Fondant Fails and How to Fix 'Em

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If your fondant-covered cakes are turning into #Pinterestfails, you're not alone. Working with fondant can be challenging. Everything from humidity to a brand-new-to-you type of fondant can work against you. The result: cracked, lumpy or torn icing instead of Cake Boss wonders.

It doesn't have to be this way. With these tips for repairing fondant mistakes , your cake decorating is bound to be... smoother.

Five ways to prevent and fix fondant flops

1. Focus on structure

Working with fondant is much easier when you master the basics . So one of the first and possibly most important rules is to perfect your cake structure. For super-sleek fondant, you need super-sleek (crumb-coated or ganache-covered) cakes. You also want to use the best ingredients and tools, including bench scrapers, turntables, palette knives and cake pans.

2. Find your favorite fondant

Everyone has different qualities they're looking for, so test lots of brands and recipes. You'll want to rate each on taste, appearance, texture, cost, ease of use and consistency. You'll also want to see how well each takes color.

Once you land on your favorite, stick to it. Then have a back-up (maybe your second fave) just in case.

3. Fix those cracks

One common fondant disaster is finding cracks around the edges of an otherwise perfectly iced cake. This happens when your fondant begins to dry, either because you've overworked it or haven't protected it from the elements.

To prevent cracked fondant:

  • Dust the surface with cornstarch or shortening, as these dry out fondant much less than powdered sugar. Or try a non-stick fondant rolling mat.
  • Add shortening or glycerine into dry fondant before you've kneaded or rolled it, which will give it more moisture.
  • Get creative and re-think your design. Add a fondant border, tweak a floral spray or think about turning the mistake into a quilted fondant.

4. Rub it in

If your fondant has small cracks and you can't ice them over, try rubbing them lightly with your fingers in an upward motion. The heat from your fingers can make the fondant pliable enough to smooth over.

If you're decorating a white or ivory cake, you can disguise the splits with a bit of vegetable shortening. A word of warning: Square cakes are notoriously tough on fondant because of the sharp corners.

5. Use more fondant than you need

Bumpy and awkward pleats creeping around the cake's bottom can totally ruin the look — which is what happens when you don't have enough fondant to smooth the sides. On the other hand, using more fondant than you need will give your cake neater edges. This is especially true if you're icing a tall-tall-tiered cake.

The best advice for coping with fondant fails is to remember that mistakes help you learn. So take a deep breath and dive in!

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Fondant Fails and How to Fix 'Em