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HELP!  I'm doing my first fondant covered wedding cake soon.  I recently took a fondant basics class.  We had a little trouble with my fondant taking on air bubbles, but, finally, I successfully got my cake covered and decorated.  I took it home and observed it for several days.  By the second day, the fondant began to sag; it even looked like it developed a couple air pockets underneath.  Now I'm panicking at the thought of covering tiers as large as 14".  It seems the more research I do, the more confused I get!  What buttercream recipe do you use under fondant? 

So glad I found this site - so much good information in one place!  Thanks!

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Ok Cheryl
Did you use Wilton fondant??? Yuk, tastes awful and is hard as a rock, terrible to get soft enough to work with. I usually make my own. If not I use a good fondant made with white chocolate. Satin Ice is also a good fondant. You must knead your fondant well to develop elasticity & remove air bubbles. I have never had a fondant sag or slide. Perhaps you put too much icing under the fondant? If your fondant isn't sealed by a good border, icing can melt and run out. That's happened to me. I now put meringue powder in my icing so it will "crust" & keep stable. If I am setting up outside, I will do 1/2 buttercream, 1/2 royal icing mixture. Did that in May when I had a cake in a hall that was a converted barn, open completely to the outside. Held up well.
If the cake is in a air conditioned hall, away from direct sunlight, you don't have to fuss too much about a "special" icing underneath your fondant.
Hope this helps. Any other questions, I will certainly try to answer. We're here to help.

Hi, June,


No, I didn't use Wilton; I used Fondarific, a buttercream flavored fondant.  I don't ever care to use Wilton.  I used it once years ago when that was the only kind sold in our area.  I had nothing to compare it to.  Since then, I've only used Wilton fondant once last year to make a baby and blanket to go on top of a shower cake.  Anyway, I certainly would agree with your comments!  The Fondarific was definitely kneaded well.  Between the instructor and myself, it was kneaded and rolled out several times.  At that time, the two instructors assumed it was the temperature in the classroom, which was warmer than normal.  However, my fondant was the only fondant acting up.  I just talked with the class instructor, and she wonders if the problem was with the particular batch of fondant that mine came from.  I've only heard good reviews about Fondarific, but her suggestion makes sense.  As for my buttercream, I didn't put too much under the fondant.  Figuring I had nothing to lose, I cut the cake on the third or fourth day, and the buttercream amount looked fine.  In addition,  no icing ever melted or seeped out around the bottom.  The only thing I can think of otherwise is that my cake's buttercream had a lot of time to crust before I covered it (close to two hours).  Maybe the fondant never adhered to the cake properly, allowing the problems to then take place.  (I didn't spray the cake with water or brush it with piping gel before covering it with the fondant.)  Maybe I had two separate issues with my fondant - air bubbles during rolling, then fondant that never stuck to the buttercream - the perfect storm!  Anyway, I am just curious what buttercream recipe would be the most widely used under fondant.  My buttercream seems pretty standard, 1/2 C. Crisco + 1/2 C butter to every pound of confectioner's sugar.  Since my fiasco, I have purchased high-ratio shortening, in case the Crisco contributed to the problem.

 

Wow, I just realized that my first reply wasn't deleted after all!  Sorry for the repeat info.

Wow Cheryl

Sounds like the buttercream wasn't the problem. I am wondering if your fondant absorbed too much humudity in the classroom, and then perhaps even more where  it sat in your house.??  I took a Wilton course on fondant about 7 yrs ago before I made my 1st wedding cake. It was a hot, hot summer. We  HAD to use Wilton fondant as it was supplied for the course. We were to make 10 + roses for a cake. Well, I was the only one who didn't have roses for that class. Our AC wasn't working very well, and my roses literally would not dry. I was in tears. We had to make them on toothpicks. I remember placing the toothpicks in the styrofoam for the roses to dry, coming down to the basement a hour or two later, they had fallen right off the toothpicks. We hadn't been taught about adding tylose powder/cmc, or gumpaste to the fondant in this class. I don't even think that would have helped.

I am STILL having a running argument with my hubby about how damp our basement is dispite the fact we have brand new AC/central air.  I made cally lillies from fondant/gumpaste last Feb. Have a few downstairs sitting leftover. They have gone soft!!!!!  Now on the 2nd story of my house in my daughter's old room I have have extra cake stuff in her closet. There is a ziploc container with  litte tiny fondant  cut out bears. They are just as hard as the day I stored them their!!!!  Go figure??  Heat rises?  Makes no sense to me.  My hubby has a humidity sensor, & I keep meaning to take it both upstairs & down to get a reading to prove my point.

Humidity is THE killer for fondant....for sure.

