How to Attach Fondant Decorations to Cake

When it comes to cake decorating, fondant has become a popular choice for creating intricate and elegant designs. Fondant not only allows for the smooth covering of cakes but also enables decorators to add beautiful and detailed decorations. In this article, we will explore the art of attaching fondant decorations to cakes and discover how this technique can elevate your creations.

Fondant is a pliable sugar paste that can be rolled out into thin sheets and easily molded into various shapes. Its flexibility and smooth texture make it an ideal medium for creating intricate details and designs on cakes. From delicate flowers to elaborate 3D figurines, fondant decorations offer endless opportunities for creativity.

One of the key benefits of using fondant decorations is their ability to give any cake a touch of elegance. Whether you are designing a wedding cake or a birthday cake, fondant adds a refined and polished look that is sure to impress. With the right techniques and tools, you can achieve professional-looking results that will wow your guests.

In the following sections, we will discuss the necessary tools and materials for attaching fondant decorations, as well as provide step-by-step instructions for preparing your cake before adding the decorations. We will also delve into creating simple fondant shapes, applying fondant decorations on different types of cakes, advanced attachment techniques, troubleshooting common challenges, and finishing touches/storage tips.

So let’s dive in and explore the artistry behind attaching fondant decorations to transform your cakes into works of art.

Necessary Tools and Materials for Attaching Fondant Decorations

When it comes to attaching fondant decorations to a cake, having the right tools and materials is essential. These items not only help make the process easier but also ensure that your fondant decorations adhere properly and create a beautiful finished look. Here are some essential tools and materials you will need:

  1. Rolling Pin: A rolling pin is crucial for rolling out the fondant and achieving an even thickness. It is recommended to use a non-stick rolling pin or one with guides for an even thickness.
  2. Fondant Smoother: This tool helps in smoothing out the fondant onto the cake surface, removing any air bubbles or wrinkles. It ensures a clean and professional finish.
  3. Cutting Tools: Various cutting tools like fondant cutters, craft knives, or pizza cutters are needed to shape the fondant decorations into desired shapes or sizes.
  4. Edible Glue or Water: To ensure that your fondant decorations securely stick to the cake, you will need an adhesive such as edible glue or water. Edible glue is preferred as it dries clear and provides better adherence.
  5. Piping Gel: Piping gel can be used as a “glue” for attaching heavier fondant decorations like bows or flowers, providing extra support and stability.
  6. Paintbrushes: Small paintbrushes are helpful for applying edible glue or water onto the back of fondant decorations before attaching them to the cake.
  7. Fondant Mat: A non-stick mat specifically designed for working with fondant prevents it from sticking while rolling, shaping, and cutting decorations.
  8. Cornstarch/Powdered Sugar: Dusting either cornstarch or powdered sugar on your work surface helps prevent the fondant from sticking and makes it easier to handle.

In addition to these tools, it’s important to have the right type of fondant for your cake design. There are two main types of fondant: rolled fondant and modeling fondant. Rolled fondant is smooth and pliable, perfect for covering cakes, while modeling fondant is thicker and used to create 3D decorations or structures.

Having a well-equipped toolkit and the right type of fondant will make the process of attaching fondant decorations much smoother and enjoyable. Remember to select tools and materials based on your specific cake design, as different techniques require different tools.

Rolling PinFondant (rolled or modeling)
Fondant SmootherEdible Glue or Water
Cutting Tools (fondant cutters, craft knives)Piping Gel
Powdered Sugar/CornstarchFondant Mat

Preparing Your Cake for Fondant Decorations

Before attaching fondant decorations to your cake, it is essential to properly prepare the surface. This step is crucial as it ensures a smooth and flawless finish for your final design. Here are some step-by-step instructions to help you prepare your cake for fondant decorations:

