I avoid kneading large amounts of fondant like the plague. Here are my tips for an easy way to color large amounts of fondant without having to knead a huge batch.
Awhile back, I made my own birthday cake (here). That bad boy took A LOT of fondant. So, I set out to find the easy way to color large amounts of fondant.
I normally make my fondant myself and I LOVE the LMF recipe from Artisan Cake Company (here). It doesn’t get elephant skin and is super easy to work with.
Technically you can add your color while you’re mixing up this fondant, which means you won’t have to color it later on, but I almost never remember to do it.
When I started putting my cake together, I knew it would take tons of fondant and I really don’t like kneading huge amounts of it together.
It’s a pain in the neck…literally. So, I figured out a way I could do this in smaller sections.
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Here’s the easy way to color large amounts of fondant:
The first step is to estimate the amount of fondant you need for your entire cake (or for all the tiers that will need to be tinted the same color).
I like to use an app on my phone, it’s called Cake Stacker. You can enter the dimensions of your cake and it will estimate the amount of fondant you need. I always round up a bit, since I’m a Nervous Nelly.
Once you get the total amount of fondant you’ll need, then take that number and divide it by a number that will give you about two pound balls of fondant.
For example: Let’s say I need a total of five pounds of fondant to cover a cake. I’ll take that number and divide it by two to start with. Of course, that gives you 2 1/2 pound fondant sections.
Now measure those sections out. Use your scale to weigh them. If they seem like too much fondant to deal with at first, just divide the total amount by a larger number and that’ll give you smaller sections of fondant to deal with.
The important thing is that you need each section to weigh the same amount.
By the way, here’s a scale if you need one: Kitchen Scale
Now that you’ve gotten your fondant all divided out into even amounts, you’ll add the color to it.
In order for this trick to work, you’ve got to use the gel liquid coloring that’s in the dropper bottles.
If you use the gel coloring in the little jars that require you to use a toothpick, this method may not work exactly like I’ve described.
You have to be able to add the exact amount of color to each fondant section. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it IS hard to get the exact same amounts when you use the toothpick method.
If you use the liquid gel coloring, you can count how many drops you add.
So start with one ball of fondant and add in the amount of gel coloring you think you’ll need to start off. COUNT THE DROPS YOU USE! Write it down if you think you’ll forget.
Now knead your color in and see if it’s the shade you want. If you need to adjust it, just make sure to write down or remember what color or colors you added and how much.
Now add the same amount of color to the other sections of fondant and knead each of them.
When you’re done, you can look at your fondant sections and determine if they’re all exactly the same color. Mine looked like they matched to me. It helps when you’re coloring it a pastel color.
If you have a complicated color to mix, or a dark color, once you get each of your sections kneaded, you may need to knead all the sections together to make sure the color is uniform. I try to avoid this like the plague, because, well as you saw at the beginning of this article, I hate kneading huge amounts.
If your colors aren’t matching up, you could try some kind of complicated technique, such as quartering each fondant section, mixing the quarters up and then re-knead the sections. I’ll just be honest, I’m not that complicated.
If I can’t tell a color difference in each of the fondant sections, I use them as is. The good thing about the LMF fondant is that you heat it just a bit before kneading it, which makes it easier to deal with, so when its time to roll it out to cover the cake, you’ll end up kneading some of the sections together anyway.
So there you have it! The Easy Way to Color Large Amounts of Fondant. I hope this helps you, or at least saves you a little time…and neck pain!
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