Sunday, July 14, 2013

How to Make Marshmallow Fondant

Fondant is a sugar mixture that is kind of like edible playdough. It is available for purchase in stores, but unless you get the more expensive brand(s), it often doesn't taste very good. So, when creating cakes of art, I like to make my own fondant. But first, I had to do a little research on the subject. Being a "hands on" learner, I really needed to see it done and then try it myself; so, I looked towards Youtube videos for guidance. Click here for one of the best and most watched videos I've found. Now that I have made fondant many a time, I don't do things exactly like the video, but it's a good start if you've never made it before. Here is how I make fondant:


16 oz bag of mini marshmallows
2 lb bag of powdered sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
Large microwavable bowl
Spoon or spatula (silicon is best)

I personally use Kraft brand mini marshmallows. I have tried other brands, and they simply don't taste as good when used to make fondant. Powdered sugar can have the same result as well, but Great Value brand at Wal-Mart seems to taste just fine, so I most often use that brand. The almond extract is optional, but it does add a great flavor to the fondant.

Instructions and Tips

First, spread out a pastry mat and/or clean off a good work surface (kitchen counter top, table top, etc.) for this project. Everything involved in this process will need to be greased in order to prevent the melted, sticky marshmallow from creating a big mess. Liberally apply shortening to the work surface, bowl and spatula.

Next, cut off the very top of the bag of powdered sugar, then gently and slowly pour the sugar onto the center of the work surface, creating a "mound".

Use your fingers to create a well in the center of the sugar, leaving a thin layer of sugar at the bottom/center of the well. You will want the well to be wide and somewhat deep to hold all of the melted marshmallows.

Open the bag and pour the marshmallows into the greased bowl. Add the water and almond extract (if desired). Use the greased spatula to gently toss/stir the marshmallows a little bit.

Microwave the marshmallows on High for 30 seconds, then remove the bowl and stir the marshmallows with the greased spatula. Repeat this step until the marshmallows are completely melted upon stirring. I say "upon stirring" because when you take the marshmallows out of the microwave, even though they are done, they might still look "formed". However, when you stir them, and they are done, you will see that they turn into melted marshmallow. It typically takes me three 30 second intervals for this, totaling 90 seconds; however, your microwave could be different, so just pay attention to when they are melted after stirring. Also, take note that the marshmallows in the video (for which I provided a link above) are very "clumped" and sticky looking. I do not microwave my marshmallows that long. I've found that it works best when the marshmallows are more like pancake batter.

Next, you'll want to liberally apply shortening to your hands and wrists. It's still possible to make fondant if you get the sticky mess all over your hands, but much more difficult to get everything mixed together without making a big mess; so, just make sure your hands are very greasy. You can do this step before or after you pour the marshmallow into the sugar well. Until you get the hang of how big your sugar well needs to be, it is a good idea to grease your hands before pouring the marshmallow into the well just in case the well isn't big enough and the marshmallow starts to run over the edges. In that instance, if your hands are already greased, you can work faster before the marshmallow makes too big of a mess.

Slowly pour the marshmallow into the sugar well, scraping any excess out of the bowl with the greased spatula.

Then, use your hands to repeatedly and quickly pull the sugar (from the outside) over the top of the marshmallow, working the sugar into the marshmallow. Repeat this on all sides of the melted marshmallow and work as quickly as possible, because once you "break" the sides of the well, the marshmallow will start to run everywhere.

Once the marshmallow and sugar are somewhat mixed together, knead the mixture (like you would knead dough) until the mixture no longer feels incredibly sticky. The longer you knead, the more it tends to get tough because the fondant starts to cool down. I feel like my fondant is easier to work with while semi warm, so I only knead until it no longer feels sticky.

And, you're done! You now have fondant to color, mold, and make your cake of art!

Feel free to ask questions and/or give other tips!

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  1. Thanks for the tutorial, Stella! I may need this (again!)!

  2. I've been working on my baking skills (they need it bad) and this is a wonderful help. Thank you so much.

    1. Glad it can help you Lexie! If you try it and still have problems, give me a shout and I'll see if I can help. Thanks for dropping by!