How to Decorate a Cake With Fondant

Decorating a cake with fondant is a skill that can transform a simple dessert into a work of art. Fondant, a smooth and pliable icing, has become increasingly popular for its versatility in creating beautifully intricate designs on cakes. Whether you are an experienced baker or simply looking to try your hand at cake decoration, working with fondant opens up a world of exciting possibilities.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of decorating a cake with fondant, from gathering the necessary tools to applying the final finishing touches. Get ready to unleash your creativity and discover the art of cake decoration with fondant.

Fondant provides the perfect canvas for creating stunning designs on cakes. Its smooth texture allows for clean lines and intricate details that can’t be achieved with regular buttercream frosting alone.

The use of fondant adds an extra layer of professionalism and sophistication to any cake design, making it perfect for special occasions like birthdays, weddings, or anniversaries. Decorating with fondant is also an opportunity to let your imagination run wild – whether it’s sculpting delicate flowers or crafting adorable figurines, there are endless possibilities when it comes to bringing your cake vision to life.

Before diving into the world of fondant cake decoration, it’s important to have all the necessary tools and materials at hand. From rolling pins and smoothers to edible glitter and coloring mediums, each tool serves a purpose in achieving that flawless fondant finish.

An organized workspace is essential as well – having all your tools within reach and keeping your work surface clean will save you time and prevent any mishaps along the way. So gather your supplies, clear off some counter space, and get ready for some creative fun as we delve into the step-by-step process of decorating a cake with fondant.

Gathering the Necessary Tools and Materials

When it comes to decorating a cake with fondant, having the right tools and materials is essential. To ensure a successful fondant decoration, it is important to gather all the necessary items before starting your project. Here is a comprehensive list of tools and materials you will need:

  1. Fondant: Start by choosing the color or colors of fondant you want to work with. You can either buy pre-colored fondant or color it yourself using food coloring.
  2. Rolling Pin: A rolling pin specifically designed for working with fondant is recommended. It should be smooth and free of any imprints.
  3. Cake Smoother: This tool is used to smooth out the surface of the fondant once it has been applied to the cake. It helps in achieving a clean and polished finish.
  4. Fondant Mat or Non-Stick Surface: Using a non-stick surface or silicone mat will make it easier to roll out the fondant without sticking.
  5. Fondant Cutters: These are available in various shapes and sizes and are used for cutting out decorative elements like flowers, leaves, and shapes.
  6. Water Brush: This brush is used to apply water as an adhesive when attaching fondant decorations onto the cake.
  7. Cornstarch or Confectioners’ Sugar: These are used as dusting agents while working with fondant to prevent sticking.
  8. Pizza Cutter or Craft Knife: These tools can be used for trimming excess fondant from around the cake after applying it.
  9. Piping Gel or Edible Glue: These adhesives can be used instead of water for attaching heavier or larger decorations made of fondant.
  10. Paint Brushes: If you plan on painting or adding details with food coloring, small paint brushes will be necessary.

Remember to always work on a clean and organized surface that has been thoroughly washed before starting your project. Having all your tools gathered in one place will ensure a smooth and efficient cake decorating process.

Preparing the Cake for Fondant

Before applying fondant to a cake, it is crucial to properly prepare the cake to ensure a smooth surface and professional-looking decoration. Follow these steps to get your cake ready for fondant:

  1. Leveling the Cake: Start by ensuring that your cake is level. Use a serrated knife or a cake leveler to carefully trim off any domed or uneven tops, creating an even, flat surface. This step is essential as it prevents the fondant from cracking or sagging.
  2. Crumb Coating: Once your cake is level, it’s time for the crumb coat. Apply a thin layer of buttercream or ganache all over the cake, sealing in any loose crumbs. The crumb coat provides an additional layer of support and helps the fondant adhere smoothly.
  3. Chilling the Cake: After crumb coating, refrigerate your cake for at least 30 minutes to allow it to firm up. Chilling will make it easier to handle when applying the fondant and reduces the risk of smudging or misshaping.
  4. Smoothing the Surface: Before applying fondant, ensure that your chilled crumb-coated cake has a smooth outer surface. Use an offset spatula or bench scraper to gently smooth out any imperfections in the buttercream or ganache layer.

By following these steps, you’ll create an ideal base for your fondant decoration. A well-prepared cake not only ensures better adhesion but also sets the stage for a flawless and professional-looking final product.

