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Fondant – Tips, Tricks, Troubleshooting

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Fondant has become the most popular medium for custom-decorated cakes these days. And you find more and more people creating cakes covered in flawless fondant finishes. Working with fondant can be tricky for a beginner, and yet with these tips, you will be a pro in no time. Whether you are a novice working on just one cake or a professional cake decorator, these tips for working with fondant are all you need to up your game in the world of decorated cakes.

Fondant decorated cake on a board.
Homemade Fondant with Marshmallows

Fondant myths and truths

Fondant has come a long way in the world of cake decorating. Customers are more aware of fondant and its unlimited possibilities. So the moment you decide you want to become a cake decorator, one of the first things you will need to master is – how to handle fondant. For those of us that actually never worked with fondant before, this can be a challenge. And if you’ve had a bad experience with fondant, as I did a zillion years ago, you know what I mean. Ah well, I was petrified. And yet, I was only sixteen at that time.

So here’s a little advice for you if you just starting out. Don’t read people’s negative experiences about working with fondant. Because it doesn’t help. And if you tell yourself ‘I got this’, guess what, you will get this.

Many people claim that store-bought fondant is easier to work with. While others say that homemade fondant is easy to work with. The truth? It’s just a myth. Working with fondant gets better with practice. And of course, knowing a few tips for working with fondant.

Cake on a cake board with French fries.
Cake Decorating Tutorial – Burger, Hamburger, Cheeseburger

14 fondant tips you need

Having been a cake decorator for over 10 years now, I have some tips and tricks that make working with fondant a lot easier. And I’d love to know if any of these tips helped you with your next project. So please let me know in the comments below. 

1. Prepare your work surface

  • First of all, clean your work surface making sure you have no cake crumbs, water puddles, or wet spots anywhere. A great way to get lint or tiny particles of dust off your surface is to use a small ball of fondant (about a golf ball size) and rub it over the surface. All the tiny particles stick to it, and voila, your surface is now ready for fondant.
  • Next, clear the space so you can roll your fondant large, as well as keep your cake within reach without knicking into it while rolling.
  • Also, have the immediate things you need handy so you don’t go looking at the last minute. Such as a dusting pouch, knife, or cutting wheel, acupuncture needles to pop air pockets, cake smoothers, and acetate smoothers. Nothing is worse than to go hunting these down while your fondant dries.

2. Prepare fondant first

  • Bring your fondant to room temperature before you use it. If necessary, microwave it for no more than 10 sec. or it will become sticky and too soft.
  • If possible, color your fondant a day or two ahead of time – so the colors will deepen.
    Additionally, letting the fondant sit, after you added all that color, will help restore some of its composition. And you will find it’s not as goofy the next day.
  • Knead your fondant well before you start to roll it or it will not roll evenly. That is the reason for tearing and cracking. Kneading also helps with a smooth finish.
Collage of fondant decorated cakes.
Homemade Fondant Recipe from Scratch

3. Rolling fondant

  • Roll the fondant on a lightly dusted and smooth surface.
    • In most places, a mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch works best.
    • While in dry places, vegetable shortening works best to roll fondant.
    • And in places with high humidity, using only cornstarch works best. Since powdered sugar can cause the fondant to become sticky with condensation.
  • Make sure your cake is smooth with buttercream or ganache before you cover it with fondant. Because fondant will show all the uneven bumps and gaps.
  • Do not roll your fondant much larger than you need it. The excess will only make it heavy to lift and difficult to move. For example, if you are covering an 8” cake roll a disc of about 20 inches not 40. In addition, you won’t waste so much fondant by exposing it to air and cornstarch.
  • To transfer fondant over the cake – do not use fingers as it can tear, instead:
    • Use a rolling pin to lift the whole piece of fondant. Thus, distributing the weight evenly and avoiding any tears.
    • You can also use both of your arms.

4. Smoothing fondant

  • The palms of your hands are the best tool for smoothing fondant. The friction caused by your hands rubbing on the sugar paste makes the fondant smooth.
  • For those with sweaty palms, fondant smoothers are available in the market at very affordable prices. They are one of the best cake-decorating tools to keep handy and they do more than just smooth cakes.

5. Cutting fondant

  • A pizza wheel works better than a knife to cut around the cake. Also, a scalpel or an exact-o knife is much better than a pizza wheel. And yet, a scalpel is really sharp and can cause serious damage if not used carefully (don’t ask me how I know that).
  • And if you have small kids watch out for those exact-o knives or scalpels as kids seem to be very attracted to them. I almost avoid using them because my kids always seem to find a way to be around them.
A collage with cakes decorated with luster dust.
What is luster dust, petal dust, pearl dust?

