Fondant icing is also known as Play-doh for grown-ups because of its molding capabilities and because its consistency is a lot like, well, Play-doh. This semi-sweet creamy confection is often used to decorate cupcakes, cakes, cookies, and other pastries. Fondant is a very versatile frosting that can be used for any occasion. Whether it’s for a birthday cake, a wedding cake, or a themed party, you can use fondant to transform your pastry into a work of art. There are many ready to use fondant mixes available at supermarkets, or you can make them yourself out of sugar, glucose, and water. More experienced fondant users can do variations of fondant recipes like rolled butter cream, marshmallow, and chocolate. But if you’re reading this article, you’re probably a first-time user of fondant icing.
Here’s how to decorate a cake with fondant.
- Grab a box of ready-to-use fondant at a supermarket. These fondants usually come in different colors. Follow all the preparation instructions written on the box.
- If you want to try a hand at making fondant yourself, you will need a package of unflavored gelatin, ¼ cup cold water, 1 tbsp glycerin, ¼ cup glucose syrup, 2 tbsp shortening, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 8 cups sifted confectioners sugar. Mix all ingredients until they have the consistency of Play-Doh.
- Smooth out your cake before applying the fondant. The cake needs to be completely flat or your fondant decoration won’t look as appealing. There are fondant smoothing tools that can achieve this effect.
- Cover your cake board with frosting. This will secure the cake and keep it in place while you ice it.
- Apply a butter cream base to smooth out any imperfections on the cake like low spots or crumbs. The butter cream base also allows the fondant to stick to your cake.
- Keep in the cake in the refrigerator for an hour so the surface hardens. Bakers actually recommend that you let the cake cool in the fridge for 24 hours before applying fondant but if you’re in a hurry, an hour should be enough.
- Knead the fondant until you achieve a Play-Doh-like consistency and flatten it out with a rolling pin until it’s 1/4” thick. Dust your work surface and the rolling pin with confectioners sugar to keep it from sticking. Your rolled fondant should be larger than your cake so it can cover the surface completely.
- With the shiny side facing up, apply the fondant to the cake. It won’t look very smooth just yet.
- With your hands or with a smoothing tool, start smoothing out the fondant from the center working your way to the edges to remove any bubbles. Trim any extra fondant from the bottom of the cake.
- Decorate the cake with stencils or dried fondant shapes.
You can add color to your homemade fondant, but make sure you use icing paste, not food coloring. Food coloring is too wet and watered down for the color to stay.