Monday, July 20, 2009

Fun with Fondant!

So I was chatting with my friend Ellen one day and when asked what she was up to, she replied very nonchalantly that she was about to cover a cake with fondant and couldn't decide on a design. Super surprised and awestruck at her awesome cake decorating skills, I proceeded to interrogate her, like any avid baker would. I had always been curious about fondant and had wanted to try it for a long time, but was way too scared. It always seemed like such a difficult and daunting task to take on and I kept putting it off, being like, "I'll try it some day when I've refined my baking/cooking skills... or maybe I'll take a class." I never dared to just try it out one day without and kind of education. I mean, this isn't like.. baking brownies or anything, where anyone can just read some instructions and do it, right?!

After patiently answering all my questions about fondant, Ellen directed me to a "Marshmallow Fondant" recipe (the first I had heard of such a thing) and promised me that it was totally easy to work with. Armed with my new-found confidence, I enlisted the help of Jerrilyn (pastry school friend), unwilling to embark on this difficult mission alone. I figured that if anyone could help me, its Jerr~! She had never worked with it either, so we were both equally as excited for this adventure!

I baked some yummy lemon cupcakes in advance. (I was in a hurry, so I used a lemon cake mix, but the above link is a great lemon cupcake recipe that I've been meaning to try)

We set up a cool little station around my nonstick pastry mat, complete with cookie cutters and food coloring!

Jerr, being the pastry queen, brought her giant collection of cookie cutters....

...and her fancy set of gum paste tools! Aren't they fabulous?! They have different little ends, each one serving a different sculpting purpose! I knew Jerr would be the perfect partner in crime!

The recipe called for melted marshmallow and powdered sugar. Seems simple enough... until it started sticking everywhere! My super duper, state of the art stainless steel spatulas weren't even working anymore! I started to get a little bit panic-y, wondering how I was going to get the melted marshmallow off of my pyrex mixing bowl!

Ok so, it wasn't so bad once we got enough powdered sugar into the melted marshmallow mix, and it started to take form. Once it was thick enough, we transferred it from the bowl to the pastry mat in order to kneed it. It took quite a bit more powdered sugar and kneading before it became completely pliable and held a good solid form...

...and that's when we started coloring them! We chose pretty pastel shades. Now we're ready to go!

We first rolled out little circular pieces of fondant to cover the tops of the cupcakes with.

We also covered some with flower shapes.

Then, after covering the cupcakes, we began to add designs! The fun and creative part of it! We cut out strips and different fun shapes with Jerr's mini cookie cutters.

We made a bit of a mess!

Drum-roll, please!

Ta-DA! Here is the final product! We were SO proud of ourselves! Not only was the fondant easy to work with, it was suuuuuper fun! We had a great time coming up with new creative ideas!

The different sized flower cookie cutters allowed us to make layers on the cupcakes, which turned out beautifully! In order to get the flowers and layers to stick, we brushed on a thin layer of water. Super easy!

Lessons Learned:

1. Fondant is SUPER easy to work with! I love it! I'm going to cover all my cakes in fondant now. If you're like me and are hesitant to try it out, I would say go for it! If I can do it, anyone can.

2. I thought the fondant would be nasty tasting, but it wasn't! It gave it a really nice, light sweetness to it. It was perfect with the lemon cakes. My entire family went crazy for them and actually preferred the light sweetness over the usual super-sweet butter cream icing, which can sometimes be overpowering. You can also add what Jerr calls a "dirty icing" layer to it. Meaning, cover your cake/cupcakes with a layer of butter cream before adding on the fondant.

3. Clean-up was actually super easy. The seemingly stubbornly sticky marshmellow goo came off of every thing easily with hot soapy water! No elbow grease needed!

Thank you, Ellen, for giving me the confidence to finally try it out! And thank you, Jerr, for embarking on this awesome adventure with me! I couldn't have done with without either of you lovely ladies!


  1. JUDY they look absolutely amazing!! I am so glad that you love the fondant as much as I do! Isn't it so much easier and more fun than you thought it'd be? I agree that the marshmallow fondant has a nice light sweetness to it, which some people prefer over the super sugary buttercream. Oh, and I totally do the "dirty icing" layer too. :) Looking forward to seeing future fondant posts from you!!

  2. Cute cupcakes Judy! And I'm so happy to see that you started blogging! :)

  3. hehe, I'm a skeptic of the marshmallow icing. But pretty regardless.

  4. Judy, yum-o! I'm going to have to try this soon.

  5. Nick sent me the link to your blog! I love it. I don't cook much, but I love to bake! I'm going to try the fondant tonight or tomorrow for some birthday cupcakes! I've only ever used the store bought version, but it seems so easy!

  6. Here's a tip for the fondant: Flour your surface frequently with powdered sugar, especially when you're rolling it out. Try to use a non-stick surface like a pastry mat. It'll make your life easier. =) And don't worry about the powdered sugar spotting your colored fondant, it'll brush right off! If you use a dirty icing layer underneath the fondant, make sure you chill the cupcakes in the fridge for a couple of hours before laying on the fondant.

  7. these are really really ridiculously good looking

  8. Hi,

    I ever tried marshmallow fondant but I panic when it gets super sticky. I threw it away in the end!
    Do u mind sharing this recipe, since it works for you. I already threw away my previous recipe. Tks.


  9. Lalaland,

    There is a link to the recipe in this blog entry. It's highlighted in blue text and says "Marshmallow Fondant recipe." If you click on it, it'll take you to the recipe.

    However, take note that marshmallows are sticky by nature. And making marshmallow fondant will always have a sticky phase. If you read the blog entry, you can see that I complained about it too. But you just have to be patient. Once you have worked enough powdered sugar into the mixture, it will no longer be sticky.


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