5 steps to a Cake Boss-worthy statement cake
The biggest challenge newbies face working with this professional-looking icing is intimidation and a lack of tools, says Gabby. Investing in a set of fondant-specific tools will get you started, she says. Use her tips to ace your first cake, and you’ll find the intimidation factor disappears quickly. Here are Gabby’s five steps for decorating flawless fondant cakes.
1 Start with a clean canvas
“The biggest mistake people make is trying to decorate a cake before it’s properly prepped. That’s when you get crumbs in the icing,” says Gabby. No-nos include icing a warm – or even room-temperature cake. “Take your cake out of the pan, let it cool on a rack, then put it into the freezer until it’s frozen,” says Gabby. This can take hours, so give yourself plenty of extra time.
Once frozen, your cake is ready to be covered in an even layer of buttercream icing, which acts as a foundation for your fondant.
TIP: For best results, Gabby recommends using a Cake Boss decorating turntable. It raises the cake, rotates smoothly, and can be locked in place for ease of decorating.2 Roll out your fondant
Mix your own fondant using a recipe, or buy a readymade fondant from a craft or bakery-supply shop. Roll out your fondant so it forms a thin, even circle without bulges or holes.
Reduce the risk of tearing by:
- Warming the fondant. Knead it in your hands so it becomes softer and pliant
- Dusting cornstarch onto your work surface, so the fondant won’t stick
- Working on a smooth, non-porous surface such as a stone or stainless steel countertop, silicone mat, or un-textured glass cutting board
- Working with a smooth, non-porous rolling pin. Gabby recommends the Cake Boss Fondent Rolling Pin from Canadian Tire’s Cake Boss collection
3 Drape your cake in fondant
Once your fondant is ready, carefully lift it as you would thin-crust pizza dough, and place it over your cake. Use a fondant smoother (it looks like a trowel) to smooth the fondant over the sides, gently smoothing out all the folds. Then use a blade to cut off the excess.
TIP: Don’t panic if there are a few small tears in your fondant. You can easily cover them with appliqués.4 Add fondant appliques
Attaching fondant appliqués to a fondant surface is a piece of cake: just brush water onto the back of the applique, stick it on – et voila! – perfect adhesion every time.
Gabby says a basic inventory of fondant cutters will arm you for any basic cake project. They key ones she recommends are:
- A ribbon cutter. This will give you perfectly even strips of fondant in any width, straight or fluted. Use these ribbons to make stripes or a gift-wrapped design on your cake.
- Circle cutter: Besides always-fun polka dots, you can roll multiple circles together to create fondant roses.
- Novelty cutters: Think flowers and hearts for example.
5 Just add steam
Finally, give your cake a picture-perfect finish by gently steaming it. This will remove any remaining traces of cornstarch and ensure a lustrous fondant surface.
“We use a steamer on all our cakes,” says Gabby. “But if you don’t have one, you can use the steam setting of an iron, or even bring the cake into the bathroom and set it down while you run a hot shower to get the room all steamy.”
Stay with your cake and whisk it out as soon as the cornstarch absorbs humidity and disappears. Cover the cake until its grand unveiling.