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Fondant…how to make it, use it and eat it!

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Fun fondant cupcake toppers

Homemade fondant that is easy AND tasty?  Here you go!!!

Every time I see cute cupcakes or cakes decorated in fondant I love them…and then I dismiss the possibility of making them for two reasons:

1. Fondant is really hard to make and use.

2. Fondant tastes bad and everyone just peels it off to get to the real frosting and cake underneath.

My good friend Megan from Happily Ever After Cakes set out to prove me wrong on both counts….and she did!

If you follow the comings and goings of easybaked, you know that I recently had a visit from my dear friend Megan for a weekend long baking extravaganza.  This is project #2 from that weekend.

Before Megan came, I knew we would be tackling fondant cupcakes and we both went on an internet hunt for fun and easy ideas to try.  We saw these cute garden themed cupcakes on a Flickr site called Hello Naomi and decided to try them out!

The cupcakes are just plain white cupcakes (use your favorite flavor/recipe!)  What’s amazing is, of course, what’s on top.  There are two recipes involved~ a thick buttercream that acts like a glue on the top of each cupcake and the actual fondant recipe.

Let’s start with those two recipes and then I can tell you how we pulled it all together.

Thick Buttercream Frosting: (makes about 4 cups of frosting)

(printer-friendly recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla (or any flavoring you might want!)
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of half-and half cream.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Beat together butter, Crisco and vanilla with a mixer until smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar gradually and mix until combined and a little crumbly.
  • Add half and half cream and mix on low.  You might need to add a little more until frosting is a thick but smooth consistency.
  • Don’t beat frosting on high speed or for too long to prevent air bubbles that will keep it from spreading smoothly.
  • This frosting can be used to frost cupcakes or cakes that will have fondant laid over the top.  It has a sticky consistency that acts as a glue to attach the fondant.  It can be kept in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for about a week.

Marshmallow Fondant (recipe from about.com site)- they have a great video tutorial too!! (makes about 1 1/2 lbs of fondant.)

(printer-friendly recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups mini marshmallows (half of a 16 oz. bag)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar- plus a little for dusting.
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of clear vanilla
  • gel colors to color fondant as desired

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place your mini marshmallows and water into a large mixing bowl and microwave on high for about one minute- until they are puffy and melted.
  • Stir them together with a rubber spatula until they are completely smooth (if not melted completely, put them back in the microwave on high for 5-10 seconds).
  • Add clear vanilla and mix well.
  • Add about 1/4 of the powdered sugar, stir until smooth, add another 1/4 and stir.  It will become difficult to stir and very sticky.
  • Pour the rest of the powdered sugar onto a clean counter or cutting board.
  • Scrape the sticky fondant mixture out of the bowl and onto the powdered sugar and begin to knead it together with clean (powder sugar coated!) hands.  It will gradually become like a smooth clay consistency.  Use a metal scraper to keep it from sticking to the counter/ board.
  • This can now be colored with gel, rolled out and cut, or stored (tightly wrapped) in the fridge for about one week.  Megan recommended refrigerating it overnight before use, so we did.

Melt marshmallowsMix until smoothPour onto counterKnead together with hands

Now comes the fun part….

  • Have your cupcakes or cake or cookies all made and cooled.
  • Make enough fondant to cover your item(s).  Here is a great chart by Wilton to help you determine how much you’ll need for various projects.
  • Make up some of that thick buttercream icing and you are ready to go!

We needed to cut circles to cover each cupcake and we used a circle cutter set, which was nice because we could choose the perfect size to cover our cupcake tops.  We simply powdered a cutting board and rolled out the fondant using a fondant rolling pin.   We cut out the cupcake tops in white  (we saved the red tops for later when we colored fondant).

Rolling out fondant

Roll fondant out into a fairly thin layer and cut round pieces out to fit the tops of your cupcakes.

  • To place the fondant circles on top of the cupcakes just spread some of that sticky buttercream icing on top of a cupcake, smooth it as much as you can and place fondant circle on top.  
  • Gently press the edges down to touch the top of the cupcake liner and smooth it with your fingers.
  • We made daisies to go on top of the caterpillar cupcakes, so we cut out the white flowers before we colored anything.  Megan got me two cute daisy fondant cutters and they were SO fun to use!
  • Roll your fondant out, cut out daisies and lie them on a powdered sugared curved edge to harden a bit.  I used a plate with a lip on it.

