Decorating Wedding Cakes
with Fondant Icing - Questions & Answers
worked with the icing before but I have only used the
pre-colored icing. I have
been reading the Q&A about fondant on this page and I
noticed you talk about Wilton Fondant (which I am
familiar with) and also MM Fondant? Where can I get
You make the
MM ( Marshmallow)
Fondant at home. It is very easy to make,
inexpensive and quite tasty. Here is a link to the
recipe on “What’s Cooking America” site and more
in advance can I make the fondant icing? Also in the
directions, it says to coat it with Crisco and double wrap
it, does that mean with saran wrap?
I have made the colored fondant a week in
advance with no problems. I coated it well with
Crisco, wrapped it in a generous sheet of Saran
Wrap and then put that in a Ziploc Bag. I
squeeze out as much air as possible. Store in
the refrigerator for food safety.
When you want to use it, remove it from the
refrigerator. You will find the ball is very
hard. Unwrap the fondant and place it on a plate
and microwave it for 10 seconds. Now be very
careful, the fondant might be hot. Handle with
Take the ball out and start to knead it. You
might need to put it back in the microwave a few
more times. Just make sure that you knead it
well between each session in the microwave. If
you feel the fondant needs a bit more moisture,
only add a few of drops at a time and then kneed
it well. My favorite technique for adding water
is to break the fondant ball into 2 parts. On
one part, put a few of drops of water on it with
your finger and smear it around. Place the
second part of the fondant on top of that and
smash them together. Then, knead the ball to
The fondant works best if it is from room
temperature up to body temperature. It should be
pliable and stretchy.
Don’t forget, you might need to put a bit of
Crisco on your hands.
Three-Tier Wedding Cakes:
I am making a three-tier wedding cake. I
have purchased a 14", 10", 6"X3" deep set of bakeware. It is recommended that I use a
heating core for a 10" cake and larger. My
thinking is this will make a hole in the
cake and I will not be able to have a
complete flat surface for icing and fondant. Thank you in advance for your reply.
To use the core, you grease the core inside and
out. Push it into the middle and fill the
core about 1/3 of the way with the cake
you remove the core from the middle, you
also remove the inner plug. Put a little
buttercream into the hole and place the cake
plug in the hole. After the buttercream
icing or fondant on the cake, no one will
ever know there was a hole.
I love your site and have read
it over and over again. I plan on
making my own wedding cake in August of this year
marriage for both of us). The cake will be
larger than the amount of guests that will
– just because I have never made
a wedding cake and I want it to
be nice. I plan on making a
three tier with layers of
12-inch, 10-inch, and 8-inch with no spacers in between.
What do you think of the sizes?
I want it covered in the MM fondant (I think) or Buttercream Icing. I have never worked with fondant.
I personally like 12-inch,
9-inch, and 6-inch top for you
to store for the first
anniversary. Make them all
about 4 to 5 inches tall, no
matter what you use for the best
proportional look. You have to
make that choice. I always
prefer a Marshmallow fondant.
I am making a
three-tier wedding cake and I will be using fondant icing
for some of the decorations. Two of the layers will be
polka dots. I am just going to pipe the dots, but they
will be three different shades of pink! So my questions
is: Can I use the same coloring for the fondant icing
as I do the regular icing? If so, how do
I go about coloring the fondant icing?
Yes, I suggest that you use a
Pink Gel Food Color. Not the liquid drops that you get
from the grocery store. If you use the Wilton Brand,
use a toothpick to remove the color from the little
jar. Start with a little, mix and add more as
needed. Never re-dip the toothpick in the gel.
Tooth picks are cheap and since you are working
with food, it is better to be safe than sorry. My
favorite brand is AmeriColor, to me it is easier to
use and less messy. AmeriColor Food Colorings are in
a drop bottle. I can repeat my quantities easier by
measuring drops. I think your best bet would be to use
only one shade of the Pink coloring and use different
intensities of that color for your various tints.
Coloring the fondant icing -
fondant on your table/counter and smash it out a
bit. Using a toothpick or the dropper bottle
mentioned above, put a drop of AmeriColor or small
glob of the Wilton color on the white fondant. I
like to pull of a golf ball size of fondant and use
that to smear the food coloring around on the
fondant. Put the ball in the middle, fold the
fondant over it and knead the big gob of fondant
until all of the color is evenly mixed in. You might
need to add a bit of shortening to your hands and
counter to keep the fondant from sticking. If it is
still too pale, use the same procedure to add in
more color. Remember that it is easier to add color
than take it out. Start with small amounts of color
and add more as you need to.
Gum Paste Flowers and Fondant
Here is my question - I want to
make a cake that has the roses
cascading down the sides of the
layers (one side) with roses on the top layer. How
do I attach the roses to the sides?
