How to Cover a Decorated Cake

The art of cake decoration has become increasingly popular in recent years, captivating the hearts and taste buds of both amateur bakers and professional pastry chefs alike. From birthdays to weddings, a beautifully decorated cake has the power to make any occasion truly special.

However, knowing how to cover a decorated cake is an essential skill that every aspiring cake decorator should possess. Whether you’re new to cake decoration or looking to enhance your existing skills, this article will guide you through the steps of covering a cake with finesse and flair.

Imagine presenting a gorgeously decorated cake at a party, only to have the fondant cracking or air bubbles marring its smooth surface. It’s certainly not the desired outcome after putting in so much effort into your creation.

Mastering the technique of covering a decorated cake is crucial not only for aesthetic reasons but also for preserving the delicate flavors and textures underneath. With the right tools and knowledge, you can achieve flawless coverage that elevates your cake from homemade to bakery-quality.



Have you ever wondered how professional bakers create those picture-perfect cakes that look straight out of a magazine? The secret lies in their ability to flawlessly cover their creations with fondant. But fear not. Learning how to cover a decorated cake is within reach for anyone willing to put in some time and effort.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take you step-by-step through the process of covering your cakes like a pro. So get your apron on and let’s dive into the enchanting world of cake decoration. Prepare to impress your friends and family with stunning creations that taste as good as they look.

Essential Tools and Materials for Cake Decoration

Introduction

Cake decoration has become increasingly popular in recent years, with bakers and home cooks alike taking on the challenge of creating beautifully decorated cakes. Whether it’s for a birthday, wedding, or special occasion, knowing how to cover a decorated cake is an essential skill for any aspiring cake decorator. In this section, we will explore the essential tools and materials needed to achieve stunning cake decorations that will impress even the toughest critics.

The Importance of Quality Tools

Before diving into the world of cake decoration, it is important to have the right tools at your disposal. These tools not only make the decorating process easier but also ensure that your finished cakes look impeccable. Some of the essential tools you’ll need include:

  1. Offset spatula: This tool is used for spreading frosting evenly on the cake and achieving a smooth surface.
  2. Bench scraper: A bench scraper helps level the frosting on the sides of the cake and gives it a polished finish.
  3. Piping bags and tips: These are essential for creating intricate designs or adding fine details such as writing.
  4. Turntable: A turntable allows you to rotate the cake while decorating, making it easier to reach all angles and achieve even coverage.
  5. Fondant smoother: This handy tool helps create a flawless finish on fondant-covered cakes.

When it comes to purchasing these tools, quality is key. Invest in good-quality tools that will last longer and give you better results. Specialty baking stores or online retailers often have a wide selection of professional-grade tools specifically designed for cake decoration.

Finding High-Quality Materials

In addition to having appropriate tools, using high-quality materials is equally important when covering a decorated cake. Some materials you’ll need include:

  1. Cake boards: Sturdy cardboard or foam boards provide support for your decorated cakes.
  2. Cake boxes: These are essential for transporting your cakes without damaging the decorations.
  3. Fondant: A pliable icing that provides a smooth, polished finish to your cake. It’s available in different colors and can be flavored or left plain.
  4. Food coloring: Gel-based food coloring is preferred as it gives brighter colors and does not affect the consistency of the frosting or fondant.

Look for these materials at specialty baking stores or online retailers that cater specifically to cake decorators. Remember that good-quality materials will ensure a better end result, so it’s worth investing in them.

By having the essential tools and materials ready, you are well-prepared to embark on your cake decoration journey. In the next section, we will explore how to prepare the cake itself for decoration.

Preparing the Cake for Decoration

Before you can begin covering a decorated cake, it is essential to properly prepare the cake itself. This step ensures that your cake has a smooth and even surface, which is crucial for achieving a professional-looking final result. Follow these step-by-step instructions to prepare your cake for decoration:

  1. Leveling the Cake: Start by leveling your cake to create an even surface. You can use a long serrated knife or a cake leveler for this task. Carefully slice off any domed top of the cake until it is level.
  2. Frosting the Cake: Once your cake is leveled, apply a thin layer of frosting all over the cake. This is known as a crumb coat and helps to trap any loose crumbs, ensuring that they don’t mix with your final layer of frosting or fondant. Use an offset spatula or a bench scraper for this step.
  3. Achieving Smoothness: To achieve a smooth and even surface on your frosted cake, start by chilling it in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes after applying the crumb coat. This will help set the frosting and prevent it from shifting while you continue to decorate.

After chilling, retrieve the cake and apply another thicker layer of frosting to cover any visible crumbs from the crumb coat. Use sweeping motions with your offset spatula or bench scraper to smooth out the frosting evenly.

Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to preparing the cake for decoration. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a few tries to achieve that seamless finish – patience and attention to detail will pay off in creating beautifully covered cakes.

To take your skills up a notch, consider investing in quality tools and materials specifically designed for cake decoration purposes. These tools include spatulas, scrapers, turntables, piping bags, tips, and more. Look for reputable brands that offer durable products suitable for both beginners and experienced decorators. Online specialty stores, local baking supply shops, and even some general retailers often carry a wide range of cake decorating tools.

With a properly prepared cake, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step: choosing the perfect fondant to cover your decorated cake.

Choosing the Perfect Fondant for Your Cake

When it comes to covering a decorated cake, choosing the right fondant is crucial. Fondant is a smooth icing-like substance that provides a flawless and elegant finish to cakes. There are several types of fondant available in the market, each with its own set of characteristics and properties. In this section, we will discuss the different types of fondant and help you choose the perfect one for your cake.

Types of Fondant

  1. Rolled Fondant: This is the most commonly used type of fondant for cake decoration. It is pliable and easy to work with, making it ideal for covering cakes. Rolled fondant has a sweet taste and can be flavored with various extracts for added flavor.
  2. Modeling Fondant: Also known as gum paste or sugar paste, modeling fondant is firmer and dries quickly. It is commonly used for creating intricate decorations such as flowers, figurines, and bows.
  3. Buttercream Fondant: This type of fondant combines buttercream frosting with traditional rolled fondant. It offers a rich and creamy texture while still providing a smooth finish to the cake.

Pros and Cons

  • Rolled Fondant: Pros – easy to work with, smooth finish, can be colored; Cons – can be difficult to flavor, may dry out quickly if not stored properly.
  • Modeling Fondant: Pros – dries quickly for sturdy decorations, holds its shape well; Cons – less pliable than rolled fondant, can be challenging to work with for beginners.
  • Buttercream Fondant: Pros – creamy texture, easy to flavor; Cons – may not provide as smooth of a finish as traditional rolled fondant.

Choosing the Perfect Fondatn



The choice of fondatn ultimately depends on personal preferences and the desired outcome of your cake decoration project. Rolled fondatn is a versatile option that is suitable for most cake designs. It can be easily flavored and colored to match your theme. Modeling fondant, on the other hand, is best used for creating intricate decorations. If you prefer a creamy texture and are not concerned about achieving a perfectly smooth finish, buttercream fondatn may be the right choice.

When selecting your fondatn, it is important to consider factors such as the climate and temperature in which you will be working. Some types of fondant are more susceptible to drying out or becoming sticky in certain conditions. It is also recommended to read reviews and seek recommendations from experienced cake decorators to ensure you choose a reliable and high-quality brand.

Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of fondant available, you can confidently select the perfect one for your next decorated cake project. Remember to consider your preferences, desired outcome, and the overall conditions in which you will be working. With the right fondant, you’ll be one step closer to creating stunning and professionally finished cakes.

Rolling and Applying Fondant to the Cake

Rolling and applying fondant to a cake is a crucial step in the cake decorating process. It requires precision and attention to detail to achieve that smooth, flawless finish. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to roll out fondant and apply it to your decorated cake:

  1. Prepare Your Work Surface: Before rolling out the fondant, make sure your work surface is clean and lightly dusted with cornstarch or powdered sugar. This prevents the fondant from sticking and makes it easier to lift onto the cake.
  2. Roll Out the Fondant: Take a small portion of fondant and knead it until it becomes pliable. It should be warmed up but not too sticky. Dust your rolling pin with cornstarch or powdered sugar, then roll out the fondant into a thin, even layer. Rotate the fondant occasionally to ensure an even thickness.
  3. Lift and Drape: Gently lift the rolled-out fondant by folding it over your rolling pin. Carefully position it over the top of your frosted cake, making sure it covers the entire surface evenly.
  4. Smooth Out Air Bubbles: Starting from the center of the cake, gently press down on the fondant with your hands, working outward toward the edges. Use smooth, sweeping motions to eliminate any air bubbles trapped underneath.
  5. Trim Excess Fondant: Once you have smoothed out any air bubbles, use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to trim off any excess fondant around the bottom edge of the cake. Be careful not to cut too close to the cake itself.
  6. Blend Seams: If you are using multiple pieces of fondant to cover a larger cake or create a design, gently blend any seams together by smoothing them with your fingers or using a smoothing tool specifically designed for fondant.

Remember, practice makes perfect when working with fondant. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts aren’t flawless. With time and experience, you will develop the skills needed to achieve that professional look.

