How To Make Fondant

4.98 from 128 votes

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Fondant is a thick icing used to cover and decorate cakes. Our fondant recipe uses only four ingredients and is easy to work with and color. It also tastes much better than store-bought.

Round cake covered in homemade white Fondant.
Featured With This Recipe
  1. What is Fondant?
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to Make Fondant
  4. Decorating with Fondant
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Fondant Recipe Recipe

My mom made the most beautiful wedding cake for me when I got married. It was around the time when large, fancy, frosted wedding cakes were going out of style, and the smaller, more simple fondant covered wedding cakes were becoming popular. My wedding cake was covered with a smooth white fondant and then decorated with fresh flowers. Since then, I have loved decorating with fondant and this recipe is my favorite. It is quick and easy to make with just 4 ingredients.

What is Fondant?

Fondant is a soft, sweet, frosting-like substance that is used to coat and decorate cakes. It is pliable, similar to the texture and consistency of play dough, which makes it easy to work with and shape. This recipe is made by combining marshmallows and powdered sugar. It has better flavor than store bought fondant and it’s easy to color with food coloring.


Surprisingly, there are only 4 ingredients to make this fondant!

  • Mini marshmallows
  • Powdered sugar
  • Shortening
  • Water
Ingredients showing how to make Fondant including powdered sugar, mini marshmallows, Crisco, water and rolling pin.

How to Make Fondant

Fondant is simple to make, and when made correctly, it is also easy to work with when decorating. Here are the steps we recommend to beginners for this easy recipe to be a success:

Marshmallow Fondant Mixture

  • Start with white mini marshmallows. The mini marshmallows work best for melting and mixing. Do not use the colored and flavored mini marshmallows. Coloring and flavoring can be added later.
  • Make sure the marshmallows are fresh! Marshmallows that have been in an opened bag or are past the freshness date will be stale and/or sticky, and the fondant won’t turn out as well. When you purchase the marshmallows, check the expiration date and shake the bag a little to make sure they aren’t all clumped together.
  • Use a glass bowl to melt the marshmallows in the microwave and stir, stir, stir! If the melted marshmallows are still a little lumpy, they will smooth out completely in the mixture.
Mixing bowl of marshmallow mixture to show How to Make Fondant.

Use a Mixer with a Dough Hook

As you reach the needed consistency for the fondant, it becomes thick and more stiff. It is still pliable, but a hand mixer just won’t cut it. Think freshly opened play dough. The dough hook is a life saver! Most standard mixers like Bosch (pictured) and KitchenAid have a dough hook accessory.

Mixed Fondant in a mixing bowl with a hook.

Watch for Color and Consistency

Recognizing when to stop adding sugar and stop mixing is key when making fondant. It is ready to remove from the mixer when the color is no longer glossy and has a matte appearance, and the consistency is thick (again, think play dough).

Kneading the Fondant

Once the fondant is ready to knead and color, be sure to keep your hands and all surfaces lightly covered with shortening. Flour or powdered sugar will make it too stiff. Make sure it is pure white shortening. Butter-flavored shortening or cooking spray has a yellow tint, consequently turning fondant an off-white or yellowish color.

Hand kneading a ball of Fondant with powdered sugar to show How to Make Fondant.

Rolling the Fondant

Use an adjustable long rolling pin or dough roller to roll fondant. Most long rolling pins have thickness rings to get a smooth, even finish. A regular rolling pin works for most projects, however the long rolling pin is an essential tool for projects like wedding cakes, making it possible to roll the fondant into a large enough circle to cover a large cake. It may be worth the investment if you plan to make fondant often. Adjustable long rolling pins can be found at bakery supply stores or on Amazon. This gives you an idea of what they look like.

Fondant rolled out to place on a cake.


Fondant can be made ahead and stored for later use. However, it will dry out, so it is important to keep it in an airtight container. It can also be wrapped completely in plastic wrap. It is not necessary to refrigerate fondant.

Decorating with Fondant

Fondant is a lot of fun to work and play with when it comes to decorating. It works beautifully on wedding cakes with fresh flowers, and it is easy to color for bright and fun birthday cakes, like the Barbie Cake pictured below. This easy recipe has been used over and over in our family to decorate cakes for special events. Don’t be intimidated – it’s very simple to make! Once you get it down, you will see that the possibilities are endless. Be ready for birthday cake requests, you are about to become a cake boss!

Two cakes made with fondant - a round layered cake with pink and yellow flowers and a Barbie cake.