Now you are talking gum paste
flowers and you will need to
have other flowers such as
little trumpet flowers and
little generic flowers also a
few leaves as a fill in. Each flower is made separately
and dried on a wire. All of the
realistic flowers on wires, are
bound together to form a thick
stem. That is the one way you
can hold this type of flower
cascade. You can do this but
you will be spending MONEY on
the supplies, cutters, rollers,
foam blocks, and many other
tools. If you want to make
cakes in the future, this
expenditure is acceptable but if
it is a one shot deal, then you
will save money by finding
someone who will make the
cascade for you. Go to a
quality local bakery and ask if
they have a person locally who
does gum paste work. You should
expect to pay the same price for
the gumpaste flowers as you
would real flowers but they can
last for years if cared for
(1) Do you put down a base
of fondant or butter cream to give these
flowers an elevated look?
(2) How do I fasten them
to the sides of the cake?
(3) I am guessing that I
will have to make the roses out of Royal icing?
I also thought
about making the roses out of
gum paste. Have never worked with
that either? Any suggestions on that?
(4) What if I use real roses or
flowers? Are you supposed to stick the
flower in one of those water
holder pick things or can you
stick right in the cake? That
would be a lot of plastic water holders in the side of the cake
if I used real flowers.
The wiring structure is what
does the job.
(2) No Royal icing will
“melt” and dissolve from the
oils in the fondant.
Ok, you are jumping in over your
head. It’s like saying you want
to build a Ferrari without
understanding anything about
cars. I’d like to suggest that
you pick up a book called
Wedding Cakes that you can Make
by Dede Wilson. This
will get you some of the info
you want and help you focus on
what you can do without spending
lots of money on tools and
I personally hate all of the
holes that are left from the
flower viles. You can wrap the
stems with flower tape and then
stick it into the cake side but
you still have the holes. You
can ask a local florist to make
a flower cascade for you.
I just have a quick question. I was planning on making
fondant roses on a bridal cake but I was wondering how far
in advance to make the flowers so that they don’t sag or
fall on the Saturday I was serving the cake.
Here is a bit of information that might help you. This
information is courtesy of a lovely lady named Sew Sweet.
are adding Fixodent denture adhesive, the
powdered kind only, at a ratio of about 1 tsp.
of Fixodent powder to about a cup or a hardball
sized mound of fondant. (This sound strange but it
is food safe. After all many folks use this product
in their mouth for their dentures). Many decorators
that have tried it are happy with the results.
I find that
fondant items need a long drying time. Plan a least
a week for most flowers, and more if you live in
If the item is going to be eaten, you might want to try
a slightly dry marshmallow fondant, (use a teaspoon
less water) and see if it holds up for what you have
in mind. If it isn't going to be eaten then you can
go with the Fixodent hardening method.
Could you please help me? I am teaching myself to
make fondant flowers - so far they look good. However, I am
then painting them with the paste food coloring - this makes
the flowers gooey - the ones I painted almost a week ago are
still tacky to the touch. I don't know if they will ever
dry. I'm taking them out of town to a birthday. Is there
some other way I should be painting these?
I need to know something, are you really using fondant
or gum paste? The two different mediums are used in two different
Fondant can make successful flowers if the flowers or leaves
are flat. Like flat daisies. fondant flowers, because it is
made with something like Crisco (a grease), can very easily
go limp and drip from the atmosphere or if it is touching
anything moist on the cake.
you want a very 3D, realistic flower, you need to use
gum paste because it dries harder and can be easily colored.
This is the best choice for flowers by far!
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.
I'll state the
particular problems I'm having. 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. THEN someone said to use
the dry food coloring mixing it with either lemon extract,
vodka or lemon juice.
That is because
when you add liquid to fondant, it will melt the
sugar and make a sticky mess. 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.
That seems to
work much better EXCEPT for the fact that the dry
colors are not as vibrant as the paste.
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
Do you find this
to be true? What method would you suggest to 'glue'
petals together - I have made a rather big iris -
each petal maybe 3" to 4". 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 venders, 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!
Your web site
is an overwhelming, wealth of information, A
really super place to sit and learn and lose
myself. On that note....... I am making my first
wedding cake. I will be using fondant and will
use your MM Fondant recipe. I want to color the
fondant in a marbleized effect. Lilac tint and
corn silk yellow - pale antique gold (very
little) tint. What is the best way to achieve
this. I'm so afraid of blending too much and
having the "marble" disappear, or having it
clump all in one spot. Thanks so much for any
One thing I
learned quickly. If your two colors are close in
tone, they can fade into each other. You will
loose the marble effect and sometimes you can
get a muddy look. So make sure there is a little
“depth” to your colors. Make extra MM Fondant
(it’s cheap) take about a ¼ ball of it and color
it. Repeat with the second color you want to
use. Then practice blending them.
