Fun and Delicious Graduation Cake Ideas

Graduation Cake Ideas with Fondant

If you’ve seen the modern cakes being made today, you may have noticed the colorful, smooth appearance or unique shapes of some of them. You may have even seen graduation cakes with these beautiful and complex features but you may not know how to achieve that look for yourself.

The secret is a material called fondant. This amazing substance is used to help sculpt cakes into shapes that you may have never believed possible before.  Fondant doesn’t have to be reserved for elite bakeries. You can make your very own fondant to help bring your graduation cake ideas to life. Here is a simple recipe to help you make fondant at home. 

First you’ll want to gather the ingredients together.  You will need one tablespoon of plain, unflavored gelatin, ¼ cup cold water, one teaspoon of almond extract, ½ cup of light corn syrup, one tablespoon of glycerin, two pounds of confectioner’s sugar, and ½ teaspoon of white vegetable shortening.

Once you’ve gathered all of the needed ingredients together, you’re ready to make some fondant. First, you’ll want to place the gelatin in a small bowl over cold water. This allows the gelatin to soften. Once softened, microwave the water and gelatin combination for 30 seconds.  Add in your almond extract for flavoring.  Next, add the glycerin to your pre-measured corn syrup and stir until it becomes smooth and clear. If you find that your mixture is not becoming clear, you may microwave it for a few more seconds. Now you will want to sift 1½ pounds of the sugar into a large bowl. Pour your liquid mixture into the sugar. A great tip is to make a hole in the middle of the sugar in the bowl and pour the liquid directly into it.  Begin kneading this mixture. This will be your fondant, so be sure it’s kneaded completely and that the material feels pliable. If it does not, you can always add a little more sugar gradually. Knead the vegetable shortening into the fondant, and this will keep it moist and prevent it from cracking.

Once you’ve finished mixing and kneading your fondant, wrap the entire thing in clear plastic wrap and keep as much air away from it as possible. You can use it to cover, shape, and decorate your cake whenever you’re ready. You can use this recipe again and again--not only for graduation cake ideas, but for wedding, baby shower, and birthday cakes, just to name a few. With some practice you will get a feel for the fondant and will be able to make it easily, so you can make cakes that look just like they were purchased from a professional bakery.  If you find the fondant gets a little stiff, you can microwave it for a few more seconds and then knead it again so it’s pliable and ready to use.

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