Covering Cakes with Fondant

Covering cakes with Fondant

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Over the years sharing my recipes here on my blog and via my youtube channel, I tend to get certain questions way more than other questions.

Whenever this happens, I like to write a blog post to address the specific questions at hand, since it is sheer proof that so many people are wondering the same thing.

“Can I use ______  cake recipe for under fondant?”

Now let me start off by saying covering cakes with fondant is not my #1 expertise however, I have done a great many fondant covered cakes in my day as a pastry chef for 10 years and then while I owned my bakery for another 10 years.

I have battled ice cold kitchens with no heating system except the heat of the ovens in the winter and dealt with the other extreme of horribly hot, humidity in the dead of a New Jersey summer (again with no cooling system!)

You are forced pretty quickly into figuring out how to handle fondant cakes (among other things) and how each recipe will react in those conditions.

But let’s put those extreme circumstances aside for now, and pretend that we are in a very normal environment building cakes. (Hmmm who ever has THAT environment? I want to live with you! LOL)

I also want to state that my best experience with fondant is with a commercial product known as Satin Ice.  It was always my brand preference after trying several other cheaper brands; and I have not yet made my own Marshmallow Fondant (But it’s on the list!)

So with that being said, fondant and all the specific brands is not really the issue at hand here, since what we are talking about is CAKE RECIPES and which ones are appropriate for fondant coverings and which ones are not.

Now I have always answered this question of “Can I use the ____cake recipe for covering with fondant?” with the same answer, “Yes as long as you build your cake properly you can use any cake recipe you like for under fondant.”

Perhaps that answer is just too vague, since the next question is, “Well how do I build my cake properly!?”

I use my swiss buttercream recipe 90% of the time for all my cakes and especially for a crumb coat or the “glue” that is needed for the fondant to stick on to the cake.  Once that buttercream is cold (and yes I do refrigerate all my fondant cakes as well) it is solid and very sturdy.

It would be hours, like 6 – 8 hours at normal room temperature (about 72°f)  before that cake is going to start to droop or become pesty.

So when I say “as long as you are building the cake properly” I mean:

  • What are you using as a crumb coat?
  • Are you using a buttercream dam to hold the filling into the layers to prevent a squishy, collapse-able filling?
  • Are you rolling your fondant thin enough (no more than ¼ inch thickness) so it is not too heavy?
  • Are you refrigerating this cake once it is finished to maintain the stability and integrity of all the base recipes that went into the final product?
  • Dowel rods may be necessary depending on your design for added support, but typically not in the case of just a 1- tier fondant covered cake.

Those are the requirements for building a sturdy cake no matter what the icing will be, so if you can answer yes to all, then you my friend are building a cake properly!


Now let me clarify the buttercream standard on the above requirements list, since many of you are NOT using buttercream at all….. and that for me would be the first red flag.

I know, I know…..most people loathe buttercream!  They want whipped cream or ganache or cream cheese icing…..3 things I will NOT use under a fondant covered cake.

Again- let me repeat: this is the way I do it, and there may be many folks who disagree with me and will readily use whipped cream, cream cheese and / or ganache all the time.

Here is my two cents on that.

Almost all cake recipes in and of themselves are quite sturdy. I have never met a cake recipe that would not stand up to a fondant cover.  Including the more questionable Chiffon Cake recipes that are typically the softest and lightest of all the cake recipes, can and will live up to the test when it is built properly with a sturdy icing.

Let’s take a look at the most common icings that most people want for their cakes:

Whipped cream is so soft and billowy and has zero strength against fondant.  Not to mention its high moisture content could pose a severe problem for fondant slippage since it cannot act as glue whatsoever.

Ganache is another one that I find to be quite sturdy under refrigeration, but once it starts to come to room temperature the disasters can strike. Chocolate begins to melt at 90°f. Which seems to be a high enough temperature to avoid, but in a room full of people (or outside on a summer day) with a blanket of heavy fondant draped over it, can create that temperature faster than you realize.

Cream cheese icing is more sturdy, however my experience with cream cheese icing and its high moisture content along with the enzymes from the dairy have proven to be a risky business for under fondant.  It is the only 1 of the 3 that I would consider if I had no other choice (like an insistent client!), but I would be sure that the event venue and conditions for holding the cake in refrigeration for as long as possible are ideal.