Cut daisies out of fondantSet daisies on curved edge to harden

Time to color a little fondant for those yellow centers:  

  • To color just add a little gel color to the center of a bit of fondant and mix it with your hands.  
  • Use a little powdered sugar to prevent the fondant from sticking to your hands.

Tips:  keep fondant under a glass to keep it moist until you need it.  If it gets too dry you can add a little bit of Crisco to soften it up.  If it gets too sticky and the powdered sugar isn’t helping, you can use a little cornstarch to dry it up.

  • Roll a bit of yellow fondant into a small ball, press it flat and brush a tiny bit (just make it damp!) of water on it.  Press into center of white daisy—–so cute!

Water acts like glue with fondant…..something to remember as you start to decorate.

Add color gel to fondantKeep fondant under a glass to keep it moist.Use a little water on the fondant flower centerPress yellow center into daisy

Next, we colored some fondant green and rolled out little caterpillar body parts.  We let them set awhile and cut leaves out of the green as well– you can use that wonderful circle cutter set to make them– we “glued” them on white cupcake tops using water (just a little!).

The last colors we made were the red and black for the lady bugs and mushroom caps.  Both of these dark colors get ALL over your light colors if you aren’t careful about washing your hands– so make them up after you’ve already cut and shaped the lighter colored parts!  We just cut circles out for the mushroom caps and shaped ladybugs by hand….

ladybugs!All of the shapes– the bugs and daisies and mushroom spots were “glued” on with a little water and the last step was to paint on little faces and ladybug spots.  We dipped right in to our black gel food color to do this– Megan got us a fine-tipped decorating brush that made short work of painting.

Ladybug and Caterpillar cupcakes!

Aren’t they fun?

My thoughts:  I realize this entire post is a far stretch from the “EASY” in “Easybaked”…but it was honestly not as difficult as I thought it would be.  I can see myself making fun embellishments for topping off regular cupcakes in the future now that I know how simple fondant is to make.

The best part?  It is honestly SO yummy.  The fondant isn’t rubbery or hard- you bite into the cupcake and the fondant is soft and tastes like marshmallow-y frosting.  I wasn’t tempted to peel it off at ALL! (promise!)  I even enjoyed snacking on the little critters and flowers on top.  Yum….!

ladybug and caterpillar cupcakes!Other fun and yummy cupcake ideas:

Butter beer cupcakesblackberry cream cupcakeAndes Mint CupcakesChocolate molten lava cupcakes

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About Ruthanne

Ruthanne is a scientist with a passion for baking and food photography. Using her kitchen as a lab, she loves experimenting with a variety of flavors and ingredients to create unique, fun and ultimately tasty delights! Thus she created EasyBaked, a website where sugar and chocolate overflow in fun and easy recipes. Her Motto: Money can’t buy happiness -- but it can buy marshmallows, and that’s nearly the same thing! www.easybaked.net

41 responses »

  1. Brilliant! I have never liked fondant but I think I would love this one. Your cupcakes are just too cute! Saving the recipe.

    Reply
  2. Happily Ever After Cakes

    I knew you would like it!!!!! Glad you found fondant more enjoyable than the royal icing project. I made royal icing today, and thought of you.

    Reply
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  4. What fun! I’m a friend of Megan’s, and she and her mom have made a couple of cakes for me. In fact, we just had some of their cake at a birthday party tonight. This fondant is AH-MA-ZING! In fact, my one year old was scavenging the fondant off of all of our plates at the party this evening. 🙂 So glad you had fun with Megan – the pictures she shared of your weekend looked like a great time!

    Reply
    • Hi!!! It’s nice to “meet” you! You’re so lucky to live close to Megan and her family– I wish we lived closer! We did have so much fun– and aren’t the cakes they make just amazing?? Unbelievable!!!! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Happily Ever After Cakes

    You guys are sweet!!!! Glad you enjoyed the cake, Ami (Glad James liked it too!!!!).

    Reply
  6. i nominated you for the beautiful blogger award, enjoy.
    http://sexycuisine.wordpress.com/awards/

    Reply
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  8. These are so gorgeous!!! Hope I could make one. 🙂

    Reply
  9. I am looking forward to trying these for Carmella’s second birthday on Tuesday. Thanks for the great tutorial.