Yes, June, humidity is not a baker's friend!  My body is a great barometer for humidity, and I don't remember being bothered by it at all in the classroom, even though it was warmer than normal.  And I know our AC was on all the time at home, kept at about 76 degrees.  I think I can kind of relate to how you may have felt after your class.  I was so excited to expand my skills, and gain some knowledge and confidence from taking the fondant class.  However, I now feel less confident than I did before the class!  I just made yet another batch of icing this forenoon, and, of course, I changed up my recipe again!!!  (Making myself crazy over the icing!)  I'm going to frost and cover a couple 6" cakes I made to see how these go.  And this brings another question to mind:  Do you work with cake mixes or scratch recipes when you make fondant covered cakes?  Upon advise from another decorator, I've added ingredients to cake mix to make the cake more sturdy.  Then, when I talked to the fondant class instructor, she said she makes regular homemade recipes (not pound-type cakes), and for chocolate cake she uses chocolate cake mix and makes as directed.  She even rolls her fondant a little thicker than normal, but her cakes hold up fine.  When I cut my class cake (mind you this was after three or four days), the top layer looked about a half inch shorter than the bottom.  My fondant was normal thickness, so I don't feel it was adding more than normal weight to my cake.  Anyway, this is just one more issue that I'm making myself crazy over!!!  I will post a reply after I cover my cakes later today.

Luckily, I just bought some tylose powder to mix in the fondant I'm decorating the cake with, and what I gather from your post is that you would do the same; that's good to know!  I'll bet your humidity sensor is going to let you know that you have much more moisture in your basement that on your second story.  Same here, the humidity is clearly higher in our basement than in the main living areas of our house.  At least you know where the best place in your house is to store your fondant/gumpaste decorations!

Thanks again for your responses, June.  All this information will help me to reach my goal - to be less crazy AFTER this wedding cake is done!

Hi Cheryl,

As far as mix cakes or scratch, I do both depending on the mood and sometimes the flavor I am going for.  However, I always add to the mix.  There are some great recipes but I haven't done any with the new mixes that have been reduced from 18.25oz to whatever it is now.  When I heard they were reducing them, I went out & bought a few to have on hand. Those who have used them say they did not notice a difference.  I have actually been doing more scratch baking.  I don't think I would do it as a straight mix.  If you are interested in some doctored recipes check this out https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1wBMz4wGYM-f4XKECyQEodFVwB0...  I have made a couple of them and everyone loved them.

Hey Goreti, can u give the name of the website once more, I am always looking for new recipes with cake mix, Thanks.

Hi, Goreti,

Yes, I prefer to beef up cake mixes, too, when I use them.  I just have to nail down how I'm going to "doctor" mixes for the five flavors the bride has going on in this cake!  Thanks so much for the link; there are a lot of recipes to choose from!  I originally decided to go the cake mix route to help keep costs down.  Plus, the bride indicated that she preferred the flavor of DH orange cake mix, and that is the flavor of the largest tier of the cake.

And I just recently learned of the reduction in the cake mixes when I discovered this forum last week!  Good to know, as well.  We'll have to do some more "doctoring!"  I believe this was the topic of another discussion that I found this morning on this forum.

Thanks for your help!

Goreti said:

Hi Cheryl,

As far as mix cakes or scratch, I do both depending on the mood and sometimes the flavor I am going for.  However, I always add to the mix.  There are some great recipes but I haven't done any with the new mixes that have been reduced from 18.25oz to whatever it is now.  When I heard they were reducing them, I went out & bought a few to have on hand. Those who have used them say they did not notice a difference.  I have actually been doing more scratch baking.  I don't think I would do it as a straight mix.  If you are interested in some doctored recipes check this out https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1wBMz4wGYM-f4XKECyQEodFVwB0...  I have made a couple of them and everyone loved them.

Anne,

This is actually a document with all the recipes just click on the link:

https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1wBMz4wGYM-f4XKECyQEodFVwB0...

Anne M said:

Hey Goreti, can u give the name of the website once more, I am always looking for new recipes with cake mix, Thanks.



Goreti said:

Hi Cheryl,

As far as mix cakes or scratch, I do both depending on the mood and sometimes the flavor I am going for.  However, I always add to the mix.  There are some great recipes but I haven't done any with the new mixes that have been reduced from 18.25oz to whatever it is now.  When I heard they were reducing them, I went out & bought a few to have on hand. Those who have used them say they did not notice a difference.  I have actually been doing more scratch baking.  I don't think I would do it as a straight mix.  If you are interested in some doctored recipes check this out https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1wBMz4wGYM-f4XKECyQEodFVwB0...  I have made a couple of them and everyone loved them.

sorry about non-existant reply. I seem to be missing something, these recipes do not give pan sizes, oven temps or baking times. Do I just use my normal pans and keep an eye on product in the oven. Thanks for the link, there are lots of varity.