Tools and MaterialsDescription
Serrated knifeA long-bladed knife with small teeth used for leveling cakes.
Cake levelerA tool with adjustable blades used to cut cakes at an even height.
Buttercream or ganacheSmooth and creamy frosting, acting as a base for the fondant.
Offset spatulaA long, narrow spatula with a bent handle used for smoothing icing on cakes.
Bench scraperA wide, flat blade used to smooth the sides of the cake and create sharp edges.

Kneading and Rolling Out the Fondant

Once you have gathered all the necessary tools and materials for decorating a cake with fondant, the next step is to knead and roll out the fondant. This process is crucial to achieving a smooth and professional-looking finish on your cake.

To prepare the fondant for use, start by kneading it gently with clean hands. Kneading helps to warm up the fondant, making it more pliable and easier to work with. It also helps remove any air bubbles that may be trapped inside. To knead the fondant, follow these steps:

  1. Dust your clean work surface lightly with powdered sugar or cornstarch to prevent sticking.
  2. Divide the fondant into smaller portions if needed, depending on the size of your cake.
  3. Take one portion of fondant and begin kneading it by pushing it away from you with the heels of your hands.
  4. Fold the fondant in half towards you and repeat the process.
  5. Continue kneading until the fondant becomes smooth, elastic, and easy to stretch without tearing.

Once you have achieved a smooth texture, it’s time to roll out the fondant. Rolling out requires some care and precision to avoid tearing or stretching unevenly. Follow these steps for successful rolling:

  1. Sprinkle your work surface lightly with powdered sugar or cornstarch.
  2. Place a portion of fondant onto the surface and shape it into a flat disk using your hands.
  3. Use a rolling pin to roll out the fondant in one direction, away from you, applying even pressure as you go.
  4. Rotate the fondant periodically to ensure an even thickness throughout.
  5. Lift and move the fondant occasionally while rolling to prevent sticking.

Remember to roll out enough fondant so that it will cover your entire cake adequately, with some excess for trimming.

By following these techniques for kneading and rolling out fondant properly, you’ll be well on your way to creating a beautifully covered cake with a flawless finish.

Applying Fondant to the Cake

Once you have prepared your cake and kneaded and rolled out your fondant, it’s time to apply the fondant to the cake. This section will walk you through the steps of properly covering the cake with fondant, while also offering tips and tricks to avoid common pitfalls such as air bubbles and wrinkles.

Step 1: Prepare the Cake

Before applying the fondant, make sure that your cake has been properly crumb coated and chilled. This will create a smooth base for the fondant application. Take your chilled cake out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes to slightly soften.

Step 2: Roll Out Your Fondant

Take your rolled-out fondant and carefully drape it over your cake. Start by placing one side of the fondant onto the top of the cake, allowing it to naturally fall down over the sides without stretching or pulling. Be gentle as you work with the fondant to avoid tearing or warping its shape.

Step 3: Smooth and Shape

Using a fondant smoother or a rolling pin, gently smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles on the surface of the cake. Start from the center of the cake and work your way towards the edges, lightly pressing down as you go. If you encounter any stubborn air bubbles, use a needle or pin to gently puncture them.

Step 4: Trim Excess Fondant

Trim off any excess fondant using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, following along with the edge of the cake board for a clean finish. Take care not to cut too close to the edge, leaving enough excess for shaping or decorating.

Step 5: Final Touches

Now that your fondant is smoothly applied, you can add additional decorations such as ribbon borders, edible pearls, or other embellishments. Get creative in adding those finishing touches that will make your cake truly stand out.

By following these steps, you will be able to successfully apply fondant to your cake, creating a beautiful and professional-looking finish. Remember to work slowly and carefully, allowing yourself time to adjust and fix any issues that may arise.

Creating Fondant Decorations

One of the most exciting aspects of decorating a cake with fondant is the opportunity to create beautiful and intricate fondant decorations. From delicate flowers to adorable figurines, there are endless possibilities for adding unique touches to your cake. In this section, we will explore various techniques for creating fondant decorations and provide step-by-step instructions accompanied by visual examples.

When it comes to creating fondant decorations, the key is to start with a well-kneaded and pliable fondant. Begin by dividing your desired colors of fondant into small portions and knead each piece until it is smooth and easy to work with. For more vibrant colors, you can also incorporate food coloring into the fondant while kneading.

Once you have achieved the desired texture, it’s time to get creative. You can use different tools such as molds, cutters, or shaping tools to form various shapes and designs. If you’re looking to make flowers, consider using flower-shaped cutters or petal molds. For intricate figurines or 3D designs, you may need modeling tools to sculpt the details.

