Monday, July 19, 2010

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe

Sometimes I like to vicariously eat through television. Since I am a dessert person and cake decorating shows are really popular right now [Ace of Cakes or Cake Boss??], I am usually vicariously very full.

All the professionals use fondant to give their cakes a smooth finish. Fondant is, at its most basic, a white sugar dough with no flavor. I remember trying fondant for the first time on a wedding cake and thinking it was disgusting. It can be pretty gross when it has no added flavor. But it does look beautiful when it's rolled smooth or stamped with a texture and brushed with an edible powder. You can paint it, dye it, mold it, roll it. It's very versatile.

I know that you can buy premade fondant at Michaels or specialty baking stores, but there's something very unappealing to me about buying a shelf-stable fondant with ingredients I can't pronounce. So I had always wanted to try making it, but every recipe I found involved boiling sugar on the stove and candy thermometers. Although I do like making candy, for fondant it didn't seem worth it. Then I found this recipe for marshmallow fondant.

It's an amazingly simple recipe that produces a fondant that looks exactly like the real deal. Best of all, you can put vanilla in it and it tastes like a chewy vanilla marshmallow candy. That way it can actually be an enjoyable part of the cake instead of just a decoration. It does get messy, but it isn't hard to make at all. I used it to make the buttons and needles on these sewing-themed cupcakes.

The recipe below is essentially a repeat of the linked one above, but I wanted to detail it here too with my own findings from my experience of making it. In a post very soon I'll go through actually using it for decoration.

[UPDATE: For a fun fondant decorating tutorial, check out my how-to post for Pot o'Gold St. Patrick's Day cupcakes.]

The only special thing you need is gel food coloring if you want to dye it. You can get that in the baking aisle at Michaels. I supposed you could try liquid food colors, but you will only be able to achieve pastel colors because the liquid colors aren't as concentrated as the gels.

Marshmallow Fondant
16 oz bag mini marshmallows
2 lb bag powdered sugar
2 tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla extract or other desired flavor
[haven't tried it but almond or lemon would probably be good, depending on the cake flavor]

1. In large bowl, combine marshmallows and water. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until marshmallows are just melted. I only needed 3 intervals before they were melted.

2. Add vanilla and stir. Add 3/4 of powdered sugar. Crisco a large spoon and stir the powdered sugar into the marshmallows as best as you can.

3. WARNING: The next part gets a little messy. Liberally rub Crisco on your hands and a large cutting board or your counter. [I prefer a cutting board because it's much easier to wash.] Turn the marshmallow mixture out onto the cutting board and start kneading it together. Your hands will be covered in epic stickiness, but just keep kneading.

4. Continue to add the rest of the powdered sugar as you knead. After the dough has come together a bit, scrape off your fingers, wash your hands and re-Crisco them. Continue kneading the rest of the sugar in, or until you have a large ball of stiff dough.

5. At this point you can split the fondant up if you want and dye individual pieces with the food coloring. To do this, glob a little gel color into the fondant with a toothpick and knead it until the color is distributed.

6. If you're not going to use the fondant right away, rub it with Crisco, wrap it in plastic wrap, put it in a ziplock bag and stick it in the fridge. It's best to use it for decoration within a few days.


  1. Brilliant!! I was actually just thinking about this the other day (looking for a good recipe) because I'm totally with you on being freaked out by the pre-made stuff at the craft stores. Not today (I've no Crisco in the house) but maybe this weekend I'll try this. Anything that tastes like Marshmallows is awesome in my book. :)

  2. hi caroline! you could probably use canola or vegetable oil instead. it just needs to be a flavorless fat to act as a barrier and prevent sticking. i haven't tried using oil, but it's probably a viable option if you absolutely can't wait. :]

  3. SUGAR! I need it NOW! Beautiful and mouthwatering pics.

  4. This is a neat looking recipe. I will have to remember it is here if I ever have to make fondant.

  5. This recipe sounds awesome! ive always wanted to make fondant, but candy thermometers are way too complicated. this recipe looks great! I can't wait to try it!

  6. can't wait to try it!

  7. thanks...can't wait to try projects ahead!

  8. Could I add CH. Chip to make chocolate fondant?

  9. So you can use chocolate chips as long as you powder them or crush them finely I just made this and it was so good. I added powdered cooking chocolate

  10. I use fondant in many of the confections I create. This will be a wonderful (tastier)change from the commercial brand I'm using now.


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