Cake FAQs

Question 1: What is Fondant?

Answer: The word Fondant in French means “melting”, as it melts in your mouth when eat it. Fondant is referred to as sugar paste in the UK and throughout Europe. Fondant is further divided into two categories: Poured Fondant and Rolled Fondant. Most cake decorators when refer to fondant is rolled fondant. Fondant is made with confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup and water. A form of fondant is developed as early as 15th century, made of rosewater, sugar, lemon juice, egg whites, and gum tragacanth. Currently, fondant is popular and commonly used ingredient by many cake decorators around the world. Popular TV shows that showcase the use of fondant are Ace of Cakes, Cake Boss, and Food Network Challenge.

Question 2: What is Poured Fondant?

Answer: Poured fondant is creamy confection and liquid consistency mainly used for filling or coating for cakes, pastries such as eclairs and Napoleons, petit fours, candies like Cadbury’s Crème Egg has poured fondant filling, or sweets.

Question 3: What is Rolled Fondant?

Answer: Rolled fondant is sugar dough or sweet dough, mainly used for covering cakes and cake board, make cut-outs, boarders and appliques, etc. One can add flavors and color to rolled fondant according to preference.

Question 4: What is Gum Paste?

Answer: Gum Paste is sweet sugar dough, which dry quickly. Gum paste is great for making cake decorations and cake toppers with a long shelf life. Gum paste is referred to as sugar paste or sugar gum.

Question 5: Why use fondant to cover the cake?

Answer: Fondant is used to cover the cake as it does not dry hard as gum paste and royal icing.

The fondant remains moist on the inside as the cake is first covered in buttercream icing or ganache.

Question 6: What is the difference between Fondant and Gum Paste?

Answer: Fondant and gum paste are really similar, however gum paste is more stretchable, dries quickly, dry hard and great for adding ruffles. Fondant on the other hand stays moist for longer time and does not dry hard as gum paste.

Question 7: Why use fondant and gum paste blend for making decorations?

Answer: Fondant and gum paste are expensive. When making fondant and gum paste blend it is does not dry as fast as gum paste does. It add stretch and durability without tearing, really easy to roll-out think as a paper, could add paste color without changing consistency, holds shape and could add ruffles to make flowers, bows, and appliques, etc.

Question 8: What does fondant taste like?

Answer: Fondant is edible, sweet in taste, similar to marshmallow, and kids call it candy. Some cake decorators add flavors to make it more appetizing, as everyone are not great fan of fondant. Be daring and taste it to form your own opinion.

Question 9: What to do if decorations break?

Answer: When decorations break while working with simply make some more. I live buy a rule of thumb simple make more in case the break while transporting, decorating, or simply not handled properly. To fix your decoration, thin out fondant of the same color with water and pipe a thin line using Tip #2 and attach the pieces together, hold them in place and let them dry for approximately 30 minutes. Everyone break decorations no matter how much experience one has, so you are not alone.

Question 10: How to fix torn fondant?

Answer: Let me start with saying, “You are not alone who have a torn fondant while covering the cake”. One possibility is that dry fondant edges where mixed with moist fondant that looks like lumps when rolled out, cause’s tears. Another possibility is that you simple have a torn while smoothing the fondant.

Simple fixes:

1) Take fondant of the same color and simple attach a small piece and smooth it with vegetable shortening or water, as much as possible.

2) Thin out fondant of the same color in a bowl with little water. Fill a bag with Tip # 2 or 3, fill in the tears and brush with a damp brush, let this dry for 30 minutes. If the torn looks worst on the cake repeat the process if needed.

3) The cake can be covered with another layer of fondant, if possible and cost effective.

4) Last and only option cover the torn fondant with decorations like flowers, cut-outs, bows, appliques or border, etc. Don’t tell anyone it is our secret.

To avoid torn fondant in future, make sure the cake is covered with smooth buttercream icing or ganache with no crumbs, brand of fondant you are comfortable using, and lots of practice as different shapes present different challenges.

Question 11: How to handle and store Fondant and Gum Paste?

Answer: Fondant and Gum Paste are stretchable and dry quickly, so apply a thin coat of white vegetable shortening is used to avoid sticking on hands, rolling pin and surface while working. When storing fondant and gum paste roll it into a ball, apply a thin coat of vegetable shortening, wrap it in clear plastic wrap, and store in a zip lock bag.

Fondant and Gum paste do tend to pick up lint easily, be sure to avoid of fuzzy sweaters or clothes. Also, make sure that your hands and work area are clean before handling.

Question 12: What to do when Fondant and Gum Paste are too dry?

Answer: When fondant is too dry, remove all the dry and lumpy fondant from the moist fondant. Only use moist fondant. When kneading fondant is dry, apply a thin coat of vegetable shortening and knead in really well to continue working.

When gum paste is too dry, remove all the really hard dry pieces as they are like rocks. Store them separately to use for gum paste glue, so do not throw them away. Use the moist gum paste for making decorations using vegetable shortening to avoid sticking.

Question 13: How to measure dry ingredients for cake baking and icing?

Answer: When using flour, sugar, confectioner’s sugar, brown sugar, baking powder or baking soda do not pack or shake off the excess. Level it with a straight edge while measuring, using dry ingredient measuring cup.

Question 14: How to use measure liquid ingredients for cake baking or icing?

Answer: Let me start by saying, follow the recipe if it calls for room temperature ingredients use them at room temperature. Do not melt unless the recipe specify for melted butter. Use liquid measuring cup for liquid ingredients like water, milk, heavy cream or more. Keep the cup on the surface and pour liquid, check the measurement from the side and not from the top of the cup to be precise.