Also check out:
Decorating Wedding Cakes
What you are doing with this technique is to very slightly melt the sugar in the lower layer of fondant, and then when you place the top stripe on, the 2 layers will bond together because of the “melted sugar”.
Be careful to not make your
moistened area larger than the
fondant piece. If you do the melted
sugar area will very likely show up
as a shiny, slick looking area that
it not easily corrected, if at all.
I don’t know
a color brushing technique except for putting
gold on a cake. Many folks do use an Airbrush
with food colors to apply color in just certain
areas and to get a shading effect.
Do you recommend tinting the fondant using a paste food coloring, such as Wilton's no-taste red or do you suppose it would be better to use some type of air-brush product instead? I really want the deep, crimson red shown in the picture. What would you do?
Also, I'm not certain about using the metallic gold for piping. I've read the only way to get it to set right is to use cheap, white alcohol of some type. I've never done metallic frosting. After the cake is completed, I don't want it to taste blah. What do you suggest? Thanks so much!
Make your fondant and color it a week in advance. That way you have time to check your color and it has overnight to “ripen”. If you don’t care for the shade you will still have time to correct it. I personally think the airbrush would be a pain in the neck for this project.
Now for the Gold decorations:
I use a combination of corn syrup and a quality Vodka (and sometimes Everclear) with the Super Gold Luster Dust. No real recipe because I’ve had different results on different days but it is possible that the weather/humidity or the user has something to do with it. LOL
before you try it on the cake. Remember to practice painting on
a surface that is in the vertical position like you have on the
cake sides. That way you’ll know is advance what you are up
against. This cake is not hard to do, just time consuming.
First thing to do….. If you are using bright colors like red or electric blue, cover your work area and have a pair of gloves for your hands. You do not want to look like a Lobster or Smurf after your project.
Take a portion of the fondant and roll it into a cigar shape. I dip a couple of toothpicks into the food coloring gel and then smear the gel on the fondant and gently fold over a few times. Start with a little bit of color, fold, and knead until all of the color is mixed in. Repeat if necessary until you get the color you want.
I plan to use cool whip for the icing to
give it a light and fluffy taste.
I read in another q/a of yours to color
the fondant a week before decorating so
you can make sure that I have the color
How far ahead of time should I roll and
shape the flowers?
If you are making a fondant, use the best quality ingredients that you can get. They generally are whiter because of a bleaching step. If you want to try it, when you make your fondant you could try to use White Food Coloring. I've never use it so I have a lack of knowledge about what the results would be.
All fondants should have a
professional finish on them though without you
having to stress it. If it is a bit shiny, you could
use the tiniest amount of cornstarch when you are
hand buffing the finish.
Check out some of Peggy Weaver's many Cake Decorating Articles, Tutorials, and Q&A pages below.
Bubbles in the
Marbling Fondant Icing
Buttercream Icing 101
Recipe and tutorial on making & using buttercream icing.
Decorating with Buttercream
How to use decorations on buttercream icing.
Assembling Cakes/Wedding Cakes
Other Cake Baking and Decoration Topics:
This idea page has photos only and no detailed decorating instructions.
Your site has been very helpful! I was wondering if you have any suggestions for making black fondant?
Making fondant flowers:
Do they have to dry more than a couple hours? I thinned my buttercream icing with a little water so I could write on the cake and pipe in my flower centers. Did the water from that make my flowers droop? The cake will still look good for the party...more of a layered look instead of 3-D, but I'm still a little disappointed. I used the prepackaged Wilton's fondant. This photo is before they fell.
When you make 3D flowers, you need to have them bone dry. That usually takes a week or more. In this case, let them sit at least 1 day in the little muffin pan. The next day you take them out and let them air dry on a baking rack so the back side of the flower can also dry. If the weather is the least bit humid, you could might 1 or 2 more days. When you piped the extra moist buttercream in the center, you sabotaged yourself.
Fondant can be hard to make flowers with. You have to roll it a bit thicker and it has shortening in it which makes getting it dry, harder. You also need to plan well in advance your project so that you have the drying time for your decorations. I like to make the doodads and flowers at least 1 week in advance and then store them in an airtight container until needed.
Now you know the reason that many professional decorators prefer to use gumpaste for their decorations. If is rolled much thinner so you have a faster drying time. It can have a delicate appearance and if you want to, much easier to color with Petal Dust.
I need to know something, are you really using fondant or Gumpaste? The two different mediums are used in twp different ways.
Think of it this way, both oil and gas are made from petroleum but the each are used for a different thing and in a different way.
(1) First, I was using the paste colors to paint the flowers - that softened the fondant petals, then they wouldn't dry and remain a sticky mess.
That is because when you add liquid to fondant, it will melt the sugar and make a sticky mess.
(2)THEN someone said to use the dry food coloring mixing it with either lemon extract, vodka or lemon juice.
Are you trying to do decorative work on the flowers? Like a flower that has just a purple tip but the rest of the flower is white? I’ve never heard of dry food coloring used with the lemon, or vodka. I personally use Petal Dust with Everclear or occasionally vodka for coloring.
