Friday, November 2, 2012

Barbie cake - adventures in fondant

I've never used fondant and I've always been scared of it. We made a trial Barbie cake a couple weeks before the party and I just did the bodice with buttercream. Terrible, terrible idea. The bodice looked okay initially, but it's tough to pipe on a doll and as soon as the cake came to room temp we had issues. It smeared if you looked at it wrong. There wasn't any way to keep the hair out of the way and synthetic hair + buttercream is supremely unappetizing.

test barbie
{test barbie with buttercream bodice}

I spent a lot of time researching fondant options in cake decorating forums and it seems Duff's fondant is superior taste wise but might be a bit soft. Wilton fondant is middle of the road. Serious cake decorators seem to like the Satin Ice fondant which I didn't even see at Michael's. I went with Wilton because it had the smallest package available and I figured the taste was completely inconsequential since I didn't anticipate anyone attempting to eat the bodices (spoiler - no one did, so we were safe).

barbies ready to party
{barbies ready to party}

There are a million fun looking fondant tools but I couldn't justify spending money on them. We just sprinkled powder sugar over a cutting board, rolled out lumps of fondant with my usual rolling pin and went for it.

experimenting with fondant
{experimenting with fondant}

Fondant tips from a completely unqualified person: 

Roll it out with powdered sugar. Cut it with a sharp knife. Start by draping it around the bodices so you can get an idea of how it feels to work with it. I didn't have a template for the tops, so we just winged it, basically cutting squares and then trimming them with a knife.

If you want to color it, gel food coloring works best and you can just dip a toothpick in the gel, then smear it on a lump of fondant and knead it in.

You can make ruffles without any fancy tools. I just rolled the fondant out, cut a few strips and then used the wrong end of a paintbrush as a tiny roller. If you run it along one edge of the fondant it creates a ruffle effect.

Attach the fondant to the bodice and to itself using clear alcohol (i.e. vodka). Just dip your finger or a paintbrush in the alcohol and lightly brush it over the surface.

If you want to use food color spray, it's best to cut the shape first and then spray it and let it dry before attaching it.

I made the gold bodice using some luster dust that's been kicking around my kitchen for well over a decade (if we were going to eat it, I might have worried about the age, but whatever). Any cake decorating store should stock it. To use it, just mix it with a few drops of clear alcohol and paint it on.


  1. Thanks for the fondant tips. I've always been terrified to even attempt using it; and I'm always scared people will wanna eat it and I find it just yucky. Happy Weekend!

    Memoirs & Mochas

  2. Rachel, I am so glad you've been posting more lately! I love your blog SO much!



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