How Do You Stick Fondant To Dummy Cake? | CoachSweetTooth

Do your fondants refuse to stick to the dummy cakes? Perhaps you have difficulty smoothening it on styrofoam's coarse surface?

Dummy cakes don't even stay put in place, making fondant adhesion a problem. At times, the fondant would either rip apart or become sticky. But what if we told you there are some kitchen hacks to overcome this issue?

You can stick the fondant to a dummy cake using five things for adhesion: buttercream, shortening, piping gel, corn syrup, and plastic wrap. Each method provides easy application and smooth finishing. Each approach produces a different result when it comes to the longevity of the cake.

I’m sharing a few tricks to flatten the fondant seamlessly, which will help you whether you are dealing with the sharp edges or the coarse surface of a dummy cake. You will also find out which method would work best for covering a dummy cake with fondant for different seasons and events.  

I wrote this post after discussing the topic with our expert pastry chefs, who deal with such problems regularly. Let their years of experience guide you in making your fondant application seamless and effortless.

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5 Ways to Stick Fondant to a Cake Dummy

Dummy cakes are made up of styrofoam and are mainly used for display purposes at different events. The compact styrofoam cake is available in various shapes and sizes. However, its coarse surface becomes a hurdle for sticking fondants. Here are five viable options for sticking fondant to a dummy cake to make it look real with a crease-free flawless finish.


Buttercream would help even out the porous surface of styrofoam, creating a smooth base for fondant. Therefore, the buttercream's consistency should be even, and it should be lump-free. The fondant will show such imperfections otherwise.

As easy as it is to apply buttercream with a small spatula, it is an ideal solution only for small events or short-term dummy cakes. It's not durable because buttercream will eventually break down the styrofoam and start leaving an odor. Besides that, it can attract bugs and insects to the cake.


Shortening, made from hydrogenated oil, is a solid flavorless fat at room temperature. It's often used in place of butter. Shortening is perfect for layering your dummy cake to allow the fondant to adhere.

Shortening has a higher melting point than butter, making it an ideal solution for long-term cake displays. It covers all the holes and pores of styrofoam without ripping it. Apply a generous amount to the styrofoam cake and drape the fondant like you would on a real cake.

Piping Gel

Piping gel is a shiny clear gel made either with cornstarch or gelatin. Mixing colors in this thick clear gel allows the gel to be used for cake decoration. Piping gel is a perfect adhesive for your fondant.

Due to its gel consistency, it creates a flawless layer on the dummy cake for fondant. Drape the fondant on the cake and smoothen it with smoothers. The gel will adhere to the fondant, making it durable for outdoor summer weddings.

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a starchy syrup made out of cornstarch. It is an extensively used sweetener in baked goodies. Its remarkable property of becoming sticky upon heating makes corn syrup a unique adhesive.

Corn syrup is an excellent alternative to shortening and is ubiquitously available. A thin layer of corn syrup is enough to make the fondant stick to the cake.

Plastic Wrap

Plastic wrap or cling wrap doesn't just even out the base for fondant but also preserves the styrofoam. If you're using buttercream as an adhesive, it is highly recommended to cover it with a cling wrap first. This makes the dummy cake reusable for months.

You can also use plastic wrap as a base for fondant. Wrap the plastic around the dummy cake, apply a thin layer of water and cover the cake with fondant. Smooth out the creases and edges for a flawless finish.

Tricks for a Lasting and Flawless Fondant-Covered Dummy Cake

The different ways of adhesion are ideal for making the fondant stick to the dummy cake. However, such cakes' longevity and flawless finish are desired to make them seem real and last for weeks. Here are some tricks to make your fondant-covered dummy cake look real and last for weeks.

For Longevity

Avoid Refrigeration

Refrigeration causes condensation, which can wilt the fondant on the cake. Therefore, store cakes at room temperature for longer shelf life. Ensure that the conditions are dry, or the humidity might ruin the fondant.

Store in an Airtight Container

To properly preserve the fondant-covered dummy cake, place it in an airtight container for no exposure to sunlight and humidity. The container should be placed at room temperature.

For Seamless Finish

Sand the Dummy Cake

Styrofoam's rough texture can create creases on fondant. To prevent it, sand the dummy cake lightly to give it a smooth, even texture. The fondant will glide onto the styrofoam effortlessly.

Avoid Dry Fondant

Since the fondant can be prepared five weeks before the dummy cake covering, it needs proper storage to avoid drying. If the fondant dries, it's recommended not to use it on the cake as it will jeopardize the finish.

Use Fondant Smoothers

Fondant smoothers are tools used to shape and even out the fondant on a cake. These smoothers glide onto the fondant, press away creases and overlapping, and smoothen harsh edges.


Lori Gilmore

Lori Gilmore

Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.

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