(3) That seems to work much better EXCEPT for the fact that the dry colors are not as vibrant as the paste. Do you find this to be true?
I believe this is true, but if a method doesn’t work, you need to drop it and move on to another method. That is why Petal Dust is used. It remains very strong in the color intensity.
(4) What method would you suggest to 'glue' petals together? I have made a rather big iris (each petal maybe 3 inches to 4 inches). They need to be assembled to top the cake - how would I go about this, if you know?
Typically you use a tiny drop of simple syrup. This will slightly dissolve the sugars on both sides and when they dry they are “sugar welded” together.
I suggest that you get a book on flower making. You will be very happy that you did. My favorite book is by Scott Clark Woolley and also his products.
If you want to get veiners and cutters, you should look at his site. The tools are about the same price as other companies but you will save money by being organized and purchasing as much as you can from the same vendor. If you start purchasing products in different places from different veiners your money will go out the door very fast because you will end up with items you don’t need just to get what you do need for a project.
I can’t tell you how many cutters I
purchased from one company, and veiners
from another company. Then they didn’t
fit together and I had to go to a third
vendor. In other words, wasted money!
Marcia, that depends. You can make flowers that lay flat (like a cookie) very easily. If you are wanting to make lifelike type flowers, you will need to make them with gumpaste. Gumpaste dries stiff so that it will hold a 3D shape.
Using fondant decorations:
works well for cutouts that you can “glue” on to the cake. Things such as leaves, palm trees, flat flowers, silhouettes
etc. You might be able to use the fondant for very small 3D
things such as tiny apples, pears, ropes, grapes, tiny baby
(1) I am making a very simple Purse Cake and a very small round cake for my daughters birthday on Sunday. I plan on making the cake Saturday morning and decorating it Sunday morning. I want to Frost the Purse cake by using the Buttercream icing and put on it fondant flowers and leaves.
Be careful with the fondant decorations. I would suggest that you make the decorations at least 2 days before you plan to decorate. The fondant flowers and leaves need to completely dry before attaching them to the cake otherwise they can droop, sag and slide. If decorations are too heavy, you will need to place a pick in the flowers before they dry so that you can poke the pick into the cake to help hold the weight.
(2) On the small cake, I think the MM fondant with Butter cream scrolls. Will the flowers stick to the Buttercream icing or do I need to use Royal Icing to adhere them to the cake?
Royal icing will be completely useless in this particular situation. Royal is easily affected by any sort of oil or grease. I’ve seen it break into puddles of sugary mess. If you need to, just a tiny dab of fresh Buttercream will do the trick for you.
Just a thought, if you are going to use little
flowers like this very often, get a package of
gum paste. You can pre-make the flowers in white,
completely dry, and store in a sealed jar. When you
need them, they are ready to go. A quick dip in food
coloring and you are all ready to go. I’ve been know
to have jars of the flowers in different sizes on my
shelf for a fast use.
Look at the drawing
about how to do a rope. You will make a
lazy S motion to make the rope. the
size of the cake determines the size of
your rope. For most 8 or 9 inch cakes
my border is about a ½ inch tall.
I hope this helps.
Winbeckler is a genius in this technique.
You might want to pick up his book
Cake Sculpture and Sculptured Figure
It costs about $13 and is a wealth of
you have any suggestions? Did I roll the loops too thin? I
don't have a past machine to help me with the thickness of
it. Is my MMF crummy? Please advise and know how much I
appreciate in advance your beneficial advice!
If you want to try the MMF
again, roll the fondant thicker and try drying the loops on
their side instead of hanging. That way gravity isn’t
working against you so much.
(1) Which is better to use - fondant or marzipan.
I’d use Chocolate for the leaves and Marzipan for the molded fruits and veggies. Use different size cutters and 2 or 3 different types of chocolate for various sized leaves. Mold the veggies from the Marzipan with your fingers or use molds that you can purchase.
(2) I live in a small town, so marzipan is not readily available in my area. I have tried to make marzipan, it was sticky and some people liked the almond flavor, while others did not.
Marzipan is a great medium for molding but, as with all things, some folks like it and some folks don’t. ince you want to auction this cake for the highest price possible, I’d go ahead and make it as beautiful as possible. For the cake to be beautiful, you must be comfortable working with the products.
(3) I've used ready-made fondant, but only in small rolled portions. I have found I can order marzipan online, unless you have a great recipe I may use.
Here is a recipe that I have used:
(4) The cake is to be auctioned, so I want it to taste as delicious as it will look. I'm just not confident as to which medium would be the best for this cake. Your guidance will be most helpful.
Gumpaste is a beautiful product to work with and the results can be stunning but you cannot eat gumpaste. I’d avoid it for this project.
My daughter's 3rd birthday (well, first with us since we adopted her at 2) is coming up soon, and I want to do a fondant cake for her. Your recipe for MMF is very clear, but I do have one question. I'm going to cover the cake in the fondant, then decorate with fondant cowboy boots and hats cut from colored fondant. How do I affix them to the sides of the covered cake? Do I use dabs of buttercream, or would it be better to use royal icing? I have no clue, and haven't been able to find an answer. My apologies if this has been asked and I missed it. Thank you in advance for your help. You're a lifesaver.
