How to Decorate a Cake With Fondant Icing

Are you looking to add a touch of elegance and creativity to your cake decorating? In this article, we will explore the art of how to decorate a cake with fondant icing. Fondant is a versatile and pliable icing that allows you to create stunning designs and decorative elements for your baked creations. Whether you are a seasoned baker or just getting started, mastering the use of fondant can take your cake decorating skills to the next level.

When it comes to creating show-stopping cakes, the use of fondant icing has become increasingly popular in the world of baking and confectionery. From weddings and birthdays to special events, fondant provides a smooth and flawless canvas for bringing your creative vision to life on a cake.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything from choosing the right cake for fondant to troubleshooting common issues that may arise during the decorating process. We will also share tips and tricks for working with fondant icing, helping you to achieve professional-looking results with ease.

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and confidence needed to showcase your beautiful fondant cake creations. So let’s get started on this delightful journey into the magical world of fondant icing.

Choosing the Right Cake for Fondant

When it comes to decorating a cake with fondant icing, choosing the right type of cake is essential. Not all cakes are suitable for fondant, and selecting the wrong kind can result in a less than stellar outcome. Here are some tips for choosing the right cake for fondant icing:

Structural Integrity

The best cakes for covering with fondant are those with a sturdy, dense texture. Sponge cakes or airy chiffon cakes may not hold up well under the weight of fondant and can lead to an uneven or sagging appearance. A moist, firm cake such as butter cake or pound cake is ideal for supporting the weight of fondant.

Flat Surface

In addition to having a sturdy structure, it’s important to choose a cake that has a flat top and straight sides. This will make it easier to achieve a smooth and even finish when covering the cake with fondant. If your cake has a domed top, consider leveling it off with a serrated knife before applying the fondant.

Flavor Compatibility

Consider how the flavor of your chosen cake will complement the taste of the fondant icing. While vanilla or chocolate cakes are classic choices that pair well with most flavors of fondant, you can also experiment with different flavor combinations such as lemon cake with lemon-flavored fondant or red velvet cake with cream cheese-flavored fondant.

By taking these factors into consideration when choosing a cake for fondant icing, you can ensure that your finished creation not only looks beautiful but also tastes delicious.

Preparing the Cake for Fondant Icing

Before you can start decorating a cake with fondant icing, it’s essential to ensure that the cake is properly prepared. Here are some steps to follow when getting your cake ready for fondant:

1. Leveling the Cake: Trim the top of the cake to make it level using a sharp serrated knife. This will ensure that the fondant lays smoothly on top without any lumps or bumps.

2. Applying a Crumb Coat: Before adding the fondant, it’s essential to apply a thin layer of buttercream or ganache to seal in any crumbs. This will give the fondant a smooth base to adhere to.

3. Chilling the Cake: Once you’ve applied the crumb coat, place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up the icing before adding the fondant.

Remember that preparing your cake properly is crucial for achieving professional-looking results with fondant icing. Taking these steps will ensure that your final decorated cake looks polished and seamless.

By following these preparation steps, you’ll be setting yourself up for success and making it easier to create a beautiful masterpiece with fondant icing.

Rolling Out the Fondant

After choosing the right cake and preparing it for fondant icing, the next step is rolling out the fondant. This is a critical step in achieving a smooth and flawless finish on your cake. The key to rolling out fondant successfully is to work quickly but carefully.

Before rolling, make sure to sprinkle powdered sugar or cornstarch on your work surface to prevent the fondant from sticking. You’ll also need a rolling pin specially designed for fondant to ensure even thickness.

When rolling out the fondant, try to roll it into a circle about 1/8 inch thick and at least two inches larger than the diameter of your cake. This extra size will allow enough fondant to drape over the sides of your cake and give you room for smoothing without tearing.

It’s important to keep lifting and turning the fondant as you roll, adding more powdered sugar or cornstarch underneath as needed. Be sure not to stretch the fondant while rolling, as this can lead to cracking or tearing when you cover your cake with it. With patience and practice, you’ll achieve a perfectly rolled out piece of fondant ready for decorating.

Rolling Out TipsAdditional Info
Use powdered sugar or cornstarchPrevents sticking
Roll into a circle about 1/8 inch thickShould be at least two inches larger than cake diameter
Lift and turn while rollingAdd more powdered sugar/cornstarch if needed

Covering the Cake With Fondant

After successfully rolling out the fondant, the next step in decorating a cake with fondant icing is covering the cake with the fondant. This is where your patience and precision will pay off as you work to create a smooth, flawless finish on your cake.

Preparing the Cake for Fondant

Before applying the fondant, it’s important to make sure that your cake is ready. The surface of the cake should be smooth and free of any crumbs or irregularities. Some bakers prefer to apply a thin layer of buttercream or ganache to the cake before covering it with fondant, as this helps the fondant adhere to the cake and provides a smoother base for decorating.

Applying the Fondant

Once your cake is prepped and ready, it’s time to apply the fondant. Carefully lift the rolled-out fondant using a rolling pin to help support it, then drape it over the top of the cake. Gently smooth down the top and sides of the cake, working from the center outwards to eliminate any air pockets or wrinkles. Trim away any excess fondant around the base of the cake using a sharp knife or pizza cutter.

Creating Sharp Edges

To create sharp edges on your fondant-covered cake, use a smoother tool or your hands to firmly press against the base of the cake while pulling excess fondant away. This technique will help create clean lines and prevent any gathering or folding of excess fondant around the bottom edge of your cake.

By following these steps and taking your time, you can achieve a beautifully covered cake that serves as an exquisite canvas for adding decorative elements with fondant icing.

