How to Make Fondant Decorations Stick to Cake

Have you ever spent hours meticulously crafting fondant decorations for a cake, only to have them slide off or not adhere properly? In this article, we will explore the crucial aspect of making fondant decorations stick to the cake, ensuring a beautiful and visually stunning presentation. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced baker, understanding the importance of this skill is key to creating professional-looking cakes for any occasion.

Fondant has become a popular choice for decorating cakes due to its versatility and ability to create intricate designs. However, without the proper techniques, these delicate decorations can easily fall off or lose their shape. Understanding the properties of fondant and how to make it adhere to the cake’s surface is essential for achieving a flawless finish.

This comprehensive guide will take you through the process step by step, from preparing the cake base to troubleshooting common issues when working with fondant decorations. We will also explore alternative methods and techniques for ensuring that your fondant creations stay in place on the cake. By following these instructions, you’ll be able to create stunning cakes with perfectly adhered fondant decorations every time.

Understanding Fondant

Fondant is a versatile and popular choice for cake decorating due to its smooth and sleek finish. It is important to understand what fondant is made of, its ingredients, and its properties in order to effectively work with it and ensure that fondant decorations stick to the cake.

Fondant is a type of icing that can be rolled out into a smooth sheet and draped over cakes for a clean, flawless finish. It is primarily made from sugar, water, and glucose or corn syrup. This gives fondant its pliable texture, allowing it to be easily molded into various shapes and designs.

One of the key properties of fondant that makes it ideal for cake decorating is its ability to hold intricate shapes and designs. Its smooth surface also provides an excellent canvas for painting or adding edible decorations. However, because of its soft and malleable texture, it can pose challenges when it comes to adhering decorations securely to the cake.

To successfully make fondant decorations stick to a cake, it is important to consider the characteristics of fondant and how they affect its adhesion. Understanding the nature of fondant will help in choosing the right techniques and tools for securing decorations effectively.

Fondant IngredientProperty
SugarProvides pliability
WaterAids in forming a smooth surface
Glucose/Corn SyrupEnhances texture and workability

Preparing the Cake

Before applying fondant decorations to a cake, it is crucial to prepare the cake base properly to ensure that the fondant has a smooth and even surface to adhere to. One essential step is to level the cake layers before stacking them. This can be achieved by using a serrated knife or cake leveler to trim off any domed tops and create a flat surface. A level cake will provide a stable foundation for the fondant decorations.

Another important tip is to crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of buttercream or ganache before adding the fondant. This will help seal in any loose crumbs and create an even surface for the fondant. The crumb coat also acts as an adhesive, allowing the fondant decorations to stick more easily without slipping or sliding.

To further ensure that the fondant decorations adhere well to the cake, lightly brush the surface of the crumb-coated cake with simple syrup or water before applying the fondant. This additional moisture will help create a sticky surface for the fondant to stick to, resulting in a seamless appearance and secure attachment.

In summary, preparing the cake base is an essential step in ensuring that fondant decorations stick securely. Leveling the cake, applying a crumb coat, and lightly moistening the surface will all contribute to creating an ideal canvas for beautifully adorned cakes.

Key TipsDetails
Leveling Cake LayersTrim off domed tops for flat surfaces
Crumb CoatingApply thin layer of buttercream or ganache
Moistening SurfaceLightly brush with simple syrup or water

Using Edible Glue

When it comes to making fondant decorations stick to a cake, edible glue can be a game-changer. This adhesive specifically designed for use with edible items is a safe and effective way to ensure that your fondant decorations stay in place. Here’s how to make the most of edible glue when working with fondant:

  • Choose the right type of edible glue: There are several brands of edible glue available on the market, each with its own specific formula. Some are thicker and tackier, while others are more liquid. Consider the type of fondant decorations you’ll be using and the surface of your cake when choosing the right type of edible glue for your project.
  • Apply sparingly: A little goes a long way when it comes to using edible glue. Using too much can create a mess and cause your fondant decorations to slide around on the cake. Use a small paintbrush or cotton swab to apply a thin, even layer of edible glue to the back of your fondant decorations.
  • Allow for drying time: Once you’ve applied the edible glue to your fondant decorations, allow them to dry for a few minutes before attaching them to the cake. This will help the adhesive become tacky and create a stronger bond when you press the decorations onto the cake’s surface.

By following these tips for using edible glue with fondant, you can ensure that your decorations stay put and create an impressive visual impact on your cake. Experimenting with different types of edible glues and practicing proper application techniques will help you master this essential skill for working with fondant.

Applying Fondant Decorations

Rolling Out the Fondant

Start by rolling out the fondant to your desired thickness on a clean, smooth surface dusted with powdered sugar or cornstarch to prevent sticking. Use a rolling pin to achieve an even thickness and ensure the fondant is large enough to cover the area where you plan to apply it on the cake.

Applying Edible Glue

To make fondant decorations stick to the cake, brush a thin layer of edible glue onto the area where you will be placing the fondant. You can also use a small paintbrush or even your finger to apply the glue. Be sure not to use too much, as excess glue can cause the fondant to become soggy and lose its shape.

