Top 10 Tips for Fondant Icing

Take a look at these top tips from Planet Cake's Paris Cutler on decorating with fondant icing.

What is Fondant icing?

Fondant is a creamy white sugar, a thick mass used in different forms for the purpose of confectionary and cake decorating. There are different types of fondants such as rolled fondant, sculpted fondant and poured fondant.

For covering cakes we use rolled fondant as it leaves a perfectly smooth, satiny surface and is ready to use, hence the common product description ‘Ready to Roll’ or ‘RTR’. Fondants are sometimes flavored and there are a variety of different brands.

At Planet Cake we buy our rolled fondant icing as the product is good and the recipe is designed for our country’s climate. You should be able to buy rolled fondant from most cake decorating supply stores however if you wish you can also make it yourself.

TIP: Please remember that practice makes perfect, by the time you have covered three cakes they will start to look better than most of the cakes you can buy commercially. Don’t be put off by a bumpy first attempt.

IMPORTANT RULES: You will need to follow some very important rules when managing fondant icing.

1. Your icing will dry out very quickly so it is important to work quickly to avoid your icing becoming cracked and difficult to use.

2. When you are not using your icing (even for a minute) put it in a plastic bag or cover it with vinyl to avoid it drying out.

3. If you have hot hands this will tend to make your icing sticky and then you will be tempted to over use corn flour that will dry your icing. Cool your hands under cold water and keep your corn flour to a light sprinkle.

4. Weather will affect your fondant icing - humidity will make the icing sticky and very cold weather will make it as hard as rock. We often wait a day if we have bad fondant weather.

5. NEVER EVER refrigerate your icing when it is on a cake. Fondant will sweat in the fridge. Once your cake is covered it is perfectly fine to store in a cool place (20 degrees).

6. Your excess fondant icing is best stored in a sealed bag or container. Please follow instructions on how to store your particular brand of icing as we store ours at room temperature.

7. Safety: Always work the icing in small amounts and try and get above your icing when you knead it on the bench. If you are short, get a stool so you can use your body weight to help you knead. If you try and knead large amounts of icing you will put undue pressure on your wrists and make your job very difficult.

8. Never cover a cake straight from the fridge. To achieve a professional finish only cover cakes at room temperature.

9. Never use icing that is too dry or over kneaded. This will make the corners crack very easily.

10. When making dark colours (such as red, black, brown, purple) make them the day before so the icing has time to relax and rest.

TIP: There are many free videos on You Tube and also videos on the Planet Cake website if you would like to see demonstration of covering a cake with fondant before you start, please bear in mind that butter cream cakes follow a slightly different process to using ganache.

Rolling Fondant

Kneading and rolling fondant is an important part of cake decorating. We use old-fashioned elbow grease and rolling pins to roll our fondant out to the perfect consistency and thickness. A clean, smooth surface is ideal for rolling.

Constantly add CORN FLOUR to your surface to ensure the fondant doesn’t stick, but only add this to the surface of the table, not the top of the fondant. The ideal thickness of fondant to cover a cake is 3mm, because let’s face it, no one wants a thick blanket of fondant to overpower the delicious cake inside. A pasta machine can be used to roll out even sheets of fondant if you are adding decorations and details to your covered cake.

TIP: Kneading icing is not like kneading dough. If you keep pummelling it will stick to the board and become unmanageable. Treat your icing a bit like play dough, keeping folding it in until it is smooth and warm to use but does not stick to the bench.

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Posted by Georgie1tReport
Did you add Tylose for your sculptures that's what sets RTR Icing quickly its a stiffener. It also acts as a glue to stick to your cakes just add some water into your Tylose.
Posted by Report
I made fondont for the first time, I rolled it too thick, then on the cake it seemed to harden Is this normal?????
Posted by Report
I have to laugh at all the talk about fondant icing drying quickly. I have been waiting for 2 days for my fondant sculptures to dry. I have added a ton of powdered no avail. The fondant is just as soft and supple today as it was when I started.
Posted by nosheen khattakReport
i usually use rolled fondant for my cakes and had the problem of stickiness but now i will remember these tips to avoid this problem , thanks for such a good suggestion
Posted by Report
Thanks for Giving me a nice advice.