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How to Make Fondant Stick to Ganache

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If you’re applying fondant to a ganache covered cake, you’ll need to know how to make the fondant stick to the ganache. In this post, you’ll learn five different ways to attach fondant to ganache, when to choose each option, plus the pros and cons of each.

A dark chocolate ganache covered cake on a black turntable, text overlay reads "How to Make Fondant Stick To Ganache".

Options.

In general, I enjoy options. It’s nice to have a choice. But sometimes choosing is hard. So that’s when it’s nice for someone to tell you how to make your choice.

If you’ve ever wondered how to make fondant stick to ganache, then this post is for you. I’ve listed a few common things that can be used to make fondant stick to your perfectly ganached cake, and some of the pros and cons of each one to help you make your choice.

Back to the fondant sticking business.

First off, you’ll need to cover your cake in ganache. If you’re new to ganache, check out my How to Ganache a Cake tutorial, which will tell you everything you need to know about making and using ganache, and getting lovely smooth straight sides on your cake.

Then you need to let the ganache-covered cake set overnight at room temperature, or at the very least for a few hours. It will also slightly dry out the surface of the ganache, which makes a nice shell on the cake and helps you keep your nice sharp edges once you apply the fondant.

Next, choose how you’re going to apply your fondant to the cake. You can either cover it the traditional way in one large piece, or you can wrap the cake with fondant.

Now, it’s time to make the fondant stick. All of the below options will do just that, but they all have pros and cons that may determine which one you’d like to use for a specific cake. So, it’s time to find your perfect match…

How to Make Fondant Stick to Ganache

Crisco (or other soft shortening)

Shortening is a vegetable fat, often used in baking or to make a more stable buttercream.

How To Use: Rub a thin layer of shortening onto the surface of the cake. You can use your (clean, or gloved) hands or a pastry brush. Crisco is a soft shortening, but if you’re using a different kind that is more solid at room temperature, you may need to soften it in the microwave.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t dry out – you can rub it on before you start rolling out the fondant.
  • Is more forgiving if you have trouble covering the cake and need to remove the fondant to try again. The Crisco allows you to peel the fondant off without damaging the ganache underneath. This generally means that not much ganache will be on the fondant so you can re-knead it and try again.
  • Absorbs into the fondant – you don’t notice it’s there when the cake is cut, and you won’t taste it.
  • Fills in small holes/dents/imperfections in the ganache, leading to fewer air bubbles under the fondant. This is why it’s my preferred choice for covering carved cakes.

Cons:

  • Some people dislike the idea of shortening in general, from baking with it to using it in buttercream.
  • Soft shortenings like Crisco can be hard to buy in some countries. In New Zealand, very few shops stock it, we pretty much have to buy it online.
Shortening being rubbed onto the sides of a dark chocolate ganache covered cake.


Water

How to Use: Boil and cool some water. Brush or spray onto the surface of the cake.

Pros:

  • Everyone has it on hand.
  • Can be sprayed on with a spray bottle making for easy application

Cons:

  • Can dry out – depending on the humidity in your kitchen, if you brush it on before you start rolling out your fondant, the water may evaporate before you’re ready to apply the fondant. This means you may need to brush it on once your fondant is already rolled out, which can mean your fondant starts drying out and is more likely to crack and get elephant skin while you’re smoothing it on the cake.
  • Can leave marks on the fondant if you get the water on your hands and then touch the fondant, the water starts to dissolve the sugar in the fondant and leads to watermarks that can’t be removed.
A small paintbrush being used to paint vodka onto a cake.
Use a larger brush for brushing the whole cake, in this image I was just covering the top of the cake, so I used a small brush.

Vodka

How To Use: Brush or spray onto the surface of the cake.

Pros:

  • Can be sprayed on with a spray bottle making for easy application
  • Tends not to leave marks on fondant like water does. If you’re wrapping a cake in fondant or applying stripes, if the vodka seeps out it will dry quite well without leaving obvious marks.
  • The higher alcohol content helps to sterilise the surface of the cake.

Cons:

  • Evaporates quickly (much more quickly than water) so it needs to be brushed on just prior to applying the fondant, which again means the fondant can start drying out before you even get it on the cake.
  • Some people prefer not to use alcohol on cakes for religious or other personal reasons.
  • The cost of vodka can be prohibitive, depending on where you live and where you buy it (I just buy the 1-litre bottles when they’re on special, as I use it for other cake decorating uses like painting, cleaning brushes and wiping down cake boards. Oh, and making vanilla extract)


Sugar Syrup

How To Use: Make a sugar syrup (also known as “simple syrup”) by boiling together equal parts sugar and water until the sugar dissolves, then cool to room temperature before use. Spray or brush onto the surface of the cake.

Pros:

  • Nice and tacky, can mean fewer air bubbles as the fondant is well adhered to the ganache.
  • You can make a large batch and store it in the fridge for several weeks.

Cons:

  • Needs to be made and cooled before use.
  • Tends to stick very well to the ganache, meaning if you need to remove the fondant and try again, there can be a lot of ganache marks on the fondant.
  • Because it’s super sticky, there is more likelihood of damaging the ganache if you need to remove the fondant, which can mean the ganache needs touching up before fondant is reapplied.


Thinned-Down Jam

How To Use: Make a jam syrup by thinning down apricot jam with cooled, boiled water. Strain through a sieve to remove any lumps. Brush onto the surface of the cake.

Pros:

  • Like sugar syrup, it’s nice and tacky.
  • Easy to make

Cons:

  • As above with the issues with fondant.
  • Needs to be made.
  • The jam flavour (usually apricot) doesn’t necessarily go with all cakes.

So there you have five options for to make fondant stick to ganache. Hopefully, it’ll help you make your choice. If you’ve got another option I’ve missed that you’d like to share, please let us know in the comments below.

Happy, er, sticking!

~Natalie
xx

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