Diving Into Fondant

Decorating By KatyN Updated 17 Jun 2019 , 3:47pm by jchuck

KatyN Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
KatyN Posted 16 Jun 2019 , 8:24am
post #1 of 15

I didn’t have a decent instructor when it comes to fondant or anything advanced with cakes, so I’ve decided to take a breath and jump into fondant work on my own.  

For those practiced at fondant, a few questions..

1-I was hoping to use a storebought brand for practicing, just to keep it easy.

  Here’s a review of a few brands; Is there anything you’d add to this list?

 https://www.cakecentral.com/forum/t/682694/omgi-love-this-fondant

  I’ve heard homemade is easy and it is cheaper, but I’ve never had luck making it.  We were given the microwave marshmallow recipe.  

  Planet Cake is supposed to have one ideal for humid weather which would be nice - has anyone tried it?

  There’s also this one 

https://www.cakecentral.com/recipe/7432/michele-fosters-updated-fondant

Thoughts?  

2.  I read on CC that ganache under fondant works much better than buttercream for achieving a smooth finish.  Has anyone tried that?  Was it whipped ganache?

3. Planet Cake is supposed to have a book that’s helpful with learning fondant; Has anyone read it?   Is it worth buying?

4.  There are SCADS of videos on YouTube - I can’t stream much because of my internet connection, so it would be nice to narrow it down.  Are there any quality instructors when it comes to fondant?

Like I said, going at this alone, so any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated.  Consider me as starting from scratch! 

Thanks!

14 replies
kakeladi Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
kakeladi Posted 16 Jun 2019 , 12:10pm
post #2 of 15

Never made it —  heard it was very hard on mixers  so —  just used Wilton’s.   for customers would add flavoring to it to go with the cake flavors   

webberblessings Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
webberblessings Posted 16 Jun 2019 , 4:07pm
post #3 of 15

I make the marshmallow fondant by Liz Marek aka LMF.

 http://artisancakecompany.com/recipe/the-best-marshmallow-fondant-recipe-ever/

I do 1 tablespoon less of water since in humid area. Everyone loves it. I haven't done the ganache but heard it's better, so thinking of trying it out next time. 

SandraSmiley Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
SandraSmiley Posted 16 Jun 2019 , 4:21pm
post #4 of 15

I make 90% of mine using Liz Marek's recipe.  I use my 7 quart pro mixer and it is a breeze.

Most of us learned everything on our own, so don't feel at a disadvantage.  I, for one, have never had a cake class of any kind, but we do have the great advantage of the internet for resources.  One of my favorite instructors is Sedar Yener, Yener's Way.  He has a "for pay" school for really elaborate techniques, but he also has dozens of free tutorials and ganache is one of them.  I am not sure, but I think he has one on covering the cake with fondant too.  Another great instructor is Edna de la Cruz, Design Me A Cake.  She has tutorials on everything.

I always use plain ganache, not whipped.


Freckles0829 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Freckles0829 Posted 16 Jun 2019 , 4:22pm
post #5 of 15

I also make the marshmallow fondant by Liz Marek.  Easy to make and super easy to work with.  I just recently bought a box of Wilton fondant to make animal figures with since they weren't going to be eaten so flavor wasn't an issue and I found it to be much softer and stickier than the homemade stuff.  Still workable, just have a shaker with some powdered sugar on standby.

I have never tried ganache under fondant so I can't say if it is better or not but that is what I hear.  For me though, a cold cake is my best friend when it comes to covering with fondant.  You can be a bit more rough since everything is nice and firm then if everything was room temp.

webberblessings Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
webberblessings Posted 16 Jun 2019 , 5:36pm
post #6 of 15

I like "I Scream For Buttercream" and "Magnificent Mouthfuls" They both have courses too. I also just recently found about Ashlee Marie cakes. 

thecanadian160 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
thecanadian160 Posted 16 Jun 2019 , 8:19pm
post #7 of 15

I have never had any luck making the marshmallow fondant. Since you are just starting out I would recommend that you use a store bought brand. I would also start with practicing on a dummy cake, preferably a 10'' that is only 4'' tall. 

I have tried out a few different brands of fondant over the years and the list below is just this man's opinion on how they performed. (from worst to best):

Hobby Lobby Brand- Complete garbage for covering cakes!!! It dries to quickly which leads to elephant skin and it lacks elasticity so its almost guaranteed to tear. I used the entire 5lb tub for covering cake boards. 

Fondx- This stuff is almost too soft. I had issues with the folds sticking to themselves after I draped it over the cake. I might be mistaken but I believe that I did have a tear with this one as well. Of course these issues might just be chalked up to not getting used to it. This is another one of those fondant brands that I covered one cake and used the rest to make flowers and such. 

Wilton- This is my go to fondant. Its relatively cheap, has good elasticity and doesn't dry out too fast- 0 elephant skin. the only problem I have is that it is hard to blend seams together.  Needs extract added to it for flavor. 

Renshaw- A bit better then the wilton but price is also greater. 

Fonderiffic- If price was not an issue I would likely just use this brand. it covers like a dream, tastes good, unlimited work time, is the absolute best fondant for lettering, easy to blend seams, ect.  