6. Cake drums

  • The fondant is heavy, thus making the cake heavy – so ensure you always have a sturdy cake board. A cake board that flexes or bends results in fondant tearing when the cake is moved. Especially during transportation.
  • Cake drums are best for fondant-covered cakes. I have shown you how to make your own cake boards here on the blog by simply using foam core and contact paper you can buy from your local craft store. Check this post – DIY cake boards.

7. Find your strength

Are you better at covering round cakes, square cakes, or novelty cakes? Practice on a dummy – a great way to learn is to practice on a dummy cake. Use leftover fondant you don’t mind wasting. Cover it once but before it dries remove it, knead it with a damp hand, and practice again. Until your fondant become useless.

8. Know your fondant

If you have a bad batch of fondant, perhaps using it to cover a round cake with sharp edges is not the way to go. Instead, save it for novelty cakes when you can use it to your advantage. And make a batch or find a brand that you know works better for you when covering round cakes with sharp edges.

9. Color fondant ahead of time

One of the advantages of coloring fondant ahead of time is that the fondant has time to settle back into its original composition. Always use food color gels when coloring fondant as these are more concentrated. So they don’t affect the consistency of the fondant much. Another advantage of coloring the fondant ahead of time is the colors have time to deepen. Below is a great example. As you can see, this is a cake before decorating with brush embroidery and after. Some colors deepen more than others. And some get even better over time, while some may need a little more tweaking.

10. Fondant is also greatly affected by climate

Cool temperatures work better as it keeps the fondant pliable and not too soft. So, work in a cool place. And if necessary, work in an air-conditioned environment. If you do not have to air-condition, work in the cool hours of the day like the evenings or later.

11. Strengthen your fondant

If no matter how many recipes of fondant you make, or how many commercial brands of fondant you try, your fondant is still too soft, or difficult to work with, perhaps it’s the weather, not you. (What a relief eh?). Well, a way to help strengthen it would be to add a small amount of tylose or CMC to your fondant.

A collage of decorating cake using modeling chocolate.
Modeling Chocolate – Dark, Semi-sweet, milk, Candy melts

12. Working with seams

If you are working on novelty cakes and find that you have many seams to work worth with, avoid using vegetable shortening while kneading the fondant. Rather, use a damp finger over the seem then smooth it with your palm and you will see the seams just disappear like magic. Because veg shortening tends to prevent the sugar from blending (no clue why – it just does).

13. Novelty Cakes

Another great way to prevent your fondant from drying quickly when working with novelty cakes is to add some modeling chocolate to the fondant. I like adding modeling chocolate to my fondant when working on novelty cakes. This works great for me in winter but in summer I prefer to use just fondant as modeling chocolate tends to make the fondant softer.

14. Hot humid weather?

  • In hot humid weather, fondant tends to melt with condensation. So, chill the cake well before you cover it with fondant. That way you will have a nice firm cake to work with. And yet, once you cover the cake with fondant, DO NOT put it back in the fridge. Leave it out. Usually, it will get wet with condensation. Leave it in a cool place until the cake’s internal temperature has settled. The fondant will dry in a few hours and you should have a dry surface to work with again. This requires that you step away from the cake for a few hours between covering the cake with fondant and continuing to decorate. So plan your project accordingly.
  • I highly recommend strengthening your fondant with CMC (as I explained above). The humidity will prevent the fondant from hardening so don’t worry about it getting hard.

15. Make/buy the right fondant for the right job.

I buy fondant in bulk because fondant making can take a lot of time when you have many orders. So, I have to plan and decide when I am going to use homemade, and when I am going to use commercial fondant. For example, for almost all my kids’ cakes, I use homemade fondant. But all my wedding cakes are covered in commercial fondant. That’s one way for me to plan in advance and reduce my workload.

A collage with decorated cakes using modeling chocolate.
Modeling Chocolate Recipe – White Chocolate

Tips for dyeing or coloring fondant

Dyeing or coloring homemade fondant allows you to create custom shades and vibrant designs. Here are some tips to help you achieve great results:

