Tips For Making Your First Fondant Cake

There are a few things you should keep in mind while crafting your first fondant cake. In this article, I provide all of my greatest advice for creating your first fondant cake so that everything goes well.

There are several aspects of crafting fondant cakes that you will overlook the first time. I’d like to discuss those topics here so you’ll know what to anticipate and offer you a few pointers to assist you build a fantastic cake while reducing your irritation.

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First, I wanted to share my very first fondant cake with you and provide some support. Keep reading because this isn’t about me boasting about my first fondant cake.I guarantee I’m making a point, and I believe my suggestions will be beneficial.

Don’t feel terrible if your first fondant cake was a flop. It doesn’t matter what your first cake looked like; it’s just where you began, and you’ll only become better from there.

If your first fondant cake was much better than this, then congratulations and I am really pleased.

But our first fondant cakes are just that: firsts, and if they don’t come out the way you want them to, it doesn’t imply you lack skill or that cake decorating isn’t for you.

It doesn’t matter what your first cake looked like; it’s just where you began, and you’ll only become better from there.

Listen, fondant may be difficult to work with at times. It requires a great deal of practice. I swear to you, no one comes out of the womb understanding how to work with fondant. It is not a natural skill, and it just needs experience to work with it.

Now, I realize my first fondant cake might have been much worse, but there are a few of reasons why it wasn’t too bad, and I hope those reasons can assist you if you’re having difficulties with fondant or are afraid to attempt it.

When it comes to fondant and how to make it look decent, I have a slew of techniques up my sleeve.

Do you know why I have so many tricks? Because I find fondant to be just as complicated and duplicitous as you do, and I had to figure out a variety of techniques to make it work for me.

It’s OK if you don’t want to work with fondant. My favourite way of cake decorating is buttercream, but certain designs need just fondant, so if you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at it, I hope this helps.

So, why didn’t my first fondant cake turn out to be a terrible disaster and seem like a huge flop? Here’s what I think happened: (And we’ll go over these topics more later.)

  • I prepared everything: I am a major planner, so I drew out the design and thought of everything that might go wrong. (That’s probably not the best way to live, but that’s who I am.)
  • I was prepared by having additional fondant on hand. I was confident in my cake-baking abilities, so I thought that would be OK, but I had no idea what I was doing with fondant. (I believed I understood something since I had seen videos, but I didn’t.)
  • I used chocolate buttercream beneath the fondant: I know it seems strange, but I used a thin layer of chocolate buttercream under the fondant. Because my double chocolate buttercream contains melted chocolate, it is somewhat firmer than conventional buttercream. That, I believe, helped. (I usually use ganache, but we’ll get to that in a minute.)
  • The cake was not a layer cake: I’ll explain why that’s a bonus in a moment.

Now I’d want to dive into the specifics of those issues and provide you with further advice so you don’t become stressed out and boost your chances of success.

There are affiliate links in this post. I earn money as an Amazon Associate by making qualifying purchases.

Tips for Making your first fondant cake:

A brief word regarding these tips: I feel the need to include a disclaimer here because I don’t want you to feel obligated to apply ALL of these suggestions or that there are written cake rules that you MUST follow.

These are simply some pointers that I follow and have found beneficial. I’d want to share them with you in the hope that they’ll be useful to you as well, but they’re not the be-all and end-all.

Other cakers have fantastic ideas as well, so it’s fine to acquire as much knowledge as you can ahead of time, but then you simply have to go do it.Experiment with several ways to find which ones work best for you.

Ok, on to the tips:

Plan it out:

As previously said, I am a major planner. You should plan ahead and make a list of everything you’ll need, as well as draw your design. Consider everything that may go wrong.

Get prepared:

I prepared by going through my list and making sure I had everything ready. I created extra fondant and prepared everything I’d need to begin rolling out fondant.

You must ensure that you have everything at the ready because once you begin rolling out the fondant, you must work quickly. So having things set up and ready ahead of time is quite beneficial.

Use the right kind of fondant for the job:

I’ve discovered that various brands of fondant are excellent for different things. I really like Sugar Geek Show’s fondant recipe, which I use to cover cakes with fondant.

