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Today's post is inspired by a reader's question. She asked me for advice on working with fondant.  It can seem tricky if you aren't used to the nature of the product.  In fact, I started working on my own with fondant but never could get it quite right until I took a class and learned a few tricks that I wouldn't have figured out otherwise.  Here are a few important tips to help get you started.

  1. Kneed the fondant until it is pliable like taffy.  If the fondant is too dry then it won't lay right on the cake.  This was my biggest problem when I started.
  2. Make sure your surface is well covered with powdered sugar and your hands are greased with Crisco or vegetable shortening.  A fondant mat is probably a good purchase because most counter surfaces will suck the moisture out of your fondant (another problem I encountered).
  3. Fondant dries up quickly so make sure any fondant you are not using is in an air tight container AND covered in plastic wrap.

The fondant mat I just mentioned and a fondant rolling pin are great purchases.  A wooden rolling pin will suck the moisture out of your fondant so don't use that. A fondant smoother (pictured below) is also helpful in getting your fondant to lay smooth on your cake.  Just make sure it is dusted with powdered sugar or corn starch.

Buying fondant can be a bit pricey when you are starting out, that is why I use marshmallow fondant.  It is easy and cheap to make plus it tastes great! But, if you don't always have time to make your fondant, Satin Ice Fondant is a great choice.

Finally, try not to roll your fondant out too thin.  The thinner the fondant, the more imperfections you will see.  That is also why it is important to ice your cake as smooth as possible before you apply your fondant.  Once your cake is iced, let the icing crust up a bit then apply a small layer of piping gel around the bottom of your cake.  This will help the fondant to stick.  It has also been my experience that fondant on top of crusted icing gives it a cleaner look and a sharper edge.

Remember, practice makes perfect so don't give up if you have trouble the first few times.  You'll get it eventually.  If you have any other questions regarding this topic, please e-mail them to and you will get a response within 24 hours.   Your questions will also help other readers as I will continue to add to this post as they come in.

Gumpaste is very similar but it dries MUCH faster.  I am still learning the ins and outs of gumpaste, especially when it comes to making characters.  The gumpaste tricks I have been learning will be coming soon to PCD.

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2 Responses to "Fondant Decorating Tips"

  1. Chari Says:

    I did not know that about the wooden rolling pin! Guess I better get a different one since I'm getting ready to do some fondant work.

    Do you put your cake in the fridge or freezer after you apply your icing and before you apply the fondant?

  2. Kim @ PCD Says:

    Chari - You can put your cake in the fridge or leave it on the counter for a few minutes. It doesn't take long for the icing to crust. However, I believe that the fridge speeds up the process.

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