My First Fondant Cake: A Beginner's Experience
Actually My First Cake Ever
To me cooking, baking and anything to do with the kitchen has been associated with drudgery and oppression. Since I was a child and the girls were made to wash the dishes after family events and the boys left to fritter their time away I have avoided the kitchen and "women's work". I never expected that one day I would actually be excited about baking a cake and decorating it with fondant. So what changed? I saw pictures of these amazingly designed cakes made out of fondant (at the time had no clue what fondant was). They looked like edible works of art and were breathtaking. It seemed very creative and got my creative juices flowing. I wanted to see how easy or hard making one of these fondant cakes could be, and the best way to find things out it my trying them yourself. So I took the plunge and made my first fondant cake. Below I will show you the steps and missteps I took and the tools I tried.
My Finished Fondant Cake
The Baking Process
What you have to do before working with the fondant
The first step was to make the cake. You can make the cake from scratch or buy a cake mix and save a few steps. Since I was interested in the decorating process I was not concerned what the cake would taste like and wanted to speed up the process I chose a lemon cake mix that turned out to be yummy.
Using a Cake Mix
When using a cake mix you will need to add some additional ingredients like eggs and oil so make sure you read the box before you start out. I actually forgot to pick up some eggs but luckily a friend let me borrow a few.
Things I learned
Make sure you mix the batter until smooth. If you leave lumps you will create air pockets and it might make your cake crumble when removing from the pan (this happened with the second fondant cake I made).
Yummy Cake Recipes - Starting Your Cake Off on the Right Flavor
While I used a cake mix to make my cake you can always choose to make your cake batter from scratch. Listed below are some tasty cake recipes you can try.
- Double Chocolate Chip Cake
From Robinhood.ca comes this delicious chocolate cake recipe
- Banana Split Cake
Another selection from Robinhood.ca that is inspired from the ice cream shop.
- Grandma's Cinnamon Apple Cake
A combination of apples and cinnamon makes this cake recipe seem irresistible.
- Persian Love Cake
Find the recipe for Persian Love Cake and other recipes at Epicurious.com
- Make A Chocolate Layer Cake
Chocolate Heart Layer Cake with Chocolate-Cinnamon Mouse from Epicurious.com.
Lemon Cake with Lumps and Peaked Center
Time to Level the Cake
A Smooth Start is Necessary for Fondant Icing Application
I baked two nine inch cakes. I put the icing on the platter to hold the cake in place and attached the first layer then leveled it. I added more icing to stick the next layer and then leveled it. I covered the whole cake in icing before the cake was ready to receive Fondant.
What I learned
That the hardest part of the whole process was working with the icing after I leveled the cake. Dealing with the icing was frustrating. Cake crumbs kept getting mixed in the icing.
Icing the Cake
Frustrated with Buttercream Icing? - What I should have done
Not expecting the buttercream icing to be hard to apply I didn't look for a tutorial to help with my application. You see my results above and I really could have used this advice. This is a video tutorial I found on youtube that shows you how to get a smooth buttercream cake finish.
From this video I deduced I did not apply enough frosting or use the right tip with my icing bag. I also found a new use for my glider for caking smoothing.
Next time I will be more prepared for icing my cake with buttercream frosting.
Rolled Fondant: What is it like? - Using the Fondant
I had no idea what rolled fondant looked like. I was expecting to see looking like a pita rolled up in a package; instead I found a brick of fondant that looked more like a bar of soap. It was hard to work with at first. It took a lot of kneeding to get it to pliable. I worked with smaller pieces to make it easier and then combined them before I rolled them out using a fondant roller on my mat. I used white fondant but there are a multitude of rolled fondant colors available or you can use dyes with you white fondant.
You have to work the dye in well to get a consistent look.
Place the Rolled Fondant on the Cake
This is a great tool because it shows you how much fondant you have to roll out to cover your cake. I made a 9 inch cake so I rolled out the fondant a few inches larger than I needed . My philosophy is that it is better to have extra than not enough.
Fondant Cake for Beginners
I smoothed my fondant cake and then placed it in the fridge to set for a couple of hours. After I rolled out some blue fondant and wetted the back with water and stuck the blue color to the cake. I smoothed it out, but I was not concerned that the edges on the top of the cake be straight as I was using the blue to create the appearance of a body of water.