The base coat icing under fondant must be thin.  Fondant is a heavy medium to work with. It will droop, sag and bubble under extreme conditions and we are the cake warriors in constant battle against those extreme conditions and we must arm ourselves accordingly with a strategy that is sure to win.

The crumb coat or “glue” icing under fondant must be thin since that will be the first thing to go downhill once the temperature changes and the cake is out on display during the event.

Ok, so now that I’ve upset everyone to the fact that buttercream (in my opinion) is the best and quite possibly ONLY option for under a fondant covered cake where does that leave us as to the taste and desired flavor combinations our clients may want for this cake?

Again I will say that for all my years in the cake biz, I have always used buttercream as a crumb coat, and I remind you that crumb coat means thin, so the taste of this buttercream (for those who forbid buttercream anywhere near their cakes or lips) will not even be noticed.  (Unless of course there is an allergy which brings even more variables into this equation).

What we have to remember here, is that FONDANT IS THE ICING when a fondant covered cake is required.  You cannot really have 2 icings.  So once the client realizes this we can all be at ease with deciding the more important parts of the flavor profile.

Let’s say your client requires a Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing but the design requires fondant work.  No problem.

The cream cheese filling will be more than enough to carry the flavors through the entire cake and hit home the amazing taste they want, as well as a fabulously decorated fondant design.

Strawberry Shortcake you say?  No problem:  Yellow Cake with Whipped Cream filling with fresh strawberries and a light coating of buttercream glue to seal the deal and that draping of fondant.

Chocolate Truffle Ganache Cake? Again, no problemo: Chocolate Cake filled with truffle ganache, a light coating of chocolate buttercream to keep those shades of chocolate throughout the entire cake consistent and viola! You have yourself a sturdy and deliciously beautiful fondant covered cake!

I think most of the problems we run into when preparing cakes to the exact specifications of our clients is the fact that they surely have a good idea of what they want for their final cake; but they don’t know the first thing about how we are to execute that cake ~ and besides, why should they?  They shouldn’t, that’s our job!

I also know that all too often we (as people pleasers) can get “talked into” following the orders of our clients, forcing us to ignore the rules of pastry law.  But if you have the knowledge to get around those demands while staying with in the lines of the baking and pastry court of law you can indeed please everyone all at the same time.

Many of my clients who have said, “Ugggh, no way do I want sweet sticky buttercream on my cake….” have died and gone to heaven with their first bite of a subtly buttercream laced crumb coated cake and was none the wiser as the filling and other flavors burst through to the forefront.  Certain tricks of the trade can (and should) remain secret amongst us pastry chefs.  After all, the magician doesn’t tell his audience how he did everything right?  They simply leave the show in awe of what they have just experienced and will be sure to tell their friends and family where to go for that same cake magic act!

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      1. I am making a three tiered red velvet wedding cake. They of coarse need cream cheese frosting. I like to work with ganache as it gives me the control and stability I like for crisp corners. My question is, can I fill the layers and put a thin crumb coat of cream cheese frosting and still ganache the cake before putting fondant on

        1. As I stated in the blog post here, I am not a fan of using ganache with fondant. But if this is something that works for you and you are in control of it (as you mentioned) go for it. These are not really “rules” as much as they are my experiences and preferences

  1. Thanks Gretchen ! Your article has cleared almost all the doubts that were in my mind regarding fondant icing. I will surely try out and send a picture soon.

  2. Hi Gretchen,
    I can only agree with what you have written as I live in temperatures around 90°f and believe me chocolate is a complete mess here if not kept in air-conditioned rooms or in a fridge. I work with Belgian chocolate. Love it but it is such a challenge to keep the nice work when delivering it.
    I also tried a thicker layer of icing under fondant. BAD IDEA. hahahah it slipped and slide of the cake. The SMBC is soft yet I love working with it keeping the layer under the fondant really thin AND make sure to aim/add the fondant on the cake good right away. It sticks. Crusting buttercreams however you can still lift and adjust/reposition the fondant, BUT it tastes way too sweet.
    I found a way of working with both and it goes very well. Go experiment and you will find your way in the temperatures you live in, e.g. turn off the AC when working with fondant and turn it back on when done 🙂 ….it dries too quickly in the ac.
    Greetings from Curacao. I love your recipes and ideas and make it work in the warm weather here. Keep up the good work. Hopefully meeting you soon in Florida


  3. Hello. I was wondering if you could do a remake of the Rainbow Cake and the Swimming Pool cake. (I forgot some of the steps/ingredients). If you could do that, please, I’d appreciate that.