To create life-like details on your fondant decorations, try using edible dusts or petal dusts in complementary shades. These can be brushed onto the fondant using a soft brush or applied directly with a precision tip brush for more intricate details. Edible glitter and shimmer sprays can also add a touch of sparkle to your creations.

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 how you envisioned – embrace the learning process and keep experimenting. With time and practice, you’ll develop your own unique style and techniques for creating stunning fondant decorations that will impress everyone who sees your cakes.

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Get ready to let your creativity shine as we move onto the next section where we discuss different methods for painting or coloring fondant. Discover how to achieve vibrant colors or even metallic finishes on your fondant creations.

Painting or Coloring Fondant

When it comes to decorating a cake with fondant, painting or coloring the fondant can add an extra dimension of creativity and personalization. Whether you want to achieve vibrant colors or create unique effects like metallic finishes, there are various methods and techniques you can use. In this section, we will explore different ways to paint or color fondant, as well as introduce edible coloring mediums that can help you achieve stunning results.

Methods for Coloring Fondant

There are several methods you can use to color fondant, depending on the level of control and effect you want to achieve. One common method is kneading gel food coloring into the fondant until it is evenly tinted. Gel food coloring is preferred because it does not add additional moisture to the fondant like liquid food coloring does. Start with a small amount of gel food coloring and gradually add more until you reach your desired shade.

Another popular method for coloring fondant is airbrushing. Airbrushing allows for precise control over color application and can create smooth gradients or shading effects. You will need an airbrush gun along with edible airbrush colors that are specifically designed for use on fondant. Practice using the airbrush on a scrap piece of fondant before applying it to your cake to ensure you have the desired effect.

Edible Coloring Mediums

In addition to traditional food coloring gels and liquids, there are various edible coloring mediums available in the market that can elevate your fondant decoration game. Edible dusts, also known as luster dusts or petal dusts, come in a wide range of colors and finishes and are commonly used to paint or dust over dry surfaces of fondant decorations.

They can be applied using a soft brush or by mixing them with clear alcohol (such as vodka) for a more intense color payoff.

Another fantastic option is edible metallic paints, which can be used to give your fondant decorations a stunning metallic sheen or shimmer. These paints are typically alcohol-based and can be applied using a brush or sponge. Before painting directly on the fondant, make sure it is dry and smooth to ensure optimal results.

Remember to experiment with different colors, techniques, and mediums to create unique effects that match your cake decorating vision. The possibilities are endless when it comes to coloring fondant, so don’t be afraid to unleash your creativity.

Continue reading the next section about “Troubleshooting Common Fondant Issues” for tips on how to overcome some common challenges you may encounter while working with fondant.

Troubleshooting Common Fondant Issues

Working with fondant can be a fun and rewarding experience, but sometimes unexpected issues can arise. Understanding how to troubleshoot common fondant issues will help ensure that your cake decorations turn out beautifully every time. In this section, we will address some of the most common problems encountered when working with fondant and offer tips and solutions to help you overcome them.

One common issue when working with fondant is cracking. Fondant can dry out quickly, especially in dry or hot environments, leading to cracks on the surface. To prevent cracking, make sure to knead your fondant until it becomes pliable and smooth before rolling it out. If you notice cracks forming as you apply the fondant to the cake, try using a small amount of shortening or water on your fingertips to gently rub over the cracks or join them together.

Another problem that may occur is fondant drying out too quickly while you are working with it. To avoid this, make sure to keep any unused fondant tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container. If you find your fondant becoming too dry as you work with it, try applying a thin layer of shortening onto the surface of the fondant and kneading it in until the texture becomes smooth again.

Sticking can also be an issue when working with fondant. Sometimes, as you roll out the fondant, it may stick to your rolling pin or work surface. To prevent sticking, lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with powdered sugar or cornstarch before rolling out the fondant. You can also use a non-stick silicone mat for easier rolling.

By being aware of these common issues and knowing how to handle them effectively, you’ll be able to troubleshoot any problems that arise during your cake decorating process. With these troubleshooting tips in mind, you’ll have more confidence in achieving beautiful and professional-looking cakes decorated with fondant.