My Favorite Resource
I found the articlee entltled "Fondant Cake Decorating: Play-Doh for Grown-Ups" by janet21 very helpful with tips,advice and techniques for working with fondant. It actually inspired me to create my first fondant cake.
Getting Your Decorations to Stick
I used water to attach my decorations and it worked well for me; but wilton recommended the use of a combination of water and gum paste to adhere the decorations more securely.
Wilton Fondant Cake Designs - Rated Easy - Tutorials to help you create your first fondant cake.
Below find fondant cake ideas to get you started on your first fondant cake project. All these projects come from the Wilton website. This website is a great resource for project ideas, available baking pans, and how to tutorials.
- Swirls Unfurled Cake
A rose scallop bow and fun swirls bring this pretty pink package cake to life! The fondant decorations are a breeze to cut using Sugar Sheets! punches and cutting inserts.
- Pretty as a Present Cake
Making a fondant bow is an easy technique to learn. Strips of fondant are folded into loops and allowed to dry. Later you assemble the loops into a bow right on your cake top.
Fondant Cake Decorations: Flowers and Bag of Pixie Dust
Creating Button Flowers - Find the right tool for the job
I used this press to make all the flowers on my fondant cake. I used it to make my decorations out of fondant but you could use gum paste or a combination of the two.
How to use it:
Use the back side to cut a square of fondant. Place the square in the center of the press and push down. Lift up the press and remove excess fondant around the petals and button center. Replace the lid on the press and push down one more time in order to make the details stronger.
What I found:
This is a very easy way to make flowers. I had trouble removing the flowers from the mold, and sometimes I was hit or miss with getting the flower details even though I did follow the directions. I imagine, though, this was more a problems with the person pressing the flowers than the press itself.
Fondant Versus Gum Paste Cake Decorations
What is the difference?
Going in to this project I read you could use fondant to decorate the cake so I did, but I heard the term gum paste which could be used interchangeably. I still was curious about the difference between the two decorating mediums.
Here's what I found out when I researched the difference:
Fondant is primarily used to cover the cake but gum paste is usually used to make the cake decorations because of it's durability. Gum paste is elastic and can give your flowers or other decorations a more realistic appearance. Gum paste dries extremely hard while fondant will get hard over time but not as hard as gum paste; however, Wilton recommends a 50/50 blend of fondant and gum paste for you decorations.
Putting the Decorations Together
Get your fondant cake attached
To attach my decorations to the cake I put water on the back of the decorations. It seemed to adhere fine.
If you do tear a piece of your fondant you can always cover it with a decoration and no one would no know the difference.
I made three decorations on the cake from hand. The big lily pad and the ring sitting on the pad. I added the ring to represent lost things, and placed pixie dust at the base of the cake to represent magic.
Once you have the fondant workable it is much like using modeling clay to mold. If you can make simple decorations using play dough you will be able to easily construct some simple decorations.
Additional Cake Decorating Tools - Learning more creative ideas
I bought this gum paste tool kit to use on my cake. I played around with a few of the tools and utilized a couple when making the cake, but not to any great extent; though, I expect to get more use from these tools as I proceed to make more and more cakes because I read all about the cool uses for these tools in the instruction manual that came with the set.
Without the instructions and explanations of what the tools are used for I would have been so lost.
What I did use was the lifter/smoother, and the tool to make the flower centers look more realistic (though I used it to make my sack of Pixie Dust look more realistic. I played around with the leaf vein tool but didn't need it because I used the press and I tried the rounded tool to make the flower petals look more realistic.
Completed Fondant Cake
Helpful Fondant Decorating Tips - Sites that know how to make cakes look good.
If you are looking for more fondant cake decorating tips these sites have you covered.
- Fondant Cake Decorating: It's Like Play-Doh for Grown Ups
Learn about fondant decorating, how to work with it, and how to apply it.
- Fondant Decorating Techniques
Tips and advice for decorating fondant cakes with fondant.
- Fondant Icing, Working with Fondant, Fondant Decorating
How To Decorate Cakes with Fondant Icing
- How to Decorate With Fondant | eHow.com
If you are decorating a cake for a special occasion or event, use fondant. Fondant is smooth and will make your cake look like it came straight from a professional cake decorator. Fondant is easy to apply and can be used as decoration in many differe
- How to Decorate a Cake With Fondant - MonkeySee
How to Decorate a Cake With Fondant: I am Norman Davis and this is Zane Beg. I am a Certified Master Sugar Artist and Pastry chef