Learn how to make easy homemade marshmallow fondant recipe with simple ingredients. It's perfect for making toppers, figures, cake decorating, covering cakes and so much more.
Homemade fondant, also known as MMF, is a versatile and easy-to-make alternative to traditional fondant. It's perfect for decorating cakes, cupcakes, and other sweet desserts. Made with only a few key ingredients, it is a great option for beginners who are new to cake decorating. It also tastes much better than the store-bought version and is also a cheaper alternative. Consider this post to be a beginner's guide, where l will walk you through the steps of making it and discuss variations you can try and share all my tips and tricks.
What is fondant?
It is sweet pliable dough that is completely edible and can be rolled out and cut out and is mostly used in covering cakes to create a smooth finish. It is also very popular in Cake Decorating. It's sweet and tastes like marshmallows.
- White marshmallows: One packet that's usually 10 oz. bag, is enough to make a small batch to cover an 8 inch round cake.
- Water: Just a tablespoon of water is needed to help melt the marshmallows.
- Vanilla extract: This adds flavor.
- Powdered sugar: This helps to turn the melted marshmallow mixture into pliable, flexible dough.
- Vegetable shortening: You'll need plenty of this to prevent the mixture and dough from sticking to your hands and work surface.
- Gel food coloring- This is great if you want a color other than white.
How to make easy marshmallow fondant recipe from scratch?
- Add marshmallows and water in a deep microwavable-safe bowl- Heat until marshmallows are melted
- Add powdered sugar: Continue mixing and then kneading with heavily greased hands and spatula until you have a play dough consistency.
- Store- In a sealed container or tight Ziploc bag at room temperature overnight.
Different Ways to Use Vanilla Fondant
- Cut out shapes or letters using cookie cutters and use them to decorate cupcakes or cakes.
- Create models and 3D figures, like animals (turkey, dinosaur, bunny, bee, ladybug) or flowers like these pansies, by molding it with your hands or using special tools.
- Cover a cake with it to give it a smooth, polished finish like you can see in this Tiered 4th of July Cake.
- Use it to make cake toppers like these Easy Bows or Easy Flowers.
- Decorate cookies like these Emoji Cookies or these Sports Cookies or these beautiful Flower Cookies.
Is marshmallow fondant same as regular fondant?
No. Regular traditional version is what you will buy online or at stores and it has a huge list of ingredients including sugar, corn syrup, water, palm oil, stabilizers, preservatives, flavors, thickeners, glycerine and more. The main ingredients in the homemade version are marshmallows, water, extract, powdered sugar.
Is this the same as marzipan?
No. Marzipan is made with ground almond flour or almond meal and sugar. They can both be used for molding figures and cake decorating. It seems like marzipan is more popular in traditional European desserts.
Is this the same as modeling chocolate?
No. Modeling Chocolate (Candy Clay) is made with chocolate and corn syrup while this is mostly made with marshmallows and powdered sugar.
Tint it with with gel food coloring- Do not use liquid food coloring as it can make the dough sticky. I have done a whole post on How to Color Fondant where I discuss this in great detail.
Try a different flavor extract- Substitute almond, coconut, maple, peppermint or lemon extract for vanilla extract.
Add some cocoa powder- This will give a lovely chocolate flavor. About ¼ cup is more than enough.
Tips and Techniques
Adjust the consistency- If the dough is too dry, add more shortening to make it pliable. If it's too wet, add more powdered sugar and knead it more.
Don't refrigerate- This should not be refrigerated. Instead, store it at room temperature, tightly wrapped in saran wrap in a cool, dry place.
Use fresh marshmallows for best results- Marshmallows that have been sitting on the shelf for a while can become stale and hard, which can make it difficult to melt them down to create a smooth mixture.
Grease your hands and work surface - As mentioned in the recipe instructions, when you are kneading and mixing all the ingredients, everything is very sticky. Greasing your hands and work surface with vegetable shortening will help prevent the it from sticking to everything and make it easier to work with.
Add color gradually- If you want to color it, add the coloring a little bit at a time. Adding too much at once can make it sticky or cause it to become too wet.
Use a silicone mat - A silicone mat can be helpful when rolling it out because it won't stick to the surface like a traditional rolling pin.
Sprinkle your work surface with powdered sugar when rolling out fondant- Because this prevents it from sticking to your rolling pin and your table. Some people use cornstarch instead of powdered sugar too. It's up to you.
Let it sit overnight before using it- It develops a better consistency and texture the next day and it's not overly soft.
As this ages, it gets a little hard- That's not a big deal! Just rub some shortening and start kneading until it becomes soft again. You can even heat it in the microwave at 5 second increments and knead.
To make a true white color- Use clear extracts. This is very important or else you will end up with an off-white color.
Buy red and black colored fondants- Those are the only two colors I recommend buying from stores because because you need to use a lot of gel coloring to achieve the correct shade and you will need to let it rest for a few days to allow the color to develop.
Does this dry hard? If you are using it to make models and flowers and letting them air dry for a few hours or a few days, they will dry hard. If you are using it on a cake under Buttercream Frosting, it will NOT dry hard.
Fondant is too dry - If this is the case, it may be cracking or tearing when you try to roll it out. To fix this, knead in a small amount of shortening to make it more pliable. Then, roll again.
Fondant is too wet - If this is the case, it may stick to everything and be difficult to work with. To fix this, knead in a small amount of powdered sugar until it reaches the desired consistency.
Fondant is lumpy or has air bubbles - You did not knead long enough. Continue kneading until it is smooth and any air bubbles have been eliminated. Another reason could be using unsifted powdered sugar. Sift it in order to eliminate any lumps.
Store at room temperature- Grease the ball of edible clay with shortening and cover it tightly in multiple layers of saran wrap and store it away from direct heat and moisture.
Can this be made ahead of time? Yes. It can be made 2 weeks in advance.
Can you refrigerate fondant decorated cakes? No. I don't recommend this because refrigerators have moisture which can cause it to become very soft. Also, when you remove the cake from the fridge, there is a high probability that beads of condensation will form on the fondant as the cake starts to come to room temperature. It looks horrible! However, I have heard that if you place the decorated cake in a high quality corrugated cardboard box and tape it tightly and then place it in the fridge, no condensation will happen. That's because the box will create a barrier. I have not tested this theory yet.
Can you freeze this? No. I don't recommend this because as it thaws to room temperature, condensation beads will form and that makes it very sticky and difficult to use.
How to Make Marshmallow Fondant (MMF)
- Read all my tips above.
- For storage, grease it with some shortening and cover it tightly in saran wrap at room temperature, away from direct heat and moisture.
- Please scroll down and read the comments. A few of my readers were kind enough to let me know what can be used instead of shortening in Australia, UK and other places where shortening is unavailable.