  1. Leveling the Cake: Start by leveling your cake layers if necessary. Uneven layers can cause an unstable base for the fondant, resulting in a lopsided or sagging appearance. Use a long serrated knife or a cake leveler to trim off any domes and create even surfaces.
  2. Crumb Coating: Once your cake layers are leveled, apply a crumb coat of frosting all over the cake. A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting that seals in any loose crumbs, providing a clean surface for the fondant. Use an offset spatula or a bench scraper to spread a thin layer of buttercream frosting on the entire cake.
  3. Chill the Cake: After applying the crumb coat, place your cake in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes to allow the frosting to set. Chilling helps firm up the buttercream and prevents it from mixing with the fondant later on.
  4. Apply Final Coat of Frosting: Once chilled, evenly apply another layer of buttercream frosting over the crumb coat using smooth strokes. This layer does not have to be perfect as it will be covered by fondant later on; however, ensure that you have a leveled surface.

By following these steps, you will be able to achieve a well-prepared cake surface that is ready for fondant decorations.

Importance of Having a Smooth and Leveled Cake Surface

Having a smooth and leveled cake surface is crucial when working with fondant decorations because it provides a strong foundation and creates an elegant overall appearance.

A smooth surface allows the fondant to adhere evenly, preventing any air bubbles or wrinkles from forming. When the cake surface is level, it ensures that your fondant decorations will sit straight and won’t slide off or sag.

To achieve a smooth and leveled cake surface, make sure to take your time with the crumb coating process. It’s essential to have a thin and even layer of frosting that covers the entire cake. You can use an offset spatula, a bench scraper, or even the back of a spoon to help you achieve a smooth finish.

Additionally, leveling your cake layers is crucial for stability. Uneven layers can result in an unstable base for your fondant decorations, which may cause them to topple over or shift during transportation.

Remember, taking the time to properly prepare your cake surface pays off in the final presentation of your fondant decorated cake.

How to Create Simple Fondant Decorations

Creating simple fondant decorations is a great way to add a personal touch and unique flair to your cakes. Whether you’re a beginner looking to get started with fondant or an experienced decorator wanting to expand your repertoire, making basic fondant shapes such as flowers, bows, and hearts is a fantastic place to start. In this section, we will provide you with a beginner-friendly tutorial on how to create these simple fondant decorations.

To begin, gather the necessary tools and materials for shaping the fondant. Some essential tools include rolling pins, fondant cutters in various shapes and sizes, modeling tools for detail work, and cornstarch or powdered sugar for dusting. Additionally, consider using molds or hand shaping techniques depending on your preference and the complexity of your design.

If you choose to make flowers, start by rolling out the fondant into a thin sheet. Use flower-shaped cutters to cut out the desired shape, then gently shape the edges using your fingers or modeling tools to give them dimension. For bows and hearts, gently roll out the fondant into even strips or sheets before cutting them into the appropriate shapes.

Adding color and texture to your fondant decorations can further enhance their appearance. You can either knead gel food coloring into the fondant before shaping it or use edible dusts or paints to add vibrant hues. To create texture, consider using textured mats or embossing tools on the rolled-out fondant before cutting out your shapes.

Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to creating fondant decorations. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts don’t turn out exactly as planned – it takes time and patience to master these techniques. As you gain more experience, feel free to experiment with different shapes and designs that suit your cake decorating style.

Creating simple fondant decorations is not only fun but also allows you to customize cakes for any occasion. With these basic shapes under your belt, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of attaching fondant decorations and transforming your cakes into edible works of art.

Applying Fondant Decorations on Buttercream Cakes

Buttercream is a popular choice for cake frosting due to its creamy texture and delicious taste. Many people wonder if it is possible to attach fondant decorations onto buttercream cakes, as the two textures seem incompatible. However, with the right techniques and tools, it is indeed possible to achieve a seamless look when adding fondant decorations to buttercream cakes.

