Fondant Cake Ideas for Beginners

detail image of a cake

You might think fondant is only for experienced decorators. However, once you get the hang of it, fondant is fairly easy to work with. The trick is to make sure everything is level and even.

Make Simple Shapes

A themed cake with simple shapes is easy to make with fondant. To get the look you will need to:

  1. Roll out your base color (white is pictured) and cover your cake as you normally would. (Don't forget to add a crumb coating of regular frosting first!)
  2. Roll out other colors of your choice. You can go monochromatic, use several different colors, or just use one or two colors.
  3. Use tiny themed cookie cutters to cut out shapes from your fondant. If you find your fondant is getting sticky, use a little powdered sugar on the cookie cutter to help it to glide.
  4. Use your fingertip or a small paintbrush to brush water on the back of your shape and add it to your cake.

Marbled Fondant

Marbled fondant is an elegant look, but it is very easy to recreate.

  1. Start with two colors of fondant, one of which is white.
  2. Knead them together until the fondant represents the marbled look you want.
  3. Roll and cover your cake as normal. You can top with a topper or fresh flowers or leave as-is for a cake no one will believe you made so easily.
    cake covered with marble effect fondant

Easy Whimsical Cake

This cake might look intimidating because there's a lot going on. However, the shapes and molding are all easy to recreate. If the thought of a tiered cake intimidates you, you can easily make this a single layer. To start, choose three or four coordinating colors of fondant.

  1. Cover two cakes of differing diameters in two different colored fondants.
  2. Roll out your coordinating colors. You'll want to cut two different types of shapes: circles of varying sizes and long strips.
  3. For some of your circles, use a smaller cookie cutter from a nesting set so you end up with rings instead of solid circles. When you're done prepping your shapes, you should have about four strips of varying widths and a variety of circles of varying sizes.
  4. Start by applying the circles to the cake using a small amount of water. Next add the strips.
  5. Take your one of your base colors and roll small balls in your hand. Add these to the base of each layer.
  6. To finish your cake, add piping details such as swirls and dots or even pearl candy. You can add toppers or simply leave it plain.
    Fondant circles cake

Use Fresh Flowers

Perhaps the best way to create a really elegant looking cake with minimal fuss using fondant is to add fresh flowers after some simple piping.

  1. Roll your fondant and cover your cake, taking care to make sure everything is even. If you are working with a layer cake, cover each layer separately and then stack the cakes. (Use a dowel if needed to stabilize your cakes.)
  2. Using a piping bag and a round piping tip (such as Wilton's #5 round tip) to add polka dots around the side of your cake. You can make the polka dots as dense or as sparse as you'd like.
  3. Add a small set of fresh flowers to the top of the cake. You can make a DIY bouquet to top your cake or buy something from the florist.
    fondant cake with currants and blossoms

Ribbon, Lace, and Simple Piping

Another common look for tiered cakes with fondant is to wrap a thin strip of fondant around the bottom of the cake. It often looks like ribbon and is a great beginner trick, especially for tiered cakes, because it can hide any unseemly mistakes, at least for the photo op.

  1. Start with two round cakes of different diameters and rolled fondant. For this particular look, you can use a lighter and darker color - cover the smaller cake with the lighter color, and then stack the cakes, using cake dowels if needed to secure the tiers together and stabilize the cake.
  2. Next, if you want to add any thin piping designs such as swirls or dots, use a #3 or #5 Wilton round piping tip and add your designs to the cake.
  3. Next roll out a contrasting color of fondant (white is pictured). Use a rolling cutter to cut out one-quarter-inch wide stripes that are equal in length to the circumference of your cake tiers. (Hint - You can always cut off if you make a strip that is too long, but you really cannot add to a strip that is too short.)
  4. Use your fingertip to add a bit of water to around the bottom of your cake tier. This will help it stick to the cake a little more easily. Next, wrap the bottom of the cake tiers with your strip of fondant. Work from top to bottom starting with the highest tier first.
  5. For the bottom layer, use lace ribbon (available in a fabric store) to wrap around the bottom of the cake. Use your fingertip to moisten the bottom again and then add your final strip of fondant.
  6. For the rose petals, you can purchase pre-made fondant petals. Again, moisten the petal slightly to stick it to the cake.
    cake decorated with ribbons

Easier Than It Looks

Fondant seems intimidating but in reality, it is fairly easy to work with. If a tiered cake intimidates you, start with something in a single layer first until you get the hang of it. Use pre-made shapes to make the work of adding details a little easier and before you know it, everyone will think you're buying cakes at the bakery.

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Fondant Cake Ideas for Beginners