I usually put
the balls of fondant on the counter in front of
me and just look at them and see if they “Feel
Good” together. Tweak the colors as needed. Here
is the technique that I use:
fondant color A into 5 pieces and do the
same with Color B.
layers one on top of each other. Alternate
fondant together and pull and stretch to
form the marbling.
Occasionally, I will fold the stretched
piece out into thirds so that I get a wavy
marbling. Some folks like to gently twist
the pulled fondant then roll it out.
roll the piece flat so that it can be
applied to your cake.
It’s a very
simple technique that is very pretty.
Making Chocolate Quils:
I have been asked to make a wedding cake
similar to the one I have attached a picture
of. My problem is, I'm not sure how to go
about making the white chocolate "quills".
Any ideas? Any help would be greatly
You will need
chocolate, either white or dark, a pallet
knife, a double edge comb scraper and a
metal, broad spatula. The spatula looks like
a 6-inch putty knife. I've used my metal bench
scraper before and it worked pretty well.
counter by thoroughly cleaning and drying. If you have access to a huge sheet of
marble, even better. I used my marble
coffee table more than once.
temper your chocolate.
narrow band of tempered dark chocolate onto
the clean surface. Using a palette knife
spread it thinly to 5 1/2" wide. Now using
the comb, create long straight lines through
the length of the chocolate band. Allow the
chocolate to firm slightly, then apply a
second layer of chocolate on top of the
chocolate. (You could make the bottom layer
a dark chocolate and the top layer a white
chocolate). Spread thinly and evenly with a
palette knife. Allow to firm slightly. Use
the broad scraper at 1" increments to
roll-up the chocolate into quills.
Misc. Decorating Questions:
Hello, I want to use fondant on a large wedding cake. Then
coat it with Wilton sugar crystals (little squares). I
found this recipe in a magazine. My bride hates the taste
of fondant but, really wants this cake. Two questions, what
can i use to attach the sugar crystals to the fondant and
should I use Wilton or make MM fondant?
I need to know - do the
crystals look like really chunky sugar or is it flat, more
like giant flecks of glitter? The picture you sent
looks like Edible Glitter. It is very light weight and
would stick to the buttercream. If you give the icing the
very finest of misting with water and then sprinkle the
glitter on. You could use the sugar crystals but every bite
would have a definite crunch to it.
Have you ever gotten egg
white on your counter and not cleaned it up right away?
When you get back to it, the egg white dries, flakes and is
in random flat, shiny shapes. It is very light, airy and
Edible glitter comes in
colors but you would use white for a wedding cake but I have
seen a mix of white and blue on a winter wedding cake to
give the “icy” feel. You would lightly mist the cake with
water and sprinkle the glitter on.
I’ll take your
questions one at a time:
sugar is heavy and it looks like tiny squares. Almost like
pieces of flat glass. They are not small like the colored
sugars that we sprinkle on cupcakes. I would say, more like
They are about the size
of Pretzel salt right?
I was thinking about attaching it to fondant, so i could
remove the fondant with each slice?
Removing the fondant on
each slice would not be attractive on the plates. I’d avoid
this at all costs!
the bride doesn't want the crunch. I believe it would be
too heavy for regular icing. I just don't know what to use
to attach the crystals to the fondant, without affecting the
If you feel you must use
the crystals, PLEASE make the fondant beforehand and try
your technique a few times before your final run.
Do you think I could brush a thin layer of piping gel on
the fondant or spray it with something? I just need to know
what to use for the glue.
No piping gel! It will
be goopy, dissolve the sugar crystals and cause “rivers”
flowing down the sides of the cake as it dissolves and
I’d only use the finest
mist of water but PLEASE practice this technique before you
make you cake. Stand the piece up so that it will simulate
the side of the cake.
Smoothing the Fondant - Baking Pan Sizes:
am making a fondant wedding cake for the 1st
time - a little nervous! Anyway, on my practice cake,
the fondant turned out good, but covering fell
apart. I can see the lumps on the cake through the
icing. I pinpointed a few issues myself - not
enough buttercream icing underneath (not nearly 1/4") and
fondant rolled too thin. Any other tips for that
smooth, perfect finish? Also, how much of your "doctored cake mix" do I need
for a 4 tiered cake?
