How To Make Fondant (Just 4 Ingredients)

4.98 from 123 votes
151 Comments

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy.

Fondant is an important part of baking because it gives your cake a smooth texture and a professional look. While you can buy fondant at the store, it can be difficult to find just the right color and texture for your cake. Making your own fondant at home ensures that you will have a consistent quality product without breaking the bank.

Rolling pin next to three balls of fondant and a flattened out sheet of fondant.
Featured With This Recipe
  1. What is Fondant?
  2. Ingredients in Fondant
  3. Decorating With Fondant
  4. Tips for Making Fondant
  5. Ways to Use Fondant
  6. More Frosting and Icing Recipes
  7. Frequently Asked Questions about Fondant
  8. How to Make Fondant
  9. Fondant Recipe Recipe

It only takes four ingredients and less than 15 minutes to make this fondant recipe, so it’s an easy choice for home bakers. You don’t have to worry about the quality of pre-made varieties going bad in a few weeks—this one can stay fresh indefinitely! And once you’ve made this particular version as written, feel free to experiment with different colors or flavor combinations!

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.

Ingredients in Fondant

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.


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 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!

Wrapping Fondant around Barbie for Barbie Cake.

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.
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).

Fondant rolled out to place on a cake

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.

Storage

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.

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.

More Frosting and Icing Recipes

Read Next: 33+ Easy Dessert Ideas

Frequently Asked Questions about Fondant

Are you supposed to eat fondant on cakes?

Fondant is totally edible and can be eaten. However, many people prefer to peel it off before eating the cake.

How hard is it to make a layered fondant cake for the first time?

It is always a good idea to practice laying fondant on a cake before attempting a large layered cake. 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.

Is there a way to make cake fondant without using gelatin?

Yes! Our recipe does not require gelatin and instead uses marshmallows.

How to Make Fondant

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

Fondant Recipe

4.98 from 123 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

Video

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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

Love this recipe?

We want to hear from you! Please leave a review.

Rate and Review



Share This With the World

PinYummly

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.

More about Emily Walker

Similar Recipes

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?




Comments

  1. This seems like a super quick easy recipe! Definitly gonna gibe it a try for mt daughters christmas party tomorrow! Question tho.. What if you dont have the dough attachment? What would work in place?

  2. i’m going to try this recipe to secure edible logo toppers for my client holiday orders. i’m curious of the yield for this recipe – 1x = 24 servings ? 24 cupcakes? 24 cakes?
    i only need 50 spoonfuls. any suggestions?
    thank you!!

    1. Sorry for the confusion – serving size is hard with fondant. This makes enough fondant to cover one double layer 8-inch cake. You might need to double the recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    First try at fondant and was amazing! My 10 year granddaughter wanted to make her own birthday cake with fondant flowers. Was so beautiful

  4. 5 stars
    The flavor, cost and ease of this recipe is great. It worked perfectly to build a pancake stack looking cake. Thank you so much for posting this!

  5. I just wanted to say, with the answer that your recipe doesn’t contain gelatin and instead contains marshmallows, the person might be asking because they’re vegan and gelatin is an animal product, or due to a gelatin allergy. In which case, marshmallows themselves contain gelatin.
    I wonder if you can make fondant using vegan marshmallows, or if you would need to use a different technique to get a similar result.

    1. Thanks for making that point! We haven’t tried it with vegan marshmallows, but we’ll keep the post updated if we do!

  6. This recipe looks great – I’m attempting fondant for the first time to make my kiddo’s bday cake (Spiderverse theme…wish me luck!). Can I assume that using a double boiler on the stove to melt the marshmallows is also acceptable or is it best to use a microwave? Also, I’ll need to make some black, red and possibly blue fondant. Will this recipe stand up to that much food coloring?
    Thank you!

    1. I haven’t tried double boiling the marshmallows – we always use the microwave and it turns out great. It should hold up really well to food coloring! We like to use gel food coloring for the best results.

  7. It’s my first time making this recipe. I’m trying to roll the fondant with a lite coating of shortening it sticks to the rolling pin. Then I add a bit of powdered sugar to avoid it; it helps a bit. Then I roll it out and it starts cracking. What have I done wrong or what can I do to adjust?
    I had to add more powdered sugar since mine was still shiny and sticky on the mixer. Till I took it out and started kneading it and adding a bit more sugar it finally got to the consistency I needed.

    1. I’m sorry I don’t think I understand the question – was the fondant too sticky or too dry?

    1. 32 ounces of powdered sugar is about 908 grams. 16 ounces of marshmallows is about 454 grams. I hope this helps!

    2. FYI in your FAQs about Fondant it says, “Is there a way to make cake fondant without using gelatin? Yes! Our recipe does not require gelatin and instead uses marshmallows.” However, traditional marshmallows, including the ones linked, do contain gelatin, which makes this statement incorrect. Along those lines, I wonder if the recipe would still work with vegan, gelatin-free marshmallows, such as Dandie’s. https://a.co/d/ib13MjW

      1. We haven’t tried making it with vegan marshmallows so we can’t say for sure. Let us know how it turns out if you try it!

  8. Would it be best to halve this recipe if I’m only needing to make a decorative treasure map for a 9×13 cake?

  9. 5 stars
    Omg so easy and to make from scratch is so much better
    This web site is so prefect
    Thank you for making cooking so easy

  10. Hi there! I am wondering how this dries and if it can be used for decorative elements, disks for cupcakes for example? Thanks!

    1. It is very soft and stays fairly soft when it dries. I don’t think it would work for discs.