Making your own fondant is the way to go. This fondant recipe only takes 4 ingredients, making it less expensive than buying it at the store. Once made, it is easy to use for cakes, cupcakes, or anything else you want to create!
What is Fondant?
Fondant is a soft, sweet, frosting-like substance that is used to coat and decorate cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. It is pliable which makes it easy to work with and reshape as needed for decorating. Fondant is made by combining marshmallows and powdered sugar. Fondant is edible, but not everyone loves the texture and taste. Some people remove the fondant coating before eating the cake it covers.
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 and cupcakes. This easy recipe has been used over and over in our family for a variety of special events, including Erica’s wedding. It was used on her wedding cake. 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!
Tips for Making Fondant
Fondant is simple to make, and when made correctly, it is also easy to work with when decorating. Here are a few tips we recommend to beginners for this easy fondant 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.
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. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
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.
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.
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Fondant can be made ahead and stored for later use. However, it will dry out so it is important to keep it in airtight container. It can also be wrapped completely in plastic wrap. It is not necessary to refrigerate fondant.
Ways to Use Fondant
There are so many fun things to make with fondant in addition to wedding cakes. 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!
My sister and I made tea cup cakes for my niece’s birthday. 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.
How to Make Fondant
- Put marshmallows, water, and shortening in a glass microwavable bowl.
- Microwave for 20 seconds, then stir. Repeat 4 times.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.