Cake Decorating Part Four: How to cover a cake with Icing Fondant

Updated: May 22

So now you have a delicious cake and it’s been beautifully buttercreamed. All there's left to do now is cover it with fondant icing! Let’s do it!


What you’ll need:

  • A crumb-coated cake firmed up and ready to go

  • Some fondant. To cover an 8” round cake you will about 850-900g

  • 1 or 2 smoothers

  • A large silicone rolling pin

  • A pastry brush (or something similarly brush-like)

  • Icing sugar

  • Some hot water

  • A knife


1. Weigh out your fondant icing. Give it a little knead to bring it into a ball. Careful not to fold it too much, knead it more like if it was bread dough! If you want to colour it, this is the time to do it. 2. Lightly dust your work surface and your rolling pin with icing sugar. Not too much - you don’t want to dry out the fondant or get icing sugar everywhere.

3. Start rolling out the dough, moving the rolling pin back and forth. After a couple of rolls, slightly lift and turn the icing, dusting with a bit more icing sugar if needed. It’s important to keep doing this every so often: it stops the icing from sticking to the surface, it helps you roll to a more even consistency and it keeps the icing in a round shape, which helps when you come to put it on the cake. 4. Keep rolling until you have rolled a piece big enough. Use a tape measure to check the size against your cake. If you don’t have a tape measure, a handy bit of ribbon will do!  5. You want to roll out the fondant until it’s about the thickness of a £1 coin. Any thinner and it gets a bit more difficult to manage.

6. Before you apply it to the cake, get rid of any air bubbles that may have appeared (this can occur if you have folded your icing too much.) Using a sharp thing object - like a sewing needle - gently insert it into the icing and then rub over the area with your smoother.

7. Brush your cake lightly with some hot water. The hot water releases the sugars in the buttercream and allows the icing to stick. Don’t be too heavy-handed with it though! We only want a very thin layer. 8. Carefully place the fondant over the cake. Do this by placing the rolling pin towards the top of the fondant (a bit further up than the middle) and flipping the icing over the rolling pin.

9. Lift the rolling pin and lay it over the cake. Make sure you are placing it evenly. FUN FACT: I once got a bruise on my chin after the icing slipped off the rolling pin as I lifted it, which resulted in me hitting myself in the face with it. Be careful! Dangerous business this cake malarkey. 10. Once on, smooth out the top of the cake, then run your hand around the top edge smoothing that down. This bit needs doing first to prevent the icing from pulling and ripping. 11. Now we need to smooth the rest of the icing down. With one hand start smoothing the icing down the cake with your hand or a smoother. With the other lift the bottom of the icing to help keep it straight. Don’t pull down - this will cause tearing. Inside lift the icing up and in.  This is tricky to show with one hand! I’ll get to work on a video or at least use a tripod to take some more photos!

12. Once the entire cake is covered, use the smoother to smooth everything down and round. 13. When you are happy that the icing is secure, run a knife around the cake, cutting off the excess icing.  14. Smooth round the cake again and cut off the final bits of excess icing and you’re done!

15. If you want to create a sharper edge, gently use 2 smoothers with straight flat sides on the top edge of the cake. Hold one on the top of the cake just over the edge. Move the other up the cake to reach the first smoother and gently move them back and forth. Don’t press too hard on the top; this can cause bulging or create air bubbles. 15. Pick up any bits of icing sugar by gently rubbing some spare fondant over the cake.

And then you are done! All ready for decorating! Or just add some ribbon and a glittery cake topper and you have a wonderfully simple and tasty celebration cake! Working with fondant can take a bit of getting used to and some practice but with patience, you can create a beautiful canvas for whatever design you can imagine! Any questions, just give me a shout! As I said above this is tricky to show with one hand so if you need anything clarifying just send me a message. Find me all over social media by searching for Tallulah's Bakery. Happy Baking! Vicky xx Want to have a go at making your own beautiful & delicious Buttercream cakes? Check out my new ONLINE COURSE

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