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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Marshmallow Fondant (MMF): Tutorial

Marshmallow Fondant Tutorial

The following is how I make MMF, which I use to cover cakes, cookies, and make edible figures.  Making your own fondant is a tasty and economical solution for cake decorating, but keep in mind the pros and cons.  Here are the ingredients I use.  This makes enough for me to cover an 8" round (typically 3-4" high) with some left over.
  • 8 oz. miniature marshmallows (KRAFT)
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 1 lb. (~4 c.) powdered sugar (HEB, a local grocery store brand)
  • a wad of shortening to grease the bowl and dough hook
  • CHEAP!  A bag of marshmallows and a bag of powdered sugar are under a couple bucks each.  The cheapest box of Wilton fondant is around $6 for 24 oz. Feel free to screw up batch after batch without hurting your wallet.
  • TASTE!  I've tasted Wilton and Satin Ice brand fondant ... they taste very chemically.  MMF tastes like ... well ... marshmallows with a bunch of powdered sugar.  I'm not going to just eat MMF all by itself like candy, but I certaintly don't mind eating it with a slice of cake.  If it were brand-name fondant, I'd peel it off completely before chowing down.
  • This recipe is really quick and easy.  You can whip up a batch in a pinch in the middle of the night when the nearest hobby store is closed.
  • It's homemade!  Everyone is instantly impressed when you say you made something from scratch.  The recipe is easy to tweak for whatever effect you want to achieve.  Add flavors and colors with ease.
  • It's homemade!  Which means the home you made it in gets dirty!  Your husband gets irritated at the fine layer of powdered sugar coating all our appliances in the kitchen.
  • It's not white white.  It's ivory at best.  Hope you don't need stark, virgin white.
  • Hope you didn't need red, green, or black either.  It's difficult to get a deep, rich color without dumping tons of food coloring into it, and then wrecking the whole batch into a sticky, gooey mess.  You're going to want to buy those aforementioned colors.
  • It's not as easy to work with.  Buy some Satin Ice and see the difference.  I now prefer making Toba Garrett's fondant recipe with gelatin.
Make MMF when appropriate.  Here's how.

Weigh 8 oz. of mini marshmallows into a microwaveable container.  I like this tall tupperware.  It holds all my marshmallows perfectly.  Poor the water into the container as well.

Nuke it in 30 second intervals, stirring each time until it's smooth.  It usually only takes a couple of passes.

I'm using a rubble spatula to stir.  Make sure you get at the bottom to help disperse the water.

If you're going to be adding coloring or flavoring, now's the time to do it.  Much easier now than later ... you'll see.

Grease up all your equipment with shortening.  I make my MMF in my trusty KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook.  Put a thin layer of shortening inside the bowl and on the hook (don't forget the top of the hook).

Dump your melted mallows into your bowl.

Now add about 3 cups of powdered sugar.  Do NOT add all of it.  Depending on weather, humidity, and the powers that be, fondant may or may not need exactly a whole pound of sugar.

Start your mixer on low speed.  The dough hook will fold the sugar into the melted mallows while you can sip a martini.  You can do this by hand too ... but I'm way too lazy for that.  Plus I don't have heavy duty silicon gloves that would protect my hands from the hot mallows.

Once most of the sugar is incorporated, you can slowly add more.  You're waiting until the fondant isn't too sticky if you touch it.


To check, stop the mixer and lift the head.  Gently touch the fondant on the hook with your finger tips.  If it sticks on to your fingers when you pull away, add more sugar.

When your happy with the consistency, grease up a flat surface.  I use a large cutting board.  Dump out your fondant on to this surface.  I like doing this with some vinyl or latex gloves on.  This prevents fondant from getting under my nails while I scrape it out of the bowl.

Knead the fondant for 5-10 minutes to incorporate any last bits of sugar.  The fondant should be slightly warm to the touch still, and elasticy.  I find this part slightly theuraputic.  It's like kneading very heavy bread dough.  Sweet, sweet dough.

Form a nice tight ball and wrap it up with cling wrap.  Stick it in an air-tight container and let is rest overnight.  Why?  I dunno ... that's what other people said to do ... and who am I to argue with "people"?  No need to refrigerate.  It will stay good for several weeks.  If you find your fondant rock-hard, nuke it for 10 seconds in the microwave.  That will help it loosen up enough for you to knead it, then it's good as new.  Be careful!  It can get hot.  Do very short bursts until it's loose enough for you to work with.

Now you have the materials to make a yummy blank canvas for your tasty creations.  Happy caking!


  1. Regarding your "con" that it is not as easy to work with as store-bought, if you just add 1 1/2 Tbsp of glycerin to the melted marshmallows, it makes it as easy to work with as any fondant I've tried.

  2. what a great idea! thanks, next time i will definitely try that.

  3. Thank you! I always did it by hand! I never had a problem with the heat, it was kind of nice but the MESS it makes trying to knead it together and the fact that I had to wait until my son is in bed!! Going to try this tomorrow!

  4. I wish we had just plain white marshmallows here in Australia. We get a mix of pink and white which has resulted in me buying several packs and then having a whole lot of pink marshmallows sitting in a bag. :) The pink ones do make a gorgeous pink fondant but i'm waiting for an order of pink inspired cake before I do that. Now I know I can do this with my mixer, I'm much happier!

  5. In regards to the difficulty with black or red, here is an easy solution to both: (I have been making my own version similar to this for years):

    Red: Instead of the 2 tbsp of water, use red liquid dye that really has no flavor (unlike gel red) and then when you are ready to add color you need very little red gel (I use Americolor Super Red and it's AWESOME).

    Black: true black is easy when you start with a brown base. I get my marshmallows super hot in the microwave (I do 10 oz marshmallows total and then microwave for 2 min 30 sec stirring every 30-40 seconds). When it's extremely hot add 1/2 pack of Toll House mini-morsels chocolate chips until smooth, then just add a little black gel dye (again, I prefer Americolor bc you use so little) and you have very very black fondant.

    Also, for ease of use I add two tbsp of light corn syrup to each batch and it's very pliable.

    Shristi, you can use the pink ones to make just about any colors darker than the marshmallows.


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