I’ve tried other kinds, but this one is the most effective for me. It’s similar to a cross between manufactured fondant and marshmallow fondant.

Satin Ice fondant is fantastic for producing décor things since it dries out faster, but I don’t enjoy using it to cover my cakes because it appears to dry out rapidly on me and produces elephant skin. (This is merely a peculiar texture that fondant develops that seems lumpy and bumpy.)

So, essentially, test out several fondant brands and recipes to see which ones you like.

It may also be affected by the weather. Dry conditions will lead your fondant to be drier, while humid weather will make it sticky and difficult to work with. Remember those details.

Use ganache:

Use ganache (semi-sweet or white chocolate) (or at the very least a buttercream with melted chocolate incorporated in (white chocolate helps).

For a long time, layer cakes and fondant were my adversary until I began using ganache and allowing the cake layers settle (more on that later).

Ganache produces a harder coating all around the exterior of the cake, and covering a ganached cake with fondant is MUCH simpler than covering a buttercream cake.

I’ve never had success using fondant on a buttercream cake. Some cake decorators are fantastic, which is wonderful, but I despise impatience and it just bothers me. The buttercream swirls about on you and never becomes smooth or hard enough for my liking.

You also can’t use a heavy layer of buttercream on the exterior of your cake since the fondant will push it around if it’s too thick.

When using ganache, you may still pour a nice layer of buttercream in between the cake layers as a filling and then top with the ganache.

Making ganache isn’t as difficult as it sounds. I put it off for a long time because it seemed complex, but it’s really simpler than preparing buttercream and takes less time.

I have a whole article and recipe for making ganache here, as well as a tutorial on how to cover a cake with ganache here.

Use an all butter buttercream:

If you don’t want to use ganache and want to try buttercream instead, use an all-butter buttercream that can harden up in the fridge.

A buttercream based on shortening will not firm up sufficiently when cold, and you really need your buttercream to be firm when you cover it with fondant. Here’s how to make an all-butter buttercream: Buttercream with Vanilla Beans

Don’t start off with layer cakes:

This is because coating layer cakes with fondant is very difficult. Because you’re not dealing with numerous cake layers, covering a single layer cake (like as a 139 cake) is easier. (I’m not talking about cake tiers here; I’m talking about cake layers).

Covering tiered cakes with fondant throws up a whole other box of worms of potential problems. After you’ve put the fondant, the cake layers might settle, causing a giant air bubble and occasionally an actual blowout, or you can have those unsightly ridges around the cake.

If you really want to attempt a layer cake first, be sure to let your cake layers settle after filling them. That is a must. (I’ll get to it in the following tip).

Also, be sure you’ll be using other fondant patterns on the cake to cover up any rips, holes, blow-outs, or strange fondant textures that appear.

When I first began producing fondant cakes, I made a point of designing cakes with a fallback option in case the fondant went awry.

Maybe there was going to be a huge plaque on the front or some other design like ruffles, but it would give me a chance to cover up my error or any fondant mistakes or cake settling.

Here are some examples of what I mean:

Let your cakes settle:

You must allow your cakes to settle before making a layer cake.

By settle, I mean placing your cake layers with filling in between and then leaving them alone (covered, of course) until the layers have had time to settle down.

I don’t refrigerate my cakes while they’re setting because I don’t want the buttercream or filling to harden; instead, I want everything to settle before applying the fondant. (Of course, if you use perishable filling, you must keep it refrigerated.)

Settling prevents ridges or air bubbles from forming around your cake after you’ve applied your fondant.

In this piece, I go into much more detail about this topic and why it is beneficial: Should I chill my cake before decorating it?

It will offer you my way of settling cakes as well as the timetable so that you may do it as well. Settling your cakes will undoubtedly save your sanity. Go read the post if you don’t believe me.

Try the paneling method:

When preparing a square cake, the paneling approach comes in handy. Instead of draping a large sheet of fondant over a cake and having the edges rip, you cut fondant squares the same size as the cake and attach them in parts to the cake.

