Alright, here’s the deal with fondant: if you’ve tasted it before you know, it doesn’t taste that great.  This is definitely a case where it’s more about appearances than flavor.  Most of the time I’m not willing to make that sacrifice and consequently, I don’t use fondant very frequently.  However, it can be a wonderful tool for making some very creative desserts, whether you use it for a full cake covering or just to add decorative accents.  While it certainly isn’t something I’ll ever crave, homemade fondant does taste significantly better than the store-bought variety.  If you still really don’t like it, you can easily peel it right off and enjoy the cake and frosting underneath.

I know many people are intimidated by fondant.  It looks so professional that you think you can’t do it.  I’m here to tell you, if you can play with play-doh, you can work with fondant.  If you’re going to make the effort to decorate with fondant, go ahead and make your own.  It only takes about 10-15 minutes to prepare…really!  Many, many readers have been requesting this recipe so I hope you find it useful.

I did a post a long time ago about how to work with fondant and not much has changed in my general technique, so I’ll just refer you there for the basics.  One additional method I have picked up is thanks to the retro Apple logo groom’s cake I did for a reader’s wedding. (Isn’t it such a fun cake?!)  To ensure the appropriate sizing of the different fondant pieces in relation to each other, I traced out a template, taped it to the counter, and covered it with lightly greased wax paper.  Then I laid each color of fondant over the template and cut out the corresponding piece.  Easy peasy!  The sky is the limit with fondant designs.  I highly recommend getting those creative juices flowing and seeing what you can do with it.  It is such fun!

Update: I’ve had a few questions about how I get the deep colors of fondant.  First, patience is important.  Second, use Americolor gels.  They are hugely better than that other widely available brand that typically give far less vibrant results.  I also added one more fondant cake I did last year.  How could I forget this one?!

*The cakes pictured above are:
A three-tiered red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting for a wedding
A triple chocolate groom’s cake for a wedding
Sesame Street cake and cupcakes for my son’s third birthday
A two-tiered cake (yellow cake with chocolate fudge filling and cinnamon swirl with cinnamon cream cheese filling) covered in vanilla buttercream with fondant accents for a first birthday party
A two-tiered cake (red velvet with cream cheese frosting and lemon cake with raspberry filling) decorated for a space-themed first birthday party


Shortening, for greasing dishes and utensils
15 oz. miniature marshmallows
2 tbsp. water
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. clear vanilla extract
½ tsp. lemon or almond extract
½ tsp. salt
7-8 cups confectioners’ sugar


  • 01

    Grease the inside of a microwave-safe bowl and stand mixer bowl with a thin but thorough layer of shortening.  Also grease a silicone spatula or two, as well as the hook attachment for the mixer.

  • 02

    In the microwave safe bowl, combine the marshmallows and water.  Microwave the mixture in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the mixture is melted and somewhat soupy.  When the mixture is melted, remove from the microwave and stir in the lemon juice, corn syrup, extracts, and salt.

  • 03

    Place about 6 cups of confectioners’ sugar in the stand mixer bowl and form a well in the center.  Pour the marshmallow mixture into the well and knead on low speed with the dough hook until the sugar is mostly incorporated.  When the mixture begins to stick to the bowl, add an additional 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and continue kneading.

  • 04

    At this point additional sugar may or may not be needed.  (Consistency will vary due to environmental humidity and how light or heavy you scoop your sugar.)  The final consistency of the fondant should be totally smooth, but quite thick, similar to modeling clay.*  If the mixture becomes too much for the stand mixer, transfer the fondant to a greased work surface and continue to knead with greased hands until the desired consistency is achieved.

    *I personally think it is useful to work with store-bought fondant at least once, mainly so you know the consistency you are aiming for. 