  4. Hello Gretchen Thank you for this info… I am on my way to Haiti in Aug. and have been graciously volunteered as the one to make a 3 tired wedding cake for 300 people. I am really only a beginner but my friends seem to have more confidence in me that I do at this point. I was in Haiti last Feb. and tried to make a buttercream frosting and it would not realist because of the heat… No air conditioning there and it was very hot… I have decided to try making a fondant covered cake with decorations of flowers (not sure yet how that will work, I am making gum paste flowers) I need your help with the problems that could come from such heat… I will have a fridge to set up the cake but once it leaves my place I am thinking that it will be in the heat for…who knows how long. Please help with any of your advice that you can give me … Thanks once again for all your help…. I love your recipes and use them all the time. Thanks in advance for your comments..

  5. Hello Gretchen! this is in reference to supporting your channel, I am trying to donate but is not user friendly…just an FYI will try later
    NOTE: thank you for the vanilla cupcake recipe (under woodland) my first cupcakes, it was a hit.
    Glendale, CA

    1. Ive been in the process of moving my life to Florida- just got here this week, so I’m in a heap of chaos unpacking and trying to set up the studio to film again- plan to do so the end of this week! Wish me luck!

  6. Hey Gretchen!! Glad to see you’re back!! I was wondering… how to you keep your fondant from becoming sticky after refrigeration?



    1. HI Latesha, it is based on how humid your refrigerator is. When I owned my bakery I had a very humid fridge that I could not, no way – not ever put a fondant cake in it! But then I had this other one that was super super dry that did great for fondant cakes, but dried out everything else that I put in it!! LOL SO you just have to really see what is best for you. Home fridges do not tend to be very humid (at least not in my experience)

  7. Hi Gretchen,
    does chocolate buttercream show through white fondant? Don’t want to risk bad surprises with my first wedding cake project.

    Hope you’ll be happy in Florida!

    1. not unless your fondant is rolled to super super thin, which would then pose a problem in itself. So no- you are safe with choco BC (just be wary of what I wrote on the Chocolate Buttercream post and here as well…anything youa dd to the buttercream is going to make it softer

  8. Yay happy that your back. Thank you for sharing your recipes I’ve learned allot from you .Gretchen do you still have the site I need to buy piping bags and the mat. Thanks

  9. Hi Gretchen.
    First time on your site. I would like to try and make your vanilla sponge but your recipe states All purpose flour and cake flour, here in the UK we only have self raising and plain. What would you suggest? I have made your Swiss butter cream and it is fantastic and use this all the time now in my cakes.

  10. Thank you for writing this about Fontand cake covering I vex been ding Fondant cake for awhile I can’t work with buttercream like you buttercream is the only thing I be ever used So Thank you

  11. Hi Gretchen, thanks for all your recipes. I’ve tried several and love them. how thick should butter cream be for crumb coating, when adding fondant on top? also, should I always dam the cakes? Thanks!

  12. Hi Gretchen,
    I’m filling a vanilla butter cake with whipped cream and cherry filling with using buttercream dam around the edges and coating the cake with buttercream as well to eventually cover with fondant. Is there anything you think is the wrong here??

  13. Hi Gretchen,

    Am a great fan of your Swiss buttercream… always works..
    I am in a fix.. i need a buttercream that goes under fondant but is egg-free and not super sweet like the American buttercream.
    I have heard of the flour buttercream seems less sweet.. Do you think it will work under fondant?

  14. I’m so happy that I found you again. I use to follow you since crumb boss. I’m so happy that you are back and I have no doubts that you are going to make it, because you already did and you did it all by yourself. And all of us that follow you we are alway going to support you!!!! Love, Wanda.

