So, you’re making a cake, and you want to give it a bit of pizzazz.
Naturally, you decide to cover the cake with a fondant. After all, it’s delicious, easy to make, and gives the cake vibrant, colorful aesthetics.
So, you add your ingredients and work the dough out, but there’s a problem; the fondant keeps sweating. It’s a common problem, so don’t freak out.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about fondant’s sweat and how you can provide the ideal environment for your dough.
Fondant sweats because of the reaction between its sugar content and the level of humidity of the surrounding environment. High humidity can cause sugar to melt.
The longer the fondant is exposed to a high level of humidity, the faster it turns into liquid and starts dripping down the cake.
Luckily, if your fondant starts sweating, there are several precautions you can follow to dry it.
The easiest way to dry a sweaty fondant is to let it reach room temperature. Make sure you leave it in a cool, dry environment, as a moist environment will get you back to square one.
Yes, the drying process can depend on the ingredients you use in your fondant. For instance, it’s better to avoid drying your fondant with heat if you used chocolate in the mixture.
A chocolate fondant dries faster in a cool environment.
The heat from the oven light is strong enough to dry your fondant but not enough to melt it. Put the fondant on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper before you place it in the oven.
If you have a thin layer of fondant, expect it to dry within an hour. If you’re working with thick layers, it would take a few hours for them to dry.
A table lamp can be just as effective as your oven light for drying fondant. However, as wattage levels and heat go hand in hand, avoid using a lamp that’s high in watts. It would radiate too much heat, which would melt your fondant.
To be safe, keep the distance between the fondant and the lamp the same between the center of the oven and the oven light.
Pro tip: If you’re drying complex figurines, we recommend dismantling them into small pieces. Once they dry, put them back together with edible glue. This is to avoid cracking the surface of the figure, as the outer layer of the fondant can dry faster than the internal.
Food dehydrators can dry your fondant much quicker than letting it reach room temperature. Don’t overdo it, though. You don’t want your dough to dry out, so use the dehydrator on a low setting.
Fans are effective in drying fondant because they increase air circulation in the dough.
Put your fondant on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper, and place it a few feet away from the fan.
Make sure that the fan is pointing directly at the fondant. We can’t tell for sure how long the fondant will take to dry, as it depends on its thickness.
While it’s as efficient in drying fondant as any other air-circulation device on this list, blow dryers work best with small, decorative fondant pieces.
Applying it on a full dough would be too much of a hassle. Keep the settings on low heat and use it the same way you do on your hair.
Pro tip: In case you blow out your hair wrong, don’t go with the classic wobbly movement people blow dry their hair with. You want to keep the dryer steady and focused on your fondant pieces to decrease the drying time as much as possible.
In theory, putting your fondant in the fridge can force it to start sweating.
The fridge has high humidity levels, and fondant will absorb the moisture inside it and release it once you take it out. This is called condensation.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t store your fondant-covered cake in the fridge. There are several hacks you can use to make sure your fondant doesn’t come in contact with moisture.
For instance, you can put your cake in plastic bin bags or cardboard boxes. They’ll protect it from the dramatic temperature change that causes the fondant to sweat.
We covered how to dry fondant when it sweats, but how do you prevent it from sweating in the first place? We’re glad you asked!
CMC, aka Tylose, is a powder that speeds up the fondant’s drying and hardening time. You can find it online or in any cake-decorating store.
While there are various brands of CMC, the application method is the same. You apply a specific amount of CMC on your fondant dough before working it out.
Some might ask you to add a couple of teaspoons of powder to 450g of fondant, while others might ask you to use equal parts CMC and fondant.
Pro tip: Constantly apply cornstarch to your fondant dough and hands to prevent any contact with moisture. You can also go as far as applying it to your workspace or the tools you use.
Solving the sweating issue is all about controlling the temperature of your room. You can keep the fondant in an air-conditioned room or use a dehumidifier when you’re working with it.
However, keep in mind that a dehumidifier isn’t efficient where there are high humidity levels.
If you place your fondant-covered cake in the fridge, you can solve the condensation issue by increasing the temperature of your fridge or decreasing the temperature of your room.
This allows the fondant to go through the condensation process gradually rather than switching from extreme cold to extreme warm.
So, now you know why your fondant is sweating. It’s all about moisture absorption.
Luckily, there are several fixes to that issue. You can even prevent your fondant from sweating in the first place.
Ultimately, it comes down to temperature control. So, understand the ingredients of your fondant and how you can provide the ideal environment.
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.