Welcome to Real Baking with Rose, the personal blog of author Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Watch the Baking Bible
Come Alive

Spend A Moment with Rose, in this video portrait by Ben Fink.

Check out my new creations

Rose's Alpha Bakers

Rose's Alpha Bakers for the Bread Bible


Get the blog delivered by email. Enter your address:

Eat your books

Current Announcements

FORUMS will be discontinued by end of October. If one of you is interested in hosting the Forums please contact Woody at: woody@ptd.net


Sep 5, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose

Some one posted on the blog that the new Crisco without transfats didn't work in the white rolled fondant. This put me into a real panick because I have a terrific recipe in the upcoming book that uses the chocolate rolled fondant.

Fellow blogger Zach Townsend tested the recipe using the new Crisco and sure enough it tore instead of stretching. He then tested the recipe using the organic Spectrum vegetable shortening that another blogger recommended for use in bread a few months ago. Eureka--it worked better even than ever before. Whoever it was who made that recommendation please step forward so we can all thank you. By the way, the spectrum shortening is available in Whole Foods and I'm sure other stores as well.


yvonne, first, i'm assuming you made it successfully before with just one layer. given that, the problem is that doubling it you probably didn't mix long enough so it compromised the strength of the structure. hope this helps.


Yvonne Arencibia
Yvonne Arencibia
05/30/2008 05:04 PM

Dear Rose:

Ref: Golden Butter Cream Cake

I doubled your recipie of Golden Butter Cream Cake, on page 34, and I baked in 2, 9" pan, but the cake resulted too crumble and sank a little bit in the center, and when I turned in order to put the filling it splited in the middle, I would like to know what I did wrong, the taste was delicious. Thank in advance for your suggestions. Yvonne



Thanks. I just went to the store and lo and behod, the store brand vegetable shortening has trans-fats in it. Either it doesn't sell as quickly, and they haven't stocked a new formula, or they aren't changing it. I'm probably set for a while. I'll let everyone know how the cake turned out.

Thanks again.



JennyBee - If you are making Rose's fondant recipe, you should be fine using the old Crisco formula. When you've used all that up, try Spectrum Organic shortening - it's been discussed as a good substitute for the old Crisco formula, whereas the new Crisco formula supposedly does not work well.

Use the search box here on the blog... there has been a lot of talk on the subject.


A newcomer to the site, therefore a latecomer to this line of conversation.

Having just mixed up my first batch of rolled fondant, for my first attempt at using it, I am somewhat nervous at all of the discussion of Crisco's failure to work well in this recipe anymore. So my question is, what is the function of the Crisco. Is it just to provide a "solid at a large temperature range colorless" fat? Can we substitute other solid shortening type things, like coconut or palm oil, which are solid at room temperature? If they cause a yellow tint, can you add icing white to whiten the fondant?

I just checked my can, and it does contain 1.5g trans-fat per serving, so I guess I have had it awhile. Maybe there is hope for my cake this weekend. But I probably only have 2-3 tablespoons left. If I had only known what a treasure I had.


Thanks so much - can't wait to see photos of yours! Take care!


we have Crisco (the new no-trans fat formulation) and other local brands made of palm oil. i read on this site that cocoa butter could be used in place of crisco, so i did that and it worked out fine.

but yeah, the best way to find out is to do a test batch. thanks for your time.. i love your cakes :)


Oops, that was me.


Glad to "meet" you as well :).

Hmmm... shortening and glycerine help to mkae the fondant pliable, so I don't know how it will work if you omit them. I suppose you could do a test batch and see.

I wonder if the reason why your "modelling fondant" didn't melt or get sticky is because it contained a high enough ratio of gelatin to sugar, which might have greatly slowed down the sugar's ability to absort moisture from the air (just guessing here).

