Iced Cake

Celebration Cake Class Notes

Celebration Cake Class Notes


Here are your notes to complement your class. We have taken the liberty by providing you with links to Amazon, to make shopping far easier for you, save you traipsing around trying to find stuff, and most are next-day delivery, and at a very good price.

We have tried to be frugal for you, but sometimes we have recommended the tried and tested equipment, which may be branded as we find the cheaper copies break!

You will love covering your cakes with fondant from now on. We recommend Dr Oetker as a supermarket shelf fondant, as it’s the best for this type of one-tier simple round-edged cake. The supermarket’s own ones tend to tear.

When you progress to taller fondant cakes, with sharp edges, then we use a more specialist fondant.

Finally don’t forget PLEASE leave us a GOOGLE REVIEW, and think of us when gifting a special present as our classes make a great day out for loved ones or a leaving present.


  • Using modelling paste or flower paste. We used Sainsbury’s own White Flower & Modelling Paste in class, but Lakeland, Tesco and Hobby Craft sell modelling paste).
  • Select a small amount, and make sure the rest is under a glass, or in an airtight bag, as it doesn’t like the air. Warm and soften the small amount of modelling paste between your hands.
  • Use white vegetable fat, ‘Trex‘, (can be purchased at Sainsbury’s) and massage into modelling paste as required – if it feels dry it needs more Trex, you’re looking for a chewing gum consistency, that feels smoother than a baby’s skin.
  • If more than 1 colour is required split your ball according to how many colours required

**Remember** – when not using, place it under a cup to keep it from drying out – if it does go a little dry when you go back to it then revive it with a little trex

  • Roll your modelling paste into a smooth ball, and create a well in the middle with your thumb.
  • Using Gel Colouring, and a cocktail stick, or the end of the paintbrush, to apply the gel colour of your choice, to the paste, make about four spots in the bottom of the well you created in the paste.
  • Pinch the paste over the colour to save your fingers from getting discoloured!
  • Knead until the colour is evenly distributed. If it gets sticky use more Trex.
  • Roll out the paste thinly, just less than a penny thickness.
  • If you are using a new butterfly cutter/imprinter, use a little bit of Trex on the imprinter bit first.
  • Cut out your butterfly with a cutter (cut, wiggle and plunge then lift and push out).
  • If it sticks to the cutter use a cocktail stick to lift it off.
  • Use a lolly pop stick, or the end of a paintbrush to create lace detail holes in your butterfly.
  • Use a piece of card folded in half and flatten slightly – then turn your butterfly over and place pretty side down and leave to dry for a couple of hours. Cereal boxes with the shiny printed side against the butterfly work well.

The Cake

We used Betty Croker’s Chocolate Devil Food Cake mix – 1 box makes 1 (6 inches round) cake.

(Now, we all love using our own recipes that we have learnt, but we use a box mix as it gets a great result for our students.)

Use 3 eggs and 100ml of oil (the pack says 120ml) and use water not milk. Make sure everything is at room temperature.

As we said we use one 6-inch deep round tin (at least 3 inches deep). We advise against using two sandwich tins. if you want a professional finish without the effort use one tin !!  Liberally spray your tin with cake release spray, or grease really well with Trex, NOT butter or spread as this burns and gives cakes a brown edge which does not taste very nice!

Bake at 160 in a fan oven for around 40 mins (cooking times can vary)– a skewer, or a knife should come out clean when it’s ready.

You should find the cake rises well over the tin – as soon as it comes out of the oven cut the top off, rest your knife on the tin and slice it off. This will give you a really good finish!

After 5 mins turn your cake out onto a wire cooling rack, to allow the air to flow underneath, and after 10 mins turn it over. IT IS IMPORTANT to turn the cake over as soon as you can, to cool so that gravity pulls through the top, the pretty posh side. Don’t worry about cooling rack wire marks, on the top of your cake as you are covering it.

Once your cake is completely cool, you can either decorate it straight away or wrap it in cling film, and then foil and you can freeze it until you want it. Place it in the freezer straight away once you have covered it.

To defrost unwrap and leave on a wire rack.

If you are splitting and filling your cake – make a vertical line with corn flour using a paintbrush, the whole height of the cake, VERTICALLY, and then cut your cake in half. If you have made a vanilla cake use cocoa powder to make this ESSENTIAL vertical line.

Fill your cake with buttercream which has stood for at least an hour to let the air bubbles out, and then pop the top back on lining up with your vertical cornflour line.

Use a piping bag without a nozzle in, cut the end off and fill by making a ‘Cumberland sausage’ swirl, right up to the edges of one half of your cake on the cut edge, as a quicker more efficient way of filling your cake.