-K8memphis Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
-K8memphis Posted 16 Jun 2019 , 9:48pm
post #8 of 15

underlining what sandra said -- whipped ganache is like a buttercream that you have to smooth by hand -- so you only want to do the poured ganache under the fondant because it pours out and sets up smoothy smooth --   

jchuck Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jchuck Posted 17 Jun 2019 , 12:26am
post #9 of 15

When I made fondant, I too used Liz Marek’s fondant recipe. Trick is to use cheap grocery brand marshmallows. I’m in Canada, and Wilton fondant isn’t cheap here. I can get a couple of Canadian brands cheap. It also depends on the weather the day you make your fondant. Warm/humid/rainy less water. Cold/dry more water. I usually let my fondant sit overnight to rest before any additions. Like more shortening or icing sugar.  Sometimes if fondant felt a bit sticky, rather than add more icing sugar, sitting overnight that that would be eliminated.

 I’ve used both buttercream and ganache under cakes. I prefer ganache because it sets so firm. You can get a good clean sharp finish. Which then lends to the same finish on your fondant.

Liz Marek’s/Artisian Cakes also has a simple straightforward video about covering a cake with fondant. 


I apply my fondant to a well chilled cake right out of the fridge. I do everything pretty much the same with a couple of exceptions. I don’t use my rolling pin to transfer my fondant to my cakes anymore. I roll my fondant on a silicone mat, lift the mat and place over my cake, position, then peel off the fondant onto the cake. Fondant adheres to the silicone. I also smooth like Liz does on the video. I smooth just enough to get the fondant on the cake. But I DON’T continue smoothing my cakes until the fondant becomes firm.  I have found, for me anyway, rubbing the cake with smoothers creates friction. Which creates heat, and ganache/buttercream underneath will start to melt. Then you end up have oozing ganache/buttercream from the bottom of your cake.  Ganache/buttercream needs time to adhere to the fondant before smoothing to get sharp edges. 

I hope this helps. Try a couple of practice cakes. It does take a bit of patience. Good luck.

jchuck Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jchuck Posted 17 Jun 2019 , 12:26am
post #10 of 15

When I made fondant, I too used Liz Marek’s fondant recipe. Trick is to use cheap grocery brand marshmallows. I’m in Canada, and Wilton fondant isn’t cheap here. I can get a couple of Canadian brands cheap. It also depends on the weather the day you make your fondant. Warm/humid/rainy less water. Cold/dry more water. I usually let my fondant sit overnight to rest before any additions. Like more shortening or icing sugar.  Sometimes if fondant felt a bit sticky, rather than add more icing sugar, sitting overnight that that would be eliminated.

 I’ve used both buttercream and ganache under cakes. I prefer ganache because it sets so firm. You can get a good clean sharp finish. Which then lends to the same finish on your fondant.

Liz Marek’s/Artisian Cakes also has a simple straightforward video about covering a cake with fondant. 


I apply my fondant to a well chilled cake right out of the fridge. I do everything pretty much the same with a couple of exceptions. I don’t use my rolling pin to transfer my fondant to my cakes anymore. I roll my fondant on a silicone mat, lift the mat and place over my cake, position, then peel off the fondant onto the cake. Fondant adheres to the silicone. I also smooth like Liz does on the video. I smooth just enough to get the fondant on the cake. But I DON’T continue smoothing my cakes until the fondant becomes firm.  I have found, for me anyway, rubbing the cake with smoothers creates friction. Which creates heat, and ganache/buttercream underneath will start to melt. Then you end up have oozing ganache/buttercream from the bottom of your cake.  Ganache/buttercream needs time to adhere to the fondant before smoothing to get sharp edges. 

I hope this helps. Try a couple of practice cakes. It does take a bit of patience. Good luck.

KatyN Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
KatyN Posted 17 Jun 2019 , 2:06pm
post #11 of 15

Thanks, everyone, for all the advice and tips!  I greatly appreciate it!  


KatyN Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
KatyN Posted 17 Jun 2019 , 2:12pm
post #12 of 15

Is there a best way (or is it preference) on how large to roll the fondant?

Do you measure the height/diameter and roll a little larger?

I was watching a video on covering a dummy cake with fondant and it ended up being a couple inches shorter than the cake.  Always thought that would lead to tearing.  

What’re your thoughts?

Thanks!

kakeladi Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
kakeladi Posted 17 Jun 2019 , 2:29pm
post #13 of 15

Yes ago I was taught to measure the height of the sides times 2 then add the measurement of the top & add a couple of inches more for “good luck” :)  So if your cake is say a 9x4 you roll the fondant to about 20”   (9+4+4,then a couple more)  

Freckles0829 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Freckles0829 Posted 17 Jun 2019 , 2:32pm
post #14 of 15

I take the height of the cake and double it and add in the diameter then I roll just slightly larger.  Also to determine just how much fondant you would need I typically use wiltons fondant amount as a guide but have found that I don't need as much as they say.  Not a big deal if covering in white fondant, but I hate coloring too much fondant only to be left with a sizable chunk that I may not need in the future.  So how much fondant is needed is really something that you will get a feel for as you work with it.  It is a fine line between wanting enough so you aren't having to patch or remove and redo and having too much which may just go to waste.

A tip to help with tearing is once you drape the fondant over the cake you want to immediately smooth the top and the top inch or so on the sides.  This way the weight of the fondant isn't pulling down which is what causes tearing.

jchuck Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jchuck Posted 17 Jun 2019 , 3:47pm
post #15 of 15

I do as both kakeladi and Freckles0829 do. I measure height/width of my fully iced/ganached cake, add, then 3”.  I have a circle chart with numbers on my silicone mat as a guide when rolling.  Or just use a good ole fashioned measuring tape. As for having extra coloured fondant. I keep any extra coloured fondant well wrapped, label, then freeze. 

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%