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How to Cover a Round/Ball Cake with Fondant {Picture Tutorial}

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Today I want to share with you how I cover a round (or ball) shaped cake.  I have to say, I really really wish I had done these pictures back when I did the Bob the Tomato (VeggieTales) Cake.  That one smoothed out so much easier for some reason.

But I was busy that day getting ready for my baby’s 1st birthday party and taking step-by-step pics weren’t on the agenda.   Sooo, I took them last week when I did the Angry Birds cake.

Of course, it didn’t come together quite as easily while the camera was going.   The pictures are really bad (so sorry).    I hate to complain, but it’s crazy hard to get good pictures in a dark kitchen, with my hands constantly moving, and trying to set a camera to auto-shoot.  Ugh.

But in the end, if I wait around for perfection, I’ll never get anything posted, so here goes!!  I hope somebody can learn something from this…

For this cake, I baked a chocolate cake in the Wilton Sports Ball pan.  I filled it with Oreo Cream Filling, covered it in a thick crumb coat, and then I chilled it for about 30 minutes in the frig – so it was good and cold.

When I got it out of the frig, I set it on an upside down saucer so I’d have a little more work room with my fingers (you can see that later on), then I smoothed on a fresh thin coat of buttercream so the fondant would stick.

While it was in the frig, I rolled out my Satin Ice Red Vanilla fondant on The Mat.  If you don’t use The Mat, roll out your fondant however you normally do and have it ready to cover the ball when it comes out of the frig (I’ve used marshmallow fondant too and covered rice cereal shapes – like for this LSU basketball cake, both work well!).

For this 6″ ball, I rolled mine to about 13″ round and that was plenty!

Then just pick up the fondant and lay it over the ball – centering it as best you can!

Just lay it over and let it droop down, then smooth it as far as you can without causing wrinkles… it should stick to the fresh buttercream and I can usually work about two-thirds of the way down the ball.

When it gets to this point, you’ll have to start stretching the fondant, smoothing it down a bit, stretch, smooth, turn, stretch, smooth turn.   I am sorry these pics are so bad!

I need to do a video for you to really see this, but I generally get it as near to the bottom as possible, then use my fingers to work around the bottom of the cake, as near to the plate as possible

Then… here’s the fun part, and another reason the cake needs to be cold… I pick up the cake…

and flip it upside down!

Then I start smoothing the fondant toward the middle of the bottom of the ball.  I don’t try to cover it all – I’ve never been able to do that, but I try to get it far enough under the edges that it won’t show when the ball is sitting on the board or another cake tier.

When I get it smoothed, then I cut away the excess with an Xacto knife.

When that’s all done, the cake is peeking out of the bottom (and usually I get it a little tighter than this, but it was not my best day).  Bad pictures.  Not my best work.  Why, again, did I choose to share this?

Then it’s done!  Assume it’s much prettier, with less wrinkles, less blur, better light… you get the (better) picture, right??  I sure hope so!!

And that’s it.  I let this rest for a few hours before decorating so the fondant will harden a bit and be less likely to tear when adding decorations (especially for this cake – adding the beak and feathers).

This post is linked up over at Works for Me Wednesday!

Did I miss any details?  Do you have any questions about this cake or the tutorial?  Please leave them in the comments!

One or more links in this post are referral and/or affiliate links.  Read my disclosure policy here.

Comments

  1. I was so wondering how u got the bottom done!!! This was very informative Rose!! So, who care the pictures weren’t good……they looked fine to me!! U did the best u could Rose!! Not only you took the time to take pics and show us step by step…..u blogged about it!! I can’t find a tutorial like this anywhere!! I LOVE it how you share your techniques!! Your sooooo sweet!!!
    Can’t wait to see the Chinese recipe you made! yum yum yum!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I agree, a video would be awesome to see. The “stretch and smooth” technique is still something I’m working on getting better at. Don’t be so hard on yourself – it looked great, and the cake turned out so cute! I appreciate you even taking the time to do all those photos (which were not as bad as you claimed they would be), and your willingness to share!

