December 2020


Cake Decorating Tips

What causes elephant skin on cakes

Ahhh – elephant skin on fondant.  When you envision a perfectly smooth cake but actually end up with one that is all wrinkly – just like elephant skin. Watch this tutorial and read our tips below to know how to repair that.

What is elephant skin?

Elephant skin is beautiful on elephants but it’s just not cool on a cake. Elephant skin is when your fondant looks dry, slightly wrinkled or crackled and just isn’t that smooth flawless finish you were wanting for your cakes. So, what causes it and what can you do to fix it? 

what causes elephant skin on fondant?

Firstly, it’s useful to know what causes elephant skin so you can avoid it and have that smooth finish you always dream of.

The typical causes of elephant skin on fondant are: 

* When your paste is too dry

*The weather is dry, there is particularly dry air or a dry environment

* If you are taking too long to bring the paste to the cake – application problems

* When the quality of your paste is a shall we say, lacking?!

The first two are tricky to fix as they are circumstantial but you can fix the elephant skin once the fondant is on the cake. There is always a way! You will need to fix it as soon as it goes onto the cake using a little Trex and your warm hands.

how to avoid elephant skin on fondant?

It’s a good idea to try and avoid elephant skin where you can. Make sure your paste isn’t too dry, you’re using a good quality paste like “The Sugarpaste” and learn to perfect your cake covering techniques so you can avoid any rips. Practice makes perfect.

Having said all that, sometimes it just gets the better of your cake and can’t really be avoided, so we’ve got a few tricks for you to help you fix the elephant skin on your cakes.

how to fix elephant skin on fondant?

The basic fix:

For the basic fix, take a bit of Trex (Crisco) on your fingers and push up the paste that has dropped (as shown in the video). The warmth of your hands combined with the trex will help to smooth out any wrinkles.

Using a Smoother

If you have a bunched up wrinkle near the base of your cake, you can use the round edge of a smoother to push the paste flat and gently massage it down. It is all about working the paste and going back and forth. You can also add a tiny bit of additional paste and work it in. 

Using Glue or Water

Sometimes your fondant just rips, maybe your cake is particularly tall like a double barrelled cake and gravity is having a field day. You don’t want to pull it all off, so we’ve got a trick to help you fill that darn hole! 

You can use a bit of edible glue mixed into some fondant to make some gunge. Mix the two together on a board (see the video) then once you have a consistency like toothpaste, you can then spread this on to the dent or hole on your cake fondant. Make sure you do this slowly and allow it to dry in between, by going slowly you can ensure you don’t over do it.

You will need to use this method if the fondant has already set when you try to fix it. The other methods suit a fresh fondant as it is malleable but this method will work well on both. This gunge method also works well around the top of the cake edges if there is any cracking. 

If all else fails:

Stick a flower over it. 

We only joke, but sometimes it does seem like the easiest option doesn’t it?!