As many of you know, I like to make cakes on occasion. I’ve only made a few, most with butter cream and the star tip. Last year for my son’s third birthday I attempted to use fondant for the first time. (Disaster photos are here.)
His birthday is coming up in a few months and I want to try fondant again. This time, I’ve decided to try it on a cake that has no purpose.
No one needs to see it if it’s a failure.
I took photos to share here in case it turned out, but honestly I think I would have shown them even if it was another disaster.
Here’s what I did:
This is the final result. I’ll take you step by step below:
I baked a pretty regular cake, just three chocolate layers from a box. Nothing fancy.
Then, I covered it with Wilton’s butter cream frosting. Get the recipe here. This is a great frosting for decorating, but I swear, I am going to search for another one. It’s so greasy and hard to clean up. Don’t even get me started on coloring this frosting. It’s a nightmare. But, it does the trick and kids love it.
I didn’t take a whole lot of care with this layer of frosting, knowing that I was going to be using fondant on top. If this cake were going somewhere other than my stomach, I would let this “set,” then do another layer to be sure that all the crumbs are covered.
TIp: Whatever you see in your butter cream layer, will show up under the fondant.
I bought fondant this time. Frankly, it’s cheaper to buy it than to try to make it. And, for my first, uh second, attempt, I didn’t want to hassle with a recipe that might not work. If you go to Jo Ann or Michael’s you can buy a box with a coupon and it’s like $2.50. One box covered this entire cake and allowed enough to roll two colors for cutting shapes.
I think buying the fondant while learning is the way to go, but it doesn’t taste very good. I know there are some good recipes out there, so I’ll try those out when I have more time to experiment.
So, back to the rolling.
Roll with a rolling pin. Put powdered sugar down and just roll.
Pick up and move.
Roll some more.
Shift and move.
Next, I tried to roll it onto the rolling pin so that I could gracefully place it on top of the cake.
It seemed to be getting stuck so I sprinkled powdered sugar on it. That didn’t work, it kept getting stuck so I gave up.
I just picked the whole thing up and put it on top of the cake. It was bigger than I thought.
Next, I tried to elegantly drape the fondant over the sides. Harder than it looks on TV. My piece was big enough that I had room for it to move and could easily guide it so there wasn’t any wrinkles. You just have to keep lifting and moving.
Lifting and moving.
Lifting and moving.
Lift and move, now smooth.
After I was done smoothing, I trimmed the bottom with a knife. I tried a pizza cutter, but it just wasn’t cutting it!
Looks pretty good so far, I think.
You can see some of the imperfections from the crumb coat, but I honestly can’t tell they were there once it was completely decorated.
Next was colored fondant. I didn’t include photos of how I colored the fondant, but this is what I did:
- Took a ball of fondant
- Add tiny bit of food coloring (the gel kind, not regular liquid food coloring) with a toothpick … or, if you are like me, just use the end of a fork or spoon.
- Then, pull and roll the fondant like taffy.
I had blue and yellow … which is what you see on the final cake. I didn’t plan a blue and yellow cake, but it’s just what I had in the house.
Once the fondant is colored, just roll it out and start cutting with cookie cutters.
This is great for little hands.
I fell in love with the tiny squares and circles.
We were cutting out a ton of them and I didn’t know what to do with all of them.
Then, I had this brilliant (or insane) idea to do a dental pattern.
It took a long time, but was worth it. And, it was a great learning lesson about patterns. My 3-year-old loved it!
To get the shapes to stick, just put water on them and press onto the cake. The fancy cake shows on cable tell you to use a brush, but I just used my fingers.
How many more of those little, tiny shapes do I need?
Dental pattern done.
Love the moon … got that by cutting a circle, then using the same circle cutter on the inside, cutting away most of the circle.
So, I’m not a professional cake decorator, but I think this is pretty cute.
Yeah, did you notice that blob on the photo above? Here’s a close-up. My son loved cutting the shapes. I couldn’t keep up with him. I was trying to be strategic and artistic where I put the shapes. Then, he hands me this blob and wanted to know what shape it was. He’s leaning over to put it on the cake and I grab it to stop him. I didn’t want him messing up this cake.
What? Please excuse my moment of insanity.
This is a just a, cake.
It’s just a practice cake.
“Put that S-H-A-P-E on this cake, my son!”
Viola! Success with fondant. This post took more time to do than using fondant. I’ll definitely try it again.