How to Decorate a Cake Using Fondant

Are you wondering how to decorate a cake using fondant? Fondant is a versatile and popular choice for creating beautifully decorated cakes. In this article, we will explore the process of decorating a cake with fondant, from the essential tools and materials needed to techniques for covering a cake with smooth, flawless fondant. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned baker, mastering the art of fondant decoration can elevate your cakes to a professional level.

Fondant is a type of icing that can be rolled out into thin sheets and draped over cakes for a smooth, polished finish. It’s commonly used for wedding cakes, birthday cakes, and other special occasion treats. Compared to traditional buttercream frosting, fondant offers a clean canvas for intricate designs and decorations. With the right skills and know-how, you can create stunning cakes that are sure to impress.

In this introductory section, we’ll delve into what fondant is and why it’s a great choice for decorating cakes. We’ll also touch on the tools and materials needed for working with fondant as well as tips for preparing the cake before decorating.

Whether you’re new to cake decorating or looking to improve your skills, this article will guide you through each step of the process, from coloring and rolling out fondant to troubleshooting common issues when working with this versatile decorating medium. Let’s get started.

Tools and Materials Needed for Decorating a Cake With Fondant

Decorating a cake with fondant requires some specific tools and materials to ensure that the process goes smoothly and that the final result looks professional. Here are some essential items you will need when preparing to decorate a cake with fondant:

1. Fondant – Of course, you will need fondant in the color of your choice. You can either purchase pre-colored fondant or use gel food coloring to tint white fondant to your desired shade.

2. Rolling pin – A smooth, non-stick rolling pin is essential for rolling out the fondant to the right thickness.

3. Fondant smoother – This tool helps to achieve a smooth finish on the fondant-covered cake and eliminates any air bubbles.

4. Cornstarch or powdered sugar – Dusting your work surface with cornstarch or powdered sugar prevents the fondant from sticking as you roll it out.

5. Pastry brush – Use a pastry brush to gently brush away any excess cornstarch or powdered sugar from the surface of the fondant after it has been placed on the cake.

6. Sharp knife or pizza cutter – A sharp knife or pizza cutter is helpful for trimming excess fondant from around the base of the cake once it has been covered.

7. Edible decorations – Depending on your design, you may want to have additional edible decorations such as edible pearls, glitter, or food-safe paint for adding details to your fondant-covered cake.

By ensuring that you have all these tools and materials ready before starting to decorate your cake with fondant, you can make sure that the process goes smoothly and that you are fully prepared to create a beautiful finished product.

Preparing the Cake for Fondant Decoration

Before you start decorating a cake with fondant, it’s essential to prepare the cake properly to ensure a smooth and professional-looking finish. This involves leveling the cake layers, applying a crumb coat, and chilling the cake before covering it with fondant.

The first step in preparing the cake is to level the layers to ensure an even surface for decorating. Using a long serrated knife or a cake leveler, carefully trim off any dome from the top of each layer to create a flat, even surface. This will prevent your fondant from bulging or cracking when applied.

Next, apply a thin layer of frosting all over the cake to seal in any crumbs and create a smooth base for the fondant. This is known as a crumb coat and helps the fondant adhere to the cake more easily. Once the crumb coat is applied, place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the frosting to set.

After chilling, your cake is ready to be covered with fondant for decoration. By taking these preparatory steps, you’ll set yourself up for success when using fondant to decorate your cakes.

Tools and Materials NeededLeveling Tool, Cake Leveler, Long Serrated Knife
Preparing taskLeveling layers
Preparing taskApplying crumb coat
Troubleshooting tipIf you notice air bubbles forming after placing fondant on your cake; use powdered sugar while rolling out fondant on your work surface.

How to Color and Roll Out Fondant for Cake Decoration

Fondant is a versatile and popular choice for decorating cakes due to its smooth finish and ability to be molded into various shapes. One of the key aspects of using fondant for cake decoration is knowing how to properly color and roll it out.

