Beginners Guide to Covering Cakes

So you want to start making your own wonderful creations but lets start with the basics

Covering a Cake

Know you will have to decide whether you would like to decorate your cake in buttericing or fondant

If you choose the Buttericing route to decorate then you have two options – you can choose to crumb coat your cake first or your cake just start piping with buttericing

Know for those of you who don’t know what crumb coating is it is basically a thin layer of plain buttericing applied to the outside of the cake to create a smooth even surface

Please also remember that most cake sponges will require you to cut and level the top of them before stacking them – a couple of useful tips is to ensure you get a good quality long knife (not serrated) and also I also use a spirit level – this is one of the best ways to check that your cake is evenly cut as the eye can sometime be inaccurate

Also ensure you have a turn table in order to crumb coat – it is not essential but is definitely much easier if you have one – although they can be a bit pricing for the home baker it is well worth it in the long run – it is a very useful and hand tool

Once you have crumb coated your cake you can then apply the fondant on top of the cake – always apply the fondant onto NON fridged buttericing – also the more practice you have the more you will get used to the way the buttericing temperature needs to be in order to apply your fondant over

Know one piece of advice I can give is there is a lot of great videos and chats online about fondant but the biggest thing to bare in mind is that we live in South Africa and the reason I say this is because weather places a big part in the world of cakes – in summer in South Africa you have to get the temperature balance of buttericing correct or two things can happened either your buttericing will be too soft and start to melt or if you fridge it then take it out and cover straight away you will the find you will get air bubbles that form (or as we like to call it in the industry – a CAKE FART) which is basically as the buttericing starts to soften from the fridge it creates an expansion causing your fondant to push out and create an air bubble – this doesn’t always happened straight away when covering the cake but as it is left over an hour you will see these start forming – you however don’t need to panick – you can use a scriber tool to prick a hole in the air bubble and smooth over with your fondant smoother – although if you fondant starts to dry it may cause the fondant to slightly crack – again don’t panick – rub a small amount of Holesom onto it and it will reform the crack

I am going to post a video in the next couple of days of me crumb coating and covering a cake for you all to see – One thing to remember is with time it will get easier and better – practice makes perfect so don’t give up and don’t dispar we have all been there and there are still days where I have what I call a BAD Fondant Day – so bear that in mind even the best of cake decorators don’t get it right all the time even with all our years or experience and practice

If you are not sure of the tools I am describing click on the Basic Tool Guide For Cake Decorating tab I have created so that you can get familiar with the names of the tools

Keep Checking for the video of how to cover a cake which as mentioned I will post in the next couple of days