Step-by-Step Process for Attaching Fondant Decorations on Buttercream Cakes

  1. Prepare your cake: Before attaching the fondant decorations, ensure that your buttercream cake is fully chilled and firm. This will make it easier to handle and reduce the risk of damaging the frosting.
  2. Plan your design: Decide on the placement and arrangement of your fondant decorations on the cake. It is helpful to sketch out your design beforehand so you have a clear vision of how you want your finished cake to look.
  3. Secure with toothpicks or dowels: If your fondant decoration has some weight or needs extra support, gently insert toothpicks or dowel rods into the buttercream where you intend to place them. Ensure that they are secure but not protruding too much.
  4. Use edible adhesive: Apply a small amount of edible adhesive, such as royal icing or buttercream frosting, onto the back of each fondant decoration before attaching it to the buttercream cake. This will help create a strong bond between the two surfaces.
  5. Press gently: Carefully press the fondant decoration onto the desired spot on the cake, using light pressure to avoid damaging or misshaping either the buttercream or fondant.

Preventing Sliding Off or Sagging Fondant Decorations

One common challenge when attaching fondant decorations onto buttercream cakes is keeping them in place without sliding off or sagging over time. Here are some tips to prevent this from happening:

  1. Use a crusting buttercream recipe: Crusting buttercream forms a dry, firm crust when exposed to air, which provides more stability for fondant decorations. This can help prevent them from sliding off.
  2. Chill the cake: After attaching the fondant decoration onto the buttercream cake, place it in the refrigerator for a short period to allow the buttercream to set and firm up. This will help hold the decorations in place.
  3. Avoid high humidity: Fondant is sensitive to humidity, so try to work in a cool and dry environment when handling fondant decorations. Excessive moisture can cause them to droop or collapse on a buttercream cake.

By following these steps and tips, you can successfully attach fondant decorations onto your buttercream cakes and achieve stunning results. The combination of the smoothness of buttercream with the intricate designs of fondant decorations creates a beautiful and delicious centerpiece for any celebration or event.

Attaching Fondant Decorations on Rolled Fondant Cakes

Decorating a cake with rolled fondant allows for a smooth and seamless finish, making it the perfect canvas to showcase intricate fondant decorations. Here, we will provide you with detailed instructions on how to attach fondant decorations on cakes covered in rolled fondant, along with some helpful tips and recommendations.

First, it’s important to note that working with rolled fondant requires a gentle touch due to its delicate nature. To attach fondant decorations onto a rolled fondant cake, you have two options – using edible glue or water as an adhesive.

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If you choose to use edible glue, make sure it is specifically made for working with fondant. Apply a small amount of edible glue onto the back of your fondant decoration using a small brush or toothpick. Gently press the decoration onto the desired area of your rolled fondant cake. Hold it in place for a few seconds to ensure proper adhesion.

Alternatively, you can use water as an adhesive. Wetting the back of your fondant decoration slightly will activate its stickiness without drenching it. Then, press the decoration firmly onto the rolled fondant surface, holding it in place for a few seconds.

When attaching larger or heavier decorations such as figurines or 3D elements, it may be necessary to provide additional support. Insert toothpicks or dowels into the base of the decoration before attaching them to your cake. This will help anchor them securely and prevent sagging.

To ensure a clean and professional finish when attaching multiple decorations on a rolled fondant cake, pay attention to placement and spacing. Take time to plan out your design beforehand so that each decoration complements one another and fits harmoniously on the cake’s surface.

Tools and MaterialsDescription
Edible GlueA specifically made adhesive for fondant
WaterUsed as an alternative adhesive to stick fondant decorations
Toothpicks or DowelsProvides additional support when attaching larger or heavier fondant decorations

Advanced Fondant Attachment Techniques


As you become more experienced in cake decorating, you may find yourself wanting to take your skills to the next level by creating multi-tiered cakes. Stacking and layering cakes can add a sense of grandeur and elegance to your designs, and fondant decorations play an integral role in achieving that show-stopping look. In this section, we will delve into the advanced techniques of attaching fondant decorations on multi-tiered cakes.