  15. Hi Gretchen, I know you mentioned that you’re trying to re make your videos that was lost. Was wondering if you were goin to redo the making and assembly of a wedding cake. Enjoy all of your videos, very helpful tips.
    Again much Mahalo from Hawaii ..

    1. Aloha Bruce! I already did it! CLICK HERE (you can pretty much use the search bar on the top right column of my page to see if I have done whatever you are looking for- OR the ALL RECIPES tabs are helpful too!) Mahalo!

    2. Hi Gretchen,
      I need to clarify some thing I have a client asking for exactly wat you have mentioned whipped cream filling. I have always read before that fondant can’t be put in the fridge. But I do trust ur experience. So if u don’t mind I have a few questions.
      Can I use swiss meringue buttercream or will it be too sweet?
      I use satin ice as well. So does the refrigeration compromise the decoration. How long can it be out with out excessive sweating?
      Should I place the toppers and wired flowers at the venue?
      I know its a lots of questions and I really appriciate u taking the time.
      Thanks in heaps and bundles

      1. Yes to swiss buttercream I use it under all my fondant cakes (as you may or may not have read all I wrote here) Too sweet? “sweet” is a personal opinion. I cannot say if you think it will be sweet or not, I do not think it is.
        “Sweating” in the refrigerator depends on your refrigerator. In my bakery I had 1 fridge that was very dry and 1 fridge that was super humid, you have to do a test to see how your cakes react in your fridge and for how long.
        It is up to you whether you place the decor at the event or not. It depends on the travel, the conditions at the venue and your refrigerator at home, again, some rerfidges melt gumpaste.

  16. Hi, so thankful for the information you supplied. I am making my first attempt at a 3 tiered cake for my grandmother’s 95 birthday! My question is how many days in advance can I make the cake completely finished. I am planning to do one layer with fondant. Also, to be safe I am planning on making each layer and then putting together when I transport. any recommendations? Thanks!

    1. The time frame really depends on the filling you are using. How perishable is that? Otherwise fondant and buttercream stay for DAYS! The fondant seals the cake and keeps it fresh for up to a week!

  17. hi Gretchen, when you owned your bakery did you buttercream your cakes the day before applying fondant? Did you chill them in the fridge? Where I live it is always super hot, i bake at home to sell, few orders a week, i crumbcoat and chill them on the fridge overnight, if i leave them out they will melt for sure, the problem i am having is that after covering in fondant they take so long to get to room temperature, cake is always better at room temp, today i made a test its been six hours already since i took it out of the fridge and just cut a piece to check and the cake is still,cold, do you have any advise?

    1. Hi Fanny, I usually did not wait an entire day overnight to cover them, just about a half hour in the fridge was fine
      Seems like you have a super cold fridge! 6 hours is a really long time, great for a wedding venue!

  18. Hello Gretchen, I love reading and watching your videos. Thank you so much for sharing all that you do. Okay so I’m making a fondant cake for my niece and nephew. This would be the first time using fondant and I’m very excited about it. My only concern would be the filling. I would love to put fresh strawberries or bananas with a cream cheese frosting but I would be making the cake one day in advance. So can you recommend a filling that is not to sweet but will hold up after the fondant is put on. Sorry one more question you said you refrigerate your fondant cakes but everywhere I have read states never put in fridge. Thank you so much in advance. 🙂

    1. HI Thanks! I have been told that the advice to never refrigerate a fondant cake is in regards to homemade marshmallow fondant and I always use satin ice brand.
      If you use fresh strawberries & cream cheese you will have to refrigerate this cake anyway.
      As this article states, any cake you use is going to hold up to fondant as long as you build it properly and I would not use cream cheese as an icing (Im pretty sure I mentioned all this here in this article?)

  19. Hi Gretchen! Love your blog and this great information but I cant find your standard buttercream receipe that you speak about using for under fondant?

  20. Hi Gretchen, thank you so so so much for your information. You are such a nice person. I just start to use whipped cream cheese frosting which is a frosting that I can control the sweetness. Most people in my country love a super less sweet cake but also love to have fondant decoration, and I saw you said that buttercream is the best and only option for under fondant covered cake. I totally agree with you and you said that whipped cream can be the filling? That’s so amazing! Which means I can use my whipped cream cheese frosting as the filling but having a crumb coat buttercream under fondant? But is it I need to refrigerate the cake since the filling is whipped cream even after I cover the whole cake with fondant? I know that fondant are not available to be refrigerated, so how?