The buttercream we used in class was a ratio of 2 parts icing sugar to 1 part butter (don’t use margarine, you need block butter).  You can add vanilla extract, or any flavouring if required.

If it is a hot day, pop your filled cake into the fridge, as it is, for twenty minutes, to cement the top pieces together with the buttercream.

Now crumb coat your cake with buttercream, with an offset pallet knife – you can pop the cake in the fridge for 20 mins to set.


Cake Board Covering

In class, we used a 9-inch round DRUM cake board, if you use a different size drum the quantities of fondant will need adjusting.9-inch drum boards are falling out of favour, so use a 10-inch round cake drum board (not a cake card !), and remember to order a 10-inch cake box

  • For covering drums there is no need to use expensive fondant, supermarket brand is fine.
  • For a 9-inch drum, roll out 200g fondant to 9-10 inches round using your ESSENTIAL silicon rolling mat, and a heavy-duty 20-inch polyethene large rolling pin. We prefer the polyethene rolling pin because you can stick it in the freezer if you have hot hands.
  • Keep the fondant in a circle as much as you can when rolling and use the clock face technique – i,e 3 o’clock, 9 o’clock, 12 o’clock, 6 o’clock etc…Roll from the centre out lifting and returning to the centre for the next roll.
  • Slightly dampen your board, and lift fondant onto the cake board using your rolling pin.
  • Use a cake smoother to smooth onto the board – don’t worry if you’ve ‘under rolled’ rolled short or not long enough, this can be easily solved but gently pushing towards the edge with your smoother
  • Use the ‘pie crust’ method to trim the edges, with a very sharp knife, and your soft palm to brush off any jagged bits.


Note – you can do this well in advance of making your cake – we find that’s advantageous because the board will dry hard

But if you do need it sooner, you cake bake your covered board in the oven to speed up the drying time.  Bake at approximately 50 degrees for 25 mins.  Be careful when removing it from the oven as the fondant will be soft and extremely HOT when you take it out.  Leave to cool and harden.


Covering the cake

Remember our 3 R’s technique:

The RIGHT amount of fondant

The RIGHT area

The RIGHT rolling technique

  • Measure your cake from the bottom edge, over the cake and down the bottom of the other side – then deduct 2cm – it’s better to under-roll your fondant than over-roll as this can create tearing!
  • Use 600g fondant (for the cake we used Dr Oetker), and roll using the clock face technique onto the silicon mat. You will need more for a square cake or a larger cake!
  • Lift the fondant onto your rolling pin using your pallet knife to start the lifting.
  • If your crumb coat buttercream has dried just dampen it with your hands before applying the fondant!
  • Once the fondant is on your rolling pin, drape it over the cake, Catch it halfway, and gently secure ot to your cake, pushing up remember.
  • Use the palm of your hand to smooth the top and rub your hand around the top edge to prevent elephant skin
  • Gently lift the fondant from the bottom and using the side edge of your hand use swift smooth upward motions
  • Continue this all the way around the cake
  • Take smoother and define the bottom edge of the cake
  • Trim off excess fondant
  • Your cake should now be covered – use smoother to smooth any problem areas

Attach cake to the cake board

  • Take a small piece of fondant and wet it until it’s like a sticky gunk
  • Place on the cake board and attach the cake
  • If you dink any area of the board or cake, take the opportunity to rectify with the cake smoother.

Add THIN ribbon to the cake board edge, using glue (glue stick or double-sided tape).

Now add a WIDER ribbon to the bottom of the cake, to hide any ugly bits where it joins the board, and secure it with a small  wet piece of fondant rolling  (petit pois pea size)

Decorate your beautiful cake with your butterflies, when they are dry, and secure it with small rolled-up pieces of wet fondant again.

If your butterflies aren’t fully dry, leave them overnight or pop them in a fan oven at 60 degrees for about twenty minutes. They will be hot when they come out, but let them cool off first.

Now enjoy your cake with family and friends.

Do NOT put your cake in a sealed tin or container. Cakes need to breathe

Don’t forget to cut your cake properly !!!!!!

Find out how to get the most number of servings from your cake.

Now you have smashed covering cakes with fondant, why not progress and find out how to produce tall cakes with sharp edges? Take a look at this, your next class, The Metallic Sharp Edge Cake Class. Your family and friends will be blown away when you present them with this professional cake. (Beginners welcome ).

Or complete your general cake prowess and join us on the Vintage & Lace Cupcake Class, and learn the secrets of those dommed top cupcakes that everyone raves about.



Shopping Basket