What kind of shortening are you able to get in Singapore?


hi patrincia,

i've seen your name all over this website - glad to finally "meet" you!

thanks for your comments. today i used a recipe for "modelling fondant" (to cut out flowers and other shapes) which consisted of only gelatin, glucose and icing sugar. and it turned out fine - no melting or sticky consistency. i figure it's because it doesnt contain the "softeners" - glycerine and shortening.

just wondering if i could omit these items too when i wanna to roll out big sheets for draping over cakes... :)


Hi Rudy - the problem with fondant and humidity is this... fondant is made mostly of sugar, and sugar readily absorbs moisture from the air (or any other source), so I don't know if there is anything you can do to prevent this from happening when directly exposed to high humidity.


hi everyone,

i'd like to know if it's possible to tweak the Classic Rolled Fondant recipe to better suit humid climates?

recently, i made a wedding cake with Rose's classic rolled fondant successfully, but this was after i had added more than 3 cups of icing sugar while kneading to make it not sticky. the fondant draped over the tiers well, but after about an hour, it started to get look wet and sticky. it only hardened up again after i moved the cakes to an air-conditioned room.

i live in singapore where it is very, very humid, and i'd like the fondant to be "harder" so my wedding cakes can withstand outdoor temperatures.

perhaps the amounts of glycerine, glucose and shortening should be cut down? thanks everyone.


Regular Crisco is available at all grocery stores in Toronto as well.


Don't panic regular Crisco is still being manufactured, you just have to leave the U.S. to find it. We were up in Langley, BC over the Christmas holiday and found plenty of Crisco with transfats at a Sav-On Food store. Two big cans for $14.00 Canadian.


Do you live in NYC? I think you do...not sure...I hate to disclose my source...but for you - anything! There are three large cans at the Gristides on First Avenue between East 56 and East 57. I'm going to pick up one today!


ppl have reported success with holding mousseline at this temperature for a day as you suggested. if it's very humid the fondant may get sticky and the fondant roses may droop though.

bill, crisco refrigerated keeps for years and you'll only need a little for the fondant--i can't imagine using it for much else--so that's a great find!


I've noticed that my supermarket still has some large cans of the old crisco. I feel like I should buy them...they seem to be so valuable...lol. The problem is that I don't really care for fondant and don't plan on making it any time soon...but you never know. I'll be shopping tonight...I'll probably buy some.


yvonne arencibia
yvonne arencibia
11/27/2007 07:57 AM

I planning to make 2 tiers cake for this Sunday, I would like to frost with your musseline buttercream and decorate with fondant trim at the base of each tier. I make fondant roses to decorate the cake over the fondant trim. I never decorate a cake in that way. Can I frost the day before and leave out of the refrigerator, because I dont like to keep cake in the fri. I live in Miami, Fl temperature almost 80", do you think the buttercream stay firm out the fri, for 1 day? Pls. I need suggestions. Thank


Oh Anna - good for you!

I actually have 3 unopened cans of Crisc in stock (I stock up as the availability is always inconsistent). M not sure if they are the 'improved' formula, but anyway my fondant made from Rose's recipe seems ok! Also because I use fondant for small decorations only and not to drape a cake!

Just to report - some of my customers (they are adults, not kids!) do think the fondant tastes delicious! I used Rose's suggestion of orange flower water for a subtle flavour. It's really the best fondant!


Yet Another Anna
Yet Another Anna
10/ 3/2007 05:57 PM

Just thought I'd mention that I managed to score some of the 'old' Crisco at the store today (the last one they had).

Somehow I knew this was the only place I could probably mention this little success experience. :)


AnnieBlue - Wow, that's a lot of responsibility for one day. Hope you will post photos.


Thanks for your reply. I've been living and breathing The Cake Bible for the last five months in preparation for my brother's wedding. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your generosity in answering questions here. I hope you don't mind another question.

Mousseline can be stored for two days at room temp (I'm making raspberry and strawberry mousselines with powdered, pasteurized egg whites--your fruit purees are amazing!). But the Dotted Swiss Dream cake, which contains mousseline, can be baked up to 4 days ahead because the "fondant will keep it fresh". Obviously the fondant can keep it fresh only after it covers the fully frosted cake, so does that mean the mousseline buttercream can be out at room temperature for up to four days as long as it's inside fondant? If not, how long do you recommend such a cake out at room temp?

I'm making a 4-tier wedding cake, multiple sheets cake, a groom's cake, and an anniversary cake (for a couple who will attend). Not only that, I'm a bridesmaid and have to attend the rehearsal and dinner the night before the wedding. So as you can see, the earlier I can make this cake, the better!


no--but not hot hands either. dip your hands in a bowl of cold water and dry them at regular intervals as needed. don't elminate the shortening.


Funny, I've been using Spectrum in the fondant all along...good thing that's what I had on hand!

