Sunday, March 22, 2009

Working with Marshmallow Fondant

I knew at some point I would have to face it...I would come across a cake that would just be easier, and look better, if I used fondant. My son's sixteenth birthday was fast approaching and I planned to make him a guitar cake.

The problem is, I don't like the taste of fondant. It's like a chewy, blah tasting ball of clay. But I was browsing through cake decorating forums online and saw several posts about Marshmallow Fondant and how people prefer using it to the traditional fondant. I searched for Marshmallow Fondant, found a recipe at What's Cooking America, and decided to try it. I had all the ingredients (3), and it looked simple and quick to make. I also found a small batch recipe in the Wilton online forum very similar to this large batch recipe so I could just try it out.

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe - large batch (as posted on the What's Cooking America website)
16 ounces white mini-marshmallows (use a good quality brand)
2 to 5 tablespoons water
2 pounds icing sugar (please use C&H Cane Powdered Sugar for the best results)
½ cup Crisco shortening (you will be digging into it so place in a very easily accessed bowl)

NOTE: Please be careful, this first stage can get hot.


Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave or double boiler: Put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted. It usually takes about 2 ½ minutes total. Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix.


Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY (palms, backs, and in between fingers), then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle. (By the way, this recipe is also good for your hands. When I’m done, they are baby soft.)


Start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands. If you have children in the room they will either laugh at you or look at you with a questioning expression. You might even hear a muttered, “What are you doing?”


Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage! Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more. Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant is sticking. If the mix is tearing easily, it is to dry, so add water (about ½ tablespoon at a time then knead it in). It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake.



It's best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight (but you can use it right away if there are no tiny bits of dry powdered sugar). If you do see them, you will need to knead and maybe add a few more drops of water.


Prepare the fondant for storing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening, wrap in a plastic-type wrap product and then put it in a re-sealable or Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.


MM Fondant will hold very well in the refrigerator for weeks. If I know that I have a cake to decorate, I usually make two (2) batches on a free night during the week so it is ready when I need it. Take advantage of the fact that this fondant can be prepared well in advance.

Now for my own personal notes: There are some guidelines to using fondant. Let me tell you that you should follow those guidelines. I can't tell you how many times I had to peel (scrape) fondant off my rolling mat only to start over. I noticed that as long as I was working with the fondant and didn't let it sit, it stayed moist and did not dry out. I have read that you can zap it in the microwave to soften it out but I did not have to do that (I have to admit I was a bit scared I would ruin it if I microwaved it anymore).

I did not use as much crisco as was suggested. Only when I was actually mixing the marshmallows and sugar together did I add some crisco to my spatula and my hands. Once the fondant formed a ball, I coated my hands and my work surface with cornstarch (powdered sugar did NOT work) and kneaded the ball.

The first couple batches I made were not flavored. They didn't taste bad, but they did taste like overly sweet marshmallows. I added some almond flavoring to the last batch and kneaded all the batches together. It tasted really good!

If you have any left over, place it in a ziploc bag and keep it refrigerated.




Only one person did not like the fondant. Others kept pulling pieces off the cake to eat like candy.
I iced the middle of the cake because I was worried the fondant wouldn't lend enough "moistness" to the cake like icing does (and my group is a bunch of icing fanatics).
I rolled the marshmallow fondant about 1/8 inch thick. It did really well and kept its shape. I think I used a bit too much cornstarch when I was rolling it out because you could see some "dry" areas of the fondant as I painted it. The color REALLY brought out the flaws. Maybe there was too much cornstarch because I had to keep re-rolling the fondant. Experts say to keep turning your fondant as you roll it so it won't stick. Listen to them. They are right.
If you have any Marshmallow Fondant tips to share, please post them in the comments section!

Added 07/12/2011:

I just wanted to note that I made a large batch of the marshmallow fondant and kneaded it for a LONG time (about 10 minutes straight). Then I put it in a large ziploc bag and let it sit for about an hour before I pulled it out and kneaded it again for another 5 minutes. The fondant turned out to be much more smooth and elastic afterwards and was MUCH easier to work with. It didn't tear or crack. It stretched nicely.

40 comments:

Zee said...

Wooooow!!! That cake looks AMAZINGGGG!!!! *Mouth wide open* I want one of those for my 18th birthday!! I think you've just inspired me to try making something like that. I actually have a cake tin thing that's the shape of an acoustic guitar! So ya maybe i'll try that =)
And i LOVE the candle thing! So awesome! Ok i HAVE to give it a go!
Thnx =D

Sidnie said...

