In the world of custom cakes, the artistic expression has taken on a whole new level of creativity, making a simple dessert a beautiful work of art. There are many intricate details that could be added, from gumpaste flowers, to realistic characters, but we will start with the bones of a custom cake, which is the fondant. Most people purchase fondant ready-made in the baking section of stores, but I will share how you can make fondant from common ingredients you probably have in your pantry.
- 1 package (16 ounces) white mini marshmallows
- 2-5 tablespoons water
- 2 pounds (about 8 cups) sifted powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
- 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
- icing colors (optional)Select product: Icing Colors, 12-Count
- rolling pin
Place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds on high; stir until mixed well. Continue microwaving 30 seconds more; stir again. Continue until melted (about 2 1/2 minutes).Click to mark this step as completed
Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on top of the melted marshmallow mixture. Fold the sugar into marshmallow mixture. Flavoring can be added at this point if desired.Click to mark this step as completed
Place solid vegetable shortening in an easily accessed bowl so you can reach into it with fingers as you are working. Grease hands and counter GENEROUSLY to keep the mixture from sticking to your fingers; turn marshmallow mixture onto counter. Start kneading like you would dough. Continue kneading, adding additional powdered sugar, and re-greasing hands and counter so it doesn’t stick.
Tip: If the marshmallow fondant is tearing easily, it’s too dry; add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time) kneading until it forms a firm, smooth elastic ball that will stretch without tearing, about 8 minutes.
To color (optional): If you need to tint the entire batch, add a little icing color or food coloring to the mixture. For smaller amounts, add icing color to portions as needed.
It’s best to allow your fondant to sit, double-wrapped, overnight. Prepare for storing by coating it with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening, then wrapping it in plastic wrap and placing it in a resealable bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. This recipe will keep well in the refrigerator for several weeks.Click to mark this step as completed
- To prevent sticking when rolling: Prepare your surface with solid vegetable shortening or a dusting pouch filled with equal parts cornstarch and powdered sugar.
- Avoid lint and dirt: Fondant picks up dirt and lint easily. Be sure your hands are clean when handling and avoid wearing fuzzy sweaters during decorating.
How to Store: After decorating, store leftovers carefully. Roll into a ball or log shape, coat with a thin film of white vegetable shortening, then wrap in plastic wrap. Place wrapped fondant in an airtight container.
*Recipe taken from wilton.com
This is a cake I made a few years ago for my mother’s birthday. It was one of my first trial runs with marshmallow fondant, and it turned out pretty well. A few words of advice that I can give concerning making the fondant is that when you are at the kneading stage of the recipe, you want to have the consistency of “stale gum.” Now I know that sounds gross, but anything softer will look like its melting, or pulling off of the cake, and harder will be impossible to stretch and work with. Consistency is very important, so be sure to take your time with the process, adding small amounts of icing sugar at a time.
The other tip is if you’re planning to make your fondant a specific colour, mix your food colouring into the marshmallows right after you take it out of the microwave. That way, you don’t have to worry about the difficulty of working it in when you have the right fondant consistency. It will be a more thorough and solid colour right from the start.
Overall, it is quite the battle to make the cakes you see in pictures or on tv. However, if you start with the basics of fondant, learning how to spread it properly onto a cake, the possibilities could be endless! I started with a spark of curiosity, and ended up making cakes beyond my wildest dreams! Check out my Lisa’s Cakes page on the top of my blog page to see more of my work. You may surprise yourself when you put your skills to the test. Pull out your bag of marshmallows and give it a try today. Happy baking, and happy Thursday everyone!