Choosing Fondant Decorations for Multi-Tiered Cakes

When selecting fondant decorations for stacked or layered cakes, it is important to consider the overall design and theme. Choose decorations that complement each other and enhance the visual appeal of each tier. You may opt for intricate fondant flowers cascading down the sides of the tiers or delicately crafted fondant bows adorning the top borders.

To achieve a seamless transition between cake tiers, it is crucial to ensure that all fondant decorations are proportionate in size. Larger decorations work well on lower tiers, while smaller ones can be used higher up. By carefully considering size, placement, and balance, you can create a harmonious overall design.

Attaching Fondant Decorations on Stacked or Layered Cakes

Attaching fondant decorations on stacked or layered cakes requires extra care to ensure stability and longevity. Before beginning the attachment process, it is helpful to have a plan in mind for where each decoration will be placed.

To attach large fondant decorations such as bows or figurines, insert food-safe dowels into the bottom tier of the cake where the decoration will sit. These dowels provide support and prevent shifting during transportation or display. Apply edible glue or water to secure the decoration onto the dowels and press firmly against the cake surface.

For smaller fondant decorations like flowers or leaves, use edible glue sparingly as these decorations are lighter and do not require additional support. Simply apply a small amount of glue to the back of each decoration and gently press it onto the cake. Take care not to overload the cake with too many decorations, as this can compromise stability.

By following these advanced techniques for attaching fondant decorations on stacked or layered cakes, you can create impressive designs that are sure to be the centerpiece of any celebration. Practice your skills and experiment with different combinations to develop your unique style in cake decorating.

Troubleshooting Common Challenges with Fondant Attachments

Even with careful planning and execution, attaching fondant decorations to cakes can sometimes present challenges. However, with a little troubleshooting knowledge, you can overcome these common issues and achieve professional-looking results.

One of the most common problems encountered when attaching fondant decorations is cracking. Fondant can become dry and brittle, especially in certain weather conditions. To fix cracked fondant decorations, gently apply a small amount of water or edible glue to the cracked area using a brush or your fingertip. Then, press the cracked pieces together and smooth out any visible seams. Be cautious not to use too much moisture as it can cause the fondant to dissolve or become sticky.

Another challenge is when fondant decorations fall off after attachment. The key to preventing this issue is ensuring that the surface you’re attaching the decoration to is clean and grease-free. If the attachment area has any buttercream residue or excess oil, the fondant may not adhere properly. Use a clean brush or tissue to wipe away any grease before applying your fondant decoration.

Air bubbles, elephant skin (wrinkling), or bulging fondant are also common challenges in cake decorating with fondant attachments. Air bubbles can be prevented by rolling out your fondant evenly and smoothing it onto the cake in a gentle sweeping motion from one side to another while using a smoother tool to remove trapped air beneath it.

Elephant skin or wrinkling can occur if you stretch your rolled fondant too much during application. To fix this, lightly dampen your fingertips with water and rub them gently over the wrinkled areas until they smooth out.

Lastly, bulging fondant may be an indication that the cake layers were not properly leveled before covering them with frosting or rolled fondant. To avoid this issue, make sure each layer is trimmed so that they are even in height and double check that they are stacked straight on top of each other. You can also try adding a thin layer of buttercream frosting underneath the fondant decoration to help support its weight.

With these troubleshooting tips, you’ll be well-equipped to handle any challenges that may arise when attaching fondant decorations to your cake. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if you face some difficulties at first. Over time, you’ll become more skilled and confident in mastering the art of fondant attachment techniques.

Finishing Touches and Storage Tips for Fondant Decorated Cakes

Once you have successfully attached your fondant decorations to the cake, there are a few finishing touches you can add to enhance the overall design. One popular option is to use edible luster dust or food coloring to paint details onto the fondant decorations.

