How to prep and execute a basic fondant cake.
You will need:
1. Cake - Can use box cake from the grocery store, in this Instructable I made 2 8" round cakes
3. Fondant rolling pin
4. Various cookie cutters
5. Icing - This icing is butter cream from Publix
6. Cake Leveler
7. Pizza Cutter and/or Fondant Cutter
8. Fondant Mat
Step 1: Prep the Cake - Tier 1
After the cake has cooled, you need to make the top of the cake flat. Many cakes will create a dome during baking and it is essential to remove this so the cake lays flat. The easiest way is to use a cake leveler to remove the dome shaped portion of the cake. A knife can also be used if you do not have a cake leveler. After both 8" round cakes have been leveled it is time to frost. I love Publix buttercream so I purchased some from Publix and it is used here.
Starting with the red frosting I coat the top of the bottom 8" round cake. You can put as much or as little frosting as you like. I like to spread a small portion to cover the exposed cake and then pipe on more frosting for filling.
The easiest way to make a piping bag is to simply fill a zip top bag with frosting and then cut off a corner of the bag. Then you simply squeeze and voila.
Step 2: Prep the Cake - Tier 2
After the first tier is frosted you can place the second tier on top. The frosting may be pushed out by the weight of the top tier but this if fine. You simply need to smooth out the edge of the cake and frosting spatula. After you have smoothed out the excess frosting it is time for MORE frosting. Now you will add frosting to the remaining exposed cake, I did this with white frosting.
The fully frosted cake does not need to be perfect. The frosting will give when the fondant is placed on top.
NOTE: If you prefer to chill the cake after frosting it but before placing fondant on top, you really should make the frosting perfect because it will become harder when its cold. You do NOT have to chill the cake, I usually don't and it works just fine.
Step 3: Prep the Fondant
For this instructable I used store-bought fondant. First you need to sprinkle powdered sugar on your work surface. The powdered sugar will keep the fondant from sticking. Use the fondant rolling pin to work out the fondant so it is a little over 1/8" thick. The fondant will be hard in the beginning but as it warms up it will become more pliable. I roll it out until I can just see the lines on my fondant mat.
Fondant can be expensive. I also make my own fondant from marshmallows. The marshmallow fondant tastes WAY better but it takes time to create it. Many recipes for marshmallow fondant can be found on the web.
Step 4: Cover the Cake
Now comes the tricky part. There are several methods for lifting the fondant and covering the cake with it. Some will roll the fondant around the rolling pin and then "unroll" the fondant over the cake. I just jump right in and use my hands to lift the fondant and place it right on top of the cake.
After you lay the fondant on top of the cake you need to smooth out the top of the cake. Do not press very hard because you might squeeze out some of the frosting. After the top is smooth you need to work all the sides so they are flat against the cake. This takes patience but the fondant will give and take to do what you want. Just be carefully not to pull the fondant too hard because it can create holes and tears. It is easiest to start in one spot and work your way around.
Once all the sides are covered you can remove the excess fondant around the bottom edge of the cake. Be carefully not to cut too much and reveal the cake underneath. Some frosting may also squeeze out at this point so have some paper towels ready.
Once all the excess fondant is removed you are ready for decorations.
Step 5: Decorate the Cake
This portion of the decorating is all up to you. I created this cake as a thank you gift so I kept it simple with stars and lettering.
Bottom Edge: For this I simply rolled different colors of fondant into small balls and positioned them around the bottom of the cake. Doing this covers up any mistakes that may have been made along the bottom and it makes the cake look clean.
Cookie Cutters: Cookie Cutters work awesome for fondant!! They come in all shapes and sizes and make the decoration process very quick. I used to cut shapes by hand but then I invested in some nice metal cookie cutters and it saves so much time!
In order to "glue" fondant decorations to the cake you can dab some water on the fondant and this will act as a glue. For instance, when I attached a star to the cake I would smear a very small amount of water on the back of the star and then stick it on the cake. This will insure that nothing will move.
Have fun decorating!!
I have made several fondant cakes over the past year, check them out at Mann Made Cakes on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pages/Mann-Made-Cakes/133594456685056