Cake Decorating - Rolled Fondant

To get really smooth cakes, you can cover the whole cake in rolled fondant.  Instructions are here:

I don’t like to use Wilton fondant to cover whole cakes.  The texture is very difficult to work with, and it doesn’t taste good.   (Because the Wilton product is very stiff and dry, it is hard to get it thin enough and it cracks very easily.  You cannot cover big cakes, like R2, with Wilton fondant.) 

If you are serious about covering your cakes, invest in a higher quality fondant, such as Satin Ice.  Usually you have to order the better fondants by the tub.  Here is a link to fondant reviews:    You can get wonderful flavors and colors of high-end fondant.  I once had a tub of Belgian chocolate fondant – the cakes tasted like they were covered in fudge!   I also note that Duff’s fondant rated well, but I haven’t used it.  It is available in many places, including craft stores, so it might be worth trying.

In addition to good quality fondant, a few tools are useful.  You need a large, non-stick rolling pin and a tool to smooth the fondant one the cake.  You can find these tools in the cake aisle of your local craft store.  You also need a large, clean, smooth surface to roll the fondant.  

To begin, knead the fondant very well, working in a little Crisco and color if desired. Dust the surface and the fondant with powdered sugar, and turn/flip the fondant as you roll to keep it from sticking.  When you roll the fondant, you may see some air bubbles.  Use a straight pin to punch the bubble and keep rolling to smooth.  Roll like pie crust - in all directions, to keep the thickness even.   You want the final sheet to be as thin as possible - 1/8" or less.  I also always keep a tape measure on hand to make sure I've rolled a big enough piece. You can also judge size using your cake pan or a cake round. 

Tip - before starting to roll the fondant, remove rings and dangling bracelets.  It's very hard to smooth out nicks made by jewelry when you rub the fondant with your hands.  Trust me, it always happens!  

To move the fondant to your cake, roll it onto your rolling pin, then unroll over a dry, crumb coated cake.  Smooth from the top down, using a flat tool. Trim with a very sharp paring knife or a pizza cutter.  (You can get a small "pizza-style" cutter just for fondant - if you are doing a lot, it makes trimming very easy.  On the sides, you may need to trim and cut excess away where is there is an overlap or wrinkle, trim carefully, then smooth the seam flat.  High quality fondant will smooth nicely so the seam will almost disappear. 

Covering cakes with rolled fondant is definitely a more advanced technique, but with practice you can do it.  Start with small cakes and work up!  

Artist pallet cake covered in Belgian Chocolate Fondant.  The brush was made with Wilton fondant (wrapped around a skewer).  The paint pots are Wilton tube icing, warmed in my microwave so I could pour the icing into depressions that I made with a small ball.  Finished the cake with small balls of chocolate fondant around the base.  Cake is baked in the Wilton large paisley cake pan.