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Friday, June 25, 2010

Fondant: The First Attempt


It's one of those things that I've been meaning to try for a long time. I've always admired the fondant cakes that I see but I've been a little intimidated. I've also heard some stories about how awful fondant tastes. Plus the stuff isn't cheap when you buy it at Michael's and the like - I didn't want to spend the money to make a cake that looked and tasted bad. What's the point?

But then I heard about marshmallow fondant...

Easy to make at home with cheap ingredients in a short amount of time. Compared to the stuff at the store, it's amazing. It costs next to nothing and it tastes pretty good. I'm not going to lie; it's sweet, it's a little chewy, it will give you a sugar high... but compared to the boxed stuff, it's a whole different ball game. Unfortunately I was experimenting this time, so I'll give you a recipe once I figure out real measurements.

So I made a big batch of the stuff and set out to make a cake. I made this one to match a baby shower invitation and for my first attempt, I'm pretty happy with it. Obviously, my skills need some work, and I think I made it a lot harder than it had to be because I didn't know any of the tips (for how to get out the air bubbles) and I didn't have the proper tools (like letter cutouts), but I'm working on that. I finally signed up for Wilton's fondant class (I've been trying to find a class but there hasn't been enough interest for the class to be held at my local Michael's at a time when I can take it) so I'm getting better.

As for the cake on this one, I used a basic butter cake recipe with a strawberry filling for this. The cake recipe was from The Cake Bible and uses a slightly different method than many cakes. It claims to prevent over mixing but I'm not sure I really notice a difference. I'll probably continue using my regular method just because this seems backwards to me.

For the filling, I went with a Wilton recipe for strawberry filling found on Annie's Eats. When you use a fruit filling like this one, make sure and use a buttercream dam around the edges to keep the filling from sliding out the sides of the cake. And for the buttercream, I used my lemon buttercream, but tinted it pink to match the girly cake.

All Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake
Recipe from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

6 egg yolks
1 cup milk
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
10.5 oz sifted cake flour (approx 3 cups)
10.5 oz sugar (approx 1 1/2 cups)
1 T + 1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
6 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch round pans.

Combine egg yolks, 1/4 cup milk, and vanilla in a small bowl and beat lightly. In mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and beat on low speed for 30 seconds just to combine. Add butter and remaining milk. Mix on low until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for approximately 1 1/2 minutes. Add the egg mixture in three additions, beating for about 20 seconds after each addition, scraping the sides when necessary.

Pour batter into prepared pans, filling each about half full and smooth with a spatula. Bake about 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool approximately 10 minutes and invert onto wire racks to cool completely.


  1. You can never go wrong with butter cakes! Everyone loves them as much as I do. Thanks for sharing. If you don't mind, I would like to guide Foodista readers to this post. Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set.

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  2. Great job!! That cake looks delicious.

  3. Looks great! Love the pink and purple color combo. Good job!

  4. The cake looks lovely! Great job!

    Could I know more about the taste of the cake? I've been looking for a good yellow cake, so I would love to know how you feel about it.

  5. This cake looks great!! So professional looking!!
    Would you mind checking out my blog? :D

  6. I would say that your first attempt was pretty successful. That cake is beautiful. Great job!

  7. @Memoria - its a great all-purpose yellow cake. The butter cake is nice and moist and has a slightly denser crumb - not sure if this is due to the mixing method or just the recipe - than some other recipes I've tried in the past. I think it would go well with a variety of fillings and buttercreams.

  8. That's a great looking cake! I've been wanting to try to decorate with fondant for a long time, but I've been very intimidated. But this motivates me to give it a try! Thanks for sharing.


  9. This the "THE" cake recipe that I used for traditional butter cake. When made following her directions you are guaranteed a perfect cake. I think you did a great job on the cake and does not look like a beginner !! Congrats


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