Cécile’s Birthday cake

Cécile from Beca had her birthday recently. I took the opportunity to chronical the steps required to ice a cake in fondant.


  • Cake
  • Cake leveller
  • Icing sugar
  • Butter & Milk
  • Fondant
  • Fondant applicator


You have a cake. In this case, this is a square chocolate mudcake. I like mudcake because it’s so firm and you don’t need to smother it in icing to make it tasty.

Level the cake. This is important. Level cakes take icing better. If you don’t have one, buy a cake leveller, second to good cake tins, it will be the best investment you ever made.

Turn the cake upside-down, so that the side you levelled is on the cake board. Check for holes or other blemishes. Fill them in with bits of cake you levelled off or some icing.


Now, cover the cake in a little ordinary icing.

Take a blob of softened butter (not melted, just soft). Add some icing sugar and beat mercilessly. Keep adding icing sugar until you have enough. You can add a little milk in to make it smoother and softer. You want icing that will go on easily without pulling the cake apart but that won’t run. Test it by sticking a knife in it, if it runs off the knife you need more icing sugar, it should “drop” off in dollops.

Now, cover the cake with the icing. Don’t be too paranoid about getting the icing smooth, just make sure you cover all the blemishes and fill in all the gaps.

Step 3

Get the fondant. You can buy fondant at the supermarket or make it yourself. I prefer to buy it.

Spread a little icing sugar on a clean surface and bang the fondant down onto it. The fondant may be a bit sticky. Put icing sugar on your hands and knead the fondant as though it was dough or clay. Now is a good time to add colouring if you’re that way inclined.

Keep kneading until it feels smooth, and you feel like you could roll it out with a rolling pin.

Now, Get some cling wrap and lay it out. Cling wrap is a mixed blessing. It releases the fondant nicely but leaves creases. The creases are a lesser evil though.

Roll the fondant with a rolling pin, be sure to dust with icing sugar as you go to prevent sticking. Roll it out to about the width of a pencil or thinner. Now, use the rolling pin to lift the cling wrap onto the cake. Gently remove the cling wrap.

Sprinkle a little bit of icing sugar on the icing and use the fondant applicator to smooth out all the creases. Pinch corners and mould the fondant until you can’t see any seams. Keep polishing with the applicator until it gets a nice matt finish.

I usually use a ribbon or something to distract from the slightly messy bits where the cake meets the cake board. Unfortunately, in this image the ribbon has been taken off.