Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

Hi there,

So here's a problem i'm facing and still can't find out what is going on!!

In the last few cakes that I made, I faced so many problems with my fondant. I use Wilton 5lb packs

I tried so many solutions and nothing worked.

So here's what happened with my last cake, Minnie mouse pink three tier cake.

I usually bake my cakes three days before the day i have to deliver them. I refrigerate them overnight, the second day, i level the cakes, brush the layers with a syrup, fill and buttercream them with a really thin layer, refrigerate for three hours, take the cakes out smooth the buttercream one more time till it is flawless, then refrigerate over night.

The third day, I brush my buttercreamed cake with vodka, or extract so the fondant sticks on the cake. then fondant and decorate and keep them outside till i deliver them.

So back to Minnie mouse cake. the third day I colored my fondant to pink color, not too dark and not light.

Covered my working top with shortening and my hands too, and opened the fondant to 1/8" thick. Applied another layer of shortening on top. so it doesn't dry out.

Took the cake out of the fridge and brushed it with extract and immediately covered it with fondant.

As soon as i started smoothing the cake top, "i didn't smooth or cut the extra fondant from the sides yet" the fondant started cracking and got elephant skin on the upper cake edges. my fondant smoother started sticking to the fondant, so i smoothed it with my hands, quickly cut the extra fondant from the sides so it does not pull the fondant down then smoothed the sides.

But it was really ugly!! and the worst part is the fondant popped out in the area where the filling is "i used cream cheese"!!

Anyway as a solution I had to roll another fondant same color and thickness and brushed my first fondant layer with water and recovered it with another layer of fondant!

And since Wilton fondant is not so tasty, I wasn't happy with the results at all.

So here is my story, and below are some more questions.

1- Why this is happening? i once tried pre-colored fondant and still got elephant skin, so I'm not sure if it is the coloring. By the way i use gel colors

2-Should i refrigerate the cake after covering with fondant?

3-I want to try different fondant, what do you suggest?

4-Do you use think layer of buttercream under the fondant?

5-why the fondant pops out from the middle where the cake layers are? is because of the cake being not strong enough to hold the fondants weight? what is the best cakes taht work with fondant?

This is very important to me, I hope to hear your comments on every single thing you think I'm doing wrong .

P.s. i attached some photos for what I'm talking about

Thank you,


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Any tips will be so helpful

Have you managed to sort out the elephant skin fondant yet?   Are you kneading it enough before rolling out.  If it is feeling too dry when you get it out of the box kneed in a drop of water or two, knead well and add more if necessary.

First thing I would do is stop using Wilton Fondant.  I don't know how well it works because I've never used it, but since the begining, I've always made my own.  Google a recipe for marshmallow fondant.  Can be made in 5 minutes, taste is so much better than store bought and you can flavor it.  Not to mention you'll cut your cost dramatically.  If you're going to use alot of that particular color, add your food color during the melted marshmallow step.

I too get my cakes cold before leveling them and I crumb coat them cold too.  After adding fondant, I never refridgerate them, it causes condensation on the fondant, and water can do damage to fondant.

Butter cream works great under fondant, it makes it easier to smooth and maybe you used too much shortening which caused your fondant smoothing tool to stick.

Run a bead of stiff buttercream around your layer before adding filling. The heavier the cake, the more it will push down on the filling inbetween.  If the cake is stacked, use dowels to help hold the weight. 

I hope this helps, I'm self taught and have run into some of these issues as well.  Great thing about cake making, almost anything can be fixed.  I may not turn out exactly the way you wanted, but it'll be ok. 

If you have cracks it could be you are getting it too dry. If you are using corn starch or powdered sugar it will dry out easily if you add to much. I just started using "The Mat" sold by sweeetwise. It is amazing and only cost about $19 after shipping. It is so easy and you do not have to use any p. sugar or starch. If you need a quick fix for the fondant just knead in some shortening, just a lil it goes a long way but will moisten your fondant to stop cracks. Wilton tends to be very dry any way. I would suggest a better tasting fondant though. If you get yours from Micheal's try the Duff fondant, it tastes 100 % better and you can use the 40% off coupon to buy it so its cheaper than Wilton. if you can order online try Satin Ice. Most decorators use it and it it very easy to work with and tastes good. Hope this helped!!

I have to concur with Shirley and Pauline...Wilton is just plain Nasty!!!!   Years ago I had to purchse it for a Wilton course.  It was so bad I didn't even save it to practice with. Shirley is right about the taste.....YUK.  You want people to enjoy the cake, icing, fondant and all. I buy my fondant from a cake decorator's warehouse if I don't make my own, which is most of the time. They make it with white chocolate, which means it can be frozen.  Homemade, is easy to make & tastes great.

