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Make-a-Cake Series: Estelle Part 1—Cover a cake with fondant

Did you notice my post late last night?  Well, I guess it was early this morning.  If not, go and check it out to get caught up with all of the changes going on around here.  And like I mentioned there, today will be day one of the make-a-cake series. Without jabbering one more minute about it, I’ll let Brittany introduce herself further and then begin her series.

Thanks Brittany,
. . .

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I am so excited to be here blogging with Ashley at Make it and Love it.
She is truly a wonderful person and a great friend.

I am a stay at home mom in northern Idaho. I have two sweet little girls that keep my like busy and fun. After I became a mom, I realized that I needed some kind of hobby.

For some time, I jumped from hobby to hobby, trying to find something that held my interest. Living close to Ashley inspired me to craft and sew just like her. I love her projects and they are easy and fun to use………but after showing up at her door step a few times, almost in tears from frustration, I realized I needed another hobby to go with crafts.

I have been interested in cooking and baking since I was a child and my love of cake decorating has kept me challenged and interested.
I will admit….I love food!
There is something really satisfying to me in spending hours making a cake that looks beautiful and then getting to enjoy how wonderful it tastes.

I will let you know I am not a trained professional. This is something I tinker with and try to make my own way. I am so excited to pass along what I have learned.
So, if you do have a better knowledge of cake decorating, be gentle with me…….I do it just for fun.
I hope you find some skills here that will make a special event in your life even better.
Please feel free to ask me any questions you have or give suggestions of things you would like to learn.

I wanted to start with a cake that will teach skills you can use in so many different ways.

Here is what we will be making over the next few posts (and the next few weeks)……..

The Estelle cake.

This can be done in different colors, different shapes, and so many other options for you to get creative.

But first things first. This post will be how to cover your cake with fondant.

Before we start working with the fondant you need a cake.
You need a two layer, eight inch round cake. Spread a thin layer of buttercream (you really want to make buttercream, icing from a can is too soft) around the cake to give the fondant something to stick to.


Here are the tools we are going to need for this task.

(From left to right)
A rolling pin. The one pictured is a small fondant rolling pin, you will want the larger one for this.
Corn starch in a small strainer
White fondant
Fondant smoother
**Not pictured…..a pizza cutter**

Now…..the fondant.
Fondant is basically a edible sugar dough. You can buy it at a craft store like Michaels or I have even seen it at Walmart. Or you can make your own marshmallow fondant at home.
I use marshmallow (MM) fondant that I make at home.
(we’ll talk about homemade fondant another day.)

Lightly spray your counter with cooking spray. Then dust corn starch on the surface. This will help prevent sticking.
**Note: Fondant is a bit stiff when it’s at room temperature. Before you start rolling it out it will help to warm it up a bit in the microwave. Start with 15 seconds on high, add more time if you need. Knead to prevent any hot spots. ** please be very careful not to burn yourself. If the fondant gets hot it will burn you. **




Place your fondant on the counter and start to roll in one direction.




Get it flat and then turn the fondant the opposite direction and continue rolling.


Roll the fondant out thin and to the size that looks larger than your cake. Make sure it is at least 18inches across at all points. (8inch cake + 4 inch sides on both sides of the cake=16 inches.  And then figure 18+ inches just to be safe.)

Now to transfer the fondant to the cake, lay your rolling pin on your fondant at the very top. Curl the edge of the fondant onto the pin and roll the fondant up onto the pin.

Lay the loose end of the fondant along one of the bottom edges of the cake and unroll the fondant over all sides of the cake.



Get out your fondant smoother and dust it with a small bit of corn starch. Place it on the top of the cake and in a circular motion smooth the top of the cake (If you get a bubble of air on the top use a small pin to pop it and smooth the hole.)


Now, start working on the sides.
Smooth the fondant around the sides using your smoother or your hand.



When you get to places the fondant will buckle and not lay flat, take two fingers and pull the fondant gently and at the same time smooth it down with your other hand..
(This will just take some practice. It took me a few cakes to get this right.)



