What Is Fondant?

Fondant is the edible frosting that covers cakes. It gives a professional finish to a cake and is very versatile. It is often used on wedding cakes, and it is also a popular choice for birthday cakes.

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Start with a bag of white marshmallows (not the flavored or colored ones). Mix until smooth and stir in the powdered sugar. Then knead by hand or use a stand mixer with a dough hook until well combined.

Easy to make

Whether used to cover a cake or shape into decorations, fondant is an attractive and durable icing option. While it can be difficult to work with, the end result is well worth the effort. To make your own fondant, mix butter, sweetened condensed milk, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract. This will give you fondant that is the consistency of modeling clay, and can be rolled on a work surface dusted generously with confectioners’ sugar to your desired thickness.

You can use gel paste coloring instead of liquid food color to get richer colors. You can also add glycerin and glucose gelatin to this recipe to make the fondant pliable. For more details, read our article on How to Make Fondant.

To begin, sift the icing sugar into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the lukewarm gelatin mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until the fondant starts to come together in a dough form. If using a stand mixer, use a dough hook and the knead setting (a hand mixer is not a good choice).

Once the fondant has reached its ideal consistency, remove it from the mixer and place on a clean work surface that is lightly dusted with icing sugar. Knead until the fondant is smooth and pliable, adding more sugar if needed. If the fondant is a different color, add the color at this stage.

Versatile

Fondant is a versatile cake covering that can be used for many types of decoration. It gives cakes a smooth, shiny appearance and serves as a blank canvas for further embellishment. It also allows bakers to create unique shapes that would be difficult to achieve with buttercream. Fondant is also stronger than buttercream, so it resists melting in extreme temperatures. This makes it a good choice for outdoor weddings. If you’re worried about your fondant melting, try covering it with shortening to reduce its chances of smearing or tearing.

Fondants can be rolled into thin sheets and draped over the top of a cake for a sleek presentation, or sculpted to make three-dimensional decorations. They can be colored with food coloring and flavoring, or made into flowers using molds. Plain fondant can also be molded to create a number or letter for a customized look. When coloring fondant, it’s best to use gel rather than liquid food coloring. Liquid food coloring can alter the consistency of fondant, making it sticky and gloopy.

Unlike traditional European marzipan, fondant is edible and has a light taste. It can be made from sugar, water, and corn syrup, or other ingredients such as gelatin or vegetable oil. The more structured fondant for sculpting contains gelatin, and sometimes a small amount of marshmallows. This icing is commonly seen on baking shows and in wedding cakes. Fondant isn’t the healthiest topping option, however, as it consists of a lot of carbs and sugars. Therefore, it’s best to consume it in moderation.

Sturdy

Fondant dries naturally when exposed to air, but the speed of drying depends on humidity and air temperature. You can help it along a bit by adding gum, such as tragacanth (available under the names tylose powder or carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), to the mix. You can also use a dehydrator to dry your fondant faster, which is especially helpful if you are working with silicone molds.

One way to make fondant dry quicker is by dusting your hands, tools and work surface with cornstarch or powdered sugar. This will keep the fondant from sticking as you work with it. Another option is to use shortening. This can be particularly useful for attaching flat, soft pieces of fondant together (like stripes or a star) on your cake, as it doesn’t leave glue marks behind and will not cause the decorations to become sticky if you need to change or remove them later.

Another way to speed up the drying process is to heat the fondant in a warm oven or a blow dryer. This method radically accelerates the drying process by surrounding the decorations with warm air, expediting the evaporation of water. To do this, place small or thin pieces of fondant in the oven for about eight minutes and larger pieces for about 15 minutes. Be sure to heat the fondant from a few inches away, as too close can scorch it or cause it to stick to the pan.

Easy to decorate

Fondant is used to cover cakes, creating a smooth surface that’s easy to work with. It also comes in a variety of colors, making it versatile for decorating. It’s also easy to roll into sheets for draping over a cake or using to cut out decorations.

To prepare fondant, start by kneading it until it’s soft and pliable. Then, add a little sugar to it, about 1 teaspoon per 24 ounces of fondant. You can also add color or flavor by using a gel food coloring. It’s important to use food-safe gloves when handling the gel coloring, as it can stain your hands.

Then, dust a flat surface with powdered sugar or cornstarch to prevent sticking. Then, use a rolling pin to roll out a thin sheet. You can also use a fondant cutter to create shapes or a pastry brush to apply a crumb coat, which helps to ensure that your cake is covered in a smooth layer of icing.

Another great tool to have is a fondant smoother, which will help you achieve a perfectly smooth surface. It’s worth investing in one, as it will make a world of difference to the appearance of your finished cake.