  1. Start with white fondant: Begin with a batch of white homemade fondant. This provides a neutral base that allows the colors to show up more accurately. You can either make your own fondant from scratch or purchase pre-made white fondant.
  2. Gel-based food coloring: Use gel-based food coloring instead of liquid food coloring. Gel colors are concentrated and provide vibrant hues without adding excessive moisture to the fondant. Start with a small amount of gel color and gradually add more to achieve the desired shade.
  3. Knead thoroughly: Knead the fondant well before adding any coloring. This ensures that the fondant is soft, pliable, and easier to work with. If the fondant is too firm, it may be challenging to evenly distribute the color.
  4. Use a toothpick or skewer: Dip a toothpick or skewer into the gel color and then transfer a small amount onto the fondant. This allows you to control the amount of color you’re adding and helps to avoid adding too much at once.
  5. Wear gloves: To prevent staining your hands, consider wearing food-safe gloves while kneading and coloring the fondant. This will protect your hands and make it easier to incorporate the color evenly.
  6. Gradually add color: Start with a small amount of gel color and knead it into the fondant thoroughly. If you want a darker shade, add more color and continue kneading until you achieve the desired intensity. Remember that colors tend to deepen over time, so it’s better to start with a lighter shade and adjust as needed.
  7. Blend colors for custom shades: To create unique shades, you can blend different gel colors. Start with a base color and gradually add small amounts of other colors, kneading well between additions. This allows you to achieve custom hues and tones.
  8. Rest and check the color: After coloring the fondant, let it rest for a little while, preferably wrapped in plastic wrap, to allow the color to fully develop. This is especially true for deep or dark colors. After resting, check the color again and make any necessary adjustments by adding more coloring if needed.

Remember to take note of the amounts and proportions of the gel colors you use to recreate specific shades in the future. By following these tips, you can achieve beautifully colored homemade fondant for your cake decorating projects.

Tips for coloring homemade fondant

  • Always use edible gel food colors for coloring fondant. This will not make your fondant too soft in consistency because they are very concentrated in color.
  • If possible use powdered colors – do not add powder directly into the sugar paste. Instead, add color to a dab of veg shortening to get it moist then add to the paste. This will blend in easily and not leave any dark specks or grains.
  • If you don’t have gel food colors – you can use liquid color at the beginning of the recipe by simply reducing the original quantity of liquid in the recipe
  • Gel food color will intensify over time so if you color it ahead of time. If you want you can make one shade lighter and keep it for a few days. That way you won’t have to add more white or use too much gel in the first place.
  • Gel colors can dye your hands so it’s best to use gloves when coloring fondant. Rubbing veg shortening on your gloved hands will help.
    Personally, I find working with gloves really difficult especially with sticky fondant so I tend to work with fondant by just rubbing my hand with vegetable shortening and then washing them clean with a cream-based cleaning detergent.
  • When making dark colors from scratch such as red, black, dark blue
    It helps to reduce the glycerin in the recipe by 50% or more.. add colors to your wet ingredients before you add powder sugar so the color will blend well.
    Reducing glycerin will prevent the paste from becoming too soft to work with. If necessary you can always add more glycerin later to soften the fondant as needed. Most often I don’t need any.
  • Colors such as red, and black are always a necessity, make more than you need. Store the balance in the fridge so they are always handy. Sometimes these dark colors can be used to deepen or make other shades. For example, a golf size ball of deep red when added to 1 kg white fondant can give you the pretties rose pink color.
A red velvet cake with lace piping.
Red Velvet Layer Cake with IMBC

Frequently asked questions

What is the easiest way to cover a cake with fondant?

There are two most commonly used methods.
1. The draping method, involves rolling fondant larger than the size of your cake and then covering the whole cake with fondant. I have previously shown you how to cover a cake with fondant. I covered the whole cake in this Paw Petrol Cake tutorial.
2. The panel method – here you roll two pieces of fondant. One for the top of the cake (using a cake pan as a guide) and then rolling a long strip of fondant for the sides. This method has seams that can easily be masked with decorations if you plan your cake design in advance. I paneled for this Pink Tree Stump Cake Tutorial.

How to prevent cracking fondant?

Knead your fondant well before you start to roll it or it will not roll evenly. This is the reason for tearing and cracking. Kneading also helps with a smooth finish. As I explained above (tip #2).

How to make fondant easy to work with?

As I explained above, fondant is not hard to work with. Use these 14 tips for working with fondant for your next project. Know your fondant, use the right fondant for the right job, and prepare accordingly and you will have success every single time

How to strengthen fondant?

The simplest and easiest way to strengthen your fondant is with CMC (as I explained above in tip #14).

How to prevent fondant from sticking? How do you keep the fondant from sticking to the counter?

Fondant is sugar, so any moisture or warmth can cause it to stick. So, always dust your work surface well (explained above in detail in bullet 3). In addition, knead your fondant well (explained more in tip #2).

How to fix dry fondant?

– Fondant can go from wet to too dry very quickly. The same goes for too soft, too wet, etc. So, if the fondant is not rolled yet, and looks dry – use damp hands to knead it first. Yes, just use a little water on your hands to help knead. Once you’ve done that, use vegetable shortening to knead it until it’s soft and pliable. 
– And, if the fondant is on the cake – rubbing the cake with vegetable shortening gently can prevent it from drying out further. Also, gently steaming the cake helps. And yet, most people don’t usually have a hand steamer at home. I have a hand steamer that I use to steam my sugar flowers, which works for this purpose very well

How to fix wet fondant? Sticky fondant? Soft fondant?

