Fondant Draped Wedding Cake

Earlier this summer, I had a coworker who was getting married and asked me to make her wedding cake! 

I was honored by the request, but frankly a bit intimidated as she described her theme and started sending in idea pictures!

The cake she had in mind sounded like more complicated fondant drape work than I’d ever done before. She also didn’t want the cake covered in fondant. AND to top it off, it also needed to be able hold its shape over a 4-ish hour drive south to the wedding venue! I was nervous, but having transported buttercream cakes over distances before, I was fairly confident that part would be fine as LONG as I could nail the fondant work!

I describe the process of stacking a tiered wedding cake in this post, but I’ll describe the process and give some pointers for making fondant drapes below!

 

Making / Decorating a cake with fondant drapes:

First, I used a mix of 1/3 gum paste (this Renshaw gum paste was well-reviewed and worked great!) to 2/3 designer fondant for the drapes on this cake. Gum paste it just a bit stiffer compared to fondant, and when kneaded together with the fondant it helps the drapes hold their shape.

Roll the fondant out evenly to about 1/8” on a surface dusted with a mix of cornstarch and powdered sugar.

I’ve seen cake dowels used for the shaping step, but  I used smoothie/coffee straws for this part and they worked beautifully!

Alternate one straw on top of the fondant with one placed underneath, to create a series of ‘waves’ in your fondant sheet and press them in gently. Remove the straws slowly, being careful not to stretch the ‘waves.’ Press the top of the wave into the shape of the drape you’d like – you can make it as tight or as loose as you’d like! Once you have the main part of the drape shaped, pinch the ends together and trim away any excess. I went back and forth between the cutting board and eyeballing the drape against the cake a couple of times, to be sure I had a size and shape that I liked. If it’s too long you can pinch the ends together a bit more closely and trim the excess again.

With some edible glue, brush the sides of your cake to help adhere the fondant. I was placing fondant onto buttercream, so I made sure to have the cake *well* chilled for this part to make sure I didn’t mis-shape the frosting on the cake! Press until well adhered. I also used some plastic silk flower stems stuck through the edges of the drape into the cake to make sure the drape wouldn’t move!

You’ll also see an airbrush in the video – the bride wanted a gold-tinged pearlized look to the cake, so I used a mix of pearl, silver, and gold airbrush color to get the effect I was after!

I used this airbrush kit (at less than $60, it’s a GREAT airbrush kit for a beginner! Not overly expensive and worked fantastically!) and this $15 metallic color set – and I loved the beautiful decorative sheen it gave to the cake and drapes! Be aware though, metallic colors are grainier in consistency than plain colors, and have more of a propensity to clog your airbrush. You may have stop and run clean water through the airbrush tip to clear it a few times in the process. I also found that it helped to thin down the metallic colors with a little bit of water and work in coats to ensure that the colors dried and didn’t run. It was a FUN process though; if you ever get a chance to airbrush a cake, DO it!

The rest of the cake after that was….well, cake! I added on ivory roses and pearlized flowers with a few black flowers and feathers (1920s themed wedding), and packaged it for transport to the venue!

That’s all the tips that come to mind at the moment, if you have any questions please send them my way!

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