Here is what it should look like after this step.


Cut away the extra fondant with a fondant cutter or a pizza cutter.



If you have rough edges like this…..use your smoother right against the cake stand to push them back in.




Now smooth the whole cake. Move the smoother up and down around the cake and then smooth the top again.


Well the first step anyway.



So go on and get started and try practicing with your fondant.

The next part in the series will continue on with the Estelle Cake.

See you then!

Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. cassandra lopez says:

    OMG I LOVE this so much! You just opened my creativity into a whole nother level! I cant believe how easy it is to do this, I mean I’m kicking myself in the teeth for not knowing this. I’v always envied & admired people who could make sweet things like this & now I know I could do this. I’v always loved baking & everything artistic & I’v always wanted to perfect my baking or at least challenge myself with baking & this just blew my mind THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS ^_^

  2. Carol says:

    Attempting to make a groom’s cake (for my son’s wedding) in the shape of his favorite guitar and your posts on how to make a better cake, make the fondant and then use the fondant are exactly what i’ve been looking for to help me. I feel confident now that I’ve gotten such detailed directions. Thank you for sharing. Sharing is definitely caring!

  3. says:

    Wow!dis is great.thank u so much 4 teaching me.I’ll try it.

  4. Natalie says:

    Oh! This was so great to find and easy to understand! I can’t wait to try it. And I loved the “how to make marshmallow fondant” post you have. So great! Thanks!

  5. Fleur says:

    hi! I’m really motivated to make my very own cake with fondant icing. & as I have been reading your entries, I have grown inspired! you make it seem so easy.. I liked the photos that you posted and I’m really interested in making a perfect buttercream filling for the cake, do you have any recipe published in your site? i can’t seem to find any. can you please share it to me? thankyou! :)

  6. Angela says:

    So You Can Find Mostly Everything for Cakes at Micheals?

  7. Miller Family says:

    I know this post is really old, but I was looking around and wondering you have ever published the recipe that you use for your buttercream icing? I would really love to know what you use. Thanks

  8. Samantha says:

    Brittney… I have never considered myself a good cook. Your posts are the BEST! I was actually able to use fondant (for the first time ever) successfully! Thank you so much for the helpful tips and especially the photos! I can't wait to see the installments on the Make-a-Cake Series now!!!

  9. Brittany says:

    The Mckays– I am glad you are enjoying the series!! I hope things are going well for you. I always double or triple the buttercream recipe. One batch does not make very much. Good luck!

  10. The Mckays says:

    i found the recipe for your buttercream. in your frosting of the layered cakes tutorial, how much buttercream did you make? double the recipe? thanks.

  11. The Mckays says:

    great tutorials! i know i'm backtracking some to an old post so i hope you still get this brittany.

    question: when making a cake with several tiers do you have a special way to put fondant on them? say there are two tiers, do you put fondant on the bottom one first then fondant the top (on a different surface) and then stack on the bottom tier?

    or do you stack them and roll out a huge fondant piece and smooth over the whole thing? does that make sense?

    also, do you have a recipe for the buttercream you use or do you buy it?

    i'm getting together with my sister tomorrow to make your fondant. love the posts! thanks so much.

  12. Brittany says:

    vinestreet–A little bit of cornstarch will be on the outside of the cake, but the fondant wont pick up much. You can brush it off with your hand but if you still see it get a paper towel slightly damp and brush the cake. That should work. Good Luck.

  13. vinestreet says:

    Question: I have colored my fondant…will the cornstarch just make it all powdery white when I cover the cake? How do I avoid that?

  14. ~JeNn ChErRy~ says:

    I echo all of the above comments—we need step by step recipes for everything mentioned in your post. Thank you so much for sharing!

  15. Beth- the mama bee says:

    When the decorating series is done, please share the cake recipe that you use and butercream. I want to make my daughter an awesome birthday cake- it's in July. thanks!

  16. wholesomewomanhood says:

    You make it look so easy…and doable! Fondant always looked so difficult, but now you've made me want to try my hand at it!