This can give them a more vibrant and realistic look, especially if you are making intricate pieces such as flowers or figurines. Another finishing touch is to use edible glitters or sprinkles to add some sparkle and glamour to your cake.

To ensure that your fondant decorated cake stays fresh and looks its best, it’s important to store it properly. Ideally, you should keep the cake in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. If the weather is hot or humid, it’s best to store the cake in the refrigerator.

However, keep in mind that refrigeration can cause condensation on the fondant, which may affect its appearance. To prevent this, you can place the cake inside a cake box or cover it with a loose plastic wrap.

When storing fondant decorated cakes, it’s important to avoid stacking them on top of each other as this can damage the decorations. Instead, place each cake on a separate base or sturdy cardboard circle before stacking them securely in a cake box. Additionally, be cautious when transporting your fondant decorated cake as bumps and movements during transportation can also ruin the decorations.

By following these tips for finishing touches and storage, you can ensure that your fondant decorated cake remains fresh and visually appealing for as long as possible. Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to attaching fondant decorations, so don’t be afraid to experiment and personalize your designs to create truly unique and stunning cakes. With time and patience, mastering these fondant attachment techniques will elevate your cake decorating skills to new heights.


In conclusion, mastering the art of attaching fondant decorations can truly transform your cakes and elevate your cake decorating skills. Throughout this article, we have explored the various tools and materials needed for fondant attachment, as well as techniques for preparing your cake to ensure a smooth surface. We have also delved into creating simple fondant decorations, applying them on both buttercream and rolled fondant cakes, and even advanced techniques such as stacking and layering.

By following the step-by-step instructions provided and implementing the tips and recommendations given, you will be well on your way to creating elegant and visually stunning cakes with fondant decorations. However, it is important to remember that practice makes perfect. As you continue to experiment with different designs and personalize your fondant decorations, you will develop your own unique style.

Lastly, it is crucial to properly store your fondant decorated cakes in order to maintain their freshness and appearance. This includes placing them in a cool environment away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Adding final embellishments such as fresh flowers or edible glitter can further enhance the overall design of your cake.

So go ahead, embrace the art of attaching fondant decorations to transform your cakes into works of art that are sure to impress. With dedication and practice, you will become a master at this technique and find joy in creating beautiful edible creations that will leave everyone craving another slice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will fondant shapes stick to buttercream?

Fondant shapes can indeed stick to a buttercream cake. However, the success of their adherence depends on a few factors. Firstly, it’s important to ensure that the buttercream is properly crusted or chilled before applying the fondant decorations.

This provides a firmer surface for the shapes to adhere to. Additionally, you can use a small amount of water or edible adhesive applied with a brush to help secure the fondant shapes if needed. It’s crucial to avoid using too much moisture, as this can cause the fondant to dissolve or become sticky.

How far in advance can I put fondant decorations on a buttercream cake?

The timing for adding fondant decorations onto a buttercream cake depends on several factors such as environmental conditions and specific designs being used. In general, it’s best to add these decorations as close to serving time as possible, ideally within 24 hours of when the cake will be consumed.

This helps prevent any potential issues with moisture absorption from the buttercream or humidity causing the fondant to soften and lose its shape. It’s worth noting that some more durable fondant decoration elements like loops or plaques can be made in advance and stored separately until ready for use on the cake.

How do you stick things to a buttercream cake?

To securely attach things onto a buttercream cake, there are various methods you can employ depending on the item being added. One common approach is to gently press the item or decoration directly onto the buttercream surface while it is still soft and slightly tacky. For lighter objects like wafer paper cutouts or edible images, you can lightly brush the backside with clean water and then gently press them onto the buttercream surface until they stick in place.

Alternatively, toothpicks or skewers can be inserted into larger items such as flowers or figurines, allowing them to stand upright on top of the cake without damaging its structure. Whatever method you choose, it’s crucial to handle delicate decorations with care and ensure that they are food-safe and appropriate for consumption.

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