Repairing a tear in fondant:
The cake you describe is firm enough, so I don’t not think that will be a problem. The problem that I do foresee is that the chocolate cake might show through to the fondant. That would cause the fondant to get a murky, muddy look to it.
Make sure that you put under the
fondant a thick ½-inch layer of the
buttercream icing that I recommend.
That is one of the best ways to
prevent the bleed through.
I like to cut my fondant covered cakes with a serrated knife. The fondant won’t be hard but the outside should have a dry feel to it that is called crusting. The surface crusting helps with keeping the cake moister inside.
One thing I like to do so to
have a stack of cheap napkins close to where I do the cutting of
the cake. If the fondant and the buttercream clump up on the
knife, you wipe the excess away so that all of your slices are
even and pretty. Then just throw the napkin away and save effort
on the cleanup.
If you make the cakes on a Tuesday,
cover with fondant on Wednesday (they
should settle overnight for the best
results) and serve on Saturday - you
have a 5-day old cake that is being
served. To me that is a stale cake. The
choice is of course, yours.
The photo isof the last fondant cake I made back in January. If you look closely, the cake settled overnight. I would love any advice you can give so that does not happen again.
Fondants will try to absorb moisture if they can. If the cake is dense, but very moist, the fondant can absorb some moisture from the buttercream which will absorb moisture from the cake. I almost always use about 1/4 to 1/3 cup (depending on the size of the cake diameter) of simple syrup on my cakes because I do make dense cakes and they have a tendency to be perceived to be dryer than the soft delicate sponge cakes.
As to the settling problem. Make
sure the cake is of a dense
variety and you can also avoid
the problem by baking, cooling,
washing, and crumb coating one
day then letting the cake sit
overnight so that the settling
problems works itself out. The
next day do the buttercream,
fondant covering, and decorating
- No settling that way. Also
make sure that the fondant is
placed on fresh buttercream, no
crusting over. That way the two
surfaces can “bind
together”. The sugar molecules
actually do blend together and
create one surface. Not two
surfaces touching one another.
I have a problem with fondant sticking to itself. What do your do? Is there a fondant adhesive?
You certainly can try to make a
stacked cake as your first cake but it will be quite involved.
I advise that you go to the
The link will help you find info about baking, leveling, torting, filling, covering with fondant and how to stack the cakes.
If this seems like a bit to much to start with would you consider a decorating a sheet cake or two instead? I did not make the cakes in the attached pictures but they might give you an idea of what I’m talking about. Here is another link for ideas.
Yes, it is easy to make but if you are using a hand mixer, please be careful. Make small batches and if your mixer starts to get warm, stop and let the motor cool down.
Stars are not difficult at all, the Wilton site even has a little video to help you with the technique. Just make sure that you place them close together (touching) for the best effect. You don’t want to see the white icing in between the stars.
I have 4 questions, as I'm attempting my first fondant cake:
(1) How do you get the fondant an even 1/8" thickness?
Yes, you should have an even surface. If it’s not, you will have to work a lot harder to get that beautiful smooth finish on the cake.
(2) Do you know how to put an edible photograph on the fondant?
Sugar Craft offers a service over the internet. You send in a good quality picture and they will send you the edible picture with instructions. You can also check with your local bakery. They might be able to help you. Please plan on 3 weeks for the whole process though. Some places are faster than others but don’t push it and wait until the last moment.
(3) Where did you get your dowel looking rolling pin?
Ok you’ll laugh at this. I was watching Julia Childs on TV years ago and she was talking about her rolling pin being a problem. Her sweet husband went outside to his workshop and a little while later, he came back in with a 1 ½ inch stick. He cut the handle off of a broom, sanded it, oiled it with Salad Bowl Finish and presented it to his dear wife. She still had it years later and it was her favorite rolling pin. My Husband got off the couch and went outside. A little while later he came back in with the rolling pin I have today. It is certainly my favorite.
(4) Do you have instructions to make the beautiful white flower cake pictured in Fondant 101? Is the top flower made of your MM fondant?
Not as of yet. I will write up the instructions
in the near future. The flower on the top is a
large white Mum. If you want to make a colored
cake, a bright colored Zinnia or Aster looks
I can’t see even one house that is fondant covered. I think it is because the fondant won’t “act” correctly for an extended length of time. Usually if the top level experts don’t do something, then there is a good reason for it.
Nicolas Lodge has a book out that tells about using royal icing on a cake. The sides are perfectly flat and level so it is the technique that gives you the fine finish even more than the icing itself.
think that the royal icing would break down from the
Crisco in the fondant after an extended length of
time. Sorry that I couldn’t help you
more with this. Best of luck with your project.
However on the Wilton website, it says:
This leads me to believe it is safe to eat. I am making a fondant covered football helmet cake and wanted to make it look like a metallic paint. Is it safe to use the dusts to cover the entire cake and eat it too??? Thank you for your wonderful website!!
The product that is offered by Wilton looks like big flakes of glitter. The petal dusts and the Wilton products are two very different product lines and not interchangeable.
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