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Why Is My Fondant Cracking? (6 Common Reasons)

Why Is My Fondant Cracking? (6 Common Reasons)

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There is nothing nicer than the sense of accomplishment when you have finally finished with your masterpiece of a cake. But then it all comes thundering down when you turn your cake around and notice a huge crack in the fondant.

But why does your fondant keep cracking?

Your fondant may be cracking for several reasons, including that the fondant may be old, the climate you live in may be drying the fondant out quickly, causing cracks, you may have rolled the fondant too thin, or your timing was slightly off, and the fondant was left out for too long.

This situation is one that no one wants to be in, but is there any way you can fix the cracks in your fondant? Are there ways to prevent this from happening again? Let’s find out!

Why Does Fondant Crack?

When you have gone through all the effort to bake a cake and ice it with fondant, the last thing you want to see is a crack in the fondant.

This can be a heartbreaking situation for anyone, and before we can go through how to fix this fondant crack, we need to go over why it happened in the first place to understand the whole situation better. So, let’s see why your fondant may have cracked.

1 – The Fondant Is Old

Like all things in the kitchen, fondant can get old, which can begin to cause problems when you try to use it. Fondant can start to dry out as it ages, and this drying process can be fast-tracked if you do not store the fondant correctly.

If you start to notice your fondant is becoming dry and difficult to work with, this can indicate that your fondant is old, and you should think about throwing it away and starting a new fondant reserve. If your fondant is old, this could be the cause of it cracking when you place it onto the cake.

2 – The Brand of Fondant You Use

The reason for your fondant cracking could be due to the band of fondant you are using. Every brand of fondant is unique and is made with a different amount of ingredients, which can affect the integrity of the fondant, especially if you have not worked with it before.

Most bakers suggest that if you find a brand of fondant you like, you should stick with it and not bother trying different brands. So, if you are working with a fondant that you haven’t worked with before, then this could be the reason why it’s cracking when you place it on your cake.

3 – Your Timing When Working with Fondant

A big aspect you need to remember when working with fondant is timing. Timing is extremely important as it could mean the difference between a perfect fondant and a dry and cracking fondant.

If you spend too much time rolling or working with the fondant before you place it on the cake, this can cause the fondant to dry out and crack when you move it around, which could crack the fondant before you even place it on your cake.

So, timing is essential when you are working with fondant, and you cannot have the fondant out on your counter for too long.

4 – The Climate You Live In

Unfortunately, the climate you live in can, and will, affect the fondant you are working with. Fondant can be more affected by dry and hot climates than cold and wet climates. So, if you are in a dry and hot environment, you are more likely to have your fondant crack as the air dries out the fondant faster.

If you live in a hotter climate, but there is a higher humidity level, it is less likely to dry the fondant out, causing cracks when you place it on the cake. If your climate is slightly dry, consider using a humidifier when working with fondant to ensure it does not dry out as fast.

5 – Too Much Icing Sugar or Cornflower Added

When working with fondant, you usually use cornflower or icing sugar to help roll the fondant out nicely, without it sticking to your kitchen counter and rolling pin. However, this could set you up for disaster if you are not careful.

One common mistake people make with fondant is using too much cornflower or icing sugar when rolling or kneading out their fondant.

If you use too much icing sugar or cornflower during this process, these dry ingredients will begin to change the consistency of the fondant, leading to your fondant drying out. When this happens, your fondant will crack easily when you move it.

6 – You Rolled the Fondant Too Thin

Another common mistake that people make, especially if they are new to fondant work, is rolling the fondant out too thin. Rolling out your fondant to fit your cake is something that will take some practice, as you need to get the fondant to just the right thickness.

You need your fondant thin enough, so it is easy to work with and mold to your cake, but you need it thick enough not to tear or crack when you try to move it.

This can be challenging, and the thickness you need can also depend on the brand of fondant you buy. So, you will need to experiment to figure out what works for you and the fondant you use.

How to Fix Cracked Fondant

When your fondant cracks on your cake, this can be disheartening as you spend so much effort and time making the perfect cake. Do not fret, though, as there are two methods you can try to fix the crack in the fondant!

Patching the Cracked Fondant

One of the ways you can try to fix a crack in your fondant when the fondant is already on your cake is by patching the fondant. To do this, you can prepare a piece of fondant from the leftover fondant you have and cut the fondant piece to the size of the crack on the cake.

Ensure the scrap of fondant you choose covers the crack entirely with a bit of extra space to spare. Once you have the fondant piece prepared, dip your fingers or an icing knife into some shortening or vegetable oil.

Now, place the fondant patch over the crack on your cake and gently massage the edges of the piece into the fondant around the crack with your oiled fingers or knife. Gently rub these edges until the edges bond with the fondant on the cake.

