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Fondant Cake Decorating

It's Not as Hard as You Think!

this three-tiered cake is a beautiful example of fondant cake decorating Fondant cake decorating is an increasingly popular choice for decorating all sorts of special occasion cakes. We've all seen those reality TV baking shows, haven't we? You know, The Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes, and the unbelievable creations those bakers come up with. It's enough to make anyone nervous about attempting one at home!

Once you get the hang of it, though, fondant cake decorating really isn't hard at all. It is time-consuming, and there are a couple of techniques and tools to learn about, but it's also a really fun process and a great creative outlet as well.

So roll up your sleeves and get ready to get sticky!

So, What's Fondant?

The term can mean several different things in the food world. For cake decorating purposes, fondant is a type of icing traditionally made from sugar, corn syrup and water.

And How Do You Make It?

Wondering how do you make fondant? The traditional way is to cook it on the stove top The traditional way is to cook those three ingredients together until the mixture reaches a certain temperature and then stir it for ages until it reaches a very thick consistency.

If you don't want to stir until your arm falls off, you can process the fondant in a food processor for several minutes. It works just as well. Flavorings and food coloring can be added too.


an example of a fondant cake decorated with poured fondant If you add extra sugar syrup to this mixture and warm it up you'll get what's known as poured fondant. You can ice cakes, cupcakes or petits fours with this type of fondant. It has a lovely, shiny finish.

fondant birthday cake decorated with rolled fondant If you knead the mixture instead of adding extra sugar syrup, you'll make rolled fondant. This is the kind most people are familiar with. It's rolled out thinly with a rolling pin and used for covering cakes, making cutouts, sculpting little figures, and making all sorts of intricate and colorful cake designs.

There are a couple of not-so-traditional ways to make fondant too. There's the popular marshmallow fondant recipe (MMF) and another no-cook recipe which originated in England that we'll refer to as classic rolled fondant. We have a great, no-fail classic rolled fondant icing recipe that covers cakes beautifully. It calls for a couple of less common ingredients than the MMF recipe. There's also rolled buttercream fondant. Try them each and see which one you like best.

The main purpose of fondant (at least the kneaded and rolled kind) is decoration. Although it's certainly edible, many people find it too sweet, and rolled fondant is often peeled off the cake and left on the plate. The poured fondant, however, is a different story. It has a wonderful texture and taste (it picks up the flavorings better) and in our opinion, absolutely makes petits fours. Yum!

Both rolled and poured fondant can be made from store-bought mixes if you're pressed for time or low on motivation. But they're definitely not as good as homemade!

Working With Fondant

Fondant cake decorating can be a time-consuming process but it's definitely worth it. The design possibilities are practically endless, and it really is a great outlet for your artistic tendencies. Just imagine all the things you can do with rolled fondant!

You can...

  • cover a cake with it
  • top cupcakes with it
  • ice cookies with a very thin layer of it
  • dye it any color you like with food coloring
  • paint it any color you like with food coloring or food painting pens
  • flavor it (vanilla, almond, and rum extracts come to mind)
  • make decorative cutout shapes with it
  • roll it into "pearls" and use them as a border
  • braid strands of it and use it as a border
  • twist strands of it and use it as a border
  • drape it like fabric over a portion of your cake
  • make cute little figures out of it
Whew! Take a look at these fondant birthday cakes and you'll get a taste (sorry, couldn't resist) of the endless possibilities of fondant cake decorating. !-- AddThis Button END -->

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