    ~ Carrie ~

  17. Danette says:

    Brit on make it and love it, what a perfect combination. I am so excited!!! After watching you make these cakes I can finally learn how to do it. Maybe my days of punching cakes that don't turn out are over. I can't wait for more.

  18. Danette says:

    Brit on make it and love it, what a perfect combination. I am so excited!!! After watching you make these cakes I can finally learn how to do it. Maybe my days of punching cakes that don't turn out are over. I can't wait for more.

  19. Cara Dickerson says:

    Love this new idea! I've always wanted to learn this. My question is do you have a good chocolate cake recipe? I've been trying to find one for a while. Thanks!

  20. Missy says:

    Brittany it's Missy from Carriage House!! I love Make it and Love it and am so excited for you! Max has a closet full of ties I've made for him because of this site! Keep up the good work!

  21. Brittany says:

    Liana—I am planning on going back to some basics after the Estelle cake is done. In a few weeks it will start coming your way, thanks for your suggestions.

    Sylvia—when you lay the fondant onto the cake the cornstarch side is down or on the cake. Top side says on top. I hope that helps!

  22. Neisa Marie says:

    I also have the BEST cake recipe on my blog for making this type of cake. It's "half scratch" so its really easy and its soo moiste and amazingly delish. Check it out!!

  23. Neisa Marie says:

    They have a new kind of fondant brand at michaels, i cant remember the name but its "buttercream fondant" from one of those cooking show guys. and its delish!! The wilton stuff tastes GROSS. The MM fondant is good too but harder to work with. Also, I would suggest using icing sugar to coat your counter because it will only enhance the flavor of your fondant, i dont know if corn starch would mess with the flavor? anyways, check out some of the cakes I've made at my party blog. I have no experience, literally these are the only cakes I've ever made. Its easy I promise and SO MUCH FUN!!
    Check out the first cake I made here..

    The second cake I made here…

    and the third cake I've made here…

    maybe one day I'll get enough followers to do a tutorial on some of my cakes!
    LOVE THIS POST btw great job brittany!

  24. Sylvia says:

    WOW! Seems easy, I've been so intimidated to try fondant. But now, I think I might go buy some.
    When you lay the fondant down on the cake, what side is up? The part w/lots of cornstarch or the clean part you were rolling against?

  25. Anissa says:

    Sometimes I think Ashley is reading my mind with these crafts and projects. I've always wanted to do cake decorating and this is going to be an awesome way to learn from the comfort of my own home. Thanks so much Ashley and Brittany! Very cool!

  26. *MICHELLE CAUDLE* says:

    I'm so excited that you are teaching us to do this!! My husband and I both marvel at fondant cakes and wanted to know how to make them. We've heard that most fondant doesn't taste very good…but that the Marshmallow kind is much better…look forward to the rest of the posts on how to make this!! Thank you!

  27. Liana says:

    I'm also really excited to learn about cake decorating. But from someone who doesn't have alot of cooking experience, do you think you could give some tips on the basics of making a cake and just getting the darn thing out of the pan without chunks of it staying in the pan or crumbling? I watch these cake shows where they practically throw the cake around before decorating it and it doesn't break or crumble at all! So I'd love to know how to bake it the best so it stays in one piece, and how you can cut it all different shapes to make different cakes (like cars, trains, etc for little boys or other shapes for girls) And any tips or techniques to smooth out the butter cream frosting on cakes in a certain way that works better than others, etc. And then I'd love to also learn about all the different tips out there for frosting, and frosting recipes! Thanks!

  28. Denise S. says:

    Your cakes are soooo beautiful! And thanks for such great instructions…….I worked with fondant once, but I had so much trouble 'massaging' color into it that I ended up just using it for embellishments (the turrets on a castle and a drapey pink bow). Anyway, (thanks to you) I'm looking forward to my next attempt!

