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My First Fondant Cake: A Beginner's Experience

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first-fondant-cake

Actually My First Cake Ever

To me cooking, baking and anything to do with the kitchen has been associated with drudgery and oppression. Since I was a child and the girls were made to wash the dishes after family events and the boys left to fritter their time away I have avoided the kitchen and "women's work". I never expected that one day I would actually be excited about baking a cake and decorating it with fondant. So what changed? I saw pictures of these amazingly designed cakes made out of fondant (at the time had no clue what fondant was). They looked like edible works of art and were breathtaking. It seemed very creative and got my creative juices flowing. I wanted to see how easy or hard making one of these fondant cakes could be, and the best way to find things out it my trying them yourself. So I took the plunge and made my first fondant cake. Below I will show you the steps and missteps I took and the tools I tried.

My Finished Fondant Cake

My Finished Fondant Cake

My Finished Fondant Cake

Mixing the Cake Ingredients

Mixing the Cake Ingredients

The Baking Process

What you have to do before working with the fondant

The first step was to make the cake. You can make the cake from scratch or buy a cake mix and save a few steps. Since I was interested in the decorating process I was not concerned what the cake would taste like and wanted to speed up the process I chose a lemon cake mix that turned out to be yummy.

Using a Cake Mix

When using a cake mix you will need to add some additional ingredients like eggs and oil so make sure you read the box before you start out. I actually forgot to pick up some eggs but luckily a friend let me borrow a few.

Things I learned

Make sure you mix the batter until smooth. If you leave lumps you will create air pockets and it might make your cake crumble when removing from the pan (this happened with the second fondant cake I made).

Yummy Cake Recipes - Starting Your Cake Off on the Right Flavor

While I used a cake mix to make my cake you can always choose to make your cake batter from scratch. Listed below are some tasty cake recipes you can try.

Lemon Cake with Lumps and Peaked Center

Lemon Cake with Lumps and Peaked Center

Lemon Cake with Lumps and Peaked Center

first-fondant-cake

Time to Level the Cake

A Smooth Start is Necessary for Fondant Icing Application

I baked two nine inch cakes. I put the icing on the platter to hold the cake in place and attached the first layer then leveled it. I added more icing to stick the next layer and then leveled it. I covered the whole cake in icing before the cake was ready to receive Fondant.

What I learned

That the hardest part of the whole process was working with the icing after I leveled the cake. Dealing with the icing was frustrating. Cake crumbs kept getting mixed in the icing.

Icing the Cake

Icing the Cake

Icing the Cake

Frustrated with Buttercream Icing? - What I should have done

Not expecting the buttercream icing to be hard to apply I didn't look for a tutorial to help with my application. You see my results above and I really could have used this advice. This is a video tutorial I found on youtube that shows you how to get a smooth buttercream cake finish.

From this video I deduced I did not apply enough frosting or use the right tip with my icing bag. I also found a new use for my glider for caking smoothing.

Next time I will be more prepared for icing my cake with buttercream frosting.

Rolled Fondant: What is it like? - Using the Fondant

Place the Rolled Fondant on the Cake

Place the Rolled Fondant on the Cake

Place the Rolled Fondant on the Cake

first-fondant-cake

Fondant Cake for Beginners

Using Fondant

I smoothed my fondant cake and then placed it in the fridge to set for a couple of hours. After I rolled out some blue fondant and wetted the back with water and stuck the blue color to the cake. I smoothed it out, but I was not concerned that the edges on the top of the cake be straight as I was using the blue to create the appearance of a body of water.

My Favorite Resource

I found the articlee entltled "Fondant Cake Decorating: Play-Doh for Grown-Ups" by janet21 very helpful with tips,advice and techniques for working with fondant. It actually inspired me to create my first fondant cake.

Getting Your Decorations to Stick

I used water to attach my decorations and it worked well for me; but wilton recommended the use of a combination of water and gum paste to adhere the decorations more securely.

Wilton Fondant Cake Designs - Rated Easy - Tutorials to help you create your first fondant cake.

Below find fondant cake ideas to get you started on your first fondant cake project. All these projects come from the Wilton website. This website is a great resource for project ideas, available baking pans, and how to tutorials.

  • Swirls Unfurled Cake
    A rose scallop bow and fun swirls bring this pretty pink package cake to life! The fondant decorations are a breeze to cut using Sugar Sheets! punches and cutting inserts.
  • Pretty as a Present Cake
    Making a fondant bow is an easy technique to learn. Strips of fondant are folded into loops and allowed to dry. Later you assemble the loops into a bow right on your cake top.

Fondant Cake Decorations: Flowers and Bag of Pixie Dust

Fondant Cake Decorations: Flowers and Bag of Pixie Dust

Fondant Cake Decorations: Flowers and Bag of Pixie Dust

Creating Button Flowers - Find the right tool for the job

Fondant Versus Gum Paste Cake Decorations

What is the difference?

Going in to this project I read you could use fondant to decorate the cake so I did, but I heard the term gum paste which could be used interchangeably. I still was curious about the difference between the two decorating mediums.

