Perfect for birthdays, weddings, and special events, a fondant cake is soft, sweet, and versatile. You can get creative and sculpt it into interesting shapes or figures, giving your cake a magical touch. Plus, you can incorporate different colors and flavors to it, or top it with fancy decorations.
Despite its delectable, clay-like texture, working with fondant can be challenging. Smoothing it takes time and practice, which can be frustrating for beginners.
On that account, we’re here to share effective techniques on how to achieve the right fondant consistency and how to smooth fondant over cakes or cupcakes in just a few steps. We’ll also share some alternative tools you can use besides fondant smoothers!
The right fondant consistency should be soft and pliable, almost resembling clay dough. At the same time, it should be smooth but not watery or sticky. Also, it’s not supposed to feel dry, too hard, stiff, or lumpy.
Whether you’re working with store-bought fondant or planning to make one from scratch, here are some tips to achieve the right fondant consistency that makes smoothing out easy:
Most of us tend to take this step for granted, but did you know that properly kneading fondant is the secret to achieving a soft, smooth, and supple texture?
Kneading your fondant warms it up and softens it. Plus, it removes air pockets and lumps that may result in an uneven texture upon layering.
Knead your fondant until you achieve the desired texture. Don’t knead your fondant too long because it becomes stretchy like gum!
Store-bought and refrigerated fondants need more work as they’re usually harder at first.
Add vegetable shortening or a little water (about 1/8 teaspoon for a 24 oz. or 680 g) to moisten your fondant. Adjust until you get the desired consistency.
If your fondant is too soft and stretchy, it can be hard to cover your cake with it.
You may add either confectioner’s sugar or a tiny pinch of tylose powder to your fondant. After adding the tylose powder, let your fondant sit for 30 minutes or more.
Here are the steps to smooth your fondant properly without bulges and irregularities:
Your cake should have no protruding edges or any irregularities to avoid bulges, wrinkles, and lumps after draping the fondant.
Layer your cake with buttercream or any frosting of choice to smoothen the irregularities in your cake. The frosting will also make your fondant apply smoothly and stick well later.
Dust your fondant with powdered sugar or cornstarch. Knead your fondant until it’s soft, a little stretchy, with no cracks around the edges.
Use a rolling pin to roll out your fondant on a flat surface with parchment paper.
Lift and rotate the fondant from time to time to prevent it from sticking. The ideal thickness of your fondant should be ⅛ inch or around 3.2 mm.
Gently roll the fondant around the pin, starting from the farthest edge and going inwards.
Carefully drape the fondant around the cake, starting from the bottom edge of the side facing you. Unroll the fondant until it reaches the opposite edge and covers the cake evenly.
Starting from the top, use a fondant smoother to press the fondant gently onto the cake and remove air bubbles.
Smooth both the top and sides of the cake simultaneously.
After successfully smoothing your fondant cake, cut off the excess fondant. Voila! Your smooth fondant cake is now done and dusted
Fingerprints can be a bummer when using your hands to smooth your fondant. We suggest you use parchment paper or a soft-bristle paintbrush to smooth out the irregularities.
You can also form excess fondant slices into a ball and use it to smoothen your fondant.
A cake scraper, plastic ruler, and butter knife are also good fondant smoother alternatives that you can use.
Don’t forget to clean and dry your tools properly before and after use!
The consistency and texture of your fondant should be soft and clay dough-like. It shouldn’t be lumpy or too stretchy. Achieving this consistency makes your fondant easy to smooth.
Meanwhile, you can use a fondant smoother to drape the fondant evenly on your cake and smooth it out. You can also use your bare hands and smooth it with a soft-bristle paint brush and parchment paper.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.