Fondant is a thinly rolled edible paste, placed over a cooked cake and smoothed out by hand, giving the finished product a clean, high-end look. Fondant is available ready-made in a variety of colors and flavors, and the product is a favorite of cake decorators. It consists largely of confectioner's sugar and water, so fondant does not require refrigeration -- and it doesn't take well to it. A fondant-covered cake happily keeps for two days outside the refrigerator before it begins to dry out.
Fondant and humidity do not mix, which is why refrigerated fondant begins to sweat during the transition from cool to room-temperature air. The sweating is actually condensation that can wreak havoc on a finished cake. Moist fondant becomes sticky and difficult to work, and may even slip out of position after some time in the refrigerator.
If You Must
Some cakes, such as those with cream fillings, require refrigeration. Since removing the fondant would ruin the look of the cake, it stands to reason that the fondant must be refrigerated, too. In this case, refrigerate as required, taking care when you finally do remove it from the refrigerator for serving. Do not touch the fondant upon removal or try to dab away the sweat. Allow the fondant to reabsorb the moisture on its own.
Refrain from adding fondant decorations to cakes that otherwise require refrigeration. Dyes within the fondant may run as the fondant sweats. Upon removal from the refrigerator, the moisture collecting on the fondant decorations also causes them to sag and lose their shape. If you make your fondant directions ahead of time, store them in an airtight container until the refrigeration period is over, and then set them on the cake prior to serving.
Fondant is best stored at room temperature, which is between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Shape the fondant into a ball or log and coat with a thin layer of vegetable oil. Wrap the the oiled fondant in plastic wrap and store in a tightly sealed container. Store the container out of direct sunlight and away from moisture, and the fondant will remain fresh and pliable for up to a year without drying out.
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