Want to learn how to make a bow in fondant? Here is how I make my fondant bows, step by step.
Fondant bows are quite a common cake decoration and one that adds much elegance and beauty to any cake.
Despite looking difficult, fondant bows are quite easy to make. The only difficulty or rather issues with fondant bows is in attaching them to cakes. It is still not much of an issue when the bows are placed on the top of cakes, but it can be quite an issue when attaching this lovely pieces of sugar art on the sides of the cake.
I have made and used fondant bows on many of my cakes, and I am sharing on this page, how I normally make my fondant bows.
How to Make a Bow in Fondant - My Steps
These are the supplies I typically use to make a bow in fondant:
Fondant - Satin Ice fondant is the fondant I normally use. For this particular bow, I used Satin Ice Chocolate fondant.
CMC powder - the function of CMC powder is similar to tylose powder, it gives additional strength to the fondant and make the fondant dry hard which helps the bow to hold its shape. I use about 1/4 of a teaspoon of CMC powder to 100g of fondant.
Ribbon bow template - the template is an easy one, and consists of one long rectangle piece for the loops and another smaller rectangle piece for the bow centre. In coming up with the template, it is important to keep in mind the size of the bow, to make sure it will result in a bow that is of the size that is expected. I normally decide the length of the bow first, and only then draw and cut out the templates in paper.
Kitchen towels - These are to be used to hold the shape of the ribbon bow while it is drying. I use 2 kitchen towels, fold and roll them into cylinders and tape them. I get these ready before starting my fondant work.
Fondant glue - Fondant glue is the best medium to stick the fondant bow together. Shortening is not a good option as it does not dry hard which means the bow pieces can dissemble due to their weight.
And this is how I make and assemble the fondant bows:
As I have mentioned above, the first step to make a bow is to get the template ready. My template consists of one long rectangle (for the 2 loops of the bow) and one small rectangle (for the center of the bow). The length of the long rectangle will determine the length of each bow loop. So, if you want a bow that measures 12cm in length with loops measuring 3cm in width, you would need your rectangle template to measure 12cm by 3cm for each of the loops (once folded, each strip will be half of its original size, in this case, 6cm. So two loops of 6cm will make a bow that is 12cm in length). For the center, there is no need for any specific measurement, just an estimate of the width and length is sufficient.
Once the templates are ready, next is the kitchen towel rolls. I fold them into 3 and then roll them up tightly and secure with tape. I make 2 of these for the two loops of the bow.
Next is the fondant. I mix CMC with the fondant and knead it well. Then I roll it thin, to the thickness I desire for my bow. Using my long rectangle template for the loops, I cut out two pieces in fondant.
I then apply some fondant glue on one side of the fondant strips and then fold the other end over and stick both ends together. Before folding the strips, I place one of the kitchen towel rolls in the middle, as shown below:
I then press the ends to make it thin.
And then I form the folds. It is easier to do the folds when the fondant is thin, hence the thinning of the ends in the earlier step. The folds are basically in a curved zigzag pattern as shown below.:
I repeat the steps above for the other fondant strip also.
Once the loops are done, I then cut out the center fondant piece. For this piece, I roll it thin so that it is easier to work with.
To give the center a folded ribbon feel, I create pleated look. I start by folding one end of the strip, then form a pleat in the middle and then another fold at the other end.
This is how it would look like when turned over.
Turn the piece back to its original position with the folds and pleats showing and apply fondant glue all over.
Place one of the bow loops as shown (only half of the loop is on the strip, the other half is not), apply glue to its end, and attach the other fondant loop.
Next, bring the center piece upwards and tuck it at the back of the bow.
This is how the back of the bow would look like. If there is any excess fondant, trim it off so that the back is flat and even.
Carefully and very gently, turn the bow over and leave is aside to dry and set hard. I normally leave mine overnight. Once the bow is done, it can be placed on the cake. Again, I use fondant glue to attach the bows to cakes to ensure the bows are securely attached to the cakes.
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