If fondant is sticky due to adding gel color, the best way to fix it is to add a little bit of powdered sugar. When rolling fondant for a cake you can use any one of the three – vegetable shortening, powdered sugar or cornstarch.

Vegetable shortening works great because it enhances elasticity. However, it does not work well if the fondant is too wet. So, use it if the fondant is already pliable but stiff.  Powdered sugar is used best when the fondant is wet and sticky but not pliable.  And cornstarch is best used in hot humid places where powdered sugar can cause more sickness rather than fixing it. 

How thick should you roll fondant? 

The thinner the fondant the better. That is what’s usually advertised. My students are usually always debating this. And yet, you need to find that sweet spot that works best for you. I’d say between 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick, leaning more towards 1/8 rather than 1/4 inch thick.

1/4 inch is way too thick. Because it will be heavy on the cake and cause the edges to crack. It will also make the cake look bulky and prevent you from getting sharp edges. A 1/8 inch is good, and yet often difficult if you are new. Sharpening the edges can cause it to tear if you’re not careful. Often, newbies tend to tear if the fondant is too thin. 

What causes the fondant to tear?

When fondant is rolled too thin it can cause the fondant to tear. This applies to both when placing it on the cake and smoothing the sides. In addition, when trying to achieve sharp edges. That is why it is important to roll fondant no thinner than 1/8 inch thick. 

Why does my fondant keep ripping?

If fondant is rolled too thin it can rip when draping a cake. Similarly, fondant, when rolled too thick, can rip because of the excess weight. That is why finding that sweet spot that works best for you is really important. 

Can I remove the fondant from a cake once covered in fondant? 

Yes, you can. This is not recommended because it’s a waste of expensive fondant and a re-do of a lot of steps in the cake decorating process. And yet, often as a cake decorator, you have to put the customer first and that’s when you have no choice but to re-do the fondant covering from scratch.
Here is what you can do:

  1. Chill the cake covered in fondant in the fridge until firm. You want the cake and the fondant both to be well chilled. If not you will end up with a big mess and more waste.
  2. When chilled, gently peel the top layer of fondant. Usually, the fondant should just peel off the cake leaving the buttercream or ganache behind.
  3. If your ganache or buttercream is in the right consistency this can be a clean peal. Sometimes, you may get some parts of buttercream or ganache break and stick to the fondant and that’s ok. 
  4. Once all the fondant is off – put it away. 
  5. Now, tidy up the frosting on the cake again with ganache or buttercream. 
  6. Chill it well. 
  7. Cover it with fresh new fondant.
Spongebob and Patrick cakes on a wooden board.
SpongeBob and Patrick Star Cake

 How to avoid dry crumbly fondant?

To avoid dry and crumbly fondant during cake decorating, you can follow these tips:

  1. Knead properly: Start by kneading the fondant well before rolling it out. This helps to make it more pliable and reduces the chances of it becoming dry. Kneading also helps to activate the elasticity of the fondant.
  2. Use fondant sparingly: When rolling out the fondant, use a light dusting of powdered sugar or cornstarch to prevent sticking. However, avoid using excessive amounts as it can dry out the fondant.
  3. Store properly: Make sure to store your fondant properly in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Exposure to air can quickly dry out fondant, making it crumbly.
  4. Avoid direct heat: Fondant is sensitive to heat, so try to avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or warm environments. Heat can cause the fondant to dry out and crack.
  5. Use a damp cloth: If you notice that your fondant is starting to dry out while you’re working with it, lightly dampen a clean cloth with water and gently rub it over the fondant’s surface. This can help to rehydrate the fondant and make it more pliable.
  6. Add moisture gradually: If your fondant is dry, you can add a small amount of glycerin or vegetable shortening to it. Start with a tiny amount and knead it in gradually until you achieve the desired consistency. Be careful not to add too much, as it can make the fondant too soft.
  7. Work quickly: Fondant can dry out quickly, so try to work efficiently while rolling it out and covering your cake. This will minimize the exposure to air and reduce the chances of it drying out.
  8. Consider humidity: Humidity levels can affect fondant. In dry climates, you might need to add a little extra moisture to the fondant. In humid climates, you may need to use less liquid and dust your work surface with powdered sugar instead of cornstarch to prevent sticking.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your fondant remains smooth and pliable, making it easier to work with during cake decorating.