Here's what I found out when I researched the difference:

Fondant is primarily used to cover the cake but gum paste is usually used to make the cake decorations because of it's durability. Gum paste is elastic and can give your flowers or other decorations a more realistic appearance. Gum paste dries extremely hard while fondant will get hard over time but not as hard as gum paste; however, Wilton recommends a 50/50 blend of fondant and gum paste for you decorations.

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Putting the Decorations Together

Get your fondant cake attached

To attach my decorations to the cake I put water on the back of the decorations. It seemed to adhere fine.

If you do tear a piece of your fondant you can always cover it with a decoration and no one would no know the difference.

I made three decorations on the cake from hand. The big lily pad and the ring sitting on the pad. I added the ring to represent lost things, and placed pixie dust at the base of the cake to represent magic.

Once you have the fondant workable it is much like using modeling clay to mold. If you can make simple decorations using play dough you will be able to easily construct some simple decorations.

Additional Cake Decorating Tools - Learning more creative ideas

Completed Fondant Cake

Completed Fondant Cake

Completed Fondant Cake

Helpful Fondant Decorating Tips - Sites that know how to make cakes look good.

If you are looking for more fondant cake decorating tips these sites have you covered.

Fondant Help

Share Your Advice for Decorating with Fondant - How do you decorate your fondant cake?

miaponzo on September 14, 2013:

What an amazing effort, and your fondant turned out beautifully!

Takkhis on February 24, 2013:

You are a great cook! Thanks for teaching how to make a fondant cake...Blessed! :)

anonymous on January 16, 2013:

I came across your post as I was also researching my first fondant cake! It eases my mind a bit to see how well yours turned out! Thank you for the advise.

Jen (author) from Canada on December 20, 2012:

@anonymous: I wish you success with your first fondant cake. I'm sure your niece will love it!

anonymous on December 19, 2012:

The cake looks amazing! I'm going to make my first fondant cake next week for my niece's birthday, since it is my first one, I've been searching all over the web and getting ideas. I've already bought most of the tools, knowing that it's probably not going to work out so well if I don't spend the extra money.. I just hope my first fondant cake will be a success.

anonymous on November 12, 2012:

I think your comment was awesome!However, my only recommendation would be to make marshmallow fondant instead of the store bought stuff...It tastes sooo much better!

anonymous on October 19, 2012:

Use appropriate tools for decorating.

Jen (author) from Canada on September 21, 2012:

@anonymous: I always use an undercoat so the fondant has something which to adhere.

Echo Phoenix on August 27, 2012:

Squidtastic! Beautiful presentation and I love the way your Tinkerbell cake came out:) thanks for sharing this, I would love to make one of these with my granddaughter!

Rankography on June 27, 2012:

Cool lens, my kids and I watch Cake Boss and have talked about trying one of these. I think your lens will be the catalyst and assistant in that process. Blessings to you.

Mary Crowther from Havre de Grace on June 19, 2012:

Don't know if I could attempt this, but your cake looks great!

intermarks on May 21, 2012:

Very nice information for who want to learn about fondant. Thanks for the information.

anonymous on April 15, 2012:

Great advice! This will help me a lot!! Thanks!

MartieG aka 'survivoryea' from Jersey Shore on January 26, 2012:

Always wanted to try this so I was interested in reading about your first attempt! There is more to it than I thought but your cake turned out amazingly well!!!

anonymous on December 25, 2011:

Wow, amazing for a first try! Congradz! :)

Loretta from United States on October 08, 2011:

Wow! you did an amazing job for your first cake ~ AMAZING! Congrats on the beautiful and delicious accomplishment ;-)

anilsaini on October 05, 2011:

nice lens

happynutritionist on October 04, 2011:

What a beautiful cake...these seem to be works of art.

privresearch on October 02, 2011:

Congratulations! If this is your first fondant cake you should think of starting a business! great job!

Jeanette from Australia on October 01, 2011:

Congratulations on a delightful cake!

Janet2221 on September 30, 2011:

Beautiful! It was so wonderful to hear that my lens inspired you. :)

Melody Lassalle from California on September 30, 2011:

I am really impressed at your creation! I am lucky if I can bake a cake and frost it decently. This is beautiful...almost too neat to eat!

anonymous on September 30, 2011:

What a fantastic cake! Bravo!! I've heard of fondant and always wondered how it worked. Thanks for the great explanation!

TeacherRenee on September 30, 2011:

I can't believe that was your first try with fondant! It's beautiful!!!

Julia M S Pearce from Melbourne, Australia on September 29, 2011:

Take a look at that! Beautiful!

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on September 29, 2011:

It looks so professional. Great job on the cake decorating.

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on September 29, 2011:

Absolutely gorgeous!!! I am more than impressed! Thank you for all of the helpful tips for the rest of us too. Angel Blessed!

seashell2 on September 29, 2011:

So sweet, you did an awesome job, I'm like to try this one day! :-)

Ann Hinds from So Cal on September 29, 2011:

Beautiful cake but too much work for me. I am not a kitchen person but can appreciate the work that went into the cake. If I ever decide to do a Fondant Cake, this will be a great reference source.

hamshi5433 on September 29, 2011:

Fondant cakes are unique! I love the step by step pictures of your fondant cake process. They`re a bit too strong to consume though, but look beautiful for any occasion.

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