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Placing and Shaping Decorations

Carefully lift and place the rolled-out fondant onto the prepared area of the cake, smoothing it out with gentle strokes and making sure there are no air pockets or wrinkles. Once in place, you can start adding any pre-made fondant decorations such as flowers, shapes, or figures by gently pressing them onto the base layer of fondant.

If needed, use additional edible glue to secure these decorations in place. Additionally, you can use tools like toothpicks or modeling sticks to help position and shape smaller details for a precise finish.

By following these steps for applying fondant decorations, along with proper preparation and adhesive techniques, you can ensure that your intricate and beautiful designs stay firmly attached to your cake for an impressive presentation.


When it comes to making fondant decorations stick to a cake, there can be various challenges and issues that may arise. Understanding how to troubleshoot these issues is essential for achieving the perfect presentation. Here are some common problems and their solutions:

1. Cracks in Fondant: If you notice cracks in your fondant decorations, it may be due to dryness or improper handling. To prevent this issue, make sure to knead the fondant properly before rolling it out to keep it pliable. Additionally, avoid over-handling the fondant as this can cause it to dry out and crack. If cracks do appear, gently brush some water on the cracked area and press it together to seal.

2. Fondant Sliding Off: Sometimes, fondant decorations may start sliding off the cake due to excess moisture or improper application. To prevent this, ensure that the surface of the cake is not too moist before applying the fondant decorations. You can also use a small amount of royal icing as an adhesive between the cake and the fondant decorations.

3. Fondant Not Adhering: If you’re having difficulty getting the fondant decorations to stick to the cake, try using clear piping gel or edible glue as an adhesive. Apply a thin layer of either of these underneath the decoration before placing it on the cake for a secure hold.

By addressing these common issues and following these troubleshooting tips, you can overcome challenges when making fondant decorations stick to your cake, ensuring a flawless and professional-looking result.

Alternative Methods

Using Water

One alternative method for making fondant decorations stick to a cake is by using water as an adhesive. Simply brush a small amount of water onto the back of the fondant decoration before placing it onto the cake. The moisture from the water helps create a bond between the fondant and the surface of the cake, ensuring that the decoration stays in place.

Vegetable Shortening

Another alternative method is to use vegetable shortening as a “glue” for fondant decorations. Simply apply a small amount of vegetable shortening to the back of the decoration, then press it onto the cake. The greasy texture of the shortening helps adhere the fondant to the cake without damaging or dissolving the decoration.

Tylose Powder

Some bakers also use tylose powder mixed with water to create an edible adhesive for fondant decorations. Tylose powder, which is derived from cellulose, adds stability and firmness to fondant, making it an excellent option for securing intricate or heavy decorations to a cake. Mix a small amount of tylose powder with water to form a paste, then use this paste as “glue” for your fondant decorations.

By exploring these alternative methods and techniques for ensuring that fondant decorations stay in place on the cake, you can achieve beautiful and professional-looking results while providing additional support and security to your edible creations.

Final Touches

In conclusion, making fondant decorations stick to a cake is essential for achieving a visually stunning and professional-looking dessert. By understanding the properties of fondant and following the right techniques, anyone can master the art of creating beautifully decorated cakes.

It’s crucial to prepare the cake base properly to ensure a smooth surface for the fondant decorations to adhere to. Using edible glue is a popular and effective method for securing fondant decorations to the cake, and it’s important to follow a step-by-step guide when applying them.

Troubleshooting common issues and challenges that may arise when working with fondant decorations is also crucial. Knowing how to overcome these obstacles will ensure a successful outcome. Additionally, exploring alternative methods and techniques can provide valuable insight into other ways of ensuring that fondant decorations stay in place on the cake.

Finally, adding final touches and embellishments not only enhances the overall presentation of the cake but also serves as another layer of security for the fondant decorations. By incorporating these tips into your cake decorating process, you can be confident that your fondant decorations will stick to the cake flawlessly every time. With practice, patience, and attention to detail, anyone can create beautiful and professional-looking cakes adorned with perfectly secured fondant decorations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Stick Fondant Decorations to a Cake?

Fondant decorations can be easily attached to a cake using a small brush and a tiny amount of water or clear alcohol, such as vodka or gin. Simply brush the back of the fondant decoration with the water or alcohol and then gently press it onto the cake.

How Do You Keep Fondant From Falling Off a Cake?

To keep fondant from falling off a cake, it’s important to ensure that the surface of the cake is clean and slightly moist before applying the fondant. This will help the fondant adhere to the cake and prevent it from sliding off. Additionally, avoiding excessive handling of the fondant can help maintain its shape and position on the cake.

How Do You Stick Plastic Figures to a Cake?

When sticking plastic figures to a cake, you can use either royal icing or melted chocolate as an adhesive. Apply a small amount of either substance to the bottom of the plastic figure and then gently press it onto the cake in your desired location. This will help secure the figure in place without damaging it or the cake.

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