How to Make Fondant

Give your desserts a professional touch with this fancy sugary topping.

Fondant is an elastic sugar mixture that can be colored, rolled, molded, stretched, and cut to make any shape or design you can imagine. Think of it like a baker's play dough. You can buy premade fondant, but the homemade version is relatively simple and can be custom-colored or -flavored to fit your needs. 

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1 Gather the Ingredients

All you need is some mini marshmallows, confectioners’ sugar and food coloring. 


2 Melt the Marshmallows

Begin by placing 4 cups (8 oz.) of mini marshmallows in a large bowl, along with 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave them on high for 1 minute. After 1 minute the marshmallows may look the same, but stir them and you’ll notice they are molten. Stir until the entire bowl is a smooth, even consistency. If the marshmallows don't completely melt after stirring, return them to the microwave for an additional 30 seconds..

If you want to make one color of fondant, you can add some food coloring at this point. If you want to make multiple colors from one batch, the finished fondant can be divided and made into multiple colors. Flavor extracts, like vanilla or lemon, can also be stirred into the melted marshmallows at this point.

3 Add the Powdered Sugar

Begin to stir powdered sugar into the melted marshmallows, 1 cup at a time, until it becomes too thick to stir with a spatula.

4 Move from Stirring to Kneading

When the mixture becomes too thick to stir, liberally dust your work surface and your hands with powdered sugar. Turn the fondant mixture out onto the work surface and begin to knead in more powdered sugar. 

Keep the work surface liberally dusted with powdered sugar the entire time you are kneading to prevent the fondant from sticking.

5 Keep Kneading

Continue kneading in more powdered sugar until the fondant has the texture of saltwater taffy and doesn’t stick to your work surface. You'll use approximately 4 cups, or 1 pound, of powdered sugar in total.

At this point the fondant is finished and ready to use. 

If you don’t need to use the fondant immediately, shape it into a ball, coat it lightly with shortening, and then store in an airtight container or zip-top bag. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 months.

6 Add Color

To color your fondant, flatten it into a disk and add a few drops of food coloring. Knead the fondant until the color is completely worked in. 

It's a good idea to knead on a protective surface, like a cutting board, to avoid staining your countertop.

7 Mold Into Shapes

Your fondant can be molded and sculpted like clay, or rolled into thin sheets and draped over cakes and cupcakes for a smooth, icing-like finish. 


8 Make Designs

Try using cookie cutters or a sharp paring knife to cut designs and shapes into the rolled fondant. To make fondant stick to itself, simply dab a drop of water between the two pieces.

Find more helpful how-tos here »

Plus: Get a full recipe for marshmallow fondant » 

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About Budget Bytes

Beth from Budget Bytes is a food lover and a number cruncher who dishes up  healthy recipes on her blog that won't put a huge dent in your wallet. She is the author of the cookbook, Budget Bytes: Over 100 Easy Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half, and she also works as a microbiologist in a hospital laboratory. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.