Thanks a million!
absolutely right. The thick cushion of
Buttercream Icing will cover up almost all of the
imperfections of your cake. Roll out your
fondant to somewhere around 3/16 of an inch
warm hands, you can smooth the fondant out quite nicely. If
you need to, mix equal parts of cornstarch and powdered
sugar together and sprinkle a little on your hands. This
will help you polish the fondants surface for an even better
all, I need to talk about your baking pans.
For a wedding, a 4-inch tall layer is
usually preferred. You will need pans that
are 3-inches deep. t first I was reluctant
to buy this size pan but over the years I
have found them to be the best investment
I’ve made in my baking supplies. The little
extra height, even for a birthday cake,
gives a much more impressive look and
heightens the WOW Factor. Most decorators
aim for a 4-inch tall filled layer, it gives
the best balance to the eye, even with the
6-inch topper cake. Bake your layers cool
completely and then slice all of them the
same height so that all of the filled layers
are a standard size. I freeze the leftover
cake bits so that I can have a quick dessert
of cake and fruit anytime.
With all that said, I like to use the
following amount in 3-inch tall round pans.
Always check to see if the cake is finished
baking at the lowest time possible for a
Size batter temp time
6” 2 ½ cups 325 35 - 40
8” 5 cups 325 45 - 50
10” 8 cups 325 55 – 60
12” 10 ½ cups 325 65 – 75
Hi, The MM fondant recipe is excellent! I'm planning to
make it to cover my cousins wedding cake this Saturday.
The only problem I have is with quantities. In Canada,
quantities are in kg, grams and cups. I am having a hard
time with the fondant consistency because I don't really
know how many MM are in the bag, and exactly how much
sugar is needed (don't have a scale...) Is it
possible to have the quantities for the MM and the sugar
in cups please ? Thanks a million!
I can help you a bit
with your problem of quantities:
A bag of Miniature Marshmallows are approximately
450 grams and a bag of Powdered Sugar is
approximately 900 grams.
Try to find products in you markets that equal these
Notice that for 1 gram of marshmallows you use 2
grams of powdered sugar.
Trying to tell you how many cups to use is really a
problem. If you just pack the powdered sugar in a
cup it your have one weight. If it is
loosely packed you would have a completely different
weight. That is why I weight everything when I bake
I know that you don't have a
scale, so try to use the 2 to 1
formula when you purchase the products.
That will get you the closest to the original recipe
and the best results in your end product.
I love the look of fondant and want to put
it on my wedding cake. Small problem, about
half the folks attending are diabetics. As I
don't want to put anyone into a sugar
induced coma, I was wondering if there is a
Splenda or other "sugar-free" recipe out
there. Do you know of one? Thank you.
Hi, I'm a little hard core on
this issue. It is your wedding, you have the
cake you and you fiancé want. This issue of
should not be your concern.
Wedding cake portions are supposed to be
about 1 1/2 inch by 2 inches. It is not a
food group. If someone is diabetic, they
have the option of passing on the cake or
according to their doctors instructions, eat
a small amount of the cake. Diabetics are
responsible for their own intake of food.
NOT YOU! You are responsible for your health
and if you agree to it, the health of your
You can't make fondant with Splenda,
successfully. You need powdered sugar and
considering that you use Marshmallows as the
base of the recipe you have even more sugar.
If you wish to have a side cake or two for
the diabetic guests, that would be a lovely,
Personally, a Lemon Pound
cake with a bit of lemon glaze (done with
Splenda) sound delicious to me, or a bit of
an exotic offering could be a Gingerbread
cake with a Lemon drizzle. I'll bet many of
your guests haven't had had a slice of old
fashioned Gingerbread in many a year.
I would also be very happy
with a Chocolate Marble Cake, but I would
add two (2) more eggs to this recipe to hold
it together properly.
wedding cake has real roses for the top. Should I freeze the
roses also, or remove them prior to freezing?- Please answer
soon. The wedding was Saturday 8/6 and I need to freeze the
top soon. Thank you.
need to remove the live roses before freezing. Freezing
roses destroys the cell in the petals and can turn them into
a black mush when they defrost. If the couple wants to have
roses when they defrost the cake, you could suggest a few
silk roses or they could use fresh organic roses for the
Peggy's Baking Corner
Check out some of Peggy Weaver's many Cake Decorating Articles,
Tutorials, and Q&A pages
Fondant Icing 101
(Recipe and Tutorial on making & using fondant icing)
Bubbles in the
with Fondant Icing
Decorating Cakes with Fondant Icing
Marbling Fondant Icing
you have any additional questions or comments that
have not been answers in the categories above,
Peggy will try to answer them for you.
(just click on the underlined):
Please, please first check the sections above before
emailing, as Peggy gets many repeat questions.
fondant icing tools and/or
to help you decorate your cakes using
(Marshmallow) Fondant Icing?