Cook Time: Whew! No cooking this time.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 1 piece of “wood” stained rolled fondant
Recipe inspired by:
The Confetti Cakes Cookbook
One of the beautiful aspects of using rolled fondant on a cake is it creates a clean tapestry awaiting your design. A handy design trick I like to use, especially under a cake is to make the fondant look just like a piece of wood. In addition to sitting under the cake, “wood” fondant can also be used to make your cake look like a crate, table or tree bark. On more than one occasion, this technique has stolen the show when I’ve made the cake for an event. The best part is…this technique is ridiculously easy to pull off!
The only real “exotic” ingredient used in this technique is vodka. When painting the stain it is best to use vodka instead of water. Vodka is clear and evaporates which helps the fondant dry. Using water doesn’t work because water causes the fondant to dissolve and melt; which is typically frowned upon when you’re decorating a cake. Deciding how much material to use really depends on what you are doing with the “wood” fondant. To make a piece of wood which covers an 18-inch square cake base I typically use 2 to 2-1/2 pounds of rolled fondant. To cover a 9-inch layer cake, it would take about 1-1/4 pounds of fondant.
White rolled fondant
Brown food coloring gel
Powdered sugar for dusting
2 tablespoons vodka
Step-by-step Directions with Pictures:
1. Lightly dust the counter with powdered sugar. Divide the white fondant into two equal pieces. Knead a small amount of brown coloring into one piece of fondant. A little color goes a long way so add a little at a time but you want to keep adding color until you reach a light-brown/tan color.
2. Roll the fondant pieces into two long, skinny ropes; about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick.
3. Using the white fondant as the base color, twist the brown fondant rope around the white rope. Be careful not to overtwist because you want some white fondant showing through. This creates the irregular markings of the wood grain.
4. If the twisted rope is too long, it can be folded in half so the ropes sit next to each other.
5. Roll out the fondant so it is just larger than your cake or cake board. Gently place it over your cake or cake board.
6. Use a skewer, butter knife or other dull kitchen tool to gently score a wood grain pattern into the fondant. This pattern could be knots, wood slats or any other natural-looking wood pattern.
7. In a small bowl, mix the vodka with a few drops of brown food coloring. Use a pastry brush to paint a thin coat over the entire surface. If the stain is not dark enough, add a little more brown coloring and give the board another coat…but be careful because a little food coloring does go a really long way.
Allow the fondant to completely dry and you’re set.
- It may be helpful to have a real piece of wood nearby to look at as you work. This way you can get a really good feel of what the wood should look like.
- If the wooden fondant is going under a cake board under a cake, I like to make the “wood” a few days in advance. This helps the fondant dry and become harder which will help it stand up to the rigors of travel.
- It is best to use Wilton-style food coloring gel when coloring fondant and gum paste. The liquid food coloring found in the grocery store tends to bleed.