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

  • Yield about 3 lbs.


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.