Adding Decorative Elements With Fondant

Decorating a cake with fondant icing is a fun and creative way to add an extra special touch to your baked creations. Once you have successfully covered your cake with fondant, it’s time to get creative and add decorative elements. Here are some tips for adding decorative elements with fondant:

  • Use a variety of shapes: Fondant can be rolled out and cut into various shapes to create beautiful decorations. Use cookie cutters, fondant cutters, or even free-hand cutting to create flowers, leaves, hearts, or other shapes to adorn your cake.
  • Utilize molds: Fondant molds are a great tool for creating intricate designs and patterns. You can use them to make detailed flowers, lace patterns, or other decorative elements that will give your cake a professional finish.
  • Embossing: Embossing fondant involves using embossing tools or textured rolling pins to create patterns and designs on the surface of the fondant. This can add depth and visual interest to your decorations.
How to Decorate Cake With Roses

When adding decorative elements with fondant, it’s important to work efficiently so that the fondant doesn’t dry out. Keep the unused fondant covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying while you work on your decorations.

Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to working with fondant, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempts aren’t exactly as you envisioned. With time and patience, you’ll be able to create beautiful and impressive decorations for your fondant-covered cakes.

Troubleshooting Common Fondant Issues

When working with fondant icing, there are a few common issues that may arise. One of the most frequent problems is air bubbles forming under the fondant as it is applied to the cake. To prevent this, it is important to use a fondant smoother to carefully smooth out the icing and press out any air bubbles. Additionally, make sure to roll out the fondant to an even thickness before applying it to the cake.

Another common problem when working with fondant is cracking or tearing as the icing is being applied. This can occur if the fondant is rolled too thin or if it dries out too quickly. To avoid this issue, be sure to work quickly but carefully when covering the cake with fondant, and keep any unused fondant covered to prevent it from drying out.

Finally, sometimes small imperfections or blemishes may appear on the surface of the fondant after it has been applied to the cake. These can often be smoothed out using a small amount of vegetable shortening on your fingertips. Gently rub over the affected areas to help eliminate any imperfections.

It’s important not to get discouraged if you encounter these or other issues when working with fondant. With practice and patience, you can learn how to troubleshoot and overcome these common problems for a beautifully decorated cake every time.

Common Fondant IssueTroubleshooting Tips
Air bubbles forming under fondtantUse a fondant smoother to press out air bubbles and roll out fondant evenly
Cracking or tearing of fondantWork quickly but carefully when applying and keep unused fondont covered
Imperfections on surface of fondatafter applicationSmooth out blemishes using vegetable shortening on fingertips

Tips and Tricks for Using Fondant Icing

Fondant icing can be a beautiful and versatile way to decorate a cake, but it does require some skill and know-how to use it effectively. Here are some tips and tricks for using fondant icing to create stunning cake designs:

1. Keep it Warm: When working with fondant, it’s important to keep it warm and pliable. If the fondant becomes too cold, it can become stiff and difficult to work with. To keep the fondant warm, microwave it in short intervals or knead it with your hands until it softens.

2. Use Cornstarch or Powdered Sugar: When rolling out the fondant, be sure to dust your work surface with cornstarch or powdered sugar to prevent sticking. You can also dust your rolling pin with the same to ensure that the fondant rolls out smoothly without tearing.

3. Store Fondant Properly: Fondant can dry out quickly if not stored properly. Be sure to wrap any unused fondant tightly in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container at room temperature. This will help prevent the fondant from drying out and becoming brittle.

By keeping these tips and tricks in mind, you can create a beautifully decorated cake using fondant icing. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to showcase your skills by creating stunning designs that will impress friends and family alike.


In conclusion, decorating a cake with fondant icing can be a fun and rewarding experience for any baker. The use of fondant allows for endless creative possibilities when it comes to designing and personalizing a cake for any occasion. From birthdays to weddings, the smooth and flexible nature of fondant makes it the perfect medium for creating stunning and professional-looking cakes.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can showcase your beautiful fondant cake with confidence. Remember that choosing the right cake and properly preparing it are crucial steps in ensuring the success of your fondant decoration. Rolling out the fondant evenly and covering the cake smoothly are essential techniques to master, as they will contribute to the overall polished look of your creation.

Furthermore, adding decorative elements with fondant allows you to let your creativity shine. Whether you’re sculpting figurines or incorporating intricate designs, fondant provides the versatility needed to bring your vision to life. With a little practice and the utilization of tips and tricks, you can navigate through common fondant issues and create a masterpiece that will impress any audience. So go ahead, embrace the magic of fondant icing and showcase your beautiful creations for all to enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Use Fondant on a Cake for Beginners?

Using fondant on a cake for beginners involves preparing the cake by covering it with a thin layer of buttercream or ganache to create a smooth surface for the fondant. Then, roll out the fondant to the desired size and gently drape it over the cake, smoothing out any air bubbles or wrinkles.

With practice and patience, beginners can also use fondant molds or cutters to create different shapes and designs to decorate their cakes.

How Do You Get Fondant to Stick to a Cake?

To get fondant to stick to a cake, you can lightly brush the surface of the cake with a simple syrup or water before applying the fondant. This helps create a slightly tacky surface that allows the fondant to adhere smoothly without sliding off.

It’s important not to use too much liquid, as this can cause the fondant to become too wet and sticky.

Can You Put Fondant Icing Straight Onto Cake?

Yes, you can put fondant icing straight onto a cake, but it’s important that the cake is properly prepared beforehand. This includes leveling and crumb-coating the cake with a thin layer of buttercream or ganache to ensure a smooth base for the fondant.

Without this preparation, the texture and moisture of the cake can cause issues with how the fondant adheres and appears on top of it.

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