  29. Brittany says:

    Sistersue—Did you put a layer of buttercream under your fondant. Try making that layer a bit thicker to hide the texture of the cake. Making the fondant a bit thicker would help too. The real tool is my fondant smoother. When I first cover my fondant looks really bumpy but smoothing is out makes it look good.
    Never a plain jane—I am not going to do a essential supply list because it really changes with each project. So I will have a list of what I used for each step. But the tool I use for these first three tutorials and the basics and what I use most. My counter tops are Formica also…..they just look like marble. So any counter top works.
    Thanks for reading!

  30. Amy Teets says:

    Brittany! Thanks so much for doing this!

  31. Amber says:

    I love this idea of having you post once a week. I have wanted to learn cake dec for so long….now I can. I will definitely give this a try (maybe for my son's first birthday….not till August, so I have a few months).

  32. Never A Plain Jane says:

    Weee! This new segment is so fun! I have a couple of questions, though.
    1. Will there be an essential cake supply list similar to Ashley's supply list?
    2. Can fondant be rolled on any counter top or is stone (yours looks like marble) a must? I have apartment-grade Formica counters that are textured. Thanks Brittany and thanks Ashley for something new to make me say "wee!"

  33. Mirna says:

    Thank You so much. I have been wanting to learn how to use fondant but it always seemed so difficult. You made it look easy. I will be trying this. I am looking forward to your next postings. AWESOME!

  34. sistersue says:

    I tried fondant and couldn't get it to look so smooth. The texture of the cake showed through. Was the fondant too thin? Or did I do something wrong?

  35. Brady & Kelsey says:

    I have always wanted to learn how to make a fondant cake! Great tutorial! I am anxious to start trying it and learning more!

  36. Angela Hansen says:

    You explained it really well, I have been wanting to try this out. I need to start practicing because my little one has a b-day in a couple months.

  37. brandy says:

    I LOVE that you are doing this! I decorate cakes as well, and am having a lot of fun with it, but am SO NOT A PROFESSIONAL. It's great to see how others do it and pick up tips from them! Thank you for teaming up with your friend!

  38. ellen says:

    I watch cake shows all the time and wonder how they put that on! They never show it. Thank you so much for making this! I am so going to try it now :)

  39. Erin says:

    Thanks for the tutorial…it definitely cleared up quite a few questions I had regarding fondant. (Charm City makes it looks so easy!)

  40. TheNormanFive says:

    Thank you for the make-a-cake series. I have always wanted to make cakes with fondant but didn't really know how. It's the hot thing in cake making.

  41. Lucy says:

    how exciting! i love cake decorating and now i think i'm finaly ready for fondant. :)

  42. Angie says:

    I am SO excited for these posts!! I LOVE to bake yummy stuff, but I'm still winging it one the "pretty" part! I can't wait for the MM fondant recipe! :) Thank you for being generous and sharing your talent with us!

  43. Brittany says:

    Oh, I am so excited! Thank you all for your sweet words.
    To answer a few questions:
    Kimberly—I will be honest that I do not think the fondant you can but in the store tastes as good as MM fondant but store bought is easier to work with. The consistency is different when eating fondant but the MM fondant is just as tasty as frosting.
    If you want to try MM fondant there are some really good recipes online and I will be showing one later on.
    Ashlee– that’s for the tip to use Satin Ice fondant. I have not tried it and I am not sure where to get it but I am sure it’s sold online. I shop online for a good portion of my supplies.
    Jenn– I do use cornstarch and cooking spray when I roll out colored fondant. After I finish smoothing if there is a bit of cornstarch left, I take a slightly damp paper towel and lightly brush over the spots.
    I loving hearing from all of you, keep the questions coming!

  44. Aubrey says:

    Wow! You shouldn't have told us you weren't a pro! I would have never guessed! You have such talent!

  45. Andrea says:

    I have always been intimidated by fondant! Thank you so much for the tutorial! I can't wait to try it!

  46. Jess and Jen says:

    I have a question…do you still use cornstarch and cooking spray if you are rolling out colored fondant to cover a cake with? I'm excited for more tips! -Jen

  47. Megan says:

    I'm so excited for this tutorial too! Is it possible to get your fondant recipe? I've never had much luck making my own.

