DIY fondant

fondant ingredients

i don't use a lot of fondant in my kitchen, and i was always under the assumption that it was difficult to make--that's why everyone buys it to use for their cake decorations and confections. i used storebought fondant in some previous efforts, but it was always a somewhat annoying experience, because i never knew if i was going to find it locally, and i would have to buy a big, costly package, yet only use half the contents, leaving the rest to dry out before the next project arose. so, when this petit fours project came up, i really made an effort to find an alternative, which i did, thankfully; a very, very simple recipe that doesn't involve corn syrup, candy thermometers, loads of money, nor time. all you need is a package of marshmallows, a lot of powdered sugar, and a liberal glop of vegetable shortening. the recipe with step-by-step instructions is here, along with a lot of other questions answered and some lovely photos.

making marshmallow fondant

it's basically this: melt marshmallows with a little water in microwave. add powdered sugar. mix with liberally greased implement (spatula, spoons, hands), until smooth and pliable. fondant! not only is it cheaper than the prepackaged variety, it's also much tastier. you can keep it in your fridge for weeks, although you might be tempted to play with it instead of keeping it for a special project.

i have some ideas in mind, but i don't think i'll ever get as fancy as my friend veronica gets (albeit, she makes her fabulous cake creations for a living). she made this great tokidoki/le sportsac-inspired cake for my birthday, isn't it fab-yoo-luss?

tokidoki cake

the figurine is made with coloured fondant and a zillion toothpicks, whilst the cake itself is wrapped in rolled fondant (the hearts and crossbones were made with piped royal icing). her harry potter-inspired mandrake cake featured a sculpted fondant root embedded in milk chocolate, on top of a base of devil's food cake and cake crumbs.

mandrake cake 2

way cool. and now equipped with a cheap and tasty fondant recipe, you too can try your hand at such decorating wizardry.


Wow those cakes look amazing, especially the harry potter inspired one! Will give home made fondant a try next time I need some. Have always shop bought it in the past and have never used it all before it went hard and had to be thrown away. Thanks for sharing.

I love the mandrake cake! Were the leaves edible?

hi katie, it's so not worth buying the store-bought stuff once you try this. much easier!

mila, the leaves were not edible, unfortunately. still, the cake in the pot was excellent, and the milk chocolate base was out of this world. the mandrake root and leaves are preserved in a jar at work :)

I've never used rolled fondant before, but have used Wilton's gum paste (just add water) - nasty stuff. I'm glad to learn of this recipe for the next time. I'm curious though - you mention your aversion to corn syrup - isn't corn syrup the number one ingredient in store-bought marshmallows? (I know it is for Campfire brand, but maybe others are different?)

hi cathy! i don't like corn syrup for a bunch of reasons but the main reasons i don't like cooking with it are 1) most of the recipes i'm interested in really don't need it even though it's on the ingredient list, and 2) it's like the pre-packaged fondant: i end up buying a large bottle, use two teaspoonfuls then don't need it again for another six years, in which time the product has become unidentifiable as corn syrup, roaches have eaten the discoloured label off the bottle, and i can't open it anyway because the residue has melded it both to my shelf and the bottle shut.

also, i don't actually eat a lot of fondant. just play with it :)

I'm not a big fan of fondant either but I really want to try the thing just for the experience :) thanks for sharing the link :D

oh, I hate fondant, but maybe this will change my mind. I have a lead on allergy-a-ok marshmallows ...

Wow beautful? Where's the Totoros? (wink) The mandrake cake is so cool. Did you see the movie Pan's Labyrinth? It had an animated mandrake in it.

anne, i don't think i would ever make fondant without having a specific project in mind, but it is quite easy. so maybe if you make some, you'll think of a project :)

michelle, ah, dearie, what is it in regular marshmallows that causes an allergic reaction?

acornbud, i haven't seen pan's labyrinth yet--the advert scared the bejeebies out of me for some reason so i've been avoiding it. i was actually thinking it's time to do catbus....

santos i love doing this kind of thing if time allows like you to play around.
anyway i love the colour of the bag...

sha, i'm sure you are amazing at it, i'd love to see what you can do with fondant!

WOW these are amazing, and so creative! Is it hard to roll out the fondant on the cake? I've never tried, but have always wanted to ...

Very cute. Thanks for tip on making your own fondant. I have stale marshmallows and I now can use them!

Can you give me the ingredient measurements? Is it a whole bag of marshmallows, a cup of water etc? I am making a cake and this sounds like a wonderful alternative to fondant!!

hi spilly, the link to the recipe is in the post, or you can access it here. it's actually not an alternative to fondant, it is fondant! :)