Bakers tip – provided by Robin Apted

Instead of using corn flour and icing sugar to roll our fondant which makes the fondant dryer and crumblier use this tip. Not only does this tip stop you from having that dreaded icing or corn flour smudge, save you ages trying to wipe it away with alcohol., but it will stop the fondant from sticking to the bench and if you do mess up and have to roll again, you haven’t dried your fondant out with all that extra icing or corn flour and…..
less elephant skin because your fondant hasn’t dried.

All you have to do is grab your can (any brand) of canola oil
spray the rolling area and roll out. No white smudges and smears
If you do have any sheen on your fondant from the oil it will quickly dry out and disappear without doing anything.

A block of fondant.

How to stick the fondant to the cake? 

Use water or vegetable shortening. Sugar sticks to sugar so water are the first and most appropriate answer. Always use a damp, not wet brush. Remember too much moisture can cause the fondant to melt and become sticky. 

Personally, I like to use vegetable shortening over my ganache cake before covering it with fondant. That is because I live in a high-humidity climate. You can use a damp water brush as well. And yet, I usually prefer a light smear of vegetable shortening. For buttercream cakes, water is definitely the best way to go. However, often I do not need any water because the condensation caused by my humid climate is good enough.

How long can a fondant cake sit out? 

Fondant cakes can be kept out at room temperature for 3 to 4 days and do not need to be kept in the fridge or frozen. You can also put fondant cakes with perishable fillings in the fridge. Of course, always bring the cake to room temperature before serving. Since room temperature cakes taste better than cold chilled cakes. 

Can you put a cake with fondant in the refrigerator? 

Absolutely, those who enjoy good weather can put fondant-covered cakes in and out of the refrigerator without a second thought. This also allows us to use perishable fillings in fondant cakes.

And yet, those of us that live in hot humid climates need to be careful. Because bringing the cake out from the fridge usually causes condensation. You don’t need to do anything. Just leave the cake alone until the temperature in the cake equalizes and the fondant automatically dries. It’s often when people try to fix fondant with condensation that causes issues. Depending on the weather, it can take from a few minutes to a few hours for the cake to dry out. 

How far in advance can I cover a cake with fondant? 

Fondant-covered cakes can stay out on the counter for a good 3 to 4 days. The fondant on a cake helps seal in the moisture and prevent the cake from becoming dry. Always use a good frosting on the cake before covering it with fondant. Buttercream or ganache are the two most popular frostings used. We discussed this in detail on my post – Timeline for decorating a cake. 

How long can you keep a fondant-covered cake?

Sponge cakes, if wrapped well, have a longer shelf life, especially when made from scratch. Exposure to air can cause the sponge to dry out, which is why we usually wrap cakes well in plastic or cling wrap. Fondant works as similar well-wrapped protection that seals in moisture. 

It is said, a well-stored sponge cake has a shelf life of about 2 weeks. I have never kept my sponge cakes that long outside the fridge. 

Why should you simply syrup the cake before covering it with fondant? 

Unlike dessert cakes, working on custom-decorated cakes can be time-consuming which is why we usually bake these cakes in advance. Often these cakes have a gap of 4 to 5 days from the time they are baked to the time they are consumed. To ensure these cakes stay moist when cut we moisten these cakes with additional sugar syrup. 

My sugar syrup is created with the intention of moisture rather than sweetness. You may also want to try my simple syrup for fondant cakes. Many of my cakes are less sweet than traditional ones because they do take into account the sugar syrup added to the cakes. 

How much fondant do I need for my cake?

The chart below is based on 4-inch tall cakes. For shorter heights you will need less and tall cakes will obviously need more.
Having said that, this presumes rolling fondant closer to 1/8″ thickness. If you roll fondant too thick closer to 1/4″ inch thick you will need more.

6-inch5-inch600 g1.3 lbs18 oz
7-inch6-inch750 g1.6 lbs20 oz
8-inch7-inch900 g2 lbs24 oz
9-inch8-inch1 kg2.2 lbs30 oz
10-inch9-inch1.2 kg2.6 lbs36 oz
11-inch10-inch1.5 kg3.4 lbs40 oz
12-inch11-inch1.7 kg3.7 lbs48 oz
14″inch12-inch2.5 kg5.5 lbs72 oz
14-inch2.7 kg6 lbs108 oz
Fondant cakes in a collage.
Homemade Fondant Recipe from Scratch

How to create embossed patterns on fondant

Creating embossed textured fondant is now in trend. Texture can create a more realistic effect on fondant. Embossing fondant with texture mats can add a lot of dimension to any simple plain fondant.

You can emboss fondant with almost anything as long as it is clean and food safe. You can buy textured rolling pins and mats etc. For example, you can use table mats, stencils, shelf liners, fabric, lace materials – as long as they are clean and safe with no wax or harmful powders on them. In fact, I use silicon doilies, table mats, thick embossed fabric. I even have a threaded rod that I have cleaned really well and can use it to texture my fondant. In fact you can also use everyday things and kitchen gadgets, such as foil or forks to create texture.