  • 05

    Form the fondant into a smooth ball, coat lightly with shortening, and wrap tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap.  Place in an airtight bag, press out all excess air, and seal.  Let rest at least 3-4 hours or overnight before using.**

    **I know you’ll want to know how long this lasts.  I don’t have an exact answer but I can tell you that I typically make fondant about 4-7 days before I plan to use it (for the sake of breaking up an involved cake) and it is always fine when I use it. 


  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Annie this is beautiful! I need to make my own fondant! It’s a must!

  • Anonymous

    This is definitely something I want to tackle in the future when I’m less intimated in the kitchen by challenging baked goods! *laughing*

  • Dana Christoher

    Wow, your cakes look beautiful! I agree that the marshmallow fondant is way better than store-bought. Thanks for the informative post! The recipe I use is slightly different, but I’ll be trying yours next time.

  • Jessen

    Impressive! Wish I had the patience and skill to bake. . .

  • Your cakes look amazing! I’m going to revisit the “how to work with fondant” post then give it a try. Thanks for taking the mystery out of fondant making!

  • I think that Apple cake has spurred my interest in trying my hand at fondant for the Mister’s birthday. Leave it to DIY queen to post a great recipe. Love it!

  • OMG… that cake is beautiful! I wish you could deliver to MN, I would hire you over my local bakery ANY day. Your work is just amazing.

  • OMG… that cake is SO beautiful. I wish you delivered to MN! Your work is absolutely stunning!

  • Those cakes look amazing, as usual! I’m planning a bridal shower (the first event of that sort that I’ve ever had the occasion to throw) and would love to use fondant to decorate a small cake. This recipe sounds delicious, and you posted it just in time. I’m a big fan of Play Doh so hopefully working with fondant will be a fun challenge.

  • Pat1645

    What beautiful things you have done with your fondant. I have a friend who makes incredible cakes also, she recommends the marshmallow fondant also. I will have to see how your recipes differ. Your directions are very clear and easy to understand, I think I will try this for my grand daughters birthday. Love reading your blog.

  • Mandy

    Can you freeze it? I am just starting to dabble in fondant cakes, and a the friend who taught me buys a bunch of the Wilton Fondant, and just keeps it in the freezer until the day before she needs it. I’m wondering if I could do the same…
    Thanks for posting this! I was actually going to search the internet later today for a marshmallow fondant recipe!

  • Tanniedatwyler

    How do you get the colors so bright?? My “red” is always pink….

  • Browniebaby95

    Very beautiful! Do you move the cake onto the board or do you decorated it on that board. And, what cake board is that, like where did you get it? It looks nice and big which is what i need. Thank you!

  • Roxana GreenGirl

    i’m always amazed how beautiful fondant covered cakes look!
    yours are stunning Annie!

  • Anonymous

    If you’re referring to the board under the Apple cake, I just cut out a piece of cardboard that was the size I needed and covered it with foil. I did decorate the cake directly on the board.

  • Anonymous

    Americolor gels. They are amazing!

  • Liz

    Thank you for the recipe Annie, it looks great. I am wondering what brand of food coloring you use, and if you have ever had any problems with the fondant changing consistency or not being able to get the color dark enough when you add it. Also, at what step do you add the food coloring? It looks like from the above pictures you have been successful and your cakes are amazing! I am doing a sesame street themed birthday party for my daughter’s 3rd birthday in a few months and want to make a red Elmo cake. ( Ironically enough we did a Dr Suess theme for her 2nd birthday party, ha! Can’t wait to see what theme we choose next year :))

  • Jackie

    I also use a DIY fondant…but my recipe is a little different. I’m going to try yours next; your recipes haven’t failed me yet :) It really is easy to work with, just takes time. The cakes I have under my belt so far are Curious George, Mickey Mouse, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, and an Under the Sea theme. My favorite so far have been the cupcakes I made to go with the Under the Sea theme!

    Thanks for all your posts, I love checking them out!

  • you have perfect timing! I’m planning my son’s 1st birthday party and want to make fondant decorations for a cream cheese frosting covered cake. Can you put such a finished cake in the fridge or will it ruin the fondant? I’ve heard that fondant can get condensation on it if refrigerated.

