Not all cakes are created equal, both literally and figuratively. Some are small and round, while others may be carved in to fantastic shapes or figures. Covering a difficult shape with fondant often seems daunting to many home bakers, and resignation to a simple buttercream icing is usually the solution. However, covering a cake, no matter the shape, with fondant is fairly simple if the right tools are used along with plenty of patience.
Insert the cake in to the freezer. Chill it for 30 minutes to one hour, or until firm.
Remove the cake from the freezer and brush off any crumbs with your hands. The freezing process allows the icing to spread on easier and with less crumbs from the cake.
Cover the cake in a 6.35cm / 1/4-inch thick layer of buttercream icing using the spatula. Ensure all the cracks and crevices have icing as well.
Cover your rolling surface, rolling pin, and your hands with a thin layer of shortening. This will prevent the fondant from sticking.
Place the fondant on the prepared surface. Roll out the fondant with the rolling pin to 6.35cm / 1/4-inch thickness.
Lift the fondant up and insert the rolling pin underneath one end, so the fondant drapes over. This will help when lifting the fondant to the cake.
Set the cake beside the rolled fondant. Pick up one end of the fondant with the rolling pin and the other with your free hand.
Place the rolled fondant on the cake evenly, so that equal amounts drape over the sides.
Press the fondant, gently, in to the crevices and shape of the cake. Press with the palms of your hands over flat areas and use fingers, with short fingernails, to press in the concave parts of the design.
Trim off any excess fondant around the bottom. Add more edible decorations as you desire.