You may also use the paneling process on circular cakes. Simply cut a long length of fondant and wrap it around your cake before cutting a top piece.

That is a very broad description of the paneling process. I don’t have a lesson for it since I don’t use it very often, but there’s nothing wrong with it and it’ll be useful to test it out and see if you like it.

Just search fondant panel technique on YouTube for a plethora of videos.

Figure out your preferred fondant rolling method:

You should absolutely experiment with a few different fondant rolling techniques. Some folks roll out on a silicone mat (like me). Some people use a silicone pad to make it easier to drape fondant over the cake.Some people use their hands and arms, while others roll the fondant between two silicone mats.

I’ve tried a ton of various approaches, and I’ve put a couple of the more common ones, as well as my personal method, with a video on what works best for me, here: Fondant Cake Covering Techniques

Have needles handy:

Yes, I realize that sounds a bit medieval, but bear with me. When rolling out your fondant, you’ll need them to burst any air bubbles.

You want to have them on hand because you don’t want to be rushing around looking for some to burst an air bubble with and have your fondant dry out on you.

Use cornstarch and powdered sugar mixed together and an acetate smoother:

Even if you acquire elephant skin or little holes or rips in your fondant, polishing it with a cornstarch and powdered sugar combination would much assist.

Get one of those shakers like the one below and combine the cornstarch and powdered sugar in it.

Grab the shaker here

Use an acetate smoother as well. (Of course, conventional fondant smoothers are required, but an acetate smoother is also recommended.)

You may purchase one, such as the one shown below, or you can create your own by cutting a square piece of acetate (plastic-like) folder. Just remember to trim the corners off so you don’t gouge your fondant.

Grab the acetate smoother here

In my view, combining these items with a really nice fondant is THE way to go. Using an acetate smoother with cornstarch and powdered sugar to buff the fondant to a smooth surface is quite helpful.

Go and watch my video on how to actually cover a cake and the different methods to try:

I have a whole page with video instructions on how to cover a layer cake with fondant. It will show you everything I do as well as all of my techniques, such as how to use the acetate smoother and how to roll out fondant.

You can see that article and video here: Fondant Cake Covering Tips.

So, I hope this has been quite beneficial to you! Please do not be discouraged or afraid to attempt fondant. It may not be your preferred cake medium, but you can defeat it at its own game!

Other Posts You Might Like:

  • Common Cake Decorating Terms (and what they mean)
  • How to Stack a Cake
  • Anatomy of a Decorated Cake (for beginners)
  • Tips for Cake Boards


What is best to use on a cake before fondant?

4 inches thick. This icing layer helps the fondant adhere to the cake and smooths out any bumps or defects on the cake surface, resulting in a clean and smooth fondant layer.In addition to the fondant, you will need a cake with at least one layer of buttercream.

What is the most important rule to follow when using fondant?

If you allow fondant to adhere to your rolling surface, it will rip as you attempt to pick it up. Confectioners sugar on the surface helps avoid sticking. Fondant that has been rolled out dries rapidly. When not in use, keep it covered to avoid hardening.

Should I chill cake before fondant?

Fondant tends to melt with humidity in hot, humid conditions. So, refrigerate the cake well before covering it with fondant. You’ll have a beautiful hard cake to work with this manner. However, after the fondant is applied on the cake, DO NOT REFRIGERATE IT.

Should cake be cold before fondant?

Keep the cake in the fridge while you lay out the fondant: Applying fondant on a firm, cold cake is significantly simpler than covering one that has warmed up and become mushy. If your cake becomes too soft, return it to the refrigerator to firm it back up.

Can you stick fondant onto buttercream?

This may work great for placing fondant on buttercream if you use a little brush and very little water. That’s precisely what I did with the clouds and logo on this Toy Story Cake. Just be sure you use the slightest brush of water.

How far in advance can I make a cake covered in fondant?

The fondant coating on a basic butter cake should be done no more than 2 to 3 days before decorating and serving. A cake only lasts that long anyhow, and since fondant is made of sugar, that’s also how long it can stand before breaking down due to the moisture in the cake.

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