It’s OK to be scared of fondant. A lot of people are. It’s a strange and magical material that somehow has to roll out flat and then cover a 3d edible object! Whilst it can be a source of fear it doesn’t have to be…honest. We work with fondant every day and we’ve gathered a few tips and tricks over the years that help make icing our cakes smoother (pun intended by the way). Our top 5 tips for working with fondant are quick, easy to remember and small, but they’ll help make all the difference when covering cakes!
5 tips for working with fondant or sugar paste!
01: Don’t buy cheap!
One of our first and top tips for working with fondant is… never ever scoff at pricey buckets of fondant. There’s a reason they’re in a different price bracket than the rest. Better taste. Better coverage. Better elasticity. Better colour. Better consistency. A few extra coins can mean a whole lot less stress! You should test out the top brands to find out what works best for you and why. Personally, we’d highly recommend Satin Ice (we think it tastes and smells divine) and Massa Ticino Tropic. Both brands are a little more expensive than your run-of-the-mill fondant / sugar paste brands, but we won’t cover a cake or create edible decorations without them. Satin Ice is perfect for flawlessly smooth and quick setting sugar flowers, figures and cupcakes. Massa Ticino Tropic is great for covering deep tiers in high humidity!
Fondant / sugar paste dries out quick and will be super prone to unsightly cracks and loses any elasticity once it does. Make sure that you’re storing it right. If you purchased it in buckets then check there are no cracks, holes and that the lids are fastened properly. If the fondant inside was in a bag make sure this is tied up properly too. Otherwise cling film your fondant… a lot and store in airtight containers!
03: Work fast!
When it comes to covering cakes with fondant / sugar paste you need to work fast to limit over stretching, cracks, dried out patches and stiffness. Practice makes perfect with this tip so as you get more used to working with the material you’ll find your pace picks up. In the meantime, try not to dawdle or get distracted.
04: Say no to pre-coloured!
Make your work unique and extra customised by colouring your fondant from scratch. It’ll hurt, but it’s worth it. The only pre-coloured fondant you should be OK with purchasing is white (duh), cream, red and black (the last two because they are ridiculously hard to colour!). Learn your colour mixes, theory and wheel too – it’ll be invaluable!
- The Colour Mixing Bible by Ian Sidway – This book is handy for colour ‘recipes’ on different shades.
- Creative Colour Wheel – A quick and easy way to figure out what colours work together!
05: More is more!
Pleats around the base of otherwise perfectly iced cakes are a nightmare. You can easily get rid of these just by using and rolling out more fondant than you need. Pleats generally happen when you don’t have enough fondant to stretch, pull out or work with once you’ve reached the base of the cake. Use extra and make sure that you work and cover the cake all the way to the bottom before cutting off any excess!