Thursday, January 30, 2014

How to Make Fondant---A Photo Tutorial

I have a love/hate relationship with fondant.  I love the way it looks on a finished cake, cupcake or cookie, but have always hated the way the high cost and more importantly the taste.  It tastes almost like a chalky taffy gone bad.  Today I will share with you a recipe for homemade fondant that is inexpensive, and not only looks good, but tastes good too!  

  • 15 oz mini marshmallow (this is by weight, not in liquid ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons Lorann Princess Emulsion (the secret ingrediant)
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup if you want it pure white (since I`m colouring it, I used golden)
  • 1 kg bag of icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • microwave safe bowl
  • rubber spatula
  • plastic wrap
  • ziploc bag
1.  Grease your microwave safe bowl with shortening and make sure to grease the entire surface.  We will be melting marshmallows in the bowl and it will be far easier to mix if you generously coat the surface.  Next, grease your spatula---not just the paddle but the lower portion of the handle as well.  Finally, grease your sanitized counter.  You will need a work surface large enough to knead the fondant.  Roll up your sleeves and let's get started!  

2.  Dump the mini marshmallows into the greased bowl and add the water.  You can use regular marshmallows or even jumbo in the same weight as the recipe calls for, but they do not melt as evenly and you will have to stop and start the microwave more frequently and for a longer period of time.  Heat the marshmallows on high in 30 second intervals, stirring between with your greased spatula, until they have puffed.  This should take roughly 2 maybe 2 1/2 minutes depending on your microwave. 

Your marshmallows will inflate, so be sure you have a large enough bowl

3.  Once the marshmallows have fully melted, stir in the lemon juice, salt, flavouring, and corn syrup.  You do not have to use the Princess Emulsion, but can substitute it for 1/2 teaspoon each of pure vanilla, almond and lemon extracts.  I personally love the emulsion and if I could, would use it in EVERYTHING.  The flavour combination of the extracts really stands out in the fondant.  If you don't like the sound of those 3 together, just use a tried and true favourite:  Vanilla.  

4.  After you have blended in the those ingrediants, comes the fun part.  Begin stirring in 1 cup of your sifted icing sugar.  You will be doing this 1 cup at a time, until you have reached 4 cups. The fondant should start to thicken and will be quite sticky.  At the 4th cup it will become quite hard to stir and you will now need to wash your hands, and then coat them generously with shortening.  When I say generously, I mean generously.  You do not want this mixture sticking to your hands, as it like hot glue.  The harder you fight with it, the more stringy it will become.  You have been warned.  

5.  Pour the fondant onto your greased work surface, and scrape up any remaining fondant from the bowl.  You can always knead the fondant in the bowl a bit before turning it out on the counter, but I prefer to skip that step.  Once the fondant is on the counter, begin incorporating another 1 cup of icing sugar.  See how thick the fondant is above, now looks like putty below? Again, please grease your hands well.      

6.  Knead the fondant by folding the sugar dough over itself and towards you, and then using the heel of your hands, press down and  push it away from you.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  When you feel the dough becoming sticky, add a 1/4 cup of icing sugar at a time.  Depending on the humidity and time of year, you may not use all of your icing sugar.  Today I only used 6 cups total.  Once the dough is not sticky, and is soft and pliable you have successfully made fondant.

Photo credit for the above photos goes to my
5 year old, who snuck into the kitchen for an orange.

6.  Be careful not to add too much sugar.  You do not want this to be dry.  Dry fondant will crack and be very difficult to use, and is not pleasant in appearance (or taste and texture).  Form it into a smooth, round ball and coat it with shortening. 

7.  Take some good quality plastic wrap and tightly wrap your fondant and then place in a zipseal plastic bag, remove all the air and seal shut.  Try not to use the ones made for sandwiches, but freezer bags.  This will ensure that air does not get into the fondant, which will lead it to dry out and crack.  Now toss the fondant in the fridge and let it rest overnight.  If your fridge looks anything like mine, you should probably clear some space in your fridge BEFORE starting this process.

Once the fondant has rested and firmed up a bit, you can roll it out or use it in molds to make decorations, or even colour it with gel paste.  I will be using this fondant for a special cake that I am making this weekend, and hope to show guys along the way.  Maybe I will even show you how to make a rainbow cake?  

Fondant has been coloured mauve and pressed into silicone molds.
 These can now be airbrushed or painted or used as is.


1.  If you require only one shade of fondant, you can add gel paste to the melted marshmallow at the same time you are adding in your flavouring.  Be sure to wear gloves when kneading.  

2.  This fondant does not need to refrigerated after it has rested.  Wrap tightly in saran or a zipseal bag and store it at room temperature, away from direct heat or light.  If you find that it has hardened a bit, you can gently soften it by reheating it in the microwave in 5-8 second intervals. If you see slight fissures or cracks, knead in a small amount of shortening and it will be pliable and smooth once again.  

3.  Chocolate lovers rejoice!  You can add melted chocolate or white chocolate to create chocolate marshmallow fondant (similar to modelling chocolate).  You will achieve the same finished look on your cakes but with a different flavour.  If you do use white chocolate and want to colour it, be sure to use candy colour and NOT regular gel paste or your chocolate will seize.

4.  If you do not want to use your hands or a spatula for that matter, you can use your stand mixer and a dough hook to knead the fondant.  Be sure to grease the mixing bowl and dough hook, before pouring in your melted marshmallow mixture.  

Hope you found this tutorial helpful.  I will attempt to remember to take photos during the colouring process, along with the actual covering of my cake.  If that doesn't happen, don't hold it against me.  I've got a hundred or so cupcakes to bake along with a couple of cakes this weekend, so photo ops won't always happen.  I'll be lucky if I have time to sit down and eat!

Happy Baking!
* I am not sure the origins of who created this recipe as it has been circulating on blogs and forums for years, but the recipe I use is pretty identical to this baker, so credit will go to her. Thanks Rhonda!

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