As beginner cake decorators, there are a lot of questions that come up over and over again and this is one of them. So today I'm sharing How to Stick Fondant Decorations to Cake.
When cake decorating, do you struggle with how to stick fondant decorations to cakes? Or maybe you don't like your current method!? If that's the case, then this post is for you. I'm sharing 5 ways to stick fondant decorations to cakes.
Some of these work for sticking fondant to fondant. Others are better for sticking fondant to buttercream. And you can use some of these methods to attach fondant to both buttercream and fondant.
How to Stick Fondant Decorations to Cake
1. Water. This may be the most convenient and obvious way to stick fondant to fondant. BUT, it's my least favorite. When working with fondant on fondant, if you're not very careful, water can drip or run down the side of your cake. And let me tell you.... water running down the side of a fondant cake is not pretty! It will turn into a mess in a hurry! The water dissolves the fondant and you'll end up with stripes. If you use a small brush and a very minimal amount of water, this can work well for putting fondant on buttercream. That's exactly what I did on this Toy Story Cake with the clouds and logo. Just be certain to use only the tiniest brush of water.
2. Tylose "glue". This is a method I used for ages, when I rememberd. The issue with making tylose glue is that it must be made ahead of time. Take a tiny bit of tylose, mix it into water in a containter with a lid, then let it sit over night. It will be chunky and gloppy when you first mix it up, but by morning, it'll be a clear, gelatinous glue. This actually works really great but waiting all night for it to congeal can be a problem for us decorators who
are super scatter-brained don’t always think that far ahead. It would work perfectly for attaching lace medallions like on this Elegant Lace Wedding Cake.
Maybe the easiest way to stick fondant to fondant... sugar glue!
3. Sugar glue (or fondant glue). For this type, you melt marshmallow fondant with a little water! I learned this trick from CorrieCakes on Facebook years ago and it’s a perfect, easy “glue” for all fondant decorations. It only takes seconds to make and if you decorate with mmf, you have everything you need on hand to make this “glue”. It’s thicker than water, doesn’t “run” easily and well… it’s just a great solution! You can get all the details for how to make this sugar glue HERE (warning - old post with not-so-great photos).
4. Shortening. When I can get away with it (when the decorations are flat), I rub the entire surface of my cake with shortening and apply fondant on fondant. A good example of that is this Chevron Cake! All of those stripes are adhered to the cake with shortening alone and it works great!I also use shortening almost all of the time now to put letters on. I can move them around without damaging anything if I discover that I’ve put a name on off-center or too high or low! With the other types of glue mentioned, moving things around is not always possible! I talk a little more about using shortening for letters in this post on How to Use Tappit Letter Cutters (near the bottom - when I'm putting them on the cake).
5. Diluted Corn Syrup. Corn syrup alone is super sticky, so I sometimes dilute it with a bit of water to give it a more glue-like consistency. It works beautifully for sticking fondant to a cake board. I just water it down so it brushes on easily, then "paint" the surface of a cake drum before covering it with matching fondant. That's what I did for the matching marbled fondant on the wedding cake seen here.
I almost forgot candy melts glue!
Updated to add #6: Melted Candy Melts. We'll call ths my "bonus" method. Reasons I would not use melted candy melts are that they harden very quickly and can be very clumpy (so decorations won't always sit flat).
I also used them to attach the tassels to the top edge of the Balloons & Tassels Cake above and the tassels to the bottom of the balloons. The tassels were a little heavy for my usual "glue" solutions, so melted candy melts were the perfect solution!
My best tip to keep candy melts melted? Put them in a piping bag, melt them (10 seconds at a time in the microwave), then place the bag on a heating pad, fold it over on itself, and keep the bag there between uses!
Now you have six different possible solutions for attaching fondant decorations to a cake. My suggestion would be to experiment with the different options and see which you're most comfortable with and/or which works best for YOU depending on your cake situation.
Do you have any other methods or suggestions for sticking fondant decoratins on cakes? Tell me in the comments!