Working with Fondant

Fondant is an edible sugar-dough icing that can be rolled or modeled much like clay. Fondant can be used to make decorations or rolled out and placed over the entire cake to give it a smooth, professional finish.

What’s the best way to work with fondant?

  • Remove any rings, bracelets or watches
  • Work on a flat surface
  • Work on a clean, dry, crumb-free surface
  • Keep hands dry to prevent sticking
  • Work in a cool, dry environment. Is it raining? Shut all the windows. Is it hot? Crank the air-conditioning.
  • Fondant should not be sticky or gooey. Knead powdered sugar into fondant until it is easy to handle.
  • To keep the fondant from sticking, keep the work surface dusted with powdered sugar.
  • Fondant dries out in the air, so place fondant in an airtight bag or plastic wrap when not in use, even for short periods like a few minutes.

Fondant may appear hard and chunky when removed from its packaging.

  • This is normal. Just start kneading it until its soft and pliable.

What do I do if the fondant is too sticky to work with?

  • Fondant is very sensitive to heat, humidity, and moisture. Be sure to work in a cool, dry environment. If it’s raining outside, close all windows. During hot weather, work in an air-conditioned environment.
  • Use the powdered sugar to dust the fondant and reduce stickiness. Continue to dust fondant until easy to handle. Do not over dry.
    • Some cake artists use cornstarch instead of powdered sugar to keep the fondant from sticking. This works well BUT cornstarch can dry the fondant out too quickly and if you add too much, it can add a bitter taste. If the powdered sugar isn’t working well enough, combine 70% powdered sugar with 30% cornstarch.

What do I do if my fondant is too dry and cracking?

  • To help moisten dryer fondant, add a teaspoon of vegetable shortening for every ¼ pound of fondant and knead together.
  • Once fondant is completely dried out, there is nothing that can be done to re-moisten it, so be sure to keep your unused fondant covered airtight in plastic wrap or a plastic bag.

How to color and store fondant.

  • Always use a professional quality food color gel or paste. The food coloring from the supermarket is too watery.
  • Knead in small amounts of food coloring to the fondant at a time. You can always add more- you cant take it away.
    • The fondant will get sticky when you add in the food coloring, so keep dusting it with powdered sugar to keep it from getting sticky. Fondant should never be so sticky that it sticks to the table or hands. Just keep adding powdered sugar!
  • Keep each color fondant in its own plastic bag or plastic wrap even while working with it.Fondant can dry out easily.
  • Fondant has a very long shelf life if stored properly. Place the fondant in an airtight container and store in a cabinet or out of sunlight or heat. It does not need to be refrigerated and as long as it remains soft, it can be used for a future project.

Ways to Make Decorations

  • We’re often posting free directions, demos, projects and directions. Click HERE.
  • Roll out fondant and cut shapes with plunger cutters or cookie cutters you have at home. Easy!
  • To attach a flat piece of fondant to another piece of fondant, use a paintbrush with a little water– BUT not too much as it could get gooey and melt the fondant!
  • To attach 3D piece of fondant to fondant, or an edible decoration to fondant, use the Piping Gel as edible glue. If it slides, use less.
    • Other edible glues you can use are royal icing, piping gel or petal glue.
  • Hand model fondant just like you would clay
  • Need it to stand up? Insert a toothpick or lollipop stick to help it stand or allow pieces to dry overnight. Fondant takes awhile to dry, so you might have to support it.
    • Most cake artists use what’s called Gum Paste for toppers or decorations that need to stand up on their own. Gum Paste works just like fondant but it dries rock hard and very fast.
    • You can also knead Tylose Powder (or CMC Powder) into fondant to dry it out faster so it can stand. These powders are desiccants that wick the moisture out of fondant.
  • Use modeling tools, cutter wheel or kitchen utensils to sculpt, cut and texture the fondant how you like. Get creative!