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How to Repair Fondant: 5 Tips for Fixing and Preventing Fondant Disasters

Cracked, lumpy, dry or torn fondant is an absolute nightmare when all you want is for things to go smoothly (pun intended). So many different factors from humidity and environment to an unfamiliar brand of fondant can work against you when it comes to covering cakes.

With our top tips for working with and preventing fondant disasters, your cake decorating experience is bound to be less bumpy!

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Read on for our tips on repairing and preventing fondant disasters.

1. Focus on structure

One of the first — and possibly most important — tips we can offer to avoid any fondant mishaps is to get your actual cake structure perfect. For super sleek covered cakes, you need super sleek crumb coated or ganache-covered cakes.

Make sure to use high-quality bench scrapers, turntables, palette knives, cake pans, and ingredients! Working with fondant is so much easier when you master the basics first.

2. Find your favorite fondant

Different decorators prefer different qualities in their fondant, so test out lots of different brands and recipes. Once you find your favorite, stick to it.

Sometimes it’s unavoidable if you’re out of ingredients, time or if your usual brand is out of stock, but be prepared! The texture of fondant is very important — test fondant based on taste, appearance, texture, cost, ease of use, how it takes color and consistency.

3. Fix those cracks

Rolling Fondant With Wooden Rolling Pin

A common fondant annoyance is finding your otherwise perfectly covered cake has unsightly cracks around the edges. This happens when your fondant begins to dry, due to either being overworked or being unprotected from the elements.

Here are a couple methods for preventing cracked fondant:

  • If you usually dust your surface with powdered sugar, swap to cornstarch or shortening, as these dry out fondant much less. Or try a non-stick fondant rolling mat.
  • If you need to add moisture into dry fondant before you’ve kneaded or rolled it, add either shortening or glycerine into the fondant.
  • Get creative and re-think your design. Sketches are easier to whip up than an actual finished cake, so take a little creative license and think on your feet. Add a fondant border, change the positioning of a floral spray or think about working your fondant misadventure into an attractive fondant texture (like quilted fondant!).

4. Rub it in

Smoothing Cracks in Fondant

If your fondant has small cracks and you cannot re-cover your cake, try lightly rubbing the cracks in the opposite direction of the rifts. The heat from your fingers can make the fondant pliable enough to smooth over. Always smooth the fondant on the sides of your cake upward, not downward!

If you’re working on a white or ivory cake, you can lightly disguise the splits with a bit of vegetable shortening. Square cakes are notoriously harder to cover with fondant due to the super sharp corners (check out our tutorial for a fool-proof method!).

5. Use more fondant than you need

Trimming Fondant Around ROund Cake

Bumpy and awkward pleats creeping around the cake’s bottom can totally ruin a design. One great way to avoid this is by using more fondant that you really need. Imagine icing a cake and finding that you have 3″ more fondant than you need — and then imagine how neater your bottom edge with be because of this!

Pleats tend to happen when you see how little fondant you have around the perimeter of the cake before you’ve even really smoothed it to the sides. If you have more fondant rolled out and ready, you have more to play with.

Making sure that you roll out and use more fondant than needed is especially important with covering taller tiers. With larger tiers, rolling out a larger area of fondant is like a helping hand!

One of the best and most important pieces of advice we can offer is the age old saying that practice makes perfect. Using dummy cakes is a good start due to the sharp corners and convenience, however, nothing will quite prepare you for covering cakes quite like a real cake!

Hopefully, with these essential tips, your cake decorating experience will become a smoother experience!

Gain essential fondant skills for FREE!

Basic Fondant Techniques Craftsy Class

Make your best cakes yet with 10 online video lessons from acclaimed cake designer Elisa Strauss. PLUS, enjoy 3 FREE recipes!Enroll FREE Now »

22 Comments

Jenae Seppälä

Great Tips! What about CAUSE and PREVENTION of air bubbles. Im talking about the large ones that can form a day or two after covering the cake with fondant. I know how to fix it, but it would be great to know how to prevent it or what the cause is. I use Swiss Meringue Buttercream for filling and coating before covering the cake in fondant.

