Orange and chocolate are such a wonderful combination, and the Grand Marnier Cake, frosted with Swiss Meringue Orange Buttercream is the perfect cake to cover with the dark chocolate fondant.
Cakes covered and decorated with rolled fondant take some planning and preparation; you will probably want to allow up to 3 days for making and assembling this Chocolate Rose Fondant Cake so that is an enjoyable and stress-free project. See the timeline description at the end of the recipe for assembling and decorating this cake, along with list of decorating items.
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- Prepare Grand Marnier Cake through step 13. When cooled, the layers may be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to use.
- Prepare Swiss Meringue Orange Buttercream.
- Using a long serrated kitchen knife, split each cake into 2 horizontal layers. Tip: Cut one of the cake layers so that the bottom half is thicker than the top half, and use the thicker bottom half as the 1st layer to provide a good base to support the upper layers.
- Secure the thicker bottom half of the layers to a cake board or cake plate; place about a tablespoon of Buttercream in the middle of the board or plate, center the cake and press the cake lightly into the Buttercream to adhere. Using an offset spatula spread about 1 cup of the Buttercream on top, about ¼ inch thick. Repeat with the next two layers. Place the last cake layer on top. Tip: Use a cake lifter to easily pick up and move the layers onto the cake board or cake plate.
- Crumb coat the cake by covering the sides and top of the cake with a thin layer of Buttercream. Let the cake sit until the crumb coat is dried to the touch. At this point you can cover the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Tip: the crumb coat is a thin layer. Don’t worry if the cake shows through in places, it will be covered again with another layer of Buttercream.
- Cover remaining Buttercream tightly with plastic wrap until ready to continue with cake, or cover tightly and refrigerate if completing the following day.
- The finish frosting of the cake should be applied just prior to covering the cake with rolled fondant. If the remaining Buttercream has been refrigerated, let it warm to room temperature and whip to bring it back to a fluffy texture. Cover the sides and top of the cake with the remaining Buttercream. Spread the Buttercream as smooth as possible over the top and sides. The finish frosting layer will provide a sticky surface for the fondant to stick to.
- While the Buttercream is still fresh and soft, cover the cake with chocolate rolled fondant. Decorate with fondant decorations.
- Serve cake at room temperature. Cover loosely or place in a cardboard box with a cover, such as a cake box from a bakery. Store in a cool dry place. Cake may also be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to serve.
I used the following decorating items and timeline to assemble and decorate the Chocolate Rose Fondant Cake:
Chocolate Rolled Fondant
Rose Pink Luster Dust
Super Gold Luster Dust
Small amount of dark or semisweet chocolate, melted
Small artist paint brushes (for applying melted chocolate and Luster Dust)
- Make the fondant. Shape the fondant into a thick disk and rub a thin coating of shortening over the entire surface to keep the fondant from drying out. Wrap the fondant disc tightly in at least two layers of plastic wrap and then place in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container and store at room temperature to cure overnight.
- I made 1½ batches of Chocolate Rolled Fondant to cover the cake and make the decorations.
- Prepare Grand Marnier Cake through step 13. After the cake is cooled, cover and refrigerate overnight to tighten the crumb and firm up the cake.
- Prepare the Buttercream. Split and fill the cake layers with Buttercream and apply the Buttercream crumb coat. Let the crumb coat sit until dry and firm to the touch, at least 30 minutes, or place in the refrigerator to speed up the drying. Cover remaining Buttercream tightly with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container until ready to continue with cake.
- Remove the cured fondant from the plastic and knead for several minutes to warm the fondant until it is pliable and smooth. You probably won’t need any vegetable shortening on the rolling surface for this kneading, however if it starts to stick use a little shortening on the rolling surface and your hands. If the fondant is stiff and difficult to knead, microwave for about 15 seconds to warm it up. If the fondant seems too dry you can knead a small amount of vegetable shortening in. Cover until ready to use.
- Cover the cake with the finish frosting layer of Buttercream just prior to covering the cake with rolled fondant.
- Roll the fondant with a smooth rolling pin that is free of nicks between two sheets of plastic wrap on a clean and smooth countertop, marble board, pastry board, or non-stick pastry mat. Roll the fondant in a circle that is large enough to cover the cake and sides along with a little excess that will be trimmed off at the end. Roll the fondant at least ⅛ thick and up to ¼ inch thick for covering cakes as it will be easiest to handle.
- Remove the top piece of plastic wrap and place the cake to be covered right next to the rolled fondant. Lift the plastic wrap by the two edges farthest from the cake and quickly but carefully flip the fondant over and on top of the cake. Trim excess fondant with a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
- Keep leftover fondant tightly covered to prevent drying out.
- Cover the fondant covered cake loosely or place in a cardboard box with a cover, such as a cake box from a bakery. Store cake in a cool dry place. The cake may also be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to finish decorating.
- Use leftover fondant to make cutout flowers and leaves, or form into fondant roses. If desired, brush a small amount of luster dust over the flower petals and flower centers.
- Use a small artist paintbrush to brush a small dab of melted chocolate on the back of the flowers and leaves to gently attach around the cake, press very gently to the cake to adhere.