I recently posted a tutorial on How to Crumb Coat a Cake, the second half in this tutorial is on covering the cake with fondant. If you have not read my previous tutorial please do so as it offers great advice on preparing your cake for the fondant. I have tried so many different methods and did not master this until after I had tried about twenty times. My failure was due mostly to following other’s directions, it wasn’t until I tried things they said not too and just tried my own ways until I finally figured it out that I got it down. After using these methods of crumb coating and covering a cake in fondant I have not had any disasters, errors , or problems. Once you eliminate the stress involved in doing these things you will be surprised how much faster the process becomes and how much more time you can spend in the creativity part of your project.
The photos in this tutorial were taken in my horribly lit dining room, so please forgive me for the shadows. I also was holding a heavy camera with one hand in these shots, so yeah sorry about that
A hard working surface
Satin Ice fondant (I have used them all, this one is tasty, reliable, and smooth)
A sugar shaker full of confectioners sugar
A rolling pin with spacers ( I like Wiltons)
A mat (I used this awesome silicone mat which you can purchase HERE, or anywhere else you find it)
Fondant smoother (not shown)
Once my cake has been crumb coated and set in the fridge overnight or freezer for a few hours I dye my fondant and get to work covering the cake. Generously cover your mat in sugar and a little on top of your fondant.
Roll your fondant out using a rolling pin with spacers. I like to roll mine thicker than 1/8 of an inch like most people suggest. So I use the yellow spacers that Wilton provides for their roller. Make sure you have enough fondant to cover your whole cake.
Grab your cake to make sure you have rolled out enough fondant to cover the top and down all the sides. Personally I like to roll out extra to be safe. Smooth the top of the rolled fondant with the fondant smoother.
Gently pick up your fondant and place it over your cake. If you misjudge your first landing you should be able to pick it up easily and adjust because your cake and crumb coat are super firm and cold. The icing will not stick to the fondant just yet. I start smoothing the sides with my hands by gently pressing down the cake.
As you can see there are folds and the smaller the cake the bigger the folds. It is kind of like a skirt on the cake. Gently pull the edges away from the cake and smooth down with your hand. Be careful how much pressure you apply so you don’t tear the fondant from the top. It also helps to fold the very edge of the fondant. It helps to make a smoother side.
I do all of this smoothing with my hand. The warmth from your body helps to soften the sugar in the fondant just enough to get things smooth. Below you can see where the fondant started to crack. This is because I was stopping and taking pictures so much that the fondant formed a dry skin on the top, then when I bent it over the side it cracked. It is important to move as quick as you can in these steps so your fondant doesn’t dry on you. If this cannot be covered with decorations than use your finger to gently rub a pea sized amount of warm water over it. It will melt the sugar just enough to make a paste that acts like a caulk filling in the holes.
I then spend a good amount of time smoothing with the fondant smoother. Because my icing underneath is still chilled I am not moving it as I move the smoother, that is another common problem when covering your cake at room temperature. You move the icing around and than a smooth surface becomes impossible.
When done I cut the excess off about an inch from the actual cake and place the cake on an elevated surface. I than run my knife along parallel to the cardboard underneath the cake creating a sharp edge.
I smooth the edge slightly and prepare my base with some buttercream.
Set my cake on and I’m done. Now for my favorite part, decorating!
I hope this was helpful to you all. Please do not hesitate to ask me question in the comment section.