    1. HI Great thankyou!! Yes you are correct in your understanding of all of this! Yes to refrigeration becasue of the whipped cream, but I also always refrigerate fondant cakes too as I mentioned in the blog post, I buy SATIN ICE which is great

  21. Hi Gretchen. I am so thankful that I found your site it is so wonderful, it is really of great help. Thank you so much for sharing what you do. By the way, I have a 2 tier fondant birthday cake order for March 18 and I am worried because it is my first fondant cake using a real cake not a dummy cake anymore.
    My concerns are:

    *can i bake the cake, crumb coat and cover the cake with fondant all on the same day?

    *is their a need to refrigerate the cake before and after crumb coating it?

    * or can i crumb coat even if the cake is at room temp and let the crumb coated cake set at room temp also before covering it with fondant?

    * can i let the cake with fondant already stay at room temp until it would be delivered?

    I live in a country with a hot and humid weather. And I have to deliver my cake 3 hours travel time from home to the venue.

    Thank you very much.

  22. Hi, this is great information! Can I use a Nutella flavored frosting (Nutella buttercream frosting) as the layer under fondant? wanting to do a banana cake with Nutella frosting cake and cover with fondant to decorate. Thanks for your expertise!

  23. Hi Gretchen, i have already made your vanilla sponge cake which is just mind blowing but now i got a request to make a birthday cake out of it…The problem is that my friend wants an edible cake topper on the fondant…i will prepare the cake a day ahead with the buttercream icing and refrigerate, but can i cover it with the fondant plus the edible photo at night and refrigerated it for the next morning to deliver, will that fade the color on the photo or the fondant may “sweat” away….plzzz advice…thank you for your help…..

    1. Hi Great! Ive never had any trouble with refrigerating fondant cakes OR edible image cakes. However every refrigerator is different so be sure to know yours and how it acts (humidity ect)

  24. Hi gretchen love all ur recipes and use ur buttercream recipe on all of my cakes even under fondant my trouble is every time I put on fondant it seems to stretch and tear Or even split and crack at times can u help ?

    1. Hi Great thanks! Hmmm, my first though is that it is too thin? The other thing I learned was that If I did not knead the fondant like ALOT before rolling, I wold also get some cracks and tears,

  25. Hi Gretchen, how are you my beautiful pearl? Please help, im making a cake that is one layer cake pan size 16″x12″x 3″ and i want to cover it with fondant, how much fondant roughly shall i use to cover a cake this size? Vanilla or yellow cake which is best? And how much cake batter? Thanks

    1. HI Thank you! 🙂 The cake recipe is your choice, whatever one you like best. Typically cake recipes yield 2-8″ cakes, so for a recipe that size you will use the entire recipe to fill a pan that size.
      I am not a greta one to ask about fondant decorated cakes (I dont do too many) so I would really be guessing. I always buy a large bucket though and that way I have enough for my cakes.

  26. Hi gretchen .. its a grt help that you gave us the detailed information. Thnx . As i take orders still only of whipped cream cakes.. i m planning to make cake toppers with fondant. .. so can i put gumpaste flowers toppers on whipped cream cakes.. thanking you dear. .. God bless you. . Byeeee

  27. Hi Gretchen,

    I’m making a wedding cake for a friend’s wedding and the 10″ x 4″ tier has a cream cheese buttercream filling. I know I should refrigerate this layer because of the cream cheese in the buttercream but how long do you think it is OK to have it unrefrigerated? I’m nervous to leave the fondant covering until the day of the wedding but I think I’m going to have to for this tier. Also, I don’t want to refrigerate the tier with the fondant already one because I’m adding Pearl Dust to the fondant afterwards for a shimmery effect and I don’t want to risk the fondant not drying out in time to add the dust.


