Mihai Aurel
10 tips for decorating cakes with sugarpaste icing


This sweet fondant is a sort of edible sugar dough and it can be used to cover cakes or to model decorations such as flowers or cut-out shapes.

Tips for using sugarpaste icing  


  1. You can buy ready-to-roll white sugarpaste icing from specialist cake shops and you can add food colouring until you reach the desired shade. Use a pair of disposable kitchen gloves to knead the colour in and avoid staining your palms. Alternatively, to skip this step just buy a ready-made coloured sugarpaste. Be careful not to over-knead it.
  2. Gel or paste food colourings work much better than liquid colourings to colour sugarpaste fondant. This is because they mix more smoothly and give a more even colour without making the consistency of the sugarpaste too wet. Add gel colourings with a cocktail stick until you have the right shade of colour.
  3. Always dust the work surface and rolling pin lightly with icing sugar before rolling out your sugarpaste. You can buy non-stick rolling mats. We dust with icing sugar and use plastic rolling pins as these are less likely to mark the fondant than wooden rolling pins.
  4. Only work with the amount of sugarpaste you need and keep the rest in an airtight bag or container to prevent it from drying out.
  5. Sugarpaste can be frozen, just allow it to defrost completely before using. Kept in an airtight container, you can store sugarpaste for several months. If you find your icing is too dry, we recommend throwing it away and using fresh sugarpaste.
  6. To make decorations for cakes, roll out the sugarpaste and cut out shapes with plastic or metal shaped cutters. Tap lightly into your palm or gently use a round-ended tool when removing the sugarpaste shape from the cutters (if it sticks) to avoid marking the surface. Leave your shapes to dry completely on a sheet of baking paper before decorating your cake with them.
  7. This type of icing dries out very quickly, so be sure to work fast with sugarpaste if you want to keep it soft and pliable. A small amount of vegetable shortening, such as Trex, can be added if you wish to revive sugarpaste that is going a little dry.
  8. If your sugarpaste has a crack in it you can rub it gently to smooth it out.
  9. With any form of sugarpaste decoration, practice makes perfect. It takes a lot of patience to get sugarpaste right if you are trying more elaborate designs, so allow yourself time to practice and make mistakes along the way. It’s harder than it looks!
  10. Store your ready-to-roll sugarpaste in an airtight container out of direct sunlight somewhere cool. If you’ve made finished fondant shapes or flowers and wish to store them once dried, wrap them gently in kitchen paper and keep in a covered tin, box or airtight container somewhere cool and dry away from direct sunlight. Don’t store your sugarpaste decorations in the fridge as they will absorb moisture and go soft.

For more sugarpaste tips visit our blog on Decorating cakes and cupcakes with sugarpaste icing.  

Happy baking! x

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