There are so many fun things to make with fondant. This Hamburger Cake is a fun cake to make for the hamburger lovers out there. The cheese, lettuce, and onions are all made out of fondant. It’s perfect for BBQ’s, potlucks, or birthday parties. I recently made this with my sons for a Cub Scout cake decorating contest. The scouts loved it!

Hamburger Cake with cookie fries and red frosting.

You can mold fondant into shapes, or use it to cut out shapes for decorating. My sister and I made tea cup cakes for my niece’s birthday (pictured below). She had an “Alice in Wonderland” theme. We made the tea cups by baking the cake batter in glass mixing bowls. After the cakes cooled, we removed the cakes from the bowls, and then placed the fondant over the cakes making a flat “bottom” so they wouldn’t tip. We flipped them right side up and made the handles, rings around the top, and the polka dots. Then we frosted the top of the cake. They turned out so cute! The candle you see on it is one of the coolest birthday candles I have ever seen. When you light the top wick, it spins open, lights all the birthday candles and continues to spin and play a song.

Tea cups and stars made from fondant cut outs

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you supposed to eat fondant on cakes?

Fondant is edible. It is also very sweet. Some people love it and some prefer to remove it before eating their cake.

Is fondant hard to work with on a layer cake?

It is always a good idea to practice laying fondant on a cake. As I was learning, I found an extra set of hands was helpful. Practice on single layer cakes and work on getting all the bubbles and bumps out. Once you are comfortable with it, move onto layers.

How does fondant taste?

Fondant tastes like a dense marshmallow, or kind of like the cream filling in an Oreo.

Cake covered with a sheet of fondant on a cake stand. Rolling pin, sprinkles and cutters on the side.

Fondant Recipe

4.98 from 128 votes
Making your own fondant is the way to go. It is easy to work with and easy on the budget!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 24



  • 16 ounces mini marshmallows
  • 32 ounces powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon shortening


  • Put marshmallows, water, and shortening in a glass microwavable bowl.
    Bowl of mini marshmallows, crisco and water to show How to Make Fondant.
  • Microwave for 20 seconds, then stir. Repeat 4 times. 
    Mixing bowl with melted marshmallow mixture and dough hook to show How to Make Fondant.
  • Pour into a mixer and mix well using the dough attachment. Add in powdered sugar a cup at a time. Mix until the shine is completely gone. You may not need to use all the sugar, just keep adding until it has the consistency of play dough. The final result should not be sticky to the touch. 
    Mixed Fondant in a mixing bowl with a hook.
  • When the fondant becomes too stiff to mix in the mixer, pull the fondant out and knead it on the counter, adding more sugar if needed. Knead in food coloring, if desired.
    Hand kneading a ball of Fondant with powdered sugar to show How to Make Fondant.
  • From this point, you can roll the fondant out to place on a cake, cupcakes, or to create something amazing! When working with fondant, keep all surfaces and hands lightly covered in shortening to prevent sticking. 
    Rolling pin next to three balls of fondant and a flattened out sheet of fondant.


  • Fondant can be made ahead and stored for later. Wrap it well in plastic wrap or keep it in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Practice placing your on single-layer cakes before attempting layer cakes. Placing fondant and smoothing it out takes practice!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 209kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 16mgFiber: 1gSugar: 48gCalcium: 1mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Emily Walker

Emily lives in Meridian, Idaho, with her husband, Beau, a physician assistant, and her three incredible children: a son and two daughters. Travel is one of her favorite ways to experience new cultures and cuisines, and she has a love for all things Disney.

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  1. 5 stars
    Just wondering if you put icing on before you put the fondant on the cake? I’m trying to make a Bluey cake for my daughters first birthday. I just got done with chemo so ordering a cake isn’t in the budget! But I have been making my own homemade cakes and icing lately but having really gotten the taste amazing yet. Although I have tried quite a few different recipes that claim they’re the best.. 😂 I’m going to see what your cakes taste like though. Thank you!

    1. as far as taste it is like really sweet marshmallow but my sons like to torch their frosting because it has a roasted marshmallow flavor. It smells great torched. You may have trouble with the flavor because of the chemo tho. That can be a side effect.

  2. 5 stars
    This worked amazing! First time success at fondant and such a simple recipe! Used less sugar than called for and microwaved shorter amount time (did it by the book and it was overdone a bit, so added in a teeny bit more to loosen it up). Making North Pole stamps with the fondant! Merry Christmas!

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