  28. Hi Gretchen,
    I’m making a wedding cake tomorrow and I have a question about Fondant and fridge !
    The wedding is on Saturday, my cakes are made (1 filled with buttercream & creamcheese icing, the other with chocolate buttercream) and tomorrow I’ll build my wedding cake, I’ll use the Swiss buttercream (which will be under my fondant) to cover my top cake and then refrigerate it.
    Then on Saturday, big day …. what do I do ?
    Option A : I cover it with rolled fondant in the morning and keep it at room temperature
    Option B : I cover it with rolled fondant in the morning and keep it refrigerated 2 to 3 hours (because of creamcheese inside).
    Can the rolled fondant be refrigerated ? I’m scared the fondant becomes moisty and ugly…
    Many thanks for your help !

    1. Sounds like a plan, but I can’t really answer your question unless you know if your fondant can be refrigerated (which I would never use anything that CANNOT be) I only use Satin Ice.
      This way I can make the entire cake the night before and this gives me time for any problems that can arise, never wait until the day of the event to get going on icing, decorating. Too much room for disaster (in my opinion)
      but secondly I would never NOT refrigerate a wedding cake no matter what the icing before the event.
      Max time out of fridge for any cake – especially a tiered cake at a wedding! 4- 5 hours.

  29. I always use your wonderful SMBC and have never had a problem with it. I keep it cold right up to delivery always even on my cakes that have American buttercream ( yes I use American when the customer requests it, I personally loathe the sweetness of it). On a fondant covered cake I used to always use the Swiss meringue inside and white chocolate Ganache on the outside before covering with fondant. This article was perfect timing for me as I am doing a large wedding cake tomorrow with Swiss meringue and guess what? I won’t be messing with the ganache ! Yay. Love, love, love your recipes and advice !

  30. Hi Gretchen, just found your blog and allready i’m in love with it. I’m kinda new to this bakery thing, and although i’ve made a few cakes (including a 3d lightning mcqueen cake for my kid, wich i’m very proud of) i’ve never made a tiered cake before, and i have a few doubts.

    The cake will be 2 rectangular tiers with the chocolate sponge cake, with a pastry cream filling, covered in fondant, with your swiss buttercream recipe as the icing beneath.

    When building it should i put the dowels before or after the fondant cover?
    Since it’s gonna be covered in fondant, the parchments you use on your buttercream icing cakes is no longer needed?
    For you swiss buttercream, since i’m from portugal, i can’t find the Solid Vegetable Shortening, can i substitute it with good old margarine?

    Thanks in advance.

    P.S – Sorry if my english is not so good, i hope you can understand my questions.

  31. Hi Gretchen I have always enjoy your inspiring and encouraging tutorials. I was always wondering which buttercream to use under my fondant but your explanation really get to the heart of it. When making my black cakes which has a lot of alcohol preserved fruits I used marzipan on top of my cakes followed by Satin Ice fondant. But for other cakes like:Vanilla cakes ,Red velvet etc.your information is very helpful. You are blessed.

  32. Hi Gretchen ! m a big fan of u can u plz make video of carousel cake with whipped cream icing … its a humble request & i shall be highly obliged to u

      1. hey thanks dear… i’ll be waiting for that carousel cake with whipped cream icing & fondant … bcoz i want to make it for my daughter… but its only possible if u ‘ll help me … God bless u Gretchen…

  33. I’m making my granddaughters 4th birthday cake next week. She wants a Pokemon themed cake and I’ve hunted down some great examples on pinterest for a large cake and lots of different pokemon cupcakes. I do need all the ingredients to be vegan. What do you recommend for fondant? I’ve found a vegan marshmallow fondant recipe that I could try? If using a commercial one I will need to find one without gelatin and would also rather avoid palm oil or any hydrogenated oils preferably. Would love your advice both as a professional and a vegan. Do you have a vegan version of your vanilla cupcakes? I was thinking of subbing 50/50 cacao butter/nuttelex for butter, aquafaba for eggs, and almond milk with a tspn of acv for buttermilk. Do you have a better idea? I’m in Australia by the way.

    1. Hi Deb, I do not make my own fondant so it’s hard for me to say in that regard. I have always used Satin Ice professionally.
      I feel confident about using EnerG egg replacer or if you are proficient in Aquafaba by all means! Go for it! (I have not yet mastered the aquafaba for baking yet – only in cold prep like mousses and buttercream, the baking part still has me stumped) here in my newest recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes and any shortening you like will be fine for the butter substitute.
      The buttermilk can be replaced with almond milk or any milk alternative you like best

  34. Hey Gretchen,
    I have to make a couple of fondant covered cakes, in a week that I’m terribly busy. I have a plan, but I’m not sure if it will work. Have you ever made the cakes, covered them in their coating then frozen them before pulling out and doing the fondant?

