Making Fondant Ruffles Ahead Of Time

Decorating By Rachel19 Updated 13 Feb 2020 , 3:50am by SandraSmiley

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Rachel19 Posted 4 Feb 2020 , 11:28am
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I have a 12-inch, 6 1/2” tall wedding cake that I need to make lots of burgundy fondant rosette ruffles for. Here is the problem.  I’ve done this before, but I bake my cakes the morning before the event date and decorate the cake all day in order to ensure freshness.  I’m trying not to have to work all night and eventually run out of time because it is a 4-tier cake and the rest of the tiers have time consuming decorations as well.  When I’ve done this with previous cakes, a tier that size has taken me 5+ hours, and I worked up until the last minute on the ruffles, and the cake had no time to sit in the fridge and solidify.  Plus, I didn’t make the ruffles as full as I would’ve liked because of times sake.  Is it possible to make the fondant ruffles (already thinned and everything)  completely ready to put on the cake, a few days or a week ahead of time, and store them rolled up in ziploc bags and not have issues with cracking or elephant skin?  I have rolled up fondant ribbons for borders for cakes that I am stacking on-site, and stored on ziploc bags for a few hours before delivery and not had a problem, but I don’t know if it will last days or a week.  Please let me know if you have had any experience trying this out.  Particularly thinned fondant or fondant ruffles that have to be reshaped when placed on the cake.  I have made a monogram plaque that is going on the side of a cake ahead of time, but nothing to this scale.

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kakeladi Posted 4 Feb 2020 , 2:55pm
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Sorry no experience just bumping this up so others can help 

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Rachel19 Posted 4 Feb 2020 , 4:06pm
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Thank you!!

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SandraSmiley Posted 5 Feb 2020 , 1:48am
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Hi Rachel19,  I have stored fondant pieces in ziplock bags for a couple of days and they were fine, but had started to harden slightly.  I would no try for more than a day or two.

Have you considered baking your cake a week or two in advance, wrapping it well in plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil and freezing it?  You could removed your tiers one at a time and decorate or partially decorate and put back in the freezer or the refrigerator, giving you a whole lot of extra time to work.  Your cake will be perfectly fresh in the refrigerator for three days.

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kakeladi Posted 5 Feb 2020 , 5:51am
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Rachel19 Posted 5 Feb 2020 , 7:19am
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Thanks for the tips!  I’m also a little worried about freezing the fondant because it’s such a dark color.  I’m worried that when it thaws, the color will run when it sweats.  I’ve never tried it before.  You have found that it comes out softer than leaving it at room tempt (or even fridge tempt) for a day or two?  The things I’ve premade in the past have only been like small crests or monograms, so I didn’t put a lot of effort into trying to keep it from hardening.

We’ve found there is a big difference in the cake loosing flavor when it’s been frozen (at least for our tried and trusted recipes).  We don’t bake with any kind of added preservatives (besides the stuff that preserves the extracts), so we don’t recommend that our brides freeze their top tier for a year either.  That’s one major thing that sets us part from our competition, because we’re the only ones in town that never freeze our cakes.  You’d be surprised how many couples are super excited to hear that!  Even baking it the day before, we never put it in the freezer like some bakers do between coats of frosting.  We have heard a lot of horror stories about local bakeries bringing them a cake that they did not prethaw, and it still being frozen by the time to cut!  So it does give us a leg up with our brides, because they do ask since lots of them have heard those stories from friends, or their wedding vendors.

We bake Friday morning if the wedding is Saturday, then I stay up late into the night decorating, because honestly, I am up all night anyway! Haha.  I usually make all of my sugar flowers, and any other decorations possible days ahead, which makes a huge difference.  We also only do cakes with sugar flowers.  No fresh flowers for us!  I’ve spent many years working on my technique to make my sugar flowers more realistic so that we are able to do so.  I’m also the only one in town that makes custom sugar flowers to match the brides bouquet, and advertises myself as a “sugar florist”.  

We bake from home, and only accept two orders a week max.  It’s also enough time to rebake tiers if something ruins them (which we’ve had to do various times).  We’ve crafted our trade over a number of years, and this is just what happens to work for us.  I would have enough time to get it done the day before, but I would likely be working without breaks, and not have any extra time if something goes wrong.  Also because health wise I am not able to spend that much time spread out on a cake.  I have less issues with my health if I knock everything out in 3 days (premade things included). 

Making the cakes ahead of time wouldn’t make any difference in the amount of work we would accept either because myself (decorator), and the baker both go on every delivery.  A day and a half with the majority of designs is plenty of time for me to get everything done; but everyone knows how obnoxious rosette ruffles are (but beautiful in the end)!!

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doz Posted 5 Feb 2020 , 9:33pm
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SandraSmiley Posted 6 Feb 2020 , 3:46am
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I certainly have never used a preservative of any kind in my cakes and I've kept a top tier frozen for a year and it was moist and delicious.  I've also never noticed any loss of flavor and prefer to freeze all of my cakes prior to decorating for at least one day, if possible. From reading this and other sites, I've found that many decorators do the same because they like how the moisture spreads throughout the cake.  Many years ago, my mom and I accidentially discovered that freezing actually improved cakes when we froze left over cake from Thanksgiving and brought them out for Christmas.  That is what works for me.  I am a hobby baker only and do only the projects that I choose to do.  I did a cake a couple of years ago (it was 45 inches tall) that I spent five months making the flowers.  

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Rachel19 Posted 6 Feb 2020 , 2:25pm
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That is just what works for me, and I know it’s not the only or best way.  Brides are happy to hear that we don’t freeze in our area, and as I mentioned, we have trialed with freezing previously just as we trialed many different recipes to found our one, and our recipe lost flavor after being frozen.  I also mentioned that that was not my only reason for not freezing, but also my health and already being up all night, and having enough time with the majority of designs.  So even if the cake were not affected by freezing, I still would not be able to.  It is just not an option for me in my circumstances.  I don’t criticize anyone that does, but as I mentioned before we have tried various different ways and this is just what works for us.  I don’t recommend that anyone do business the way I do either.  I apologize if you feel that I stepped on your toes, because that was never my intentions.

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SandraSmiley Posted 6 Feb 2020 , 4:10pm
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Oh Rachel19, my toes are not nearly that delicate, lol!  I took no offense and  intended none in return.  As I said, this is just what works well for me.  I know it is certainly now everyone's preference and that is perfectly fine.  I only suggested freezing because I thought it would help manage your time so you would not have to endure long, long decorating sessions.

Without knowing exactly what type ruffles you want to do, have you seen the rosette ruffle mold by Marvelous Molds?  If you frequently do this design, it would probably be a good, time saving investment.

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SandraSmiley Posted 7 Feb 2020 , 4:57pm
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SandraSmiley Posted 13 Feb 2020 , 3:50am
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