Finishing Touches and Displaying the Cake

After successfully decorating a cake with fondant, it’s time to add those final finishing touches and think about how to display your masterpiece. These last details can truly elevate the overall look of the cake and make it stand out even more. Here are some suggestions on how to add those finishing touches and display your fondant-decorated cake:

  1. Edible Decorations: One way to enhance the appearance of your fondant-decorated cake is by adding edible decorations. Consider using edible glitter, pearls, or crystals to give your cake a touch of elegance and sparkle. You can sprinkle them over the entire cake or strategically place them on specific areas for a more targeted effect.
  2. Ribbons and Bows: Another beautiful addition to a fondant-decorated cake is ribbons and bows. This adds a festive and celebratory touch to any occasion cake. You can use ribbon made specifically for cakes or create your own bows using fondant or gum paste.
  3. Cake Toppers: To make your cake even more special, you can include a personalized or themed cake topper that matches the occasion or theme of the event. This could be anything from a simple figurine representing the guest of honor to custom-made sugar flowers or characters that reflect the event’s theme.
  4. Display Stands and Presentation: How you present your fondant-decorated cake can make all the difference in its visual impact. Consider investing in an attractive, sturdy cake stand that complements the design and color scheme of your cake. Additionally, think about incorporating other elements into your presentation, such as decorative plates, fresh flowers, or themed props that tie in with the occasion.

Remember to carefully transport and handle your finished fondant-decorated cake when displaying it at an event or delivering it to its destination. It’s essential to ensure that all decorations stay intact during transportation so that you can showcase your creation in all its glory.

By adding these finishing touches and displaying your fondant-decorated cake with care and creativity, you can bring your vision to life and impress everyone who sees it. Enjoy the process of bringing your cake to its final stage, and don’t forget to capture photos to document and share your masterpiece with others.


In conclusion, decorating a cake with fondant can be a fun and exciting creative endeavor that allows for endless possibilities in terms of design and decoration. As discussed throughout this blog post, the key to successfully decorating a cake with fondant lies in proper preparation, technique, and troubleshooting.

By gathering the necessary tools and materials and creating a clean and organized workspace, you set yourself up for success from the start. Preparing the cake properly, including leveling and crumb coating, ensures a smooth foundation for your fondant decoration. Kneading and rolling out the fondant correctly is crucial for achieving a pliable texture without tears or uneven stretching.

Applying the fondant to the cake requires precision to avoid air bubbles or wrinkles, while careful smoothing with tools such as smoothers or a fondant roller creates a polished finish. The creation of fondant decorations opens up endless possibilities for personalization and creativity, allowing you to add flowers, bows, or figurines to your design. Painting or coloring the fondant adds another layer of customization options, with techniques ranging from vibrant colors to metallic finishes.

Anticipating and troubleshooting common issues when working with fondant ensures that any problems encountered can be resolved effectively. By providing finishing touches such as edible glitter, pearls, or ribbons and carefully considering how to display your cake for maximum visual impact, you can truly make your creation shine.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you put fondant on a cake for beginners?

To put fondant on a cake for beginners, start by preparing the cake surface. Make sure your cake is completely cooled and levelled as any imperfections will show through the fondant. Next, lightly brush the surface of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream or edible glue; this helps the fondant adhere to the cake. Roll out your fondant to a thickness of about 1/4 inch, making sure it’s large enough to cover the entire cake.

Gently drape the rolled-out fondant over the cake, starting from the center and working your way outwards to avoid air bubbles and wrinkles. Smooth down the fondant using your hands or a fondant smoother, starting from the top and gradually moving downwards until it adheres snugly to the sides of the cake. Trim off any excess fondant at the bottom and neatly tuck it under for a clean finish.

How do you use fondant to decorate a cake?

Fondant can be used to decorate a cake in numerous ways, providing endless creative possibilities. One common technique is applying pre-made decorations made with fondant such as flowers, ribbons, or cut-out shapes onto an already-fondanted cake. These decorations are typically made in advance using molds or shaping them by hand and allowed to dry before being attached using edible adhesive like water or royal icing.

Another popular method is to use different colors of rolled-out fondant to create intricate patterns or designs on top of an already-covered cake. Fondant can also be shaped into three-dimensional figures or sculpted elements that can add flair and interest to your cake design.

What do you put under fondant on a cake?

Before placing fondant on a cake, there are several options for what you can put underneath it to enhance its taste and texture. A commonly used option is a layer of buttercream frosting which acts as both an adhesive and adds flavor and moisture when combined with the fondant layer. Ganache, made from chocolate and cream, is another delicious option.

The smooth and firm consistency of ganache provides a stable surface for fondant, ensuring a neat and professional finish. Additionally, some bakers use jam or fruit preserves which not only add moisture but offer a hint of fruity flavor. Whichever option you choose, the key is to apply a thin, even layer to ensure the fondant adheres well without causing excess bulges or slippage during the decorating process.

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