Last week was my daughter Madison’s birthday party, and as we have done for previous birthdays, we decided to bake a kid-concept cake. A kid-concept cake is when the kids draw a picture of their dream birthday cake, and we work together as a team and bake that vision into a reality. This tradition has become a fun way to teach my kids about the power of visualizing goals and hard work. For me, this project was an opportunity to have some quality time together as a family, while honing my skills with marshmallow fondant.
For those of you who have never worked with fondant because it seems too advanced, you’ve been fooled. Fondant icing isn’t nearly as sophisticated as it may look. Fondant is made of a bag and a half of marshmallows, a bag of powdered sugar, and a couple of tablespoons of water. Nothing to fear, right?! If you think about it, s’mores have more sophisticated ingredients than fondant, and no one ever avoided making s’mores because they were too advanced.
The key to mastering fondant icing that you have the right recipe, and you follow the five tips we have listed, below. We’ve learned how to work with fondant by making plenty of mistakes, so fortunately with our recipe and these tips, you won’t have to!
Our fondant kid-concept birthday cakes are a great family tradition, but our blog isn’t about us, it’s about inspiring you. If you unlock your skills at making fondant cakes, you can have spectacular birthday cake traditions in your own family. And if fondant isn’t your thing, we will be posting some great s’mores recipes for you to enjoy this fall!
Go forth and fondant, friends!
Our best marshmallow fondant recipe.
- 1 1/2 10 oz. bags mini marshmallows
- 1 2 lb bag powdered (confectioner's) sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup shortening (just to keep hands from sticking to fondant)
Place bowl of marshmallows in microwave, and heat for 30 seconds. Once done, stir and heat for an additional 30 seconds until marshmallows are melted.
Sift powdered sugar and spread about a cup on your counter to prevent fondant from sticking.
Pour half of your powered sugar on top of your bowl of melted marshmallows (leaving some powdered sugar remaining for the kneading process).
Dump the bowl of melted marshmallows and sugar upside down on your counter. This is messy, but that is normal!
WARNING: THE MARSHMALLOW/POWDERED SUGAR MIXTURE IS VERY HOT AT THIS POINT. BE CAREFUL AND DO NOT ALLOW CHILDREN TO KNEAD UNTIL COMPLETELY COOL.
Put a small amount of shortening on your hands and begin to knead the marshmallow/powdered sugar mixture on your counter. You may think it will never come together, but it will!
Continue kneading. If the fondant is too soft, add powdered sugar and let cool in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Add food coloring at this stage. Twist and knead, until combined.
Knead until you have a smooth ball of fondant. You will get a good arm work out!
With your surface still covered in powdered sugar, and your hands covered with a bit of shortening, roll ball of fondant out on the counter until you have a large flat circle of fondant about 1/4 of an inch thick.
Make sure your cake is covered in frosting (i.e. buttercream or cream cheese to keep the fondant secured to cake), and drape your rolled out fondant over your cake.
To get the sides of your cake nice and smooth, slowly push down on the fondant. As you push your hands down, it will adhere to the sides of your cake all the way around. Trim the excess on the bottom, and voila!
TOP FIVE TRICKS FOR PERFECT FONDANT:
- Use the best recipe (our favorite:
- Keep the kitchen cold and dry. Fondant won’t work well if the room gets humid.
- Sift confectioner’s sugar prior to mixing into marshmallows to avoid bumps in your fondant.
- Use shortening only for your hands and try to avoid getting too much into the fondant, itself. This will prevent your fondant from looking greasy.
- Store finished cake in a cardboard box and keep fondant cake out of the fridge/freezer to avoid excess condensation and sweating. Fondant looks best when it’s dry and smooth.