Part of becoming a well-rounded cake decorator is mastering fondant.
Whether you fully cover cakes in fondant or add small details (like I do of some of my cakes), it will elevate your skills and status as a superstar decorator. It could even help you get higher-paying clients if you have a home baking business.
Here, I’ll teach you the steps to understand and master fondant. You’ll learn what fondant is and why you want to use it on cakes, how to knead, roll and store fondant. Finally, you’ll get a list of must to have tools to make working with fondant easy.
Let’s Get Started!
Part 1: What is Fondant?
In Part 1, we’ll discuss what fondant is and why you want to use it on cakes!
When mastering fondant, it takes time and patience; the more you work with it, the better you’ll become.
First of all, what is fondant?
Fondant is made from sugar, water, gelatin, and vegetable fat. I like to think of fondant as an edible clay; it stretches and can be modeled into any shape or design.
You’ll probably hear from some people that they don’t like the taste of fondant. Well, I’ll be honest and tell them, “Okay, great, you don’t have to eat it, but it’s still a great way to make amazing cakes!”
The truth is, sometimes it’s the only way to achieve a specific cake design. A good example is if you have seen some of my animal cake tutorials where I use fondant to make the animal’s features. The fondant creates smooth facial features that transform a buttercream cake into something fun!
The fondant brand I recommend is Satin Ice, I have used them for ten years, and I haven’t had any complaints.
If you would like to take it one step further, then you can make homemade fondant. Here is a link to my homemade fondant recipe. https://xokatierosario.com/homemade-fondant/
You’ll make it with melted marshmallows, powdered sugar, and vegetable shortening. It tastes like vanilla marshmallows, but you can add different flavored extracts and food coloring to make it your recipe.
Part 2: 3 Steps to Mastering Fondant
To master fondant work, you must also learn the three steps: kneading, rolling and storing fondant.
Many home bakers are intimidated by fondant, but with these three steps, then you’ll be off to a better start and become more confident.
- Kneading: When kneading fondant, use the palm of your hand and press down into the fondant, then fold over half and repeat. Use two hands or switch off with one to make it more comfortable but knead fondant for about 2 minutes before moving on. Think of working with fondant like making bread or pie crust. It’s important to knead your fondant to work out the bubbles and make it moist again. Fondant needs the warmth from your hands to help it come together and ultimately prevents it from cracking/being dry. The heat from your hands activates the sugar and makes the fondant smooth and elastic, which we need to make shapes. Note: if the fondant is sticking to your hands or needs more moisture in it, then use a teaspoon of vegetable shortening at a time.
- Rolling: Make sure to use a non-slip silicone-based mat to roll out your fondant. You can find these types of mats at any cake supply store, craft store, or online like Amazon. These silicone mats are a lifesaver when working with fondant. The mats don’t slide around or stick as well as quick to clean. Then use a smooth silicone or harden plastic fondant rolling pin. They come in all sizes. I typically use a 9-inch rolling pin for most small fondant work or use a larger rolling pin to cover the cake in the fondant. Treat the rolling of fondant like you would a cookie dough or pie crust. Move it around a lot to prevent from sticking a little cornstarch also does the trick. Move the rolling pin back and forth to keep the fondant even.
- Storing: fondant can store fondant for a decent amount of time. Wrap fondant in plastic wrap or place into a plastic Ziploc bag before placing the fondant into an air-tight container. Then store it in a cool, dark place for best results. If you are using a brand like Satin Ice, it tends to last longer, like one year, whereas homemade fondant lasts about 2-3 days before getting dried out and hard to work with later. If you are making fondant decorations ahead of time, then place the cutout pieces on a baking tray lined with parchment paper to dry throughout. Once the fondant pieces have dried, wrap the whole baking tray in plastic wrap to get ruined or dirty.
Make sure you practice kneading, rolling, and storing fondant to become more comfortable with this product. If you mess up, then mix the fondant back up into a ball and re-knead it.
As fondant is super durable, it can handle being kneaded and rolled out several times!
Part 3: Must-Have Fondant Tools
In this Part 3, I’ll talk about the must-have tools you need when using fondant.
Below I have compiled a list of the tools you need to make cool, fondant shapes and designs.
Must-Have Fondant Tools
- Non-slip silicone mat (half-sheet or large sheet)
- X-acto knife
- fondant rolling pin (9-inch or 20-inch)
- Modeling tools (clay tools work well)
- Fondant smoother
- Paintbrushes (in a variety of sizes)
- Silicone impression molds (many designs to pick from)
- Cornstarch and vegetable shortening
- Piping gel (or water to stick fondant together)
- Cookie cutters (get different shapes & sizes – heart, circle & squares)
- Half Sheet Baking tray
- Parchment paper
Now your next question might be, where do I purchase these tools. You can find these at a cake supply store, craft store, or an online marketplace like Amazon.
These fondant tools are certainly an investment for you; I know they can get expensive, so I recommend slowly buying these tools as you need them but for now, start with a silicone rolling mat, rolling pin, and x-acto knife.
Side note: Okay, please be aware when cutting with an x-acto knife that you don’t cut into your silicone mat; I can’t tell you how many times I have ruined a new silicone mat by cutting on it so deeply that I went straight through the fondant and the mat. I learned from my mistake and used a cutting board underneath the fondant or lightly cut on the silicone mat.
You May Also Enjoy These Cakes That Use Fondant:
- Mermaid Buttercream Cake
- Watermelon Cake
- New Years Eve Champagne Cake
- Black Cat Cake
- Pineapple Buddy Cake
- Koala Cake
- Easter Bunny Cake
- Honey Lemon Bee Cake
- Rainbow Surprise Cake
- Teddy Bear Cake
- Polar Bear Cake
- Snowman Cake
- Woodland Fox Cake
- Hedgehog Cake
- Llama Cake
If you feel like you need more information or have any questions about baking and decorating, I’m happy to help because I love this cake community so much. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can serve you better!
Watch The How-to Video Below: