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Im preparing a very soft tender cake for covering with fondant. I need it to be really smooth but I also don't want the icing to be too heavy on the cake. I'm not familiar with ganache can I use a coating of royal icing?

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    Depending on how soft the cake is, you might want to chill it down before frosting, so the cake is more firm when covering it
    – Joe
    Aug 16 '19 at 15:52
  • Have you ever used royal icing on a cake before? If it's too thick, it might be hard to spread, but if it's too thin, it will get absorbed into the cake.
    – kayk
    Sep 17 '19 at 19:15
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I don’t know that I’d suggest it

There are a few variations on royal icing, and many of them set quite hard. This would be a problem for fondant coating, as you want the buttercream layer to act as a mastic to adhere the fondant to the cake

If the cake is especially soft, you’re not going to be able to use smoothing tools without crushing the cake

You might be able to use royal icing on the top of the cake if you use a ‘flood fill’ technique. I’d actually do it in two layers: pipe a ring of stiff icing around the edge of the cake, then flood with royal icing and let it firm up. When you’re ready to apply the fondant, flood again and then set you fondant on the cake

By doing this, I hope that the first fondant layer will act to distribute force to a wider area, and the second wet layer acts as the mastic and deforms if you press too hard

To deal with the possibility of this being too sweet, you can use lemon juice in your royal icing to counter some of the sweetness

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That seems risky, and the combination or royal icing + fondant will probably ruin your cake by making it way too sweet. I have never tried myself, but I have tasted good cakes where they used buttercream, or simply chocolate or jam, and I have seen this recommendation on different websites and blogs.

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