  3. Great tutorial! Thanks for posting!!

  4. Thank you SO much for posting this tutorial, my nephew has a birthday party in 2 weeks and the theme is Spy Party. I have to make a big, round, black BALL cake so I can make it into a bomb! This was so helpful, I have been scouring the internet today on how the heck to cover a ball cake with fondant. Perfect!!

  5. Marlene Doan says:

    Thank you so much for the tips. The pictures look just fine to me. I am making a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cake for my granddaughter and was wondering how to make the “head”. This is exactly what I needed to read and see. Thank you again.

  6. What an amazing cake! Thank you so much for posting this, it has made me feel a little less nervous about how I’m going to make my boyfriend’s Star Wars death star cake! Do you know roughly how much fondant you needed to cover a 6″ ball? I am at a loss on how much to buy! Thanks!

    • I’d think probably 1 lb – maybe a touch more or less.

      • Rose and Ria,
        Your post (and the pictures were just fine) showed exactly what I needed! I was debating whether to frost or use fondant on a death star cake, as well. This gave me the confidence to try it! I am a skilled cook, but I am NOT a baker, and I don’t have a pretty dress like you do. Thanks for the info that will at least help me be a “mom who tries!”

  7. Wow that’s so helpful. Don’t know why you don’t like the photos Im very grateful you included them as makes it much easier for me to follow. Many thanks :)

  8. Hi Rose, Thanks for the tutorial it was great and very helpful, as for the pictures they were just fine.

  9. Wish I had seen this before I did my own Angry Bird…. It was so difficult to get the fondant to look nice around the bottom! Afterwards I swore I would never again do a ball-shaped cake! You have done a great job :D

  10. Great tutorial!!! i done a practice cake like this for my nephews birthday in 2 weeks and the bottom was a disaster i wasnt going to try it again until i found your tutorial. I feel a lot more confident in trying it again Thank you so much!! x

  11. I have been doing cakes for family and friends for about 7 years and I have always just avoided anything round. However now that I’m trying to branch out this has been a great help. Thank you so much for posting this

  12. I have been looking for a tutorial to help me with a teapot cake in a couple weeks. This has been the most help found in all my research. Thank you so much!

  13. Hello

    I’m making this mini angry bird cake this weekend, and wanted to know when you placed in top of the circle cake, did you have a small cake board under the angry bird cake?

    I already have my ball cake filled and covered in ganache, but now I’m worried about placing it on top of my 8″ circle cake and using support, how did you do that?

    Thanks in advance

  14. debbee stone says:

    Thank you, I have a teapot to make, this is just what I needed. Your work is wonderful!

  15. Amazing !! Can i have the recipe for your crumb coating and also the oreo buttercream x

  16. Kate Maeda says:

    I just want to say that I think your photos were great and really explained what you were doing. I ‘m guessing that this shouldn’t be my first experiment with fondant!

  17. Thanks For the tutorial, it was very informative. Please can you tell me if you put dowel in the cake?

  18. Lynette says:

    Hi Rose,
    Just what I needed. I’m doing a teapot out of peanut butter cake with PB butter cream. I used a stainless steel mixing bowl to cook the two half sphere’s in . The spout & handle are done with hardener in it and tooth picks to stick into the competed sphere. I’ve seen a lady put her teapot on a small glass bowl upturned& covered in fondant to make an actual base of 1 cm or so high visabilaty around the base. The rest of the dome of the little glass bowl hopefully will fit inside a LITTLE hollowed out section at the base and will be stable enough. It does have to travel but only 5 minutes. Tomorrow I will buttercream and fondant the sphere before decorating later with fondant flowers etc. it’s for my Mums Mothers Day ( in Australia) She’s not well & Mums are special.
    Any advice for my teapot cake?

  19. Thank you so much for all your time & effort that you put into your tutorials! They are great & easy to follow. I’ve just gotten into cake decorating and have found a lot of useful information on your site. It’s very much appreciated :)

  20. Hi, I’ve been trying to make covered balls of cake but they end up ugly. I dont know if it is because i am coering them with ganache nstead of buttercream. I am very frustrated!, i also work with MMF…maybe i should use other kind of fondant? Thank you.

