Answers to your most asked Fondant Cake Toppers, and Figurines Questions

13 Dec

Hello Sugar Friends

It’s a very cold morning here in Ohio, and when I say cold, I mean cold, lol  I am constantly wishing I was back in Florida enjoying the Ocean.

I thought I would address some of your most asked fondant/gumpaste cake topper and figurine questions. I get lots of questions everyday about my cake toppers and figurines.  You  may have noticed that many of the comments do not have answers or replies from me, but that is not because I am ignoring those posts. When someone posts a comment on one of my posts, I get an email showing the comment and I usually just answer any questions or address the comments directly instead of answering in the comment section because there is not a lot of space to reply and sometimes the question can be a private matter so I feel it is just better to answer the questions I receive directly. I do my best to get back to each of you ask quickly as I can, I understand how frustrating it can be when you are trying to figure something out or try a new technique and you run into issues and need help.

Ok  lets discuss sugar sculptures, as you know this is my favorite subject and the thing I love creating most of all.

I am asked all the time, once you create a fondant/gumpaste figurine how long before it will start decaying, how far  in advance can I create my figures, can I put them in the fridge etc. So these are the things I am going to answer for you.

Here are some of the most asked questions I receive and the answers:

How long in advance can a gumpaste figurine  be made up before an event?

Figurines can be made up ahead of time without any problems. I always make my figurines up ahead of time so that they can set-up properly. I make them up, at the most about a  month ahead.


Can I put a gumpaste figurine or cake topper in the refrigerator?

It is not a good idea to put a figurine that is made with fondant or gumpaste in the refreigerator due to the condensation, it can cause the figurine to fall apart.

Can I use Marshmallow Fondant to make figurines?

You can use marshmallow fondant, however it is a very soft fondant and will sag and may not hold the shape very well so it really is not a great fondant for making figurines but I guess it depends upon what you are making.

How long can I keep a fondant/gumpaste figurine before it starts to decay?

Gumpaste figurines can be kept indefinitely as long as they are properly stored, I have figurines that are now 2 years old.

Why do my gumpaste figurines have large cracks in them once they have set up and dried?

From my experience gumpaste is made to dry very quickly therefore it is best when rolled out very thin such as when creating gumpaste flowers. What happens is when you create a figurine with gumpaste it dries from the inside out and rather quickly. This process causes the inside area of your piece to push outward thus creating cracks and problems in your figurine……. This is the main reason I use a mixture of fondant and gumpaste or the Wilton brand of fondant with tylose powder added to it when creating my figurines and other objects in cake decorating.

What fondant and or gumpaste do you use to create your figurines Donna?

I use Wilton fondant mixed with tylose powder to create my figurines. The Wilton Fondant is nice and durable which makes it great for creating figurines…….(Although I would never cover a cake with the Wilton Fondant due to the taste). At times I also use a 50/50 mixture of commercial fondant and gumpaste to create my figurines.

What should I use to glue my figurines together?

Water works very well to glues arms, legs, head, clothing together.  There is an Edible Glue that you can also use  to glue your figurine pieces together. The recipe  for the edible glue is located at the top of the page just click on the tab that says edible glue.

How should I store Sugar Figurines that I want to keep?

 They should be stored  in a cardboard box or like container with a lid.  (Never store them in the Fridge) Then I keep that container in a cool dry place. If they are exposed to alot of moisture or condensation this can cause them to break down. Because gumpaste and fondant is made mostly of sugar this acts as a preservative and this is what keeps the figurines from molding or rotting.

Can Gumpaste/Fondant Figurines be preserved long term?

 Yes, to preserve Fondant/Gumpaste Figurines, a clear coat can be sprayed on them, I use a clear lacquer spray. This will preserve the figurine and then you can display your piece in a display cabinet or store them away in a closed box.


32 Responses to “Answers to your most asked Fondant Cake Toppers, and Figurines Questions”

  1. mamavsteacher July 27, 2015 at 10:37 am #

    Fab post, thanks – you’ve answered one of my big questions about making Sprog’s birthday cake. The other one, once I’ve made royal icing characters ahead of time- should I just store them in an airtight container? Does it need to go in the fridge or is a cupboard ok? Sorry to ask more questions, I am a total cake novice!

    • The Sugar Lane September 23, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

      I would not put them in the fridge, just put into an air tight container my friend and store in a cupboard…. no worries about asking questions.

  2. sam hughes April 9, 2015 at 6:52 am #

    I love making cake toppers but my biggest problem is when a client collects a cake and the topper is in situ. How do I make sure that it stays in place and doesn’t fall off. Fortunately this has only happened once but it’s one time to many.