Found your site searching for advice on Marshmallow fondant...
Thanks for the tips! Will be making a cake this week with it... Hopefully I'll do ok!

Sidnie said...

Forgot to tell you that I LOVE the guitar! It's awesome!

Anonymous said...

I actually do it with my kitchenaid for the first bit, so I don't have to deal with the stickiness, but I make sure to take it out and knead it when it gets harder so I don't burn out the motor. It saves a lot of of time and my hands!

Anonymous said...

i use homemade marshmallow fondant too! check out my cakes http://megansmellows.blogspot.com/
love to hear some feed back..

Anonymous said...

I am going to try to recreate this cake and use the MM Fondant as well for my sons 17th Birthday.
I hope mine turns out half as good as yours.
Thanks for the inspiration !

Anonymous said...

I also use my kitchenaid to mix my fondant, and I find it easier to add the food coloring to the mix rather than after the fact.

Anonymous said...

I also use my Kitchenaid mixer to do the initial mixing. I use the dough hook. It saves a LOT of work.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Do you happen to sell cakes? where are located?

Anonymous said...

It worked great! thx

Trish said...

I don't sell cakes. Cake decorating is just a hobby for me so I do it when I'm inspired or have time (or of course when one of the kids has a birthday coming up).

Anonymous said...

I hate to be a drag, but it looks like someone has plagerized your work! http://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/Fondant.htm
It made me so sad since you obviously did so much work!

Trish said...

No, it's not plagiarized. As stated in the post, that's where I got the recipe to try for the marshmallow fondant

donnam said...

I was hoping you could answer a question...I made marshmallow fondant for a cake class I was in and the fondant was very easy to tear. I know I did something wrong, but I don't know what it was. Do you have any advice? Thank you!

Trish said...

I've found that kneading the fondant longer makes it more elastic and easier to work with. You can actually feel the difference as you knead it. I did that with the Lego Mini-figure cake and it was much better than in earlier tries.

Judy R. said...

My granddaughter plays guitar and I would LOVE to make this for her.
Can you tell me what else you used to decorate? It's hard to tell from the picture.
Absolutely Beautiful!!! Great job!
Thanks for sharing

donnam said...

Thank you!!! I can't wait to try your suggestion!

Trish said...

Judy, I have a separate post about making the Guitar Cake http://kidscakes.blogspot.com/2009/03/rock-n-roll-electric-guitar-birthday.html. It was my first attempt at working with marshmallow fondant. It should have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please let me know! Thanks for visiting!

Anonymous said...

A little tip for the dry areas from the corn starch- when you are all done if you brush the entire cake with vodka it gets rid of all the powder residue and leaves the entire cake almost glossy. The vodka dries quickly and does not leave the fondant sticky at all, and it evaporates so there is no danger in kids or whoever getting any alcohol.

Erin Wolfley said...

Thanks for the tip about kneading. I've made five or six fondant cakes, and have had problems with the fondant tearing on a few.

chelsea said...

Hi, love your cake... I just have a few questions coz I'm trying to do a fondant cake for my son's 1st bday.. Can I make the cake a day before and refrigerate it covered with ganache instead of buttercream? If so, is it ok that the cake is cold before putting the marshmallow fondant? Love to hear your advice as soon as possible..thank you

Trish said...

Hi Chelsea! Thanks for the comment! If I have time, I usually make my cake a day ahead but I don't put it in the refrigerator. That dries it out. I just cover it with saran wrap or place it in a cake holder/carrier.

Not sure about the ganache vs. buttercream. I would think the ganache might be too moist and may get soaked into the cake. If anyone has any input, please share...

I've never used ganache beneath fondant, either. I'm sure it would taste good, but it might be too soft. I don't use fondant a lot so I'm just drawing from my experiences.

As for the cake being cold, I don't think it would hurt. I wouldn't recommend the cake being frozen when applying fondant, but the cold from being refrigerated shouldn't make much difference. You can always let the cake sit out to reach room temperature first before putting on the fondant.

chelsea said...

Thank you so much... :D
God bless

John Martin said...

how much flavoring did you use to flavor one batch?

Trish said...

Hi John, I use about 1 tsp of almond flavoring per large batch. The almond is pretty strong so it was enough.

Anonymous said...

What did you paint the fondant with?

Trish said...

