Fondant Covered Cakes

Wow, the past few weeks have been so hectic, literally cake after cake after cake! I want to share with all of you my experience with decorating a cake with fondant. I’ve talked about fondant toppers before, but this time, it’s covering up the ENTIRE cake to create a very smooth surface. Fondant is really fun to work with, but it can also be very tricky!

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For my parent’s anniversary, they wanted something that could feed a hundred + people. My oven was on from 6pm to 12am the night before…I wonder what the electricity bill looks like for this month! It definitely took a long time to make this 3-tiered cake because it was my first time working with fondant, but it really paid off in the end!

To end off with a smooth surface on your cakes, it’s really important to know how to frost and put on fondant fondant properly. Here’s how I did it for both a wedding and a birthday cake:

WEDDING CAKE

For the wedding cake I made a cake with 3 tiers. Traditionally, wedding cakes are meant to be pure and white, which is where I got the idea of using fondant. The cake itself was so white and beautiful! It was a typical asian spongecake, and it was SO fluffy and light! I’ll post the recipe up soon 😉

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1. Place parchment paper around where your cake is going to be. This helps keep the platform clean and presentable because all the excess icing will be lifted off when you pull away the parchment paper at the end

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2. Ice the space inside the wax paper. This is so that your cake will actually stay on the platform when you transport it instead of slipping around. We don’t want our tall cake to fall now!

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3. Place down the first layer, and begin frosting the top. Once the frosting is about 0.5-1 cm thick (depends how you like it), add the second layer of cake on top and press down

*Note: For the second tier of cake, I just put my whole cake on a large piece of wax paper, and used a cake transfer to move the cake onto the bottom tier. If your cake is just one layer, it’s easier to use parchment paper that can be pulled apart, like what I did above

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4. Apply a coat of frosting over the entire cake. This is called a crumb coat because it locks all the crumbs into the first layer frosting, making it cleaner and easier when you apply the second coat. In my case, however, I covered my cake with fondant so I didn’t need to apply a second coat. Make sure that the coat of icing is flat, because if it has a lot of bumps or is uneven, it will show on your fondant!

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture at the end of this stage, but you can see what the cake is supposed to look like 3 pictures down in the background.

5. Make sure your table is generously covered with powdered sugar to prevent the fondant from sticking to the table when you knead it. Once the fondant is soft enough, begin rolling outwards in all directions

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6. Once the fondant is about 0.4cm thick, trim the fondant so that it is roughly 1.5 times bigger than your cake

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7. Place the rolling pin gently in the middle of the fondant, and pull over half the fondant. You want to do so gently or else the pin will make a dent in the fondant

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8. Use your right hand to hold the rolling pin, and the left hand to lift the fondant from the bottom. Place it carefully over the cake and make sure the middle of the fondant lines up with the middle of the cake. This will give you even sides to work on when you are smoothing out the fondant onto the cake

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9. Use a fondant smoother to press down the sides. This creates a smoother fondant surface, and also helps the fondant to cling onto the icing of the cake.

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10. Use a pizza/fondant roller to trim the excess fondant off

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11. If you accidentally trimmed too high, or some of your edges are rough, don’t worry! You can cover it up with ribbon, icing stars, or even another strip of fondant to hide it

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12. Just keep stacking cake on top of cake, and voila! You’ve made yourself a multi-tiered cake

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Since it was almost Mother’s Day, I used carnations to decorate. Even though the cake was rather short for a wedding, I was glad the flowers put some life into it!

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What the inside of the cake looked like

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BIRTHDAY CAKE

So one day, my friend came up to me asked, “Hey I’m planning a surprise birthday for my boyfriend, can you help me make the cake?” I was SUPER excited because:

1. I was glad that my friend trusted me enough to let me bake this special cake :’D

2. This is another chance for me to make a big cake and practice my fondant skills

3. It’s my first time customizing a cake to a design she gave me! I think my drawing and design skills really helped haha.

I followed the same steps I did for the wedding cake. However, the shape of this cake was more challenging to work with because it had a lot more places where I had to be careful how I wrapped the fondant. Practice makes perfect, and I could definitely tell because decorating this cake took me half the amount of time it did for the wedding cake!

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Notice that I pulled off the wax paper strips and my cake board was still super duper clean 😉

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It’s hard to dust the surface of coloured fondant because it shows really easily, especially over a dark colour of fondant. Clean off the excess powdered sugar and touch up on some rough edges to get a smooth, fine finish on your decoration.