  • Anonymous

    I have heard that too, but I always refrigerate my fondant cakes and have never had a problem with that.

  • Holly Brill

    This looks like a much better (and easier) marshmallow fondant recipe than I’ve used in the past. I’m looking forward to trying yours out! BEAUTIFUL work!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t really know why you would need to freeze it, particularly the Wilton kind since it is shelf stable and lasts for probably years. It keeps fine at room temperature but the only issue is the potential for drying out.

  • Your cakes are so beautiful! I’ve always wanted to try making my own fondant but wasn’t really sure how easy it would be. Will have to give this a try when I have time! :)

  • Anonymous

    Hi Liz,
    I updated the post to include the type of coloring I use. I haven’t had any problems with it changing consistency. Please refer to the original post (linked above) for tips on when to add the color. I hope that helps!

  • Payal

    I never ever thought I would work with fondant…but thanks to you… I tried it for my son’s birthday space cake and it was suprisingly easy to make (I even did it without a stand mixer). The only hard part getting the right color (I’ll definitely have to order some Ameri-colors for next time) and then getting the smooth finish on the cake. Do you have any suggestions for draping the fondant over the cake without forming any creases?

  • They all look amazing! I’m so impressed, could make a cake for me? :)

    Another idea I had is to use sugar cookie dough to decorate with (without eggs) – you can color it and roll it out and make fun decorations. The lines aren’t quite as pretty as with fondant, but it’s much tastier!

    I did the animals on this cake with it :)

  • LollysSweetTreats

    I’ve made this fondant before and I love it! Thanks for the tips :) Your cakes are so beautiful.

  • Claire

    Thank you for sharing this! All of the cakes look so happy. :) I am sure you must have so many fun ideas in mind for your sweet baby girl’s birthday cake!

  • I really love that apple cake, Annie! And the space cake might be my favorite one that you’ve ever done!

  • Amy

    That space cake is amazing!!! Do you remember which Americolor gel you used for the deep blue? Was it Royal with something else mixed in, or did you use Navy? Did you put something like pearl dust on it?
    Oh, and three of my children were in the room when I looked at this earlier. My oldest daughter now wants the penguin cake, my son wants the space cake for his party next week (hence my questions!) and my 2 year old wanted to see the cookie monster cupcakes again and again throughout the day. (Even at bedtime, to say “good-night!”)

  • Anonymous

    I just mixed in a few different colors to get it to that shade. I believe royal blue, purple, and black, but I’m not 100% certain. It’s been almost a year since I made that one. I only put pearl dust under the little star clusters to mimic galaxies. You can’t see that detail so well in this pic.

  • You are a regular professional, no doubt about it! Your cakes are GORGEOUS and I know they taste amazing too :) You have very lucky readers that live so close to you! I wish I could order a cake too. Could you deliver it to San Diego!? ;)

  • Cookies4kids

    Your site is the favorite of my sister and myself who are both avid bakers and cooks. I do most of your recipes for the handicapped children out at Camp Friendshp. Your fondant recipe is the one I always use and it never fails me. Thanks for all the great posts. If we do one of your recipes, we report to the other one on how we liked it. Gives us something to look forward to each week.

  • Mallory

    have you ever tried rolled buttercream? it is more delicate than regular fondant, but if you can get it right it looks the same, and tastes WAY better. i took a cake decorating class a couple years ago and we did not do fondant, but we did rolled buttercream. the only downside is you have to coat your hands in corn starch, and the texture of that is AWFUL.

  • Belladonnas

    You are so inspiring! Your directions for making this homemade fondant and the “how to work with fondant” tutorial are so clear and super easy to follow. I’m making a Valentine’s cake now for my husband – no excuses! Love your bread recipes too. Thanks for the fun…

  • Jen

    What a great post!! I’ve never tried making my own cause I don’t like the way store bought tastes – makes sense that homemade would be better…

  • very impressive! love the apple fondant.