  3. Lucy November 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I would like to ask you about an above Q&A, regarding preserving gumpaste/fondant figurines long term. You replied that you do so by spraying them with a clear coat of “lacquer spray”. Would you be so kind as to elaborate for me please? By this, do you mean any kind of standard salon type hair lacquer spray? Or something more specific?

    I would very much appreciate your help :-).

    Kind regards,

  4. Pat August 2, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    we have made fondant Babies from the silicone mold have made a tutu from netting how or can I hot glue this to the figurene

  5. CJ July 5, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    Hello, I have a question about my cake topper I had made out of gum paste for my son’s baptism. I would like to save it as a keepsake, but my only problem is that some of the icing from the cake actually dyed part of the topper and I can’t get it off. I know you said no water, but is there any other method of cleaning I could do to salvage it before storing? I made it about 3 weeks ago, is it too late? Thanks!

    • The Sugar Lane October 10, 2013 at 6:57 am #

      Sorry to hear that the cake got on the topper I am not really sure of any way of getting the dyed portion to look original…sorry I do not have any ways of fixing that issue!

  6. Carla March 8, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    First off let me thank you for being so helpful and providing so much useful information. Here is my question: I recently started making fondant figurines they seem to turn out really nice. I currently live in Louisiana but i used to live in Miami, Some of my friends from Miami really liked the figurines i have made and asked me if i can make some and ship them to Miami. I know it can be done but have no clue how to. Should i make the figurines with fondant, gumpaste or modeling chocolate which will hold better during delivery? Also should i spray them with something before delivering them to help conserve them? And can i deliver them through Fed Ex, UPS or US Postal? Sorry if its a lot of questions i just want to make sure i am covering everything i need to know. Thanks a bunch for your help!!!!;)

  7. hjames1623 March 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    Thank you for posting this! My daughter is turning five soon and she keeps telling me that she wants some sort of miniature fairy figurines on her cake. I haven’t been able to find any cake toppers that really work so I was thinking I’d make some edible ones. I’ve done a bit of sculpting with fondant before but was wondering if you have any ideas for me. Thanks again!

  8. Ruth February 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Hi, firstly I love your work its simply amazing! I just wanted to ask a quick question. I make and sell my own icing figures/toppers but have never sold any far away. I had a request last week for one but I’m unsure what to wrap it in to send it! Would bubble wrap be ok in a container? Many thanks


    • The Sugar Lane February 26, 2013 at 8:41 am #


      You may have already had to mail out your topper, but I will answer anyway so that you will know for future reference. I have always used bubble wrap for packing figures/toppers make sure that you protect any part of the topper that could break in transport since those boxes are thrown around by the mail service.

      Good Luck!

  9. Sarah February 14, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    You said…”The Wilton Fondant is nice and durable which makes it great for creating figurines…….(Although I would never cover a cake with the Wilton Fondant due to the taste).”..I’m just curious what you cover your cakes in if not Wilton fondant?! And is it only because of the taste?
    I’m used to using it to cover cakes, I sometimes add flavoring to it, so the taste doesn’t really bother me as much as the texture.
    But I’ve had plenty of people tell me they like fondant, so I guess it varies from person to person.

    • The Sugar Lane February 26, 2013 at 8:47 am #

      Hello Sarah…..

      I would never cover a cake in the Wilton Fondant due to the awful taste and I have even tried to flavor it and was told by others that it still tasted like chemicals to them and the texture was an issue too, so I chose to not serve it to any of my customers after that. I actually use a ready-made fondant made by either Satin Ice or Fondx.

  10. Dana February 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    I just read through your FAQ about cake toppers and it was very helpful. I wanted to confirm. You said that fondant figurines can be stored indefinitely if sprayed with a lacquer. I want to make a wedding cake topper out of fondant. Should I use the 50/50 fondant/gumpaste mix or is straight fondant a better bet? I presume the lacquer is not food safe, and spraying the topper should be done after the cake has been consumed. Thank you 🙂

    • The Sugar Lane February 26, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      Hello to you Dana,

      I would surely use Fondant with tylose powder added to it to create a quick form of gumpaste at least so that your paste will hold up and be durable for you! You could even use a ready made gumpaste too, it just depends on what your comfortable with my friend! As far as preserving, there is now an edible glaze in a clear that you can spray on your topper that is still edible. But I use the regular lacquer which is NOT edible since it seems to really seal the topper very nicely and yes this should never be sprayed on the cake topper until after the cake has been served.

      All my best!

  11. Sireen February 6, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    how can i stick a plastic cake topper on a fondant cake and make sure it doesnt fall over when i transfer the cake by car

    • The Sugar Lane February 26, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      Hi Sireen,

      The only thing that I have ever done as far as keeping a plastic topper standing is to check in the bottom of the topper to see of there is a hole, if so you can put a small dowel rod in the bottom that will then go down into the cake and should hold in place for you for transporting.

  12. Kim September 28, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    Thank you for this helpful FAQ. However, I plan to make a fondant bear holding an alphabet cube as a cake topper for my daughter’s birthday cake. Since I plan to make the topper a few days in advance, what would be the best way to store the figurine? This is my first time making a figurine so I’m scared that it may crack or dry out before it even makes it on the cake.

    • The Sugar Lane October 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

      Hello Kim

      Sorry I am just getting to your comment/question….I understand that you are scared that you will have cracking issues on your bear please know that if you do get cracks you can do different things to cover the cracks and sometimes can even fix the cracks. I will tell you it is best to make the bear in stages so that the pieces will dry properly makes the base of the bear first and allow it to dry for 24 hrs and then do the head, arms and legs. It is perfectly fine for a figurine to dry completely before you put it on a cake since the figurines should be nice and strong, so that you will have no problems. To store the figurine just place it in a small box and sit it in an area where it will not get dusty and keep away from heat. I wish you the best Kim with your Bear!!

  13. stolen September 26, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Donna, I found your blog after trying to find out how to preserve 3 figures I made in 1994. I made a circus cake with detailed animal figures. The animals were made solely out of Royal Icing with different tips. I have one gorilla and 2 elephants left. I would like to mount them in a shadow box or something to protect them and also display but not sure if this is best.

    After all this time and knowing your advice to spray figures with a clear lacquer, what would you do? I am wondering if the clear lacquer would work on the old Royal Icing esp after all this time…and I can’t test it out. Have you ever tried the spray on Royal Icing figures and would welcome your advice if you have anything to add. Thank you!

    • The Sugar Lane October 26, 2012 at 3:30 am #

      Hello Stolen

      As far as using the lacquer spray on royal icing pieces I do not thing that I would use this product in this situation since royal icing can sometimes soften when liquid comes in contact. I would just add them to the shadow box to displaying purposes but would stay away from the spray due to the royal icing. Sorry I was unable to add more info for you in preserving your pieces, they sound very cool. I hope all goes well regardless and that your able to enjoy your pieces for yrs to come!

  14. VICKI March 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    ***”How long in advance can a gumpaste figurine be made up before an event?

    Figurines can be made up ahead of time without any problems. I always make my figurines up ahead of time so that they can set-up properly. I make them up, at the most about a month ahead.”***


    • The Sugar Lane March 21, 2012 at 6:36 pm #


      When making a figure up ahead of time, I usually just place it in a cardboard box with a lid or a plastic container with a lid so that no dust can get to it. I have never had an issue with condensation….however when it is very hot outside my air conditioning is on. If your in a high humility area then a cardboard box would prob. be best to store your figure in.

      I do not wrap my figures in anything I would not want things to stick to it, so I just sit it in a box or container.

      I hope my explanation makes sense to you….I wish you the best!!

  15. Cathy March 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Thank you so much for answering my question now i have another lol. I made a number 1 and am letting it dry after it drys how do i store it until its ready to use?

    • The Sugar Lane March 12, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

      Your so welcome Cathy….after your number 1 has dried I would just slip it into a baggie so that it does not get dusty until you are ready to use.

  16. Yessy Cortes January 28, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    Do you sell the figures?

    • The Sugar Lane February 16, 2012 at 11:23 am #

      Yessy at this time I do not sell my figures. Thanks for asking…..

  17. Erin Davis January 11, 2012 at 2:33 am #

    I have two figurines I would like to save from my wedding cake. Can you let me know where to purchase the clear lacquer spray. I searched for it on my local craft stores websites but did not find an exact match. I appreciate any advice you can give me. Thanks so much

    • The Sugar Lane January 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

      Hello Erin…I purchase my clear lacquar spray at a regular dept store, hone depot, or lowes store in the spray paint isle. I hope this helps my friend!!

  18. DJ March 2, 2009 at 1:45 am #

    First, I have found your website informational and inspirationaI. I am making figurines for the very first time for my daughter’s baby shower cake. I cannot buy tylose locally. I can buy gum paste powder. Can this be substituted for the tylose powder to help firm-up the fondant?

  19. Angela December 15, 2008 at 3:15 am #

    Hey there Donna! This Q & A session was very helpful. I’m going to give the marshmallow fondant with added tylose a try this week. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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