    If yes, what coating would you suggest that would hold up to being frozen while on the cake. I know some may crack and carry on.

    1. I do not recommend to freeze cake that I iced or crumb coated since the thaw will produce severe condensation and make more trouble that it’s worth

  35. Hi Gretchen!
    My question is.. How does the moisture of the refrigerator affect fondant? I always heard that you should try not to refrigerate your cake once it is covered, but it is recommended to keep the fondant covered cake in a dry cool room. Is there a setting that the fridge should be on when refrigerating a fondant covered cake?

    1. It all depends on the refrigerator. When I owned my bakery I had 2 fridges, 1 was super dry and one was a drippy mess! LOL
      So obviously I could not put fondant cakes or anything with food color too since the humidity would just destroy everything! But it was great for fudge cakes and sponge cakes and whipped cream cakes etc!
      But Im going off track being reminded of my bakery days LOL
      But anyway- I would always do a test with a small little fondant piece or little tiny cupcake covered in fondant to see how it reacts over night, it all depends on the brand of fondant too

  36. I read each and every word of this article. I am a beginner baker when it comes to baking cake. I used you basic vanilla sponge cake recipe, and have tried other recipies too. One problem i face is they get hard after taking them out of the fridge, even after keeping them out for 1.30 hrs. Any solution for that? If i am not creaming butter and sugar but following mixing of dry amd wet ingredients, can i use oil instead of butter?
    Sorry for the long post, but really need help.

  37. Hi Gretchen, I just finished reading your entry. And I need your help. A customer asked me to do a chocolate mousse filling and cover it with fondant. Normally my customers will asked for whipped ganache or swiss meringue buttercream for filling but this is the first time someone asking me to do with mousse. Is it doable? Thank you in advance.

  38. Hey, Gretchen!
    I just stumbled across education your website and I’m THRILLED that I found it! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes and knowledge!

    Now, I’m sure somewhere on this fantastic website my question is already is answered. But there’s just so much interesting stuff I keep getting side-tracked!

    I used an ordinary chocolate cake mix (Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines) and when I went to spread the room temperature Betty Crocker chocolate icing on, my cake started tearing!

    Should I make a denser cake, or just put it in the refrigerator or freezer for awhile before icing the cake?

    Would it be better to make a lighter frosting such as a buttercream?

  39. Hi Dear Gretchen,

    First I should appreciate you for this valuable entry, that I found that a jewel, you’ve shared generously with us. I would send you a big hug 🙂 (if I’m permitted of course) because of teaching me many things. Actually, I had a few questions that I’d appreciate you more, if you reply.
    I’m making a rainbow square theme cake (Frozen theme) for my daughter’s birthday party in the next month. I wanna coat the cake with dyed buttercream (probably blue) and cover the whole cake with it, but I’m not gonna cover the whole part of cake with fondant. As those around and my family and specially my daughter prefer buttercream more than fondant, I decided to cover the cake with bc and then decorate it with a few flat tutorials made of fondant, royal icing or white chocolate on some parts of the cake (i.e. flat Elsa’s face made of fondant on the top and flat Olaf and Anna’s face made of fondant on the sides and also some royal icing or white chocolate snowflakes, on both top and sides).
    I was wondering if these kinds of tutorials (royal icing, fondant and white chocolate) stick to the buttercream sturdy? any need to use a straw or edible glue (like any syrup or water) to put them on the sides or they stick themselves with no glue, straw or something? do you think Swiss bc is a good choice for this type of cake? (in terms of coloring, sticking to the tutorials and being sturdy in the environment)
    and the last one, when I should start to decorate with tutorials? (I mean just after coating with bc or I should let the bc refrigerate and become cool and hard and then stick tutorials?) when is the right time?

    sorry if I was not good at writing or your language, because I’m a Persian mom from Iran and don’t know your language well
    told a lot. again sorry
    thank you in advance


    1. Hi Sorry for the late reply, I just moved back to NJ from Florida and just got internet connection back today (almost a week! Uggh)
      I would not use royal icing as much as I would go for the fondant because royal will melt and bleed with contact to moisture (especially if you have to refrigerate the cake) the fondant is great with buttercremaa nd will stick like glue.