  • sweetsugarbelle

    Fondant scares the bejesus out of me!!! You’re a braver woman than I am!

  • lynna

    I used your first fondant post as inspiration for my daughter’s 18th birthday cupcakes…she picked much different colors, but I drew my own little owls and birds. They turned out great and have led to many, many, many more cupcakes for me! Thanks for the nudge in the right direction.

  • Amy

    I am so excited to make this. I have a question- the recipe says it makes 3 lbs. Can you say how large of a cake that covers? For instance, for an 8inch layer cake with simple cut out accents and a border, how many batches might one typically need?

  • Amy

    Thank you! One more question- what is the flag made of? I think the moon with the flag made of? I remember making a castle cake and trying to put flags on it, and it was a disaster! Do you know how you made it?

  • Anonymous

    It’s a toothpick and paper (not edible).

  • Anonymous

    Payal, I don’t have any special suggestions other than just being very, very careful. I typically lay it flat over the top with the excess draped around the sides. Then I press down on the sides, working from the top down, until it is flat all the way around. It seems kind of magical how it is eventually totally smooth. I wish I had better advice for you!

  • Amanda E. Garrison

    I love these cakes! I really like the outer space cake. Amazing! I have a question about fondant. Do you know if there is a recipe for fondant without corn syrup? Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    They certainly exist, but I prefer this one. Is there a reason you don’t want to use it?

  • Amanda E. Garrison

    I try to avoid corn syrup for health reasons. Your recipe looks great and I wanted to try it, but I was curious if I could use a substitute for the corn syrup. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Well corn syrup (used here) and high fructose corn syrup, which many people avoid for health reasons, are not the same thing. Plus, this is still marshmallow-powdered sugar paste, so it’s not exactly health food either way. Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    A batch of fondant is way more than you would need to cover an 8 inch cake. I generally look for online charts that give a weight of fondant to use depending on the size of the cake, and also to help me know how large the diameter should be when I roll it out.

  • Dolcimaterieprime

    Wonderful cakes!

  • sasha

    is there a reason you don’t use sugar pate or ready to roll icing, it tastes amazing an gives almost exactly the same results :) im from the uk so i’m not sure if you call it something different or even have it at all, by the wy i am in love with this blog :D

  • Anonymous

    I think the premade kind tastes horrible, so I make my own.

  • Morgan

    I did exactly as the recipe said, step-by-step, and I was left with a small ball of “fondant” and almost all of the powdered sugar left in the bowl because it wouldn’t stick. Do you have any idea what I may have done wrong?

  • annieseats

    It needed to mix longer so that most of the sugar was incorporated.

  • K Warwicker

    Hi Annie, I’m from australia and we don’t really use much in the way of shortening so I don’t really know what to use. We have copha, which is basically solidified coconut oil, and I was wondering if you think this may be an ok substitute? Thanks Katrina :)

  • annieseats

    I’m not sure. Please see the FAQ page regarding substitutions. Thanks!

  • Cej168

    This maybe a silly question, but at what point did you add the gels for the coloring? Thank you.

  • annieseats

    When you are ready to use it. There is also a link within the post to another fondant tutorial.

  • Stephanie

    Have you ever tried adding flavoring to your mmf ? I just found an amazing recipe for buttercream flavored fondant on cake central. It tastes SO good (almost like cake batter), is really easy to make, and is a great consistency!

  • Courtney

    Thank you so much….I am attempting to make a cake and your fondant for a baby shower. It is very intimidating… But you make it look fun! I love your blog.

  • Amber Mehner

    I was wondering if you have used regular marshmallows before. I have them in the pantry because I am making big bird cupcakes and wanted to know if I should go get the mini ones

  • annieseats

    I think I have used regular. Either should be fine, as long as it’s the same amount overall and they are fully melted as per the instructions. Good luck and enjoy!

