"The Lion's Den": First the decoration, then the cake: the fondant cover from Clever Cakes in the test

I really enjoy baking: on the one hand because I love sweets, on the other hand I like trying out recipes and making others happy with something homemade.

"The Lion's Den": First the decoration, then the cake: the fondant cover from Clever Cakes in the test

I really enjoy baking: on the one hand because I love sweets, on the other hand I like trying out recipes and making others happy with something homemade. So far I haven't had the patience for elaborate fondant cakes. After all, you have to skillfully roll out the sugar mass evenly, carefully place it over the finished cake, make sure that the cream is suitable for the sugar coating, that there are no holes or tears - and then you also have to cut the fun at the end. So far I found it too exhausting and too high a frustration rate. Cakes with fondant decoration look beautiful and I'm good at baking. But after the long preparation time of a cake, I have not yet seen the need to dedicate myself to an elaborate decoration.

The founder of Clever Cakes is aimed at people like me: those who have a passion for baking but don't dare to make elaborate decorations or don't have the time for it anymore. Elina Hoffmann has therefore developed a fondant cover into which the cake is baked. With her idea, she appears on the Vox show "The Lion's Den". The star took a look in advance at what the product could do.

If you can't imagine the idea yet: Clever Cakes offers a ready-made fondant cover. This is placed upside down on a shelf, the cake is then placed in mirror-inverted (i.e. usually ganache, base, cream, base, cream, base), then the whole thing is turned inside out and the fondant cake is ready, which looks like it was made by a professional. Depending on the set purchased, there are also colorful sugar decorations that can be placed on the cake as you wish. But what Clever Cakes doesn't do: It doesn't bake the cake for you. You have to do that yourself. However, the idea simplifies the elaborate decoration and saves about an hour. Appropriate recipes are also provided. Depending on the selection, the sets cost between around 17 euros (basic set with fondant and disposable cardboard baking pan) and around 35 euros (colored design sets with additional colorful sugar decorations).

At first glance, the tested design set with stars appears to be of very high quality and well thought out: the fondant cover is just the right thickness, and a suitable baking mold is included so that the cake fits exactly into the cover. There are also lovingly designed sugar stars with sugar glue, a cord for the edge, a "Happy Birthday" sign and stars to put in the cake. You can imagine how pretty the cake will look in the end. Matching recipes are available on the Clever Cakes website, as are video instructions. So you are taken by the hand and at the end you can still say: "I made the cake myself." In addition, everyone can add their own handwriting, whether to the recipe or to the decoration.

However, what I dislike a bit when I compare the procedure with my previous back sessions: There is significantly more waste. The baking pan must be disposed of, as must the plastic packaging. If Elina Hoffmann gets a deal, there is certainly room for improvement here. The same applies to the price: the founder must certainly earn something and put a lot of effort into the loving decoration. 35 euros for a set that also needs the ingredients for the cake makes the total amount quite high in the end. Some people might think twice about ordering the cake directly from the baker.

However, I do enjoy baking a lot myself - and making the cake with Clever Cakes didn't detract from that either. On the contrary: it was a good feeling to know that the decoration was already in place and that a nice result was waiting for you after baking. All in all, baking the cake, including decorating, usually takes about three hours. With Clever Cakes there were about two this time for a cookies and chocolate cake: the cake bases have to be made, as well as cream and chocolate ganache. The latter is important if the cream is too moist for a fondant cover. Then it has to be protected with another mass so that it keeps its shape and does not tear. So when filling the fondant shell, I had to make sure that everything was really well covered with the ganache. But it also means: Despite the finished shell, there is no guarantee that the cake will really turn out well. So you should already have some baking experience.

Putting the bases in worked well in our test - if you manage to cut the cake horizontally as evenly as possible and just twice beforehand and get it out of the mold undamaged. For some recipes, however, it is sufficient to cut the base in half. If you have layered the cake, you can put the whole thing on a suitable surface and the fondant cake is basically done. If you followed the instructions, the cover had no tears and covered the cake perfectly. The best thing is to put the masterpiece in the fridge for a few hours to set. After that, you can finish decorating as you wish. Either with the supplied material or with your own accessories.

In my opinion, Clever Cakes is still worth its rather high price: The end result looks really high-quality and professional and, in the end, is homemade. In addition, the total sum is certainly lower than for an ordered cake - and it is an eye-catching (birthday) gift that was made with effort and love. At best, it also makes children's eyes light up - then it was worth it one way or another. You can add your own touch and have a lot of fun baking. However, you should bring joy and a little experience with baking. It would be ideal if the sets were a little cheaper and there was less waste. Who knows if the founder can get a deal and refine these things. In the end, however, what is promised with the name is kept: a clever idea that simplifies baking.

The founder of Clever Cakes joins The Lion's Den to expand her business. In return, she offers 20 percent of her company shares for an investment of 50,000 euros. You can see whether she gets a deal tonight from 8:15 p.m. on Vox.

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