Knowing how to cover a cake with fondant (or sugarpaste, depending on where you’re from!) is an essential skill when it comes to cake decorating. Rolling fondant may sound simple, however, as you’re about to discover, there’s a lot more to it than that! Here at Cake Decoration and Sugarcraft magazine, we’re passionate about decorating techniques, from beginner to expert!
So, read on to find out exactly how to roll out fondant and to how to smooth fondant. We’ve got a fantastic video from Charlotte White of Restoration Cake, full of tips, tricks and top techniques on how to use fondant, including the best method for transferring the fondant to the cake (the most heartstopping element involved!) and how to stick fondant to cake. We’ve also got an ultimate guide from our friends at Culpitt, with step-by-step instructions on how best to cover a cake with fondant.
Both Charlotte White and Culpitt's methods are just as good as each other, so simply see which suits you best!
How to cover a cake with fondant: video tutorial
Recommended edibles: buttercream, fondant/sugarpaste, cornflour
Recommended equipment: side scraper, rolling pin, spacers
Recommended edibles: buttercream, fondant/sugarpaste
Recommended equipment: sharp knife, rolling pin, palette knife, scissors, cake smoother
Preparing the Cake
1 Using a sharp knife, trim the top off the cake to give a flat, level surface.
2 With the knife at a 45-degree angle to the cake, trim the sharp corner where the cake top and side meet.
3 Spread a small amount of buttercream in the middle of the cake board and centre the cake on top.
4 Skim a thin layer of buttercream icing over the surface of the cake to prevent escapee crumbs and help the fondant stick.
How to Roll Out Fondant
1 On a clean work surface, knead the fondant until it is a similar texture to warm plasticine. Use your hands to mould the fondant into a disc shape.
2 Dust the work surface.
3 Use the table above to work out how large the rolled-out fondant sheet needs to be.
4 Using a rolling pin, roll the fondant away from you in one direction. Then lift the paste, rotate it by 90 degrees and roll in the same way
5 Continue rotating and rolling the fondant until it is the required size and around 6mm thick.
How to Smooth Fondant and Cover the Cake
1 Bring the cake as close to the rolled-out fondant as possible.
2 Gently life the fondant up and place it centrally over the top of the cake. You may find it easier to roll the fondant over the rolling pin to carry it to the cake.
3 Beginning at the top of the cake, use your hands to gently mould the fondant around the cake and then over the cake board. With gentle pressure, smooth the fondant with your hands.
4 Using a palette knife or scissors, trim the excess fondant to help prevent stretching. You can trim the fondant along the bade of the cake or around the cake board.
5 Check the fondant to see if there are any bubbles of trapped air. Pierce any you find with a pin or the tip of a sharp knife.
6 Using a cake smoother held flat to the top of the cake, apply gentle pressure in a circular motion to smooth the fondant until it is flat and level.
7 With the same motion, gently round the edges between the top and side of the cake. Then move on to the side of the cake, rotating the cake as you work around it. You may find this easier if you use a turntable.
1 Make sure there is no water on the work surface when working with fondant/sugarpaste/icing in general.
2 Use your arms and wrists as well as your hands when rolling fondant, so remove all jewellery.
3 Use your forearms or a rolling pin to transfer the fondant to the cake.
4 Fondant dries quickly when you stop working it, so transfer as quickly as possible.
5 Always smooth fondant upwards, as if you were applying moisturiser!
As we always say, never leave your cake board naked! Check out our Top Tips for Using Ribbon on Cake!
After all that, you should definitely know how to cover a cake with fondant. Knowing how to use fondant may seem simple, but as you have seen, just rolling fondant is hard enough, before you even start learning how to smooth fondant and then stick fondant to cake! Keep your eyes peeled for more tip tips, tricks and techniques coming up!