Quilted fondant gets its name because the design resembles the look of a hand-stitched quilt. Fondant is a thick, paste-like substance that attaches to a cake with buttercream frosting. Fondant holds its shape and texture better than frosting, giving your cake a textured look. You can use the different quilting effects to make a one-of-a-kind fondant-covered cake.
Preparing the Fondant
Fondant comes in large sheets or tubs, depending on the type you buy and where you buy it. It has a tendency to dry out if you let it sit for long periods of time. It can also stick to different surfaces. Prepare your work station by covering it with a thin layer of cornstarch. You might also find it helpful to use a silicone mat or a mat designed for cake work, which keeps the fondant from sticking. Rub more cornstarch over your rolling pin and gently roll the fondant into a thickness of 1/8 inch. Lift the fondant gently and place it in the centre of your mat or work area.
Wilton, one of the leading manufacturers of cake decorating tools and baking supplies, suggests using embossing tools to make a quilted design. The embossing tool has a small handle for comfortable gripping and a rolling metal piece that lightly punctures the fondant, making it look like it was stitched. Place the tool at one corner of the fondant and gently press down, rolling it diagonally across the fondant until you reach the opposite corner. Repeat the process with the two remaining corners. Move the tool up a few inches from your original line and roll it again. Follow this method until you have the look you want.
Use impression sheets for a simple way to give fondant a quilted look. Impression sheets are similar to stencils because the design is cut into the plastic pieces. You lay the sheet directly on top of the fondant and gently push a rolling pin across it. Push down on the rolling pin and then remove the sheet, leaving the design behind.
Use multiple pieces of fondant to make a patchwork-style quilted design. Cut the different colours of fondant into squares, using a cutting tool. Arrange the pieces on a flat surface and gently press the pieces together with your hands, using a touch of water as the glue. If the pieces won't stick together, you might have better luck attaching the cut pieces to a frosted cake.