Cupcakes take all of the tastiness of a full-sized cake and scale it down to fun, individual-sized servings. A great way to dress up cupcakes is to top them with fondant icing. This decorating method ups the class of your dessert without the burden of having a full-sized iced cake. There are two fondant options, one using a fondant dough and the other involving a liquid fondant. Choose your preferred fondant type and let your mind go to create the most creative and exciting decorations you can.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Corn flour
- Rolled fondant
- Rolling pin
- Biscuit cutter
- Small paintbrush
- Apricot jam
- Pastry brush
- Poured fondant
Sprinkle corn flour onto your worktop, and roll out the fondant into 6 mm (1/4 inch) thickness. Use corn flour on your rolling pin if you feel the fondant sticking at any point. If you want to colour your fondant, add the colouring right before rolling.
Cut circles out of the rolled fondant using a biscuit cutter until you have as many circles as cupcakes. Pick a cutter that is as close to the size of the cupcake as possible to ensure full coverage with the fondant.
Spread a thin layer of buttercream icing onto the top of a cupcake. Pick up a fondant circle in the palm of your hand. Turn the cupcake over so the icing is facing down, and press it gently onto the fondant circle. Cup your hand lightly around the cupcake to form the fondant around the edges.
Put buttercream onto each of the remaining cupcakes, then top them off with a fondant circle. Make sure each of the circles is securely smoothed against the buttercream to prevent them from slipping off.
Cut out letters, shapes or symbols from the remaining fondant to create the secondary decorations. You can make seasonal shapes for festive parties and initials for a child's birthday party. Another option is to form small figures, like flowers or fruits, to sit on top of the cupcake.
Dip a small paintbrush into water, and lightly paint the bottom of your secondary decorations to wet them. Wet the tops of the cupcakes where you want to place the decorations. Gently press the decorations onto the fondant circles. Let the water dry before moving the cupcakes.
Heat a bowl of apricot jam in the microwave until it is thin and spreadable. Dip a pastry brush into the heated jam, and spread a thin layer on top of each cupcake. Allow the jam to set and become tacky, which will help the fondant adhere to the cupcake better.
Melt the fondant in the microwave until it is warm and liquid. Use 1 minute heating intervals to avoid scorching the fondant. Stir the fondant after each heating to make sure it is smooth and melted all the way through.
Pick up a cupcake and turn it upside down, then dip it into the melted fondant. Push the cupcake down until the icing reaches the paper of the cupcake liner. Lift the cupcake up and twist it slowly to get rid of the excess fondant before flipping it right side upwards again.
Dip all of the cupcakes into the fondant in the same way. Reheat the fondant as needed to keep it smooth and liquid. Leave all of the cupcakes to dry until the fondant forms a slightly hardened shell. You can dip the dry cupcakes into the fondant a second time if you want a thicker, darker coating.
Tips and warnings
- Attach decorations to both rolled and poured fondant using a small dab of royal icing to create a very secure bond.
- Buy preformed sugar roses, hearts or other decorations to add some fine details to your cupcakes without a lot of effort.
- Add 1 tsp of boiling water at a time to thin out the poured fondant if it is too difficult to coat the cupcakes with.
- Do not freeze cupcakes once they are covered in fondant, as the defrosting process can cause unsightly water spots to form over the icing.
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