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And the birthday boy himself!

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Fondant Art

Fondant is a common ingredient when it comes to beautifying the appearance of cakes and desserts. It’s the baker’s “play dough” that allows room for creativity when it comes to decorations.

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Yesterday, I had the privilege of making a cupcake for my friend’s cadets age-out. An age-out is basically the “graduation” of a cadet from the cadet program. Unfortunately, it happens to everyone on the day they turn 19…my turn is soon 😦

So in order to make the cupcake extra special, I tried to make a fondant figure of him! It was really fun to make because fondant is so flexible. You can buy white fondant from the store and colour it with any colour you want too.

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The following are just a couple pictures that outlines the steps I took into making a figure of my friend and also, Olaf! Enjoy, and please let me know about your own fondant adventures!

Tips and Tricks for Colouring:

1. Always use colouring gel for fondant! Liquid colouring makes a runny mess, and is always too thin to get the colour that you want

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2. To colour, roll white fondant into a ball

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3. Dip a toothpick into the colour, stab it into the fondant ball, and then pull it out

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4. In order to minimize the amount of colouring that gets on your hands, follow these steps:

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5. Keep on folding the fondant until you end up with an evenly coloured ball

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Tips and Tricks for Making Figures:

1. Roll fondant into balls to start

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2. Make your shapes! Use your fingers, palms, or any tools you can find, such as forks, knives, and fondant tools

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3. To hold together the shapes, use 3 toothpicks for more traction

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Here’s some shots from when I made Gloria’s birthday cake.

*Sorry for the mediocre camera quality, I didn’t have a good camera back then!

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Gold Medal Cupcakes

If you haven’t already read about how I was inspired to bake these cupcakes, please check out my other post “I am Rhythm Tang, and I’m CANADIAN” just to get a little bit of background information!

For this batch of cupcakes, I decided to work on presentation.

Olympic Medal Cupcakes on the podium!

Olympic Medal Cupcakes on the podium!

What better decoration could depict the Winter Olympic Games than shimmering medals? I thought that it would be a good first step in making medals because I would be able to practice making basic shapes, like circles and rectangles, with fondant.

I also decided that it was time to move up from the confetti sprinkles that I buy from Safeway, and instead, upgrade to something more “classy” like edible glitter. I AM trying to depict Olympic medals after all 🙂

IMG_37971. I began making the medal first. This store-bought fondant is so easy to use! I made fondant one time but it was way too sweet and dried up really fast. I basically rolled little balls about 1.5 cm thick, and then pressed them down so that they looked like coins.

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2. I then used a sharp knife to cut half of the centre out so that it resembled the Sochi medal. I tried melting down sugar to make a see-through sugar crystal to put in the centre, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out quite the way I wanted to.

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3. I made the straps next. This was my first time using colour gel, and it colours SO MUCH faster and brighter than regular liquid colouring.

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4. I used a small brush and dabbed glitter on the medals. I couldn’t take a picture of me doing it because I was scared of getting glitter everywhere, sorry!

5. I used a tooth pick to etch on the Olympic logo. I felt like an engraver 🙂

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When I was designing the cupcakes, I wanted bake cupcakes that resembled the colours of each of the different medals:

Gold: Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (Tastes kind of like lemon cheesecake!). Gold glitter.

Silver: Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting. Silver glitter.

Bronze: Chocolate Mocha Cake with Chocolate Chip Buttercream Frosting. Gold glitter.

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This is the longest I have ever baked! I started baking the cupcakes yesterday night at midnight because I wanted to freeze them overnight. I’ve read on a lot of different sites that freezing cupcakes help make the cake more moist, and indeed it does!

IMG_3794You know when you are a hardcore baker when you have to take a shower afterwards because there is so much butter and chocolate in your hair haha.

Again, this batch of cupcakes was inspired by the Canadian athletes competing at the Sochi Winter Olympics who have taught me how important it is to go above and beyond in whatever I do, even if I feel like I’ve already maxed out.

I had lots of fun making these cupcakes, and I’m glad to have advanced into a more “mature” stage of baking.

Thank you for stopping by! I’ll be posting a Valentine’s Day recipe on Thursday, so I hope to see you again soon. Until then, enjoy the Olympic Games 🙂