Some additional tips for applying fondant to a cake:

  • If the fondant starts to dry out while you’re working with it, lightly rub your hands with shortening or vegetable oil and knead it into the fondant. This will help restore its moisture.
  • Work quickly but gently when covering the cake with fondant. Fondant can dry out and crack if exposed to air for too long.
  • If you encounter any tears or cracks while applying the fondant, gently pinch the area together and smooth it over with your fingers or a small amount of water. The water acts as a glue to mend any imperfections.
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With these steps and tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of rolling and applying fondant to a decorated cake.

Smoothing and Shaping the Fondant

After successfully rolling out and applying fondant to your decorated cake, it is crucial to focus on achieving a smooth and polished finish. Smoothing the fondant not only enhances the overall appearance of the cake but also provides a clean canvas for further embellishments. Here are some techniques to help you achieve a flawless finish:

  1. Smooth with a Fondant Smoother: One of the most effective tools for smoothing fondant is a fondant smoother. Gently press the smoother against the sides and top of your cake, moving in small circular motions. This technique helps remove any air bubbles or wrinkles, resulting in a smooth surface.
  2. Viva Paper Towel Method: Another popular method for achieving a smooth finish is using Viva paper towels. Place a clean, non-patterned paper towel against the fondant-covered cake and gently rub it all over using your hands or a fondant smoother. The slight texture of the paper towel absorbs excess moisture and smoothens out any imperfections.
  3. Cornstarch and Quick-Drying Mist Technique: If you encounter any stubborn creases or uneven spots, you can dust cornstarch lightly over these areas and use a quick-drying mist on them. The cornstarch helps absorb moisture from those spots while the mist aids in blending them seamlessly into the rest of the fondant.

Once you have achieved a smooth surface, it’s time to shape the fondant as per your design vision. Depending on the intricacy of your cake decorations, shaping might involve creating ruffles, folds, or intricate designs using various tools such as sculpting tools, embossers, or cutters.

Remember that shaping should be handled delicately to prevent tearing or damaging the fondant cover. By experimenting with different techniques and incorporating personal creativity, you can bring your cake design to life through thoughtfully shaped fondant.

Now that you have learned how to smooth and shape fondant, your cake is ready for the next step – adding the final touches and embellishments. Stay tuned for our next section where we will discuss various options for giving your decorated cake that extra “wow” factor.

TechniqueDescription
Fondant SmootherA tool used to smooth the surface of fondant-covered cakes by pressing against the sides and top of the cake.
Viva Paper Towel MethodThe technique involves using a non-patterned paper towel to rub over the fondant-covered cake, helping to remove imperfections and creases.
Cornstarch and Quick-Drying Mist TechniqueThis technique is useful for dealing with stubborn creases or uneven spots. By dusting cornstarch and applying a quick-drying mist, you can blend those areas seamlessly into the rest of the fondant.

Troubleshooting Fondant Issues and Tips for Fixing Them

Covering a decorated cake with fondant can be a challenging task, even for experienced bakers. There are times when issues arise, such as tearing, cracking, or the dreaded air bubbles. However, with the right knowledge and some helpful tips, these problems can be easily fixed.

One of the most common issues faced while working with fondant is tearing. This can happen when rolling out the fondant or when applying it to the cake. To prevent tearing, it’s important to knead the fondant properly before rolling it out.

If tearing occurs while rolling, dust a small amount of cornstarch or powdered sugar on the work surface and try again. When applying fondant to the cake, use your hands to gently smooth out any wrinkles or folds and carefully patch up any tears with a small piece of fondant.

Cracking is another common issue that can occur when covering a decorated cake with fondant. Cracks usually appear due to dryness in the fondant or if it has been rolled too thin. To prevent cracking, make sure to properly moisturize your hands before handling the fondant. If cracks do appear on the cake after covering it, you can try using a small brush dipped in water or vegetable shortening to fill in the cracks and smooth them over.

Air bubbles are perhaps one of the most frustrating issues that can occur when working with fondant. They not only affect the appearance of the cake but also make it difficult to achieve a smooth finish.

To avoid air bubbles, roll out your fondant slowly and evenly, applying gentle pressure as you go. Once you’ve covered your cake with fondant, use a small pin or toothpick to gently prick any visible air bubbles and then smooth them over with your fingers.

By being aware of these common issues and armed with these tips for fixing them, you’ll have a better chance of successfully covering a decorated cake with fondant. Remember to be patient and practice, as cake decoration is truly an art that takes time to master. With each attempt, you’ll gain more experience and confidence in handling fondant, and soon enough, you’ll be creating stunning cakes that are sure to impress.

