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)
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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
- 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.
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).
- 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.
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.
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….
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.
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….!
Other fun and yummy cupcake ideas: