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  Home :: techniques & tips :: Covering a Cake With Sugarpaste or Marzipan

Covering a Cake With Sugarpaste or Marzipan

"Whether covering a fruit cake with marzipan and sugarpaste or a sponge cake with buttercream and sugarpaste, the technique remains much the same."

Below is a guide on how to cover a cake:


1. If you are covering a fruit cake, you will need to cover it with marzipan first. If there are any imperfections such as hollows in the cake where peices of fruit have fallen out, then plug these gaps with balls of marzipan first to kae surev the surface is as smooth as possible.

2. You will also need to brush the surface with an apricot glaze to help the marzipan stick. Make sure you boil the jam first, as un-boiled jam may ferment and cause the cake to go off, and then brush all over the cake. Other jam can be used, but apricot has the least flavour and therefore doesn’t effect the taste of the cake.

3. Roll out the required amount of marzipan (see chart below) on a clean, smooth surface that has been dusted with icing sugar. Make sure there is a uniform thickness, and keep the marzipan moving to avoid it sticking. Use your rolling pin to lift the marzipan off the surface and ‘hang it’ over your rolling pin. Then drape the marzipan, starting at one edge, over the cake.

4. Use your hands to smooth down the marzipan, gently pushing against the tops and sides to remove trapped air.

5. Finally smooth the surface with a polisher, and leave to dry for at least 24 hours.


6. Using the required amount of sugarpaste (see table below), knead the sugarpaste to make it more pliable and deter it from cracking.

7. Dust a surface with icing sugar and roll out big enough to cover the cake and cake board.

8. If decorating a sponge then you will first need to thinly coat the sponge cake with buttercream and chill for 20 mins. Or if you are using marzipan then you will need to brush the surface with cooled, boiled water.

9. Then carefully lift the paste and cover the cake. Like with the marzipan, use your hands to smooth down the top and sides of the sugarpaste to remove trapped air, and let the sugarpaste cover the cake board.

10. Using a sharp knife cut off the excess sugarpaste from the cake board and finish with polishing the cake with a smoother. Allow to dry before decorating.

Quantities of marzipan and sugarpaste:
Cake Size 6" use 0.5kg
Cake Size 8" use 0.75kg
Cake Size 10" use 1.5 kg
Cake Size 12" use 2 kg
Cake Size 14 use 2.5kg