  • Great great great recipe! just made my first fondant recipe and it was great, also very white as I used domino’s

  • Kara

    Hi! First, THANK YOU for all your hard work and wonderful recipes. I live in Germany where corn syrup is hard to find. Upon a good bit of research and asking, I discovered that rice syrup (check organic/vegan food stores) is a great substitute to use in this for people with corn allergies. The process of removing the sugar from the rice is almost identical to that of corn and the color is light. It also does not have an overbearing flavor. I used it and my fondant turned out perfectly. Hope this helps!

  • ana

    amazing recipe!!

  • stephanie

    My fondant is still tacky and when I roll it flat, I am unable to cut shapes out of it because the shapes just tear and stick and lose their shape. Any tips on what I’m doing wrong or what I can do to make the shape cutting easier? Thanks!!

  • annieseats

    If it is sticky, you can use powdered sugar to keep it from sticking to things. You can also use a very small amount of shortening to grease your work surface and your tools.

  • dek2711

    Annie im a regular at your blog and i read all the comments before asking the question..i know you usually dont like giving advice on how long before a cake can be kept after decorating…but im going to try and get an estimate from you;) My sons bday party is this weekend and im planning to make a Disney Cars cake.There is no way i can do everything on that day.Do you think i can make the MM fondant 2-3 days before and keep the completely decorated cake at room temp a day before.Im in CT and its cool here….pls pls pls dont direct me to the FAQ.

  • annieseats

    Wow, only a little offended because of course I would not direct you to the FAQ since your question is not covered there.

    Anyway, if the party is this weekend, you could make the fondant any time now and just be sure it is really, really well seal/covered. I wrap in plastic wrap, store in a ziploc with all the excess air pressed out and keep it in the pantry. Usually the night before I plan to decorate I go ahead and color all the fondant I need, and restore those until the next day when I assemble everything. Have fun!

  • dek2711

    Thanks so much Annie…i didnt mean to offend you…u are my go to person for baking and i would have been lost without a response…i should have phrased my question a little differently.Thanks again.

  • Annie, I’m looking forward to making this fondant for some cakes I’m doing this week. My first attempt at homemade fondant. Can you tell me if this will dry out and harden like store bought fondant does? I am going to be making a couple figurines that will need to perch on the top of the cake. I’d like them to harden a bit. Thank you so much!

  • annieseats

    I have not made it into figurines that I recall, but I have dried out other accent pieces and it has always worked out well. Have fun!

  • I see you say this yields about 3 pounds. What size cake would that cover? Do you know? I’m making an 8 inch two layer cake and curious how many batches I will need.

  • annieseats

    You can look up charts online to see how much you should use for various sizes of cakes, but one batch will be more than enough for your needs. You roll it pretty thin to cover a cake, so you’ll have a lot left over. Have fun!

  • sweettoothduo

    What size cake would this cover? For ex. The 2 tiered space cake….would it be enough for that whole thing or would you need a double batch for that?

  • annieseats

    You can look up charts online for how much fondant covers what size cake but 3 lbs. is a lot of fondant, and is more than enough for a two-tiered cake like the space cake. Have fun!

  • aly

    hey annie I have normal size marshmallows. how many should I use for this recipe???

  • annieseats

    You will still need 15 oz. Enjoy!

  • aly

    Thanks a lot!!!

  • Helena Waldner

    Hi, I am from Alberta, Canada. My question is if I switched the ingredients to organic if it would still come out the same? My son has many food allergies and I would like him to have a beautiful cake for his birthday like all the other kids with out it making him sick. Thank you .

  • annieseats

    Using organic ingredients will not affect the recipe. Enjoy!

  • Shari barnes

    Hello Annie I was so nervous to try fondant but I did for my god daughters 7 birthday. This recipe is awesome and actually edible. I used your strawberry cupcake recipe for a three layer princess cake. It was so easy, I think my next cooking challenge may be macaroons. Thank you so much!!! She loved her cake

  • annieseats

    Wonderful. Way to go, you!