IssueTips for Fixing Them
TearingKnead the fondant properly before rolling it out. Dust a small amount of cornstarch or powdered sugar on the work surface when rolling. Use your hands to gently smooth out any wrinkles or folds and patch up tears with a small piece of fondant.
CrackingMoisturize your hands before handling the fondant. If cracks appear after covering the cake, use a small brush dipped in water or vegetable shortening to fill in and smooth over the cracks.
Air BubblesRoll out fondant slowly and evenly with gentle pressure. Prick visible air bubbles with a pin or toothpick and then smooth them over with your fingers.

Adding the Final Touches to the Decorated Cake

After successfully covering a cake with fondant, it’s time to add those final touches that will truly make your creation stand out. Whether you’re aiming for an elegant and sophisticated look or a whimsical and colorful design, there are countless options for embellishing your decorated cake. In this section, we will explore various ideas and techniques for adding those finishing touches that will take your cake decoration skills to the next level.

One popular option for enhancing a decorated cake is the use of edible pearls or beads. These small, shiny spheres can be purchased in different sizes and colors, allowing you to customize your design to match any theme or occasion. Whether you choose to sprinkle them delicately across the entire surface of the cake or create intricate patterns and designs with them, edible pearls can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your creation.

Another way to add flair to a decorated cake is by using edible flowers. These delicate blossoms not only bring beauty and color to your design but also provide an opportunity to incorporate unique flavors into your creation. Edible flowers such as pansies, violets, roses, or lavender can be used on their own or combined with other decorative elements like fondant leaves or piped buttercream flowers.

For those who have honed their piping skills, piping is another excellent technique for adding exquisite details and designs to a cake. This versatile method allows you to create intricate patterns, borders, or even personalized messages on top of your fondant-covered canvas. With practice and experimenting with different piping tips and techniques, you can develop your own signature style and create show-stopping cakes that will impress everyone.

Conclusion

In conclusion, mastering the art of cake decoration is a journey that begins with learning how to cover a decorated cake. Throughout this article, we have discussed the essential tools and materials needed for cake decoration, as well as provided step-by-step instructions on preparing the cake, choosing the perfect fondant, rolling and applying fondant, smoothing and shaping the fondant, troubleshooting common issues, and adding final touches.

By following these guidelines and techniques, readers can become skilled at covering cakes with fondant and create beautifully decorated masterpieces. However, it’s important to remember that skill comes with practice. Experimenting with different cake decoration techniques and styles will help develop creativity and proficiency in this art form.

For those who are truly passionate about becoming master cake decorators, there are numerous resources available for further learning and improvement. Online tutorials, baking classes, workshops, and even professional certifications can provide valuable guidance and education in cake decoration. Additionally, connecting with other enthusiasts in online communities or attending local baking events can offer inspiration and support on this journey.

So don’t wait any longer – start your journey to becoming a master cake decorator today. With dedication, practice, and a willingness to explore your creativity, you will soon be able to create stunning works of edible art that will delight not only your taste buds but also those who have the pleasure of admiring your beautiful creations. Happy decorating.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you cover a cake after decorating?

After decorating a cake, it’s important to cover it properly to protect the icing and keep it fresh. One common method is using a cake dome or a large, clear plastic container that can fit over the cake without touching the icing. This provides a protective barrier while still allowing you to showcase your beautiful decoration.

Another option is to use plastic wrap or aluminum foil tented loosely over the cake, ensuring it doesn’t come in direct contact with the icing. This helps maintain the moisture and prevent any damage to the decoration. Additionally, if you have space in your refrigerator, storing the cake there can help preserve both the appearance and taste.

How do you cover a cake without ruining the icing?

Covering a cake without ruining the icing requires some careful handling and consideration. One approach is to use toothpicks inserted around the perimeter of the cake and then gently drape a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap over them, creating a tent-like structure that covers the cake without pressing against the icing.

It’s essential not to press down on the icing as you cover it since this can smudge or deflate delicate decorations. Alternatively, you can try using tall bowls or inverted large mixing bowls placed upside-down over smaller cakes to provide protection without touching their surface.

What can I use to cover my cake?

There are various options available for covering cakes effectively while keeping them fresh during storage. One common choice is a sturdy and tight-fitting cake carrier specifically designed for this purpose. Cake carriers often feature air-tight seals and handles for easy transportation while maintaining freshness.

If you don’t have a dedicated carrier, opting for large food storage containers with snap-on lids can achieve similar results. Make sure they are clean, dry, and spacious enough to accommodate your decorated cake without compromising its design or texture. Additionally, you may consider using reusable silicone stretch lids that conform to various shapes and sizes of cakes, providing a seal that protects against air exposure while preserving frosting integrity.



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