  • Cover a whole cake with a embossed fondant or you could use it on certain areas only.
  • You can texture fondant before you drape the cake or you can add the texture later when the fondant is still soft.
  • Embossed fondant can be used to add more character to your cake – for example, embossed flowers, borders, lace cutouts and even shapes.
Silicon molds for cake decorating.

How to create ruffles and frills on cakes?

Creating fondant ruffles and frills on cakes can add a beautiful and decorative touch. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create them:

  1. Gather your supplies: You’ll need fondant in your desired color, a rolling pin, a sharp knife or pizza cutter, a fondant smoother, and a foam pad or thin sponge.
  2. Prepare the cake: Start with a smooth, chilled cake that has been covered in a thin layer of buttercream or ganache. This layer will help the fondant adhere to the cake.
  3. Roll out the fondant: Dust your work surface with powdered sugar or cornstarch to prevent sticking. Roll out the fondant into a thin, even sheet using a rolling pin. Make sure it is large enough to cover the desired area where you want to create the ruffles or frills.
  4. Cut strips of fondant: Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut long strips of fondant. The width and length of the strips depend on the desired size and style of your ruffles. You can experiment with different widths to achieve varying effects.
  5. Create the ruffles: Lay a strip of fondant on a foam pad or thin sponge. Using your fingers or a ball tool, gently thin out and ruffle the top edge of the strip. Apply light pressure and work in small sections, moving along the length of the strip. This will create the ruffled effect. You can also use a frilling tool for more defined frills.
  6. Attach the ruffles to the cake: Apply a small amount of edible glue or water along the bottom edge of the ruffled strip. Carefully attach it to the cake, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Press gently to secure the strip in place. Continue attaching additional strips, slightly overlapping them to create a layered effect. Trim any excess fondant as needed.
  7. Repeat the process: Continue creating ruffles and attaching them to the cake until you achieve the desired design. You can create ruffles that go all around the cake or concentrate them in specific areas for an accent.
  8. Smooth and refine: Once all the ruffles are in place, use a fondant smoother to gently press and smooth the ruffles, ensuring they adhere well to the cake and creating a neat finish.
  9. Finishing touches: You can add additional decorations such as fondant flowers, pearls, or edible dust for extra flair.

Remember to practice and experiment with different techniques to achieve the desired look. Creating fondant ruffles and frills takes some patience and precision, but with practice, you’ll be able to create stunning cake decorations.

A pink birthday cake decorated with pink ruffles.

How to remove water stains from fondant?

One of the biggest issues with cake decorating is watermarks on fondant or stains on fondant. Here are a few things to do to avoid watermarks.

  • Always use only a damp not wet brush. A little water goes a long way.
  • Unless necessary do not apply water to a big area of the cake. Instead apply water/alcohol to the piece of fondant attachment.
  • If your attachment is large apply water in smaller sections to the cake, and only to places you know ;will be covered. You can always add more.
  • When attaching small flowers to larger areas of a cake such as when using a plunger cutter, have a wet sponge near us.. Dip the plunger in powder sugar, dust off any excess. Cut out your flower and before you apply the flower to you cake.  Lightly touch it to the wet sponge , then apply to the cake. This will help stick the flower with any water marks around it.
  • Never put your buttercream cakes in the freezer to chill before applying fondant. The small ice crystals that melt between the buttercream and fondant leave marks of small water droplets.

There are a few methods you can use but this simple, easy, and effortless trick for how to remove watermarks and stains on fondant will save u heartache the next time you need a quick fix.

  1. Cornstarch or powdered sugar: If the watermarks or stains are relatively fresh, you can try dusting the affected area with cornstarch or powdered sugar. Gently rub it into the fondant using a soft brush or your fingers. The absorbent properties of these powders may help to lift the moisture and lighten the stains. Leave it on for some time, then brush off the excess.
  2. Fondant smoother: If the water marks are not too deep, you can try using a fondant smoother. Rub the smoother over the affected area with gentle pressure, moving in circular motions. This might help to redistribute the moisture and blend the stains with the rest of the fondant.
  3. Steam: Steam can sometimes help to remove water marks or stains from fondant. Using a handheld steamer or a tea kettle with a spout, hold the steam a few inches away from the affected area. Be careful not to let the fondant get too wet. Gently pat the area dry with a clean, dry cloth.
  4. Fondant patching: If the water marks or stains are severe and cannot be removed completely, you can consider patching the fondant. Roll out a small piece of fondant in the same color as your cake, and carefully cut out a shape or design to cover the stained area. Attach the patch to the cake using a small amount of water or edible glue, and blend the edges with the surrounding fondant.
  5. Alcohol – Use clear alcohol on a paper towel and wipe it off. as you can see in the pictures below, the red food color on a white fondant can be removed easily with an alcohol swab.
Progress photos on removing stains from fondant.
How to remove stains from fondant on your cakes

Remember to test any method on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause any unwanted effects on the fondant. Prevention is always better than trying to remove stains, so it’s essential to protect your fondant-covered cake from water or excessive moisture whenever possible.