Rose, may I ask if you have cold hands? I have noticed that your rolled fondant is very sticky even after I add a lot of extra sugar, and then it cracks because of that sugar. My hands are very hot--I often have problems with bread for this reason. I've already cut the shortening in half, which seems to help, but I still have sticking problems. Any advice? Would it be a bad idea to eliminate the shortening altogether?


i used baker's joy which contains grease and flour and no odd aromas! try the spectrum and then flour the pan--it should work the way crisco does but since that's not my preferred way, especially when it comes to fluted tube pans, i really can't tell you how they compare.


So, when a recipe states, "grese and flour" a pan, we can use the Spectrum product? Does it give just as good release as Crisco? I don't mind switching over to organic.


also, if you want to try what promises to be an excellent white and also a chocolate folled fondant go to the link for pastry chef central. i haven't tried the fondant yet but will soon. it comes from new zealand and has also come highly recommended!


cecelia, patrincia has given excellent description/advice. for the buttercream please do a search on this blog--buttercreams for hot weather have been discussed and many suggestions made.


Cecelia - Rose's white fondant is silky smooth on the palate and tastes very similar to the oreo filling of years past (creamy, tasty, and dissolves on the tongue).

One word of caution though - be careful when choosing the shortening... Crisco has reformulated their formula and it no longer works well with Rose's recipe, but it's been reported that organic Spectrum vegetable shortening works very nicely in place of the no longer available old formula Crisco (with trans fats).

Another thought - the larger the tier, the harder it is to cover with fondant, so you might want to consider less graduated tiers. For example: instead of a 6-10-14 cake, you might find it easier to do a 6-8-10-12 cake.

Hope you send a photo of the finished cake!


Hi Rose,

I have a couple of questions. I have tried a pre-packaged rolled fondant and was thoroughly disgusted with the flavor and texture. The texture was so spongy, and the flavor was just gross. I love the way the fondant looks though, and would like to try it again. I haven't tried making it myself, and before spending the time and effort, want to make sure that it isn't spongy, like the pre-packaged, and what the flavor should really taste like. Please help? Also, I'm getting ready to do another wedding cake, and wanted to get your opinion for the best frosting to hold up in Florida weather. I'm thinking about making your pistachio and rose, but don't want to ruin it with the wrong frosting. I'm giving it a test run this weekend, and making a sampler for the bride and groom. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!


Hi rose,

I just made the neoclassic bc and was in heaven. When I was a young child I went to a wedding with my parents. I don't remember anything other than the wedding cake was divine, 4 tiers, with the most delicious frosting. I asked the bride what type of frosting was on her cake and she told me buttercream. Since then, several decades ago, I've been looking for this frosting but could never find the right recipe. When I finally got your book The Cake Bible, which I absolutely LOVE, and immediately read cover to cover, I tried the neoclassic bc. With the first taste I realized I had finally found that delicious frosting from so long ago. I've been baking since I could push the chair to the counter, and was probably 11 or so when I tasted the bc frosting. Thank you so much for sharing such delicous recipes and all of your knowledge with the amateurs like me. I can't wait for your new book!


thank yuo again--this information has proven invaluable, making it possible to make rolled fondant and i'm sure many other things as well.


Hello Rose,

It's me Chaconey, I had mention using Spectrum's Vegetable Shortening in baking my breads. And had mentioned the sliky texture it was producing in my breads and giving the dough more elasticity. I'm in total awe of this organic vegetable shortening.

I live in the Northwest (Oregon) and the shortening can be found in large super markets that have health food sections or can be attained through


The price is $5.69 for 24 ozs.

If you buy a case of 12 it would be $60.69 plus SH.

When we say our Organic Shortening is good, we really mean good. It’s better for your body than ordinary shortening because it’s never hydrogenated, has zero grams of trans fat, and is made from palm oil, which is naturally cholesterol free and a good source of heart healthy monounsaturated fat. Even better are the dozens of small family farmers in Colombia who cultivate and press our palm oil in an environmentally sustainable manner. It’s good for you, the farmers and the earth...just imagine what it does for a pie crust.

INGREDIENTS: Mechanically pressed Organic Palm Oil.

I just returned from visiting a good friend in Chester CA. I'm teaching her how to bake sourdough breads and I bought her a container of Spectrum's Vegetable Shortening and 10 lbs of Harvest King Bread flour.

We baked the Hearth Bread recipe, which I had converted to sourdough using no yeast. The bread was well risen, laced with holes and very light, she also noticed the silky texture of the dough and bread and was really impressed. I then told her it was due the vegetable shortening.