Dust the bonded edges with a pinch of confectioner’s sugar to help the fondant dry out slightly and blend more. The crack in your fondant should no longer be visible.

Piping Fondant into the Cracked Fondant

This method is good for big cracks that may develop in the fondant. Place all of your fondant scraps into a bowl, and then add a few drops of vegetable oil and water to the bowl of fondant. Mix the water, oil, and fondant until it forms a paste; you can add more water and oil if required.

Once the fondant has formed into a paste, gently place it into a piping bag and place a piping bag tip on the end, it does not matter which pipping tip you use.

Pipe this fondant paste over the crack on the cake and then, using an oiled icing knife or fingers, blend the paste into the crack on the cake until you do not see it anymore.

Then sprinkle some confectioners’ sugar over the area to help dry it slightly, which will help it blend in more. Your cake should be crack-free and perfect again!

How to Prevent fondant from Cracking

If you are worried about your fondant cracking when you work with it, and you are unsure of your abilities to fix it, then there are a few methods you can try that may help prevent the Cracking in the first place.

Let’s go through these fondant cracking prevention methods, so you can find the one that works for you.

Always Frost Your Cake First

To help ensure your fondant does not crack once you have placed it on your cake, you need to frost your cake with marzipan or buttercream frosting before placing the fondant on your cake.

If you place your fondant directly onto the cake, this can cause air bubbles to form under the fondant and cause the fondant to crack. So, before you place the fondant on your cake, you need to add a nice layer of buttercream or marzipan to the cake first.

When you do this, ensure that the buttercream or the marzipan is smooth and layered evenly before placing the fondant on your cake. The moisture from the buttercream or the marzipan will help hold the fondant together nicely as it keeps it from drying out.

Examine Your Fondant

As soon as you place the fondant on your cake, you need to examine it before sealing it off. You need to make sure that there are no rough spots, air bubbles, or inconsistencies in the thickness of the fondant.

Most of the cracks are caused by something going wrong with the fondant itself. So, it would be best to examine the fondant before you place it on your cake and then look at it again when it’s on your cake.

Ensure there are no discrepancies in your fondant, and if you notice something that may cause a crack, take the fondant off and knead it some more before you roll it out and try placing it on your cake again.

Use Fondant Immediately if Made Fresh

If you are making your fondant from scratch, ensure the fondant is the last thing you make while your cake is cooling.

If you knead your fondant and roll it out before your cake has been cooled and iced, this will mean that your fondant is left on your kitchen counter for an extended period before you can place it on your cake. This will cause your fondant to dry out and crack when you move it.

If you wish to make your own fondant for your cake, you need to use it as soon as you have rolled it out; this will stop the fondant from drying out and cracking. Remember, it only takes one or two minutes for the fondant to start drying out, so you need to move quickly when working with it.

Check Packaged Fondants Expiry Date

If you are using an already made, store-bought packaged fondant, you should always check its expiration date before using it. As mentioned earlier, fondant can get old and go bad, just like every other food, and this goes for pre-made packaged fondant too.

You must buy your packaged fondant as close to when you are baking your cake as possible. This will help ensure you get the freshest fondant from the store that you can.

Remember that when fondant becomes too old, it starts to dry out. So, when you try to use older fondant, your chances of the fondant cracking either on your cake or as you try to move it to your cake will increase.

Oil Your Fondant Before Placing on the Cake

If you notice that your fondant seems a bit dry or you have accidentally left your fondant out for too long and it has started drying out, but you still want to use the fondant, there is a way you can try and avoid this dry fondant from cracking.

You can treat this drier fondant with some oil to add a bit of moisture back into the fondant. This should help prevent the fondant from cracking or breaking when you move it.

To do this, you need to dip your hands into some shortening or some vegetable oil until your hands have a nice oil coating.

Then carefully rub the surface of the fondant, ensuring you do not miss any part of it, and then you can use the fondant as you intended to with a lower chance of it cracking.

Store Your Fondant Correctly

A frequent mistake that many people make, especially those new to working with fondant, is storing the fondant correctly, either before they use it or after they have used it and there are leftovers.

If you are buying pre-made fondant, try to buy smaller packs to minimize the amount leftover. When you are done with your fondant and have some left, you need to wrap it in some cling wrap and then place it into a zip lock bag.

Then you can either place the fondant in your fridge or your pantry; as long as it is in a cool, dry location, your fondant should store well.

Then if your fondant is slightly dry when you bring it out again, you can knead in some melted modeling chocolate or use the oil method mentioned above to get the fondant back to a good working consistency.

Final Thoughts

Even though having your fondant crack on you is not a great feeling, there are methods you can use to fix the problem. But preventing the fondant crack is always the best method, so if you are worried about your fondant cracking, you should follow the tips above to lower your chances of this occurring in the future. Good luck with your fondant!