Tutorial Tuesday: How to make cake fondant for about $

Cake is a big thing right now. It’s all over pop culture with tons of shows and websites. Everyone is talking about cake and cupcakes. People want to do it themselves, but it really does seem intimidating. Especially when you don’t know anything about cake decorating and you go into a craft store or someplace like walmart and you walk down that cake isle and see the things you’d need to buy in order to make a cake with fondant. To cover one 8″ round cake in white store bought fondant would cost around $10. Now, that’s pretty intimidating. If you mess the whole thing up, you’ve just trashed $10 worth of fondant. Not to mention, that stuff tastes like crap.

I’ve got a better plan. I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to make your own marshmallow fondant at home using about $3 worth of ingredients.

What you’ll need:
Fondant making
One bag of mini marshmallows
One lb of powdered sugar
about 1/4th cup shortening
a couple table spoons of water

A large microwave safe bowl
a large plastic spatula or spoon
something to sift your powdered sugar with

Normally, I would use name brand marshmallows, but I wanted to stick with my budget theme and buy the marshmallows and powdered sugar from the dollar store and prove even cheapy products will work fine. But seriously, it’s like $0.50 more for name brand. While this brand works, I have had poor results with other off brand marshmallows.

Moving on…
you’ll want to prepare a surface to work with on your counter.
Spread some shortening on the counter, keeping a bit reserved. This also will help coat your spatula. Then sift some powdered sugar over this area. You really HAVE to sift the sugar. If there are any clumps, they will create a poor texture and make your fondant lumpy and bubbly.
Fondant making Fondant making

Now you’ll want to dump the marshmallows into your bowl. Sprinkle them with a tablespoon or two in water and sort of shake them around. You don’t want them to be wet, just lightly damp. I’m only doing a half batch here. (using half the marshmallows and half the lb of sugar.) You could cover an 8″ cake with a half batch.
Fondant making

Microwave your marshmallows for 30 seconds. At this point they might be ready or they might need another 30 seconds. Stir them and see.
Fondant making
If they are melted enough to mix together, you’re good to go. If they’re still sort of holding their shape, pop them back in for another 30 seconds.
Stir until they’re pretty much uniform goo.
Fondant making

Sift in some powdered sugar and keep stirring. You’re going to need to get the full ratio of one lb of powdered sugar mixed in with one bag of marshmallows. (or half and half)
Fondant making Fondant making

Once it starts to get sort of solid, turn it out onto the counter, on to that surface I had you prepare earlier. Sprinkle more sugar on it.
Fondant making Fondant making

Now get some more of that shortening and rub it on your hands. I know, gross, right? But otherwise this stuff is going to stick all over your skin. Just trust me. Keep sifting the sugar in and work this stuff like clay with your hands.
Fondant making Fondant making

If it seems like it’s starting to get too dry to accept more of the sugar, add a bit more shortening. A little goes a long way. Keep adding the sugar. Once you’ve mixed in all the sugar, your ball of fondant will be squishy, but not sticky. You’ll want to take a tiiiny bit of shortening and rub down the outside of the ball. Then tuck it into a ziplock bag. You can store this fondant at room temperature for about two weeks in an air tight container. If you want to use it right away, it’s best to let it refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes. (Though, in general, I don’t recommend storing it in the fridge, it will make it harden faster.)
Fondant making Fondant making

I know, now you’ve got this big ol’ mess on your counter. Well, in my experience the best thing to do is take a frosting spatula and scrape everything off the counter into a bowl. This is a little easier for me because I use the part of my counter right above my dishwasher. So, I open the dishwasher door when I do this, allowing anything that doesn’t make into the bowl to just fall into the dish washer. *genius*
Fondant making

Alright… I assume now you’d like to know how to cover a cake with the fondant. I guess you’ll have to come back next Tuesday for the next edition of Tutorial Tuesday. I planned on going over the whole thing tonight but this post is already long enough! lol

Hope you all have a great week!
Here’s an adorable photo of my cat Gibson and I:
with Gibs
<3

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Tweets that mention Tutorial Tuesday: How to cover a cake with fondant for about $3 « Tiffany Loves Cake! -- Topsy.com
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    Jan 23, 2011 @ 12:41:48

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  3. Chrissi
    Jan 25, 2011 @ 22:49:07

    Thanks for the informative post-I’ve always wondered how to make this sort of fondant…now to look for your tutorial on how to use it…:)

    Reply

  4. Trackback: Tutorial Tuesday: A Tale of Two Birthday Cakes « Tiffany Loves Cake!
  5. Liga
    Dec 09, 2011 @ 03:08:20

    Cool. I need this recipe today- I got an order for a bayblade birthday cake :) Thanks, I love the site!! I do need to color the stuff, but I will check out your next tutorial to see if that covers coloring. Visit me at http://pefecttorte.blogspot.com!

    Reply

    • gemcitytiffany
      Dec 09, 2011 @ 08:44:55

      I add the color to the melted marshmallows before adding the sugar. If you’re doing red, you will need a LOT. You might want to try starting with the pink tinted Christmas marshmallows out right now.
      Also, liquid food dye won’t cut it. You have to use the gel or you’ll never truly achieve red.

      Reply

      • Liga
        Dec 10, 2011 @ 10:23:50

        any advice on smoothing creases? I had a horrible time trying to smoothe and repair cracks and creases. Smoothing with dry or wet or shortening covered fingers did not work, Thanks! ( I also scored with a fork and tried to smooth- worked domewhat but did not get a smooth finish. Maybe I waited to use the fondant too long? Made it in the afternoon and put it on the cake at 10pm?

        Reply

        • gemcitytiffany
          Dec 10, 2011 @ 10:35:10

          Hmm if your fondant is cracking, it may be rolled too thin or too thick.
          Also, the smoothing is an art that can often take time and practice to learn.
          Using a pizza cutter at the bottom helps because it glides. My other suggestion is to set the cake up on top of something like the shortening bucket on it’s board, sometimes it’s easier to work with on a higher level for some reason.
          I usually make my fondant the night before I use it so I don’t think it’s the timing.
          If the fondant seems too hard or crumbly, microwave it for literally like 5 seconds and try to re-knead it. If it is too soft or too wet and is tearing because of that, add more powdered sugar.

          Hope any of this helps!

          Reply

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