    • Personally, I’m not an expert in ganache, so I’m not sure if it’s possible to get a smooth finish with it on a ball cake. I have covered balls with homemade marshmallow fondant and Satin Ice and have had success. I’m really not sure how I can help.

  21. Hi Rose :)
    I have just stumbled across your page and luckily for me, this Angry Birds cake is exactly what I have been looking for to make for my nephew. He is absolutely obsessed!
    My question is how exactly did you make the beak and get it to stay on? This will only be my second time working with fondant so I’m just learning and need all the help I can get. If you can help me out that would be awesome.
    Thank you in advance :)

  22. Great job! Do you ever have any issues after covering a cold cake? Mainly the letting it sit aside time. I always try to get my cakes to room temp before I touch it. It’s very true though when it’s cold flipping, placing, etc is a breeze and VERY important with these crazy shape cakes. I’m doing a football helmet. I did the yellow angry bird on top of the red and the yellow wasn’t as smooth as I wanted it. Is this because I didn’t use enough buttercream? Or I didn’t perfect my buttercream before I covered it? Sorry, I’m all over the map here. I also was worried about copyrights. I did two angry birds in my time and a few Mickey mouses, batman, superman, sponge bob, etc and I had it mentioned to me. I started googling and well you know what happens when you google. Lol. It’s a legal issue really? Ugh. I’ll be making a get out of jail cake probably next! Haha.

    Thanks a lot. Great blog.

    • Hi Leslie… you crack me up! :) Sometimes the cold cakes will start to “sweat” a bit. If that happens, I either let it completely come to room temp on it’s own OR I turn a fan on it to help it “dry” faster. I’m not sure I understand about the smooth issue – it could be that the buttercream underneath wasn’t smooth enough. I don’t use a ton of buttercream underneath because it squishes around easily – I just try to get a smooth even layer. I can’t help at all on copyrights. I’ve heard different opinions on it but I really don’t know. I may end up making a get out of jail cake with you :-O

  23. Hi Rose,
    So glad I found this page, I’ve been looking all night for a tutorial like this and it helped so much!

    I am making a globe cake for my sisters birthday as she is studying geography at Uni…

    I have one little question, I have never made a cake like this before..eek! Could you please advise me on the quantities of mix you used? I am also using a 6″ diameter mould, would a 6 egg mix be enough for the whole cake?

    Thanks in advance,
    Elizabeth

  24. This tutorial was a life saver, I totally messed up my first attempt and then had a look online and found this, my owls came out great. Thanks for taking the time to share :-) x

  25. Thanks for sharing this! I imagined it would be much harder than this, but I would have never have thought to raise the cake to let the icing really cape over it – can you tell I’m not a baker? ;) Thanks again for sharing, and fingers crossed my attempt comes out as good as this!!

    http://www.ceejayell.blogspot.co.uk

  26. Fab!!

    Helped lots. Video too pllllease!!!

  27. Hi Rose,
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I thought the photos were great. I have NEVER used fondant and wouldn’t you know that the first time I try it’s on a ball shaped pinata cake, which I have also never done, decorated like “the Nightmare Before Christmas.” This is going to be interesting! Raven

  28. Thank you thank you thank you!!! I have a stacked ball cake due next week and didn’t know how I was going to cover the football soccer ball and baseball without breaking them. This is exactly what I needed to see

  29. This is an awesome tutorial! Thanks for posting. I have a question for you. I made a volleyball cake today, and for the most part it came out pretty well, considering it was my first attempt. I used fondant over ganache, though, and the fondant seemed to droop. It looked good for a few hours, but as the evening went on, it seemed like it was drooping on the bottom, almost like it was sliding down. Do you think it’s possibly from using ganache instead of buttercream? Have you ever had this issue?

    • I’m not sure – I’ve never used fondant over ganache, but I have had problems with it sagging sometimes – especially if it’s warm. Or it could be that your fondant was thicker (and heavier) than mine and that caused it to sag some.

  30. Hi Rose,
    Just wondering what cake recipe you used for your base cake? Do you think a sponge cake for the bottom cake would support a sphere cake?
    Thank you :)

    • I’ve never baked a sponge cake so I’m not much help on this! But I use dowels and a cake board between to keep the weight of the sphere off of the bottom cake.

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