge I usually put them in the basement where it is cool (but not as cool as the fridge)
I have heard it's ok to put the fondant cake in the fridge just take it out well in advance and don't touch it for a while as it can form condensation but will dry off after a while. If your place is air conditioned the temp change won't be as drastic so there will probably be less condensation.
Thanks so much coffeelover77! Super helpful!
jessielee87: coffeelover77 answered does it the same as I do. But I do refrigerate my fondant covered cakes as I live in Alabama and well we all now what the heat is like here in the summer....