Coloring Fondant

When it comes to coloring fondant, it is essential to use gel or paste food coloring rather than liquid food coloring, as the latter can make the fondant too sticky. To achieve the desired shade, start with a small amount of the chosen color and knead it into the fondant thoroughly. Add more color as needed until you reach the desired hue, keeping in mind that fondant tends to darken slightly as it sits.

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Rolling Out Fondant

Before rolling out your colored fondant, make sure to dust your work surface and rolling pin with cornstarch or confectioners’ sugar to prevent sticking. Roll out the fondant using even pressure, rotating it occasionally to maintain an even thickness. Aim for a thickness of about ¼ inch, depending on your cake design and personal preference.

Tips for Success

It’s important to work efficiently with colored fondant, as allowing it to sit out for too long can cause it to dry out and become difficult to work with. Additionally, if you need multiple colors of fondant for your cake design, be sure to cover any unused portions tightly in plastic wrap or sealable bags to prevent them from drying out while you work on other elements.

In mastering how to decorate a cake using fondant, understanding how to color and roll out this pliable material is crucial for achieving professional-looking results. By following these steps and tips, you can confidently add beautiful, custom decorations to your next cake creation.

Techniques for Covering a Cake With Fondant

When it comes to decorating a cake using fondant, mastering the techniques for covering a cake with fondant is essential for achieving a professional and polished look. In this section, we will explore the step-by-step process of covering a cake with fondant, including achieving a smooth finish, sharp edges, and avoiding air bubbles.

Smoothing the Fondant

Once the fondant has been rolled out to the desired thickness, carefully lift it using a rolling pin and drape it over the chilled and crumb-coated cake. Working quickly but gently, use your hands to smooth the fondant over the cake, starting from the top and working your way down the sides. To achieve a smooth finish, use a fondant smoother or paddle to gently press out any air pockets or wrinkles.

Creating Sharp Edges

To create sharp edges on a fondant-covered cake, use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to trim away any excess fondant at the bottom of the cake. Next, use a sharp-edged fondant smoother or ruler to create clean lines around the base of the cake. This will result in crisp, professional-looking edges that add to the overall presentation of the cake.

Avoiding Air Bubbles

Air bubbles can be a common issue when covering a cake with fondant. To avoid them, be sure to roll out your fondant evenly and work quickly when draping it over the cake. If you do notice air bubbles forming, use a small pin to gently prick the surface of the fondant and release any trapped air. Smooth over the area with your hand or smoothing tool to blend in any punctures.

By mastering these techniques for covering a cake with fondant, you can achieve beautifully decorated cakes that are sure to impress. With practice and patience, you can hone your skills in working with fondant and create stunning edible works of art for any occasion.

Adding Embellishments and Decorations to a Fondant-Covered Cake

After successfully covering your cake with fondant, it’s time to take your decorating skills to the next level by adding beautiful embellishments and decorations. Whether you’re looking to create a simple, elegant design or something more intricate and eye-catching, there are numerous ways to elevate the look of your fondant-covered cake.

Here are some popular options for adding embellishments and decorations to a fondant-covered cake:

  • Fondant cutouts: Use cookie cutters or special fondant cutters to create shapes like flowers, hearts, stars, or even custom designs. These cutouts can be placed directly onto the cake’s surface or arranged around the sides for a stunning effect.
  • Piping: If you have piping skills, consider using royal icing or buttercream to add intricate designs, borders, or lettering to your cake. Piping allows for intricate detailing and personalized touch.
  • Edible paint: With edible food coloring and small brushes, you can hand-paint designs onto your fondant-covered cake. This technique is perfect for creating watercolor effects, delicate details, or custom artwork.

As you consider which embellishments and decorations to add to your fondant-covered cake, remember that less is often more. Overcrowding the cake with decorations can detract from the smooth and polished look of the fondant. It’s important to maintain balance and harmony in your design choices while still showcasing your creativity and artistry.

Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to adding embellishments and decorations using fondant. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and designs until you find what works best for your vision. With time and patience, you’ll be able to create stunning works of edible art that will impress anyone who sees – and tastes – them.

