and How NOT to Estimate Fondant Needs
1) Make one batch, measure the dimensions of the finished brick, and calculate the volume of one batch: approx. 75 cu. in.
2) Figure out how much cake area you’ll be covering. (Remember area of a circle? Diameter times pi (3.14159)? And area of rectangle? Length times width?) My total area was about 2500 sq in.
- Regular-sized cupcakes need a 2-3/4” circle. A biscuit cutter in that size would be perfect. Don’t have that? Try a jar lid. We used a pint-sized canning jar lid – the hole in the top was helpful so we could reach through and push the circle out when it stuck a little.
A 10” x 8.5” rectangle will fit about 12 circles.
- For a round cake, you need to roll out circle with a diameter of height of cake + diameter of cake + height again + 1” just in case. My cakes were 6” rounds about 4” tall. So I needed 15” circles.
- For a rectangular cake, you need to roll out a rectangular shape with sides of 2 x height of cake + length of cake + 1” and 2 x height + width + 1”.
3) Multiply your total area by the thickness you’ll be rolling your fondant. I multiplied by 1/4” because that’s the thickness I remembered reading about online. I forgot that I rolled the fondant for my practice cake closer to 1/8” thick. Those who are adept at math are already laughing at me now. Total volume I thought I needed: 2500 x 0.25 = 625 cu. in. Total volume I actually needed: 2500 x 0.125 = 312.5 cu. in.
4) Divide your total volume by the batch volume (75 cu. in.) to get the number of batches you need. 625 / 75 = 8.333 so I rounded up and made 9 batches!
But then went and rolled the stuff HALF as thick as what I’d thought I would. Which means I only used HALF of what I made!!! Which means this is what was still leftover after all the cakes and cupcakes and decorations were done:
At least the stuff stores well. It just needs to be wrapped tightly to keep it from drying out. Some people just leave it out at room temperature; considering the long shelf-life of the ingredients—marshmallows, powdered sugar, water, and a tiny bit of shortening—this should be fine. But I’m a “throw it in the fridge” kinda girl. I think I’ll put a small bit in the freezer too, to see how it works after it thaws.
Guess I’ll be making some more cakes in the coming weeks…
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Oh, and no photos of the finished cupcake tower yet, but here are the cupcakes all spread out on my dining room table, after we added the last little heart and flower:
Luckily, the bride’s mom is better at estimating than I am. Out of the 288 cupcakes we made, there were only a little over 2 dozen left! That’s a 90% consumption rate. (OK, OK, no more math for a while. Well, not until the Hankie Hem How-To…)