My local bulk store also sells Satin Ice which is very nice, pricey, but used in a pinch.

I dont like the Wilton Fondant.  Not to mention it does not taste good.  I use the "Mat" and Satin Ice fondant.  The key to fondant is to Knead it which makes it easier to work with. 

This may not apply to outside of the UK, but here goes anyway.  I have never used Wilton fondant (and never will by these comments!).  I usually use  Ready to Roll Regalice (white and precoloured - no difference).  Tastes lovely, kneads up well and is pretty pliable.   I find I get in a bit of a mess with shortening, so usually roll out in cornflour (cornstarch I think you call it).  The smoother doesn't stick to the icing that way - or to smooth out smaller areas, I use a ball of rolled up fondant.

No, don't refrigerate after fondant - condensation when it comes out of the fridge can cause you all sorts of sticky problems.

Yes buttercream under fondant should be fine - I sometimes also use jam that has been warmed and any 'bits' strained out of it.  Just brush it on lightly - fondant sticks to it very well.

Fondant popping out - I have this trouble quite a bit too.  I think it may be that the edges of the cake are not even, or maybe you are smoothing the top again after the edges and it's pushing it down?  I saw a tip on youtube somewhere, they used a smoother on the top and sides at the same time.  Could you try that?

By the way - I think you cakes were lovely and didn't look anything like as bad as I had expected from what you said.

I agree with Katy.... your cakes are lovely. :o)

I'm not great at covering cakes with fondant - so can't give you any real expert tips, but I use Regal Ice professional and it seems very forgiving. Doesn't taste too bad either (well I don't think). I've just covered an 11" heart shaped fruit cake in it and it was a dream. No cracks and kept it's nice crisp look all the way to delivery. That was for my latest 3 tier wedding cake. I think I'd have been in tears if cracks and tears had appeared. I hope you get it sorted out for your own sanity.

Good luck, Tracy x  

Re: Fondant "popping out"- You may have had air trapped inside your cake. As the cake warms (even to room temp) the trapped air will try to escape, resulting in the draped fondant bubbling or 'blowing out'. If you see it happen directly after you've covered the cake and the fondant hasn't dried, you can pierce the 'bubble' with a fine pin and coax the air to escape by gently pressing around, then on top of, the 'bump' of fondant. Most often the air will be released and the still-soft fondant can be smoothed back into place. This can be prevented by making sure your layers of filling are even, full and smoothed to the edge of your 'dammed' layers. "Damming" your filling with a ring of buttercream will also help prevent the filling from spilling out from between the layers of cake. We also press down on our cakes after they've been filled and allow them to 'settle' in the refrigerator before and after crumb-coating. As a final precaution, you can pierce the top and sides of your crumb-coated cake 2 - 4 times with a metal skewer; this will also help any trapped air escape before you drape with fondant.
Hope this is helpful info; I love the encouragement and support found here.
I have almost always used Satin Ice (sometimes Pettinice in a pinch) and have never had more problems with cracked edges as I have as of late! We NEVER use p/s or c/s, always use shortening for rolling out and have had great success until the past year or a bit more? I'm starting to think that SI has changed somehow and will definitely seek out another brand to use.

The temperature of cake and fondant also makes a big difference in the success of the draping, and the chances of whether the fondant will crack at the edges. If the cake is very, very cold and the fondant is very warm, cracks will appear immediately. It is always best to try to get the temperatures of the cake and fondant as similar as possible. Not an easy task, of course!

PS- I also very much agree about the Wilton fondant; it is AWFUL on all counts!

I don't refrigerate my fondant cakes and I always use ganache to crumbcoat my cake. Cakes from the fridge makes the fondant sweat. So I suggest don't refrigerate it.
Highlight Food and Crafts said:

Any tips will be so helpful

Refrigerated fondant cakes "sweat" if they are brought out into a warm temp, uncovered, directly from the refrigerator. I refrigerate my fondant-covered cakes all the time; I just keep them wrapped or sealed well while being stored. If the room is warm, keep the cake covered until it reaches somewhere near rm temp. If it DOES 'sweat' at all, the 'sweat' will re-absorb, as long as the room temp isn't very, very warm. The 'sweat' will also re-absorb when the cake is cooled again, or placed back in the refrigerator.
You should always at least chill the cake after it has been crumb-coated. Trying to drape a warm cake with fondant will be a disaster.

Maria Gemini said:

I don't refrigerate my fondant cakes and I always use ganache to crumbcoat my cake. Cakes from the fridge makes the fondant sweat. So I suggest don't refrigerate it.
Highlight Food and Crafts said:

Any tips will be so helpful

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