 

Carol....see chart below  Hope this helps  :o)

Wedding Cake Baking Time and Batter Amounts - 2 in. Deep Pans

The chart below is based on baking recommendations from the Wilton Test Kitchen; your results may vary depending on oven performance or altitude in your area. For large cakes, always check for doneness after they have baked for 1 hour. For pans 10 inches and larger, we recommend using a heating core to insure even baking.

Use this chart as a guide when baking wedding cake tiers. Batter amounts for the 2 in. cakes on the chart are for pans 2/3 full of batter. An average 2-layer cake mix yields 4 to 5 1/2 cups of batter. 

Icing amounts are very general and will vary with consistency, thickness applied and tips used. These amounts allow for top and bottom borders.

Serving amounts are based on wedding-sized portions of approximately 1 x 2 in. Cakes from 3 to 6 in. high, baked in the same size pan, would yield the same number of servings because they follow the same pattern of cutting. Cakes shorter than 3 in. would yield half the number of servings indicated for that pan. Number of servings are intended as a guide only.

The number of servings listed are intended as a guide only and offer a small portion of wedding cake.  If cake is the only dessert and/or portions larger than 1”x2” are served, then you will have less servings than the chart indicates.

Pan Shape Size Number of Servings             (2 Layers) Cups Batter             1 Layer, 2 in. Baking             Temperature Baking Time             Minutes Approx. Cups         Icing to Ice & Decorate 2 Layer Cake
Round 6"             7"             8"             9"             10"             12"             14"             16" 12
            24             32             38             56             78             100
2             2-1/2             3-1/2             5-1/2             6             7-1/2             10             15 350°             350°             350°             350°             350°             350°             325°             325° 25 - 30             30 - 35             30 - 35             30 - 35             35 - 40             35 - 40             50 - 55             55 - 60 3             3 1/2             4             4 1/2             5             6             7 1/2             9
Sheet 7 x 11"             9 x 13"             11 x 15"             12 x 18"             14 x 22" 32             50             74             98 5-1/2             7             11             14             16 350°             350°             325°             325°             325° 30 - 35             35 - 40             35 - 40             40 - 45             45 - 50 5             6             8             10             12
Square 6"             8"             10"             12"             14"             16" 18             32             50             72             98             128 2             4             6             10             13-1/2             15-1/2 350°             350°             350°             350°             325°             325° 25 - 30             35 - 40             35 - 40             40 - 45             45 - 50             50 - 55 3 1/2             4 1/2             6             7 1/2             9 1/2             11
Heart 6"             8"             9"             10"             12"             14"             15"             16" 14             22             28             38             56             72             74             94 1-1/2             3-1/2             4             5             8             10             11             12 1/2 350°             350°             350°             350°             325°             325°             325°             325° 25 - 30             30 - 35             30 - 35             30 - 35             45 - 50             45 - 50             40 - 45             40 - 45 3 1/2             4 1/2             6             8 1/2             9             10             11             12
Petal 6"             9"             12"             15" 8             18             40             64 1-1/2             3-1/2             7             12 350°             350°             350°             325° 25 - 30             35 - 40             35 - 40             50 - 55 4             6             9             11
Hexagon 6"             9"             12"             15" 12             26             40             70 1-3/4             3-1/2             6             11 350°             350°             350°             325° 30 - 35             35 - 40             40 - 45             40 - 45 3             5             6             9
Oval 7-3/4 x 5-5/8"             10-3/4 x 7-7/8"             13 x 9-7/8"             16 x 12-3/8" 13             26             45             70 2-1/2             5             8             11 350°             350°             350°             325° 25 - 30             25 - 30             35 - 40             40 - 45 3             4             5 1/2             7 1/2
Paisley 9 x 6"             12-3/4 x 9"             17 x 12" 13             38             56 3             7             10-1/2 350°           350°             325° 35 - 40             45 - 50             55 - 60 5         6           8
Diamond 10-1/4 x 7-1/3"             15 x 11"             19-1/4 x 14-1/4" 18       32         66 3-1/4         7-1/4           13-1/4 350°             350°             350° 20 - 25           40 - 45           65 - 70 2-1/2     5       8
Pillow 6-3/4 x 6-3/4"             10 x 10"             13-1/4 x 13-1/4" 19       40         88 5         11           19 350°             350°             350° 33 - 38           34 - 39           42 -47 3 6-1/2 9-1/2       
Note: For pans 10 inches and larger, use a heating core when baking. Use 2 cores for 18 inch pans.

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