To the Hearth Bread recipe I also added dried unsweetened coconut granules, flax seeds,and Chia gel, which also helps in producing a super soft silky dough. This combination or blend of seeds and coconut granules are considered (Super Fats) including Spectrum's Vegetable Shortening so any time you bake or cook with any of these ingredients you're going to produce a silky like texture in your baked products. Your sauces will have a high silky gloss. You're cakes will also have a rich sheen.

Another good blend of Super fats are 1 part each of organic virgin coconut oil, organic olive oil, and organic sesame seed oil. I've been using this blend for my Focaccia and pizza dough. It's enriches these two bread recipes making them absolutely delicious and for brushing on bread dough and stiff starters.

In using these oils, you can use them freely and be generous in using them for these are the healthy oils that we need to eat daily and we can't get enough of.

Sincerely Chaconey


Oh! And I just stocked up on Crisco! Can't get any other branded shortening here except the local ones sold at baking supply stores - they are a little yellow. Good to note Zach's trial - I will remember if I make the choc rolled fondant! Thks Zach.

BTW, got yet another request for cupcakes with fondant flowers specifically. Customer wants buttercream swirls with fondant flowers sitting on top. Wonder if the fondant will 'wither' due to the moisture from the buttercream - any advice? I've always used Creme Ivoire as a base for fondant decor to adhere on - so am a little skeptical. Especially when the buttercream is not a shortening-base one.


Whew! I'm glad I was mistaken! In any case, even if this brand disappears, which seems unlikely, there are other sources on the web for palm oil shortening that's not an environmental horror - however, some of them expect you to buy a minimum of 7 lbs.


i just went to the spectrum website and they have only discontinued certain sizes in favor of the 24 ounce size. here's the link. paste it into your browser.



this is very disappointing. if there's a whole foods in your area go there quickly and buy up a good supply


Is this still being offered by Spectrum? I googled it and though Amazon listed it, they said it wasn't available and they didn't know if would be again. I went to the Spectrum site and it wasn't listed there - only their refined coconut oil. This shortening is palm oil. It's not at their parent company's (Hain) site either.


Hi, I think I'm guilty! i've been using the Spectrum in Rose's fondant for quite some time, and I think it works very well :-)

Jen N


Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love making fondant cakes (still a beginner), but I have been having problems with my fondant recently. I'll try the Spectrum shortening for my next cake.


gregory thanks for the chills of joy you just gave me!!! and for my part, i am constantly reminding myself to stay open and receptive to new thought. the blog and many contributions from bloggers is an incredible growing experience. i wonder how i ever survived without it!
often i resist new technology for example the overprocessing of ingredients, vegetable shortening being recommended over butter, but technology can also offer some mind-boggling advances that enhance rather than compromise quality.
thank you again gregory.


Gregory Lyons
Gregory Lyons
09/ 6/2007 10:38 AM

Let ME push The Cake Bible for Rose, then.

I am an OLD chef who avoided The Cake Bible for purely prejudicial reasons: BIBLE FATIGUE.

A year ago, after ignoring the raves and awards which have gone on for nearing 20 years (a chef can be contrary, you know), I picked up the book, turned to Rose's recipe for buttercream, and read my own buttercream, which I have been making since 1966. Detail by detail. The simplicity...

I have been using The Cake Bible ever since. It has freed me from slavery to the classic genoise, which I adore more than my clients do. Evey cake has been a triumph.

Get The Cake Bible! Read it! Bake!!!


Looks like Jen N is the star of the day! Her posting re Spectrum in fondant is from August 13, 2007: http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2005/11/message_from_rose.html

Thanks, Jen N!


thank you. i'm so glad you have the book--i didn't want you to think i was pushing it on you but i know how helpful it is for me as a reference--i couldn't imagine doing without it! even after all these years--and it's soon to be 20--i still turn to it to review techniques, ingredient ratios etc. etc. etc.!


I found the answer to the pronunciation of Genoise in the Cake Bible pg 120! I knew Rose would know if anybody did!
Thanks for a thorough piece of work! Nice to be able to properly pronounce what we have worked so hard to prepare.



(won't be displayed, but it is used to display your picture, if you have a Gravatar)


You may use HTML tags for style.

Rose's Chocolate Baking Essentials on Craftsy


Sign up for Rose's newsletter, a once-a-month mouthwatering treat!


Featured on finecooking.com