      I stick the fondant decor on just after icing the cake, but it can be done after chilling too, I find it is more cohesive though, if you did it when the buttercream has just been iced.

  40. Hi again,
    I have a few questions
    1. can I keep a covered cake with fondant without any plastic wrap or something else in the fridge? if yes, how many days I can?
    2. can I use doughnut icing (for melting-snow shape) or royal icing (for snowflakes) on fondant? didn’t them melt on fondant or cause the fondant melting?
    Oh, I forgot the third one. can I use flour or roux bc under the fondant, instead of Swiss meringue bc?

    thank you

    Thanks a lot dear Gretchen

  41. Thanks a lot dear Gretchen. I owed you much. you’re really kind and Compassionate.

    Actually, I had never tried Swiss bc. but after reading the post of Swiss bc on your website, I decided to try it, at least once. made it a few days and the taste was great! even better than roux bc that I’m used to sticking to it for any cake.
    but this time, I’ve decided to cover and fill the cake with Swiss bc (made of meringue powder not white eggs). I guess it’s not perishable in a few days.

    and one more thing,
    do you know a great rainbow cake recipe?

    thank you

  42. oh sorry…I made a mistake in the last comment! egg whites not white eggs 🙂 lol
    I have told you that I’m not good at your language, but the best part is, beside learning many points in cooking and bakery on foreign websites like here, I would improve my language skill. thank you for all. 🙂

  43. Hi Gretchen, I want to make a birthday cake 1/4 sheet(9×13)
    is a single recipe of the yellow sponge cake ok or should I double it?

    1. 1 recipe of this cake batter will fit into a 12″ X18″ pan (which is technically called a HALF sheet) so you will then cut that half sheet in half after baking for 2 layers of 1/4 sheet

  44. Oh, my Gretchen, I just agreed to do something I have always said I would not do…a wedding cake. I just have a fear of messing up someone’s special day…and now I’ve gone and said yes to my daughter. The cake design or assembly is not really a problem, but she lives in NY, I live in DE and the wedding is going to be outdoors in VT sometime this fall. Would you recommend doing the cake in DE and transporting to VT or bringing the components to VT and (I think I can locate a kitchen work space) and putting it together there?

  45. Hi there Gretchen
    I am sure this question has been answered a 1000 times and I am not seeing the answer 🙂 so please forgive me for asking you yet again. I have done cakes for my daughter since she was 2 and she is now 7 going on 8 in Dec. Generally its a 3 tier 10, 8 that I cut down a bit to make it almost a 7 and then a 6 that I again cut to make slightly smaller. I have noticed that for a armature baker at best .. my cakes certainly WOW her friends and their parents! But the cake its self seems to fall flat .. the flavor is blah .. and the cake is dry. My second daughter is turning 1 the end of Sept and we have for the first time, my husbands family’s coming over and I REALLY NEED TO MAKE THIS ONE GOOD .. as they are quite critical of me and the things I do. I’ve used the 1,2,3,4 wedding cake recipe, both white and chocolate .. and dry as can be … I just need a little help with a great flavor cake that I can use .. I can totally do the icing and the fondant/ gumpaste work my self .. but the cake … ugg the cake has me .. PLEASE HELP!!!!

      1. I bought the ” super moist chocolate cake” without considering the fact that I’m going to cover them with fondant and I’m also making two tiers of cake the bottom is 12×2 and on top it’ll be 8×2 and I’m planning to fill them with whipped cream and sliced strawberries and i want to frost them with butter cream. Would you think it’ll come up well? is all what I mentioned still okay ??? Please I really need your help

  46. Can I replace the oil with butter and the water with milk to make the cake mixture stronger if yes how many sticks of butter should I add and thank you so much I really appreciate your help

    1. If you are asking me how to change a box cake? I’m not really sure. I think you can google those changes though (Like: How to doctor a box cake mix) or something like that for better direction

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