    Kat

    Reply
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  11. Hello! Can you tell me if I am supposed to let the decorations dry? I am using a cream cheese frosting, but wanted to use this recipe to create little edible airplanes for on top. Should I do them right before serving or dry them? Will letting them dry make them yucky? Thank you!

    Reply
    • For decorations on top, we let them dry 1st- and then attached them with a little water. For you, you’ll just set them on top of frosting though. They should still taste fine 🙂

      Reply
  12. How far ahead of time can you make fondant items to put on a cupcake? I was thinking about having all my decorations done (and I am slow!) and then make my cupcakes the night before the party. Thanks!

    Reply
    • If the items are just small decorative items like little flowers, you can make them ahead of time. For the fondant circles that cover the top, I would wait to do them as you are frosting. Fondant hardens as it sits exposed to air. This doesn’t matter so much for the little decorative pieces that will sit on top, but you need the fondant circles to be nice and soft to conform to the top of your cupcake. Have fun!!

      Reply
  13. If I premake the cupcakes the night before- How should i store the cupcakes overnight? Should they be refriederated or tightly covered on the counter? Thank you so much! Your cupcakes look great!

    Reply
    • I would just loosely cover them on the counter. If you tightly cover them, all that moisture will make the cupcakes a little soggy on top. I keep mine in one of those disposable plastic cupcake shell containers (like the sort you’d buy cupcakes in at the grocery) It keeps them covered, but not air-tight.

      Reply
  14. I noticed that you say we can make fondant decorations ahead of time, but how long is too long for them to sit prior to use?

    Reply
    • It depends on how you are using them. They will harden up, so anything that needs to be molded on a curve (like a cake or the top of a cupcake) should be placed right away. The little decorative pieces can be made ahead- I suppose you could keep them for quite awhile, but my feeling is that the longer they sit, the less edible they are. They are so soft and yummy when they are 1st made, but as they sit they harden up. If you are going to make them ahead, be sure to seal them up away from the air that will make them harden.

      Reply
  15. This recipe sounds great. It might actually be a fondant that I’d be willing to eat. Great recipe, thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to try it and check out the video.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome– it is a REALLY yummy fondant. I didn’t think it was possible, but it is! Hope you do get a chance to try it out!!! Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
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  17. Hi this sounds great. I’m quite new to baking. I’ve always struggled to like fondant icing. A friend has asked me to make a christening cake and I thought this sounded like a tasty alternative to normal fondant. How long will it keep once on the cake? Do you have to keep in the fridge once on the cake? Thanks.

    Reply
    • I have never covered a cake in fondant, but I would guess that whatever type you use would last about the same? I don’t think refrigeration is necessary, but to keep it moist you’ll want to store in an airtight cake container.

      Reply
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  20. Hey I am going to try out your recipe. It sounds a lot better than regular fondant. That is my only problem with fondant, it is easy to use for design purposes, but doesn’t taste good at all. If you would like to check out some of my decorations, I don’t have them all up yet.
    http://thecolorfulcakery.com/

    Reply
  21. Thanks for sharing I use to ask how to make this or that and people just look at u and say that’s a family secert thank to fb friend

    Reply
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  23. Hi there, would definitely try out this recipe for fondant.

    If I dun have a microwave, can I melt it with an oven or over fire stove?

    Thanks.

    Rdgs

    Patricia K

    Reply
    • Hi Patricia, I’m honestly not sure if that would work as well, since I haven’t tried it. I would think that as long as those marshmallows get melted, that it shouldn’t matter what you use to melt them. Good luck!

      Reply
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  25. aww, they look so cute 🙂 i have a question. i have made fondant cutouts the night before but the next morning it was sticky (maybe due to humidity). Is there any way that i can save it or do i have to throw it away and start all over again? thank you.

    Reply
    • I think that was probably due to humidity. This has never happened to me, but I would try putting them in a very dry environment. Use a dehumidifier maybe? I usually have the opposite problem- of them hardening up too fast before I am finished creating! If you need to start over, use cornstarch to thicken fondant up a bit and dry it out. Hope this helps!

      Reply
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