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Cracking & Tearing Fondant (please help!)

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I've decorated my first three fondant cakes over the last week. I'm just a hobbyist, but I'd still like my cakes to look professional. I keep having issues with my fondant tearing and cracking. I've watched a Martha Stewart YouTube video and I've watched the Fondant Basics course on Craftsy so you'd think I'd be able to get it right, but I've had issues with all three cakes. What could be going wrong???

 

Am I using too much buttercream? I've been doing a BC crumb coat then applying a second layer and letting that set too, the applying fondant.

 

Am I rolling out the fondant too thin? What the ideal thickness?

 

I read somewhere to apply piping gel to the set BC before applying fondant. Could this be the problem? 

 

 

Here are pictures of my first three cakes, in case it's helpful in diagnosing the problem. Thanks in advance for you thoughts :)

 

 

 

 

P.S. I'm obviously still working on my piping skills. The freehand curly swirly is harder than it looks! And it probably doesn't help that my baby cries whenever I start piping.

post #2 of 24

Hello MustangMollie, your fondant cakes are beautiful.:) But when I have problems with my fondant cracking, I knead in some shortening to soften it up. I don't have problems with my fondant tearing, so I can't help you out with that. :(

post #3 of 24

What kind of fondant are you using?


When I finally felt like I had gotten the hang of covering cakes in fondant, I bought fondant that must`ve been old...I have no idea, bad batch maybe.   Anyway, it was kind of hard at the edges but that happens so I used it anyway  :-(   It was such a mess!    Of course, where I live I can`t just go to the store and buy more.    I kneaded in a bunch of shortening which improved it some but it still was really hard to use.  I`ve consoled myself that at least the cracks aren`t visible in photos- I can`t really notice any in the pics you posted either!

post #4 of 24

What kind of fondant are you using? 

If it doesn't already have glycerine in the recipe you could add a bit for elasticity. I just went and brought some to day for the exact problem you are talking about.

post #5 of 24

Are you coloring your fondant or buying precolored?  I find that whenever I need to add a lot of coloring (to make dark or really bright colors) it breaks my fondant and I get a TON of tearing.  You have some really bright colors in your pictures, so that might be the problem.

post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks Rebeca :) 

 

I'm in Australia so I don't have access to shortening, but I'll try adding glycerine like Cake Days suggested. Hopefully that will do the trick!

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi ManicGeisha, I've used Satin Ice, Fondarific, and Pettinice (I included a picture below, I haven't heard Pattinice mentioned on Cake Central, so not sure if it's an Aussie thing). I only used a tiny bid of the Fondarific so I can't really comment on it. Unfortunately I bought a lot of Satin Ice, but it's my least favourite. I seem to have the most problems with Satin Ice. When I asked the guy working at the sugar art store today about it he said that I'm probably over-kneading it as Satin Ice is very easy to over-knead. Pettinice seems the most forgiving and the guy at the store today said you can't really over knead it. It feels soft straight out of the package. I'll probably mostly use this brand from now on, though my local shop doesn't stock it in white (they may their own).

 

 

 

What kind of fondant are you using?


When I finally felt like I had gotten the hang of covering cakes in fondant, I bought fondant that must`ve been old...I have no idea, bad batch maybe.   Anyway, it was kind of hard at the edges but that happens so I used it anyway  :-(   It was such a mess!    Of course, where I live I can`t just go to the store and buy more.    I kneaded in a bunch of shortening which improved it some but it still was really hard to use.  I`ve consoled myself that at least the cracks aren`t visible in photos- I can`t really notice any in the pics you posted either!

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi Cake Days, thanks for suggesting glycerine. I'll definitely try that!

 

If you're ever in Adelaide, Dave at Caroline's is SUPER nice and helpful. I bought some more fondant and a couple of tools and he answered my questions for 10 minutes! He knows that I'm a total newbie so he asked what I was planning to do with each of the tools and he suggested better tools for the task where appropriate. He also suggested I practice with some cake dummies so that will me my project for the week. I'm so excited to practice!!!

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

Oh and Dave from Caroline's also suggested starting on cakes that aren't as tall (i.e. as many layers). He said the taller the cake, the more the fondant will pull and risk tearing. My first cake was 2 layers and I had the least issues with the fondant on this one. My 2nd and 3rd were pretty tall and 3 layers, which is I guess a bit out of my league at the moment ;)

post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 

Jennicake,

 

The first cake (the pinkish one) I coloured white fondant with gel colours. The other two I just used coloured fondant straight out of the package. For the next (dummy) cake I decorate, I'm going to mix coloured fondant together to create the colour that I want. 

 

Thanks so much for pointing out that using a lot of food colouring can cause issues!

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustangMollie View Post
 

Hi ManicGeisha, I've used Satin Ice, Fondarific, and Pettinice (I included a picture below, I haven't heard Pattinice mentioned on Cake Central, so not sure if it's an Aussie thing). I only used a tiny bid of the Fondarific so I can't really comment on it. Unfortunately I bought a lot of Satin Ice, but it's my least favourite. I seem to have the most problems with Satin Ice. When I asked the guy working at the sugar art store today about it he said that I'm probably over-kneading it as Satin Ice is very easy to over-knead. Pettinice seems the most forgiving and the guy at the store today said you can't really over knead it. It feels soft straight out of the package. I'll probably mostly use this brand from now on, though my local shop doesn't stock it in white (they may their own).

 

 

 

What kind of fondant are you using?


When I finally felt like I had gotten the hang of covering cakes in fondant, I bought fondant that must`ve been old...I have no idea, bad batch maybe.   Anyway, it was kind of hard at the edges but that happens so I used it anyway  :-(   It was such a mess!    Of course, where I live I can`t just go to the store and buy more.    I kneaded in a bunch of shortening which improved it some but it still was really hard to use.  I`ve consoled myself that at least the cracks aren`t visible in photos- I can`t really notice any in the pics you posted either!

So glad to hear you say that about Pettinice. I just bought a 15# bucket. It doesn't seem lie a lot of folks on hereuse it but those that I have asked haven't really said anything bad about it.

post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 

I wonder why more folks don't use Pettinice. It's my fav of the 3 by far!

post #13 of 24

As stated, the more color used in the fondant, the more chances of it tearing and cracking, especially the rose pink (Wilton), red, and black.  That rose pink is a nightmare for me every time I use it!  Adding the color to your melted marshmallows or whatever you use rather than your finished product should help some.  So many people have mentioned using crisco to help it, but I find that does not help at all.  Actually, I think it does more damage.  It softens it, but I think it takes away from the elasticity.

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustangMollie View Post
 

I wonder why more folks don't use Pettinice. It's my fav of the 3 by far!

I haven't tasted it yet, but used Satin Ice on the cake I delivered yesterday and people loved it. Most had never tried fondant before (I stayed for lunch at the party and got a lot of feedback)...good luck and keep practicing. I have a lot of practicing to do too

post #15 of 24
Hey MustangMollie, I remember your name from the craftsy Colette Peters class. You can get shortening in Australia. I left an answer for you there with 3 websites you can order from.
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