Troubleshooting Common Issues When Working With Fondant

When working with fondant, it’s not uncommon to encounter a few hiccups along the way. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cake decorator, being prepared to troubleshoot common issues can save you time and frustration. Here are some of the most common problems when working with fondant and how to fix them:

1. Cracking: One of the most common issues when working with fondant is cracking. This can happen if the fondant is too dry or if it’s rolled out too thin. To prevent cracking, make sure your fondant is at the right consistency before rolling it out. If you do notice cracks, you can try gently smoothing them out with a small amount of shortening on your finger or a decorating brush.

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2. Elephant skin: Elephant skin refers to the wrinkling that can occur on the surface of fondant, especially as it dries. To avoid this issue, make sure your cake is covered with a thin layer of buttercream or ganache before applying the fondant. This will help the fondant adhere smoothly to the cake and minimize wrinkling.

3. Sticky or sagging fondant: If your fondant is too sticky or starts to sag, it may be due to humidity or temperature changes in your kitchen. Adding a bit of powdered sugar or cornstarch to your work surface can help absorb excess moisture and prevent sticking. If your fondant starts to sag after it’s been applied to the cake, use support structures like dowels or straws to prop up any areas that are drooping.

By being aware of these common issues and knowing how to address them, you can confidently tackle any challenges that arise while decorating a cake using fondant.

Tips for Storing and Transporting Fondant-Decorated Cakes

Once you have successfully decorated a cake using fondant, it’s essential to know how to store and transport it properly to maintain its beautiful appearance. Storing a fondant-decorated cake is crucial in ensuring that the decorations stay intact and the cake remains fresh. Additionally, transporting the cake requires careful handling to prevent any damage to the fondant or the overall design.

To store a fondant-decorated cake, it is best to keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If the weather is particularly humid, you can place the cake in an air-conditioned room or use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in the air. It’s important to avoid placing the cake in the refrigerator as condensation can ruin the fondant decorations.

When it comes to transporting a fondant-decorated cake, extra caution is necessary. The cake should be placed on a sturdy and flat surface such as a cake board or box for support. Secure the cake in place by using non-slip mats or damp paper towels underneath the board to prevent any shifting during transportation. Additionally, driving slowly and avoiding sharp turns is crucial to prevent any damage to the cake while in transit.

By following these tips for storing and transporting fondant-decorated cakes, you can ensure that your beautifully decorated creation stays intact and looks stunning when it reaches its final destination.


In conclusion, decorating a cake with fondant can seem challenging at first, but with the right tools and techniques, anyone can create beautiful and professional-looking designs. From preparing the cake to adding embellishments, each step is crucial in achieving a flawless fondant finish. By following the outlined steps and practicing different methods, anyone can become an expert in cake decorating using fondant.

Remember, the key to successful fondant decoration is patience and practice. Whether it’s learning how to color and roll out fondant or mastering the art of covering a cake smoothly and without air bubbles, each technique takes time to perfect. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different embellishments and decorations to add your personal touch to the cake.

For those looking to delve deeper into the world of cake decorating with fondant, there are plenty of resources available online and in books that offer advanced techniques and inspiration for creating stunning designs. Additionally, taking a class or workshop on fondant cake decorating can provide valuable hands-on experience and guidance from experts in the field. With dedication and creativity, anyone can master the art of decorating cakes using fondant.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Use Fondant on a Cake for Beginners?

Using fondant on a cake for beginners involves rolling out the fondant into a thin sheet, lifting it carefully over the cake, and smoothing it down gently to avoid air bubbles and wrinkles. It’s important to work slowly and patiently to achieve a smooth, polished finish.

How Do You Get Fondant to Stick to a Cake?

To get fondant to stick to a cake, you can brush the surface of the cake with a thin layer of simple syrup, piping gel or water before applying the fondant. This helps create a slightly sticky surface for the fondant to adhere to and prevents it from sliding off.

Can You Put Fondant Directly on a Cake?

Yes, you can put fondant directly on a cake. However, it’s important to make sure that the cake is smooth with no protruding crumbs or edges. Applying a thin layer of buttercream or ganache can also help the fondant adhere better and create a smoother finish.

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