Sonja McLean's Sweet Vintage Onlays Cake Tutorial


This is a tutorial on how to apply one of the Marvelous Molds Onlays. I’m using the darling Hugs ‘n’ Kisses XOXO Silicone Onlay™, and will show you step-by-step the exact process and my tips. The possibilities are endless and they are fun to use! So let’s get started :)

Onlay Tutorial 1-Supplies

STEP 1 Supply list:

Cake to decorate
Marvelous Molds Silicone Onlay – Hugs ‘n’ Kisses XOXO
Tylose (to make fondant a bit stiff, or mix in a little bit of gumpaste to your fondant if you don’t have tylose)
Small rolling pin
Knife or needle tool
Sugar Glue (3 parts Light Corn Syrup/1 part water)

Onlay Tutorial 2-Overlay-Cornstarch


Cover the onlay with a light dusting of cornstarch. You can use the cheesecloth method and “pat” it on, or simply sprinkle cornstarch over onlay and move it around by lightly shaking cornstarch throughout, then gently shake out excess. The end result will be a light, even dusting. This is done so the fondant will come out easily and not stick.

Onlay Tutorial 3- Tylose


Add a little bit, I used 1/4 tsp. of tylose powder (or add a bit of gumpaste) to your fondant. The amount of fondant needed to cover the onlay once, is about the size of a mandarin.

Onlay Tutorial 4-Fondant-Kneading


Knead fondant well, making sure there are no cracks, no streaks, and is easily workable.

Onlay Tutorial 5-Fondant-Rolling


Roll out fondant to 1/16 of an inch. You can use a pasta roller on 2 if you have one. If you roll this by hand, I like to use the roller with the bands at the ends to ensure it rolls out evenly. Then I remove the bands to get fondant even thinner, making sure to rotate it often. This step is important because if the fondant is too thin or too thick, it will not work properly in the onlay.

Onlay Tutorial 6-Fondant OverlaySTEP 6

Make sure your fondant is large enough to cover the onlay and then gently lay the fondant over it.

Onlay Tutorial 7-Fondant-Rolling 1STEP 7

Place rolling pin (without bands) on fondant and with both hands, and somewhat quickly rock back and forth. Be careful not to pull up fondant as it will shift and make undesirable marks. You will begin to see the pattern edges show through, and it should be nice and smooth.

Onlay Tutorial 8-Fondant-TrimmingSTEP 8

Pull away the excess fondant to trim it.

Onlay Tutorial 9-Fondant-TrimmedSTEP 9

Here’s a pic all ready to go! Clean edges and nice and smooth :)

Onlay Tutorial 10-Pattern-Glue 2STEP 10

Apply a thin, but thorough layer of glue to the fondant with your paintbrush. You could probably use just water if you needed to.

Onlay Tutorial 11-Pattern-Revealed 1STEP 11

With a knife or needle tool, pierce and lift the parts of the fondant you wish to remove. This will reveal a pattern, and I practiced first on the counter just to see what the pattern would look like, so I could have a solid game plan to know which pieces to remove.

Onlay Tutorial 12-Pattern-FinishedSTEP 12

Here is a pic of the full pattern.

Onlay Tutorial 13-Revealing Pattern 2STEP 13

I used my onlay vertically instead of horizontally, so I needed to remove the fondant from the onlay that was longer than my cake, so everything would fit nicely.

Onlay Tutorial 14-Revealing Pattern 3STEP 14

With your knife, clean up any congested areas where the onlay needs to show through completely.

Onlay Tutorial 15-Pattern-StretchingSTEP 15

Gently pull on edges to stretch onlay. Do this all the way around the onlay. This will loosen the fondant but will keep it’s shape.

Onlay Tutorial 16-Lining Up Onlay 2STEP 16

You can now lift your onlay to hold up next to your cake to figure out where you’d like to place it. Fondant will stay secure. Please note that I elevated my cake so I would have room for the part of the onlay that was longer than my cake.

Onlay Tutorial 17-Lining Up Onlay 1

Onlay Tutorial 18-Lining Up Onlay 3STEP 17 AND 18

I chose to line up the top edge of the onlay with the top edge of my cake. Be careful not to allow the hanging onlay to stick to the cake before you have the top lined up.

Onlay Tutorial 19-Onlay-Applying 4STEP 19

With a broad and STILL hand, gently press on the back on the onlay to adhere fondant pattern to cake. Once pressed, use your other hand to gently pat all areas in place. Do not shift onlay or you could get unwanted marks on your pattern.

Onlay Tutorial 20-Onlay-Removing 5STEP 20

To remove onlay, gently pull back a small section to make sure the fondant has stuck to the cake. You may need to rub edges down. Once you see the fondant is sticking and you’re on the right track, gently begin to pull away the onlay.

Onlay Tutorial 21-Onlay-Removing 6STEP 21

Pull off the rest of the onlay, keeping your hand level and steady.

Onlay Tutorial 22-Onlay-Second 1STEP 22

Apply the second onlay, making sure the two edges come together well before sticking it to cake. Also, make sure that when you pull off subsequent onlays, that you don’t mess up the previous ones. Yes, I had to do the second onlay twice because I messed up! I simply peeled the entire second pattern off and made a new one, it turned out great the second time :)

Onlay Tutorial 23-Overlay-ProgressSTEP 23

Here’s a pic of two finished onlays.


Repeat pattern until you are completely finished.


Finish decorating your cake and VIOLA, you have yourself a darling cake! Here are my pics of before and after :)

Comments (16)


Thanks for the wonderful tutorial! And I love all your Amazing Cakes! I'll be done stalking your cakes now! ha! :)


Beautiful cake, but this was more of a tutorial on how to use the onlay. What about the cake and the finish of the cake. Disappointing.9


Hi everyone - I also agree that the fondant work is absolutely beautiful, but I just want to make a note that, indeed, the point of this tutorial is not about the canvas (fondant work), it is about the onlays molds.