While shopping in my local cake supply store recently, I overheard a man in the midst of a dilemma. He had been sent by his partner with a shopping list, but unfortunately the list was almost indecipherable for him. After making his way through the list with the help of a young sales assistant he came to the final item on the list:
“Something to make the fondant shiny”
He explained to the salesgirl that they were making a batman cake and wanted the fondant to be shiny like glossy plastic. Like many people, they knew exactly what they wanted to achieve, but weren’t sure exactly how to do it. The salesgirl was not sure either how they could achieve this look, but suggested that he could use a clear glitter spray. Before he wasted his money on a glitter spray, I explained to him the two ways that I use to achieve a glossy look on my fondant.
Technique 1 – Using a light coat of vegetable oil
Using a paper towel or clean paint brush, apply a very thin coat of vegetable oil to your fondant. The fondant may soak up this first coat of oil after the first hour, if this happens apply another very thin coat and it should retain this shine.
Tip: You can use any oil as long as it does not have a strong taste, you want it to look shiny, not taste like olive or sesame oil! I like to use a light vegetable oil.
Technique 2 – Using a cake steamer
Cake steamers are a handy tool for cake decorating. They are a hand version of the classic garment steamers. They have multiple uses including:
- Creating a shiny surface on your fondant
- Steaming ganache to smooth it before applying fondant rather than hot-knifing, saving you considerable time
- Removing cornflower and fingerprints
- Setting petal or lustre dust
Tip: Make sure you don’t over steam your cakes though! You want it to be moist, but droplets should not be forming on the surface.
Cake steamers also don’t break the bank, with quality steamers starting from $30, so it’s a fun little tool for hobby cake decorators, but it’s not a necessity.