You may be apprehensive about trying your hand at rolled icing, also known as fondant, but you shouldn't be. If you can bake a cake and apply a whipped icing, you can learn how to create and apply rolled icing to round cakes and shaped cakes. With a little practice, your cakes will have that professional look that so many bakers strive for.
Easy to Make
Because rolled fondant is so often associated with professional baking, many home bakers don't think they have what it takes to make it at all, but it isn't a complicated procedure. Follow the instructions carefully and if it feels too soft when you're done, add more sugar and continue kneading. If it feels too stiff, add one drop of water at a time and continue kneading until the consistency is where you want it. Ideally, it shouldn't stick to your hands at all and should be pliable, like dough. Use it right away or store it in an airtight container at room temperature. Refrigerate the container if you won't be using it for at least a week.
Roll It Larger
If you are using the rolled fondant icing for an odd shaped cake, make it easier on yourself and roll it out quite a bit larger than the size of the cake. If the cake has a lot of dips and turns, this extra icing will come in handy when you are shaping the fondant to the shape of the cake. Aim for about one and one-half times the overall size of the cake, at an even thickness, and you should have more than enough to get the job done.
Cup Your Hand
Whether the cake is square or an irregular shape, if it has corners you will want to gently cup your hand when forming it to the corners. To begin, roll out the icing with a standard rolling pin and then roll up the fondant onto the pin. Gently lay the fondant on top of the cake at the closest edge to you and unroll it from the pin so it covers the cake. From there, cup your writing hand and ease the fondant to the corners of the cake so it doesn't tear and doesn't alter the shape.
No matter how masterfully you lay the fondant and mold it to the shape of the cake, you will have some leftovers when you're finished. Use a sharp knife to trim away the leftover bits, and be creative with decorations if you have to cover seams or imperfections caused from laying out the fondant. When you are finished, it should look as though the icing was always part of the surface of the cake, and this may take some creativity.