Tips for marbling fondant

Creating a marble effect on fondant can add a beautiful and artistic touch to your cakes. Here are some tips to help you achieve a successful marbling effect:

  1. Gather your supplies: You’ll need fondant in your desired colors (typically two to three colors that complement each other), a rolling pin, a sharp knife or pizza cutter, and a clean work surface.
  2. Prepare the fondant: Start with white or lightly colored fondant as your base. Knead it until it becomes soft and pliable. If you’re using pre-colored fondant, make sure it’s also kneaded well.
  3. Divide and color the fondant: Divide the fondant into portions based on the number of colors you want to use. Add gel-based food coloring to each portion and knead it thoroughly until the color is evenly distributed. Start with a small amount of coloring and gradually add more to achieve the desired shades.
  4. Roll out the fondant: Roll out each colored fondant separately into thin sheets using a rolling pin. Make sure the sheets are approximately the same size and thickness.
  5. Layer the fondant sheets: Place the rolled fondant sheets on top of each other in a random order. You can stack them directly on top of each other or overlap them slightly.
  6. Create the marbling effect: Gently roll the stacked fondant sheets with a rolling pin to press them together. Be careful not to press too hard, as you want the colors to blend and create a marbled effect, rather than fully mixing them. Roll in different directions to create a random pattern.
  7. Shape and use the marbled fondant: Once you’ve achieved the desired marbling effect, you can shape the fondant into the desired size or transfer it onto your cake. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut out the fondant in the desired shape.
  8. Apply the marbled fondant to the cake: Carefully lift the marbled fondant and place it onto your cake, gently smoothing it out and adhering it to the surface. Use a fondant smoother or your hands to smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles.
  9. Finishing touches: You can further enhance the marbled effect by adding additional elements like fondant decorations, piped details, or edible dust.
Progress photos of making a marble design fondant.

Remember, practice is key when it comes to marbling fondant. Experiment with different color combinations, rolling techniques, and amounts of fondant to create unique and beautiful marbled effects on your cakes.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Why is my fondant cracking? – When fondant begins to dry it starts cracking. Overworking the fondant by adding powdered sugar when kneading can dry out the fondant. Similarly, too much vegetable shortening when kneading can cause the fondant to be crumbly similar to cracking. Always knead fondant until pliable, when not using wrap well in cling or plastic wrap. The longer it sits exposed to air the quicker it starts to dry.
  • What to do if my fondant is too soft? In places with high humidity fondant may be softer. Working in an air-conditioned room helps. A dehumidifier also helps absorb moisture in the air preventing the fondant from melting. In hot humid weather adding a bit of tylose or CMC can help add a bit of firmness. 1/2 tsp to 1 lb fondant is good. In very humid weather a bit more may be needed.
  • What to do if my fondant is too dry? Usually, if you add too much-confectioners sugar when kneading the fondant can get dry. If it’s too hard to knead, place it in the microwave for 10 seconds to help it knead. Then knead it with a bit of vegetable shortening. Avoid adding too much vegetable shorting as it will cause further tearing.
  • Why is my fondant sweating? Most often the answer to this is air temperature. In hot humid weather, the sugar in fondant tends to melt easily causing sweating. In very hot temperatures you may even feel like it’s melting. Here are a few tips that may help
    • Add a bit of tylose powder or CMC to your fondant – keep it and let it rest for an hour before using it.
    • Roll the fondant using only cornstarch and no powdered sugar (powdered sugar causes stickiness with sweating)
    • Try to cover your cake in an air-conditioned room, or at the cooler hours in the evening.
    • Once you cover the cake – let the cake rest alone until the fondant sweats and dries out. This can take an hour or a few hours.
    • Once dried continue to decorate your cake.
  • Why is my fondant tearing?
    • The fondant needs to be rolled not too thick and not too thin. Thin fondant will tear because fondant depends on gelatin to hold it together which cannot be rolled too thin.
    • If rolled too thick it tends to tear with its own weight.
    • While it sounds impossible it is easy to find the right thickness to roll fondant. Between 1/4 to 1/8 inch.
  • My marshmallow fondant is too hard what can I do? Thaw the fondant in the fridge for 10 seconds so you can knead it. Then add a teaspoon or two of glycerin to help soften it. Next, add vegetable shortening and knead it some more.
  • If this still does not work, it’s best to use this fondant for decorative purposes and decorations. Make a fresh batch for covering the cake.