  48. Goings on at the Glenn's says:

    Way to do a tutorial of this! I have done this for awhile but have never had the patience to but a tut together. I love making Marshmallow fondant too. I've never had the other kind but I hear it isn't very good to eat. Marshmallow Fondant is delish!

  49. Tyler, Alexis and Karielle says:

    I love how you had to put a flower on it on the "done" picture just so it wouldn't be plain. :D Very excited for your tutorials.

  50. Mary Beth says:

    I took a cake with fondant decorating class a couple weeks ago. It is SO MUCH FUN to work with! :)

  51. McKenzie says:

    I'm not sure if Britt reads these posts, but if she does, it's McKenzie!! I was so surprised to see her beautiful face as I was scrolling down the page (I was directed to this website by my friend, Camille, who knows Ashley from school. Small world! The cakes are to die for!! Thanks for the tutorial.

  52. Shannon says:

    I'm not sure if I love the taste, but I love how fondant looks. This tutorial is awesome! It makes it look easy. Pinching my pennies now for some cool tools!

  53. Kimberly says:

    From one Idaho girl to another, you're cakes are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your talent. I have 5 birthdays in the next month, I just may have to try this out. My biggest question though, is how does the fondant taste? Is it as good as frosting on a cake?

  54. Tam @ Sew Dang Cute says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have been wanting to learn how to work with fondant for a long time, but had no idea where to start!!! This is awesome and I look forward to future installments!!!

  55. The Wife says:

    You are the most talented person I know! Love it!

  56. Ashlee says:

    It looks good! What fun. I would suggest that if anyone doesn't want to make their own fondant that they buy Satin Ice and run far far away from the Wilton stuff. It tends to be dry and nothing is worse than putting fondant on your cake only to have it crack and rip! AARRRGGGHHH.

  57. Melanie says:

    This post came at a perfect time! My daughter and I have been trying to figure out how people get cakes so smooth just this morning. Thank you. p.s. I am from North Idaho too!

  58. Jami Schoettler says:

    I am so excited that you decided to do this! I love decorating cakes!! -Jami

  59. Raymond and Kristan says:

    I'm so excited to have these tips! I've always wanted to take a cake decorating class but I there aren't any where I live so THANK YOU!

  60. Raymond and Kristan says:

    I'm so excited to have these tips! I've always wanted to take a cake decorating class but I there aren't any where I live so THANK YOU!

  61. Katie says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I love to watch the Food Channel Cake Challenges and wanted to learn how to do this. You're awesome!!

  62. jsangel says:

    I love this! Could we get a recipe for the marshmallow fondant? That sounds much more tasty than the rubber flavored stuff from the store!
    I <3 this new web format! The site looks great!

  63. lajamison says:

    I LOVE IT! This has always been something I've wanted to learn – Thank you.

    I may have to make this cake for my birthday, it is very pretty.

  64. Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage says:

    WOWEEE!!! This series is for me!! Too excited!!

  65. Whatever Dee-Dee wants says:

    Great tutorial. Brittany makes it look so easy :)

  66. tomiannie says:

    Thank you so much! I am so excited for your series — I too have always wanted to learn this!

  67. * Nancy * says:

    Oh wow – this new series is exciting! Can't wait to impress my family with a fondant cake. Thanks for sharing your tips Brittany.

  68. The Lassen Family says:

    MORE! MORE!!! Loved this! I too have always wondered how hard this was to do. I have always planned to take a class, but maybe won't have to thanks to you guys!! Thank you so much for sharing your talents :)I have 2 birthdays in the next 1.5 months, so this is fabulous!, but hurry :)

  69. Lorie says:

    Great tips. I love working with fondant!

  70. Libby says:

    Oh my gosh. I have ALWAYS wanted to know how to do this… I am SO EXCITED for these posts! Awesome. I will be an avid reader as you teach us! Can't wait!

  71. che carina! says:

    awesome..i really enjoyed your first installment..looking forward to the rest..thanks for the tutorial!!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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