To begin, knead the fondant to smooth it out and warm it up. Using a rolling pin, roll it out to the desired thickness. “I usually like to make my fondant very thin, but when I am using an impression mat I need to leave it a littler thicker to allow the indentations to really show up,” Borga says. A good measure is about 1/8 inch thick.
Place your impression mat of choice—they are available in countless patterns including floral designs, geometric shapes, written messages, and more—onto the rolled out fondant, with the imprint side facing down. Then, using either a rolling pin or the palms of your hands, press the impression mat gently into the fondant.
Perhaps the trickiest part of the process is transferring the impressed fondant onto the cake. “You have to be very careful when lifting it up so the image doesn’t distort,” Borga says. Lift the impression mat straight up off of the fondant. Then, as carefully as possible, lift the fondant, center it over the cake, and wrap as you would with ordinary rolled fondant.
For finishing touches, consider piping a design onto the fondant to add color and create even more depth. Or, add some pearl dust to give the cake some shine.
Finally, you may also want to consider covering your cake boards with impressed fondant. Wrap your board with foil and brush it with some piping gel. Then, roll out the fondant, place it on top of the board, and place the impression mat on top of the fondant following the instructions above. Lift the impression mat, roll the fondant over the edge of the cake board and trim the edges with a knife. Going this extra mile will make your cakes look a lot more complete by adding texture to the base.