Homemade fondant recipes

The BEST Homemade Fondant Recipe

If you are looking for the best homemade fondant, sugar paste, recipe that’s affordable and also tastes good, then this is it. This homemade fondant recipe is soft, elastic, and works great in any weather. And most of all, unlike store-bought fondant, this one actually tastes delicious. This recipe is so simple, easy and effortless. It will have you making fondant for all your cakes. And if you are a novice, you will be surprised how easy it is to work with.
Check out this recipe
A cake decorated with pink fondant.

The Best Homemade Marshmallow Fondant

What could be better than a fondant that tastes like candy and smells of marshmallow? This homemade marshmallow fondant recipe is a must-have for kids' cakes. This simple and easy recipe uses only three ingredients and has an incredible stretch. As a result, covering a cake becomes easy peasy.
Check out this recipe
A close up of a cake decorated with stars.

Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant

This homemade chocolate marshmallow fondant is a delicious sugar paste recipe with the taste of marshmallow and chocolate.  This simple, easy and effortless recipe is made with real chocolate and cocoa powder for that rich chocolate taste. Whether you cover a cake, cookies or cupcakes this chocolate fondant is always a real treat. 
Check out this recipe
A lump of Chocolate fondant.

Perfect Homemade Black Fondant Vanilla or Chocolate

Coloring fondant black can be trick and even a nightmare sometimes. But my method will help you make perfect homemade black fondant recipe every single time. It’s an easy and full proof method whether you use my recipe Black Chocolate Fondant or Black Vanilla Fondant recipe.
Check out this recipe
A black fondant decorated cake.

Homemade Vegetarian Fondant from Scratch

This homemade vegetarian fondant recipe is a fondant recipe without gelatin.  This simple easy and effortless recipe uses agar-agar which is plant-based. The recipe is adapted from my most popular recipe homemade fondant recipe from scratch. This vegetarian fondant is also vegan, eggless, dairy-free and Parve and can be used to cover cakes, cookies or cupcakes.  
Check out this recipe
A cake decorated to look like a lady's handbag and stiletto.

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  1. Carrie Feinstein says:

    I am making 100 stamped fondant toppers for sugar cookies for my daughters wedding in 2 1/2 weeks. Can I make the toppers in advance? Like start now? Or should I wait until a few days before the wedding. At that point I will adhere them to the sugar cookies and put into a clear bag with a twist tie. I have a 5 lb tub of vanilla satin ice fondant waiting! Any advice would be very much appreciated!

    1. Carrie, ideally you can freeze fondant for months but I’m concerned in this case that the condensation process during the thawing will ruin some of the stampings in the fondant. It may not be as defined as when you make it. I suggest you do a few and freeze them for a day or two. Then see what effect it has on the fondant once thawed. If it works you have your answer. Hope this helps.

  2. Nadia Beam says:

    What brand of fondant so you use?

  3. I live in the Caribbean and it’s very hot and humid. I want to make cakepops for a party (outside) can I cover them with Fondant and will it work for an outside party or will it just melt?????? HELP
    Thank you julie

    1. Yes, you can cover cake pops with fondant. They do hope better than buttercream. I’d say use ganache for binding instead of buttercream. Fondant does become soft but does not melt as easily as frosting.

  4. Good evening Ma’am…
    Had a question… I made cupcakes with fondant toppers with ganache frosting.. However wen the cupcakes reached the customer couple of toppers had cracked /became soft as it absorbed the moisture from the frosting… Can you please let me know how to over come this..
    Must I make the base of the topper thicker or use a different kind of frosting or is there a 3rd alternative

    Also how long can this fondant toppers stay with out cracking on cupcakes without getting soft/ cracking

    1. Kimberly, Sounds like you live in a hot and humid climate so the chocolate frosting melted causing the toppers to melt.
      I would recommend not adding the toppers on the cupcakes until you have cooler circumstances or at least after it has done traveling in the heat.
      Alternatively, you can make a gumpaste disc, dry it and place it as a barrier between the topper and the frosting. Gumpaste once hard does not soak as much frosting as fondant.
      I hope this helps

  5. Hello ma’am
    I am home baker, living in Odisha. I faced many problems at the time of fondant was sticky if I put it on room temperature(outside).if I refrigerated it, then when I took it out of refrigerator it was again sticky. What should I do?

    1. Sounds like you live in a hot and humid place Ranjita. Fondant is sugar based so it will meat in heat and condense when taken out of the fridge. You have to keep it cool at all times

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