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Felicity and Krystle

Hi Jenae,

These are so annoying aren’t they? There’s lot of suggests online, but we like to let our cakes settle before we ice. Sometimes we even apply slight but even pressure on top. Generally, we take the crumb coated cake out of the fridge and poke 2-4 holes in the sides and top with stainless steel skewers to help any air escape. After around 15 minutes we lightly press down on the cake to help any more air out and then ice. It also helps to thinly doubt ice instead of ice a cake in one layer of fondant. This way you can poke and flatten out as many air bubbles as you can with the first ice so there’s a lot less to worry about on the second ice. Hope this helps!

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Daniela Moncada

great tips but also forgetting that the fondant has an expiration date and when the fondant is close to the expiration date or expired it’s hard to work with and constantly cracks as you try to salvage it

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Dawn

Item #4:

If the crack is small enough, you can patch it with buttercream or royal. Using your palette knife, scrape off the excess.

I have done this with absolutely zero detection later.

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Felicity and Krystle

Hi Dawn,

That’s an excellent tip too! You can also mix some of the fondant you iced your cake with in with a little mineral water to make a paste and patch up pesky air bubble holes or small scrapes.

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Delynn Tracy

Where do you buy your mineral water?

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lydie

Very helpful thanks for those wonderful tips .

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sammy

thank you for your help

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loveth

Thanks for d’tips

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Andrea menlove

Made wedding cake 4 weeks ahead of date. Cracks are starting to appear in the white fondant icing. Help! What can I do?

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Felicity and Krystle

Hi Andrea,

Oh no! We definitely would never recommend icing any cake 4 weeks in advance. Your fondant will be drying out which is why cracks are appearing so it will have hardened and not be particularly nice to eat. Also, depending how to made your cake, stored it (and even the conditions of where you like e.g, weather etc) the actually cake inside may not be safe to eat anymore.

You can, however, bake any cake layers up to a few months before and freeze them to stack, fill and ice around 3-5 days in advance. Also, different cakes and fillings have varying shelf lives e.g, fruit cake can last years if stored properly and ganache once applied will only really be OK for consumption for around 2 days.

Unfortunately, the best thing to do in this case may be to start again or source a bakery who can create your cake for you. Hope this helps!

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The Cake Girl

Thank you so much for your suggestion of adding glycerine! My leftover fondant was reduce to crumbles, and adding glycerine – it didn’t even need much – made it soft and pliable again. I wonder if MMF dries and crumbles more easily than other fondant. I add glycerine to regular fondant, and not to MMF, so maybe that’s the difference. I never knew just why glycerine is in many fondant recipes. Now I know!

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Felicity and Krystle

Hi The Cake Girl,

It sure is handy. A lot of places recommended using Crisco or some kind of shortening, but we always found that it made things a little too greasy. We’re not too sure about MMF as we’ve not found it dry out as quick, but it could also be down to the humidity to dryness of where you live!

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Felicity and Krystle

Hi The Cake Girl,

It sure is handy. A lot of places recommended using Crisco or some kind of shortening, but we always found that it made things a little too greasy. We’re not too sure about MMF as we’ve not found it dry out as quick, but it could also be down to the humidity to dryness of where you live!

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Alison Rogers

Hi,
I have just made my fondant rolling out icing, (same recipe as usual) but when rolling it was very difficult to manage, as it kept cracking and looked awful, so now leaving this as layer one, I’ve added more Gycerine as per your tip, and it is now much easier to handle.
Thank you for your wonderful tips!

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Rida

Hey i have made fondant earlier and it was great! But yesterday i think i added a little extra water to the marshmallows. I added a lot if grounded sugar but there are biys of sugar left uncrushed. How do i fix this? Even the dondanr isnt getting into the dough type fir rolling. Please help.

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Corrine

Loved this! But what about when your fondant falls? I made a bow for a birthday cake and I let the loops sit overnight to dry with papertowels rolled up in them to help hold their shape. The next day I put the bow together per Wilton’s instructions. Then this morning when I woke up, the bow was completely FLAT. It just flattened against the cake. I have to bring the cake to the birthday later today. Is there any way I can fix the bow? Help!!!!!! I did everything right and I am not sure why the bow collapsed!

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jenny dominguez

i want to know what to do if my fondant start to gets sticky after a time of finishing the decor

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