How to Prepare Your Cake to Cover with Fondant
Before covering your cake with fondant, it must be prepped the day before to ensure the best outcome.
You Will Need:
Before icing, your cake must be level to ensure the fondant sits evenly. Use a cake leveler or a long serrated knife to cut off the rounded top of each of your cakes.
Spread a thin layer of icing onto your cake board and place the first layer on top. Spoon (or pipe, if you prefer) a generous amount of icing on top of your first layer. Use your offset spatula to evenly spread out the icing until the surface is nice and even and flat. Stack your next layer on top and continue this process until you reach your last layer. Place your last layer upside down so that the flat bottom becomes the top of your cake - this will give the cake a nicer shape and reduce the amount of crumbs in the next step.
Give your cake a "crumb coat" of icing. Start by scooping a few cups of your buttercream into a separate bowl to avoid contaminating your entire batch with crumbs. Begin by spreading a thin layer of icing over the top of your cake. If any icing from between the layers has overflowed, spread this out onto the sides, adding more icing where needed. To get an even layer, it is easiest to hold your spatula at a right angle to your cake and spin the turntable/cake stand.
Once your cake is covered in a thick coat of buttercream, you will need to smooth it out into a nice uniform layer. Hold the edge of your straight spatula or bench scraper flat against the side of the cake and spin the turntable/cake stand until all of your sides are smooth. This will create blobs of icing at the top of your cake. To fix these, use your offset spatula to swipe the icing towards the centre of your cake and spread into an even layer again.
Refrigerate your cake for 10-20 minutes until the icing has firmed up and set. From your bowl of clean buttercream, give your cake another layer of icing using the exact same method as above. Refrigerate your cake for 10-20 minutes to set the icing again. Warm up your straight spatula or bench scraper in warm water, wipe dry, then lightly scrape it around your cake to give it nice, crisp edges and corners.
Refrigerate your cake again to set it all in place, cover with two or more layers of Glad wrap, and place back in the fridge overnight. Do not take it out of the fridge until you have rolled out your fondant ready to place on the cake. If the icing has dried, lightly brush or spray it with water before covering with fondant to ensure it adheres to your cake.