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!
If you’re working with it to make figures or sugar flowers make sure that you don’t leave it out in the open air. We seal ours up in zip lock bags or in an airtight container.
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!
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!
It’s still winter time which we LOVE! Yes, it may not feel like it should be what with stores a-plenty pushing earlier spring inspired collections. Winter doesn’t end for some time yet (around March 19th in the northern hemisphere) so enjoy it! It’s the perfect season… or at least we think so. Cosy evenings, hot coffees, and pristine white snow covered streets. So why not celebrate the season with some pretty (and easy) fondant snowflake adorned cupcakes and cakes? Those super fabulous folks over at Craftsy let us whip up a simple yet sweet fondant snowflake tutorial that needs no moulds or cutters! Head on over to the Craftsy.com blog for our step-by-step guide!
Easy fondant snowflake tutorial!
We used our fondant snowflakes to adorn a collection of frosted rose inspired cupcakes we created recently. Instead of finishing with our usual sugar rose leaves we nestled snowflakes onto the sides of each frosted (no pun intended) cupcake. Perfect for a winter inspired treat! These easy edible snowflakes would look rather darling on the sides of bright white cakes or even on royal iced cookies! Frozen themed birthday cakes? Yup, they’d look great on those too!
If you’re super prepared and thinking up ideas for next Christmas then we’re pretty sure that these fondant snowflakes would look utterly adorable on decorated gingerbread houses.
Our tutorial is pretty straightforward and shows you how to create the simple shape we’ve used on our cupcakes (dusted with pearlescent edible lustre dust no less). If you’re feeling adventurous you can experiment using different sizes, shapes and even colours. Ice blue snowflakes studded with sugar pearls sound pretty cool (pun intended). Or what about blue pink or rose quartz (one of Pantone’s colours of 2016) flakes with a subtle shimmer of edible glitter in more of a star-like shape?
For Easter or general spring-themed treats it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed, but why not add a little extra sweetness to your cakes with our surprisingly pain-free tutorial for an adorable fondant (or gum paste) chick! This little cutie is perfect for adding a little character to novelty cupcakes or freshly baked cakes so read on for our step-by-step guide on how to make your very own lovable little bird.
How to create a fondant chick tutorial…
Yellow fondant/sugar paste or gum paste/modelling paste
Small black fondant balls approx. 4mm in size
A little orange fondant
Pink petal dust
Uncooked spaghetti stick
Small ball tool
Small blossom cutter
Step 1: Make a small ball of yellow fondant approximately the size of a standard marble. This will be your chick’s body.
Step 2: Roll a larger ball of yellow fondant similar in size to a golf or ping pong ball. This will become the head.
Step 3: Take a piece of spaghetti stick around 1cm longer than the first small ball of fondant you rolled and dip in edible glue before plunging carefully down the centre of your chick’s body (aka the smaller ball you rolled in step 1).
Step 4: Paint the exposed part of the spaghetti with edible glue and attach the larger ball/ head onto the body.
Step 5: For the beak take a small ball of orange fondant and mould into a rounded triangular shape. Attach in the centre with edible glue.
Step 6: Indent two circles onto the head just higher than the middle of the ball to create the eye sockets. Attach the black fondant balls with edible glue.
Step 7: To add wings roll two equal sized balls of fondant a quarter of the size of the body. Flatten and smooth a little with your hands before pinching one side of each to form a tapered wing shape. Attach to the sides of the chick’s body with edible glue.
Step 8: For cute tiny feet roll out some orange fondant to a thickness of around 4mm and cut two blossom shapes with a cutter of each chick. Attach to the bottom of the body with three scallops or petals of the blossom poking out from underneath.
Step 9: If you want to add a cute little tuft of feathers on the head create three tiny teardrop shapes of yellow fondant and attach to the top with a dab of edible glue.
Step 10: Finally add some lovely flushed cheeks with a little pink petal dust!
You can easily customise your fondant chick to suit so many different themed cakes and treats. Add tiny baseball caps or flags for sports themed designs, attach a bold fondant letter to them to personalise a fun party cake for someone special or change the colours (like blue for a Twitter addict)!