The fondant is painted with a mixture of food coloring and flavor extract. Some people use vodka or everclear instead of the extract (some form of clear alcohol). You can read more about it in the post about making the guitar cake. http://kidscakes.blogspot.com/2009/03/rock-n-roll-electric-guitar-birthday.html

Anonymous said...

I started making mm fondant cakes in June and I was just wondering how u store your cakes after covered with the fondant? Make the day before and leave set out? Or cover some how? If its a tiered cake it's almost impossible to cover ? Thanks

Trish said...

If the cake fits in a carrier (mainly only the 2 layer or 9x13 cakes do), then I will put them in the carrier to cover them. Otherwise, I just leave them out. I usually only have the finished cake out for about 24 hours or less and have not had a problem with that.

Nichole said...

I usually cover my finished cakes (fondant or buttercream) loosely with seran wrap after their finished. Might be 12 hours, might be 24... Never had a problem. This at least keep the dust or possible flies or whatnot off. ;)

brave_crocus said...

I have been using marshmallow fondant for a couple of years now, and I love it. I microwave mine to soften the marshmallows, then I use a wooden spoon to stir them, adding powdered sugar gradually until it gets too tough to stir. Then I turn it out onto a sugared surface and knead it, adding more sugar, until it is no longer too sticky to work with. I have found that this fondant is sensitive to moisture and humidity, so I keep finished cakes tented in wax paper and completely wrapped in Saran wrap. Then, they are safe to go in the refrigerator without drying out or developing condensation beads.

Anonymous said...

Were i live we don't have food coloring gels, so i normally use food coloring pigments (NEVER use liquid food coloring, it'll spoil the fondant!). i prepare one portion at a time and actually add the pigments before i pop the marshmellows in the microwave. like that the color will be very even and not look "flaky".

Nina Suria said...

love to try your tips, thank you for sharing

AlexandrasSweetConfections said...

You can definitely use ganache rather than buttercream. I think it actually works better, because it sets and gives you a more solid base for you fondant to go on top of than buttercream does.
For a great FREE tutorial, go to www.craftsy.com and click on 'cake decorating'. They have a bunch of really interesting classes which cost money, but they also have a Buttercream Basics mini class and Fondant Basics mini class (which aren't actually so mini--they're about 2 hours long; you can jump around to learn different skills, repeat as much as you like, take notes, ask questions--it's a great resource). Good Luck!

Rachel Page said...

I am so happy you posted this! I am making a cake for my baby's birthday next weekend and wanted to use fondant. I wanted to make my own but didn't have a recipe. Yay!

Cynthia said...

I made this a couple days ago. I kneaded in the coloring, but it never felt soft enough for me to roll out. I double wrapped it in Saran & then put it in a zip lock. It's now super hard-no way of could even punch some off much less roll it out. It's not dry, just hard. Should I start over or maybe heat it up to soften it enough to roll? Thanks!

Trish said...

Cynthia, I'm not sure what happened. I have never had mine harden. Did you refrigerate it? If so, let it come to room temp and then knead it until it is pliable again. It isn't supposed to get super soft. It should have a consistency similar to that of playdoh.

Cynthia said...

I never refrigerated it. It just got incredibly hard. I wonder if I didn't use enough shortening and/or if weather & humidity had an effect. Maybe I should add less powdered sugar. I will try again. I was pretty sure the consistency wasn't right. I will aim for playdoh like you said 😉

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys! I am making a cake for my daughters birthday and for the first time i am going to try marshmallow fondant. She is going to have a 2 tiered cake and I'm kind of skeptical about whether I should cover the cake the morning of the party or the day before. I would love to have the cake completed by tomorrow being as though her party is Saturday. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHEN TO COVER THIS CAKE? AND ALSO HOW TO STORE IT....I DON'T WANT THE FONDANT TO BE HARD AT ALL!!!!!! PLEASE HELP!!!!! THANKS!

CHRISTEN


Trish said...

Hi Christen,
You can put the fondant on today or tomorrow. Be sure the edges around the bottom where the findant meets the cake plate are sealed. As well as where the fondant on the top tier meets the fondant on the bottom tier. Then cover your cake with a sheet, towel or cloth, basically to keep dust off it. I have not had issues with the fondant getting hard an I live n a dry climate. Good luck! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your daughter!



DISCLOSURE: This blog contains monetized links through both Google AdSense and VigLink. Thank you for supporting The Creative Cake Maker.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...