An Easy Fondant Recipe That Tastes Delicious, Is Super Easy To Work With, Never Tears Or Gets Elephant Skin
My marshmallow fondant recipe was one of the first ever published back in 2010 back when I was still Artisan Cake Company and is still my most shared recipe.
Fondant is basically the edible playdough your eight-year-old self always wanted. If regular fondant is edible playdough then marshmallow fondant is edible clay. It’s much more versatile, easier to use and much tastier (I don’t recommend you eat clay though).
My fondant recipe has since been re-made, re-published and tweaked by thousands of bakers, cakers and bloggers. It became so popular it was even named LMF (liz marek fondant) by it’s biggest fans. I was told for years that making fondant was “too time consuming” or was “too hard on the mixer”. These days it is widely recognized that making your own fondant is the most economical, delicious and easy way to get a high-quality fondant.
Marshmallow Fondant vs Regular Fondant
When I first started cake decorating as a hobby in 2008, the only fondant I knew about was Wilton. I didn’t even know other brands of fondant existed. I didn’t know it was hard to use because it was all I was used to. I just assumed it took 2-3 tries to cover a cake. This was also before social media and facebook groups so most of my caking came from pure struggle.
The first time ever attempted to make fondant was out of pure necessity. I had took on a last minute order and suddenly found myself without enough fondant to get me through my project! Cue panic mode! I looked up a recipe on how to make fondant and it required a ton of cooking and ingredients I didn’t have. Ok strike one. I checked another “easy homemade fondant” recipe that only required two ingredients. Marshmallows and powdered sugar. EPIC FAIL. It cracked, tore and was really oily? Not sure how that is even possible. In desperation, I combined the failed fondant with about 1/2 pound of leftover wilton fondant. I mixed it up, rolled it out and was AMAZED at how easily it covered the cake! No tearing, no pock marks, no bubbles! And that’s how my famous fondant recipe was born.
Why Are You Adding Fondant To Fondant?
I get that question a lot. I get it. It seems a little backwards to add fondant to a fondant recipe but hear me out.
It is possible to make marshmallow fondant without adding the pre-made fondant BUT it won’t be as stretchy. It just wont. I know lot’s of people who make marshmallow fondant without pre-made but it just doesn’t perform as well and you’re here to learn about the BEST homemade fondant out there right?
The reason for adding in the pre-made fondant is to improve the workability of the homemade fondant and you’re basically making a cheap batch of fondant that may not perform or taste very good into a larger batch of high-quality, super yummy fondant.
What Is Fondant Made Of?
Store bought fondant can be made of many things but in general it’s made from sugar, flavorings and some sort of gum (to make it stretchy). Depending on the exact combination, your fondant texture can range from soft and sticky to chewy or even tough! I often tell anyone who says they don’t like the taste of fondant that just like cheap grocery store chocolate compared to couverture, quality matters. Not all fondant is made the same!
Anyone can tell you that good fondant DOES exist.
Marshmallow fondant doesn’t have that many ingredients. Marshmallows provide the main structure. Marshmallows contain mostly sugar and gelatin. A little bit of vegetable shortening helps the fondant from drying out. The best part is that LMF works best when you use really cheap marshmallows which brings the price per batch down even further.
Does Fondant Really Taste Bad?
Fondant is one of those things that my clients used to tell me they HATED right before a wedding cake tasting. I would smile and nod and say “ok” but I knew that once they tasted my homemade marshmallow fondant recipe (dubbed LMF by fans) I would have them hooked. Nothing was more satisfying than handing them that little cutout of fondant and seeing the look on their face go from “I’m definitely not going to like this” to pure shock, then a little more chewing, a big smile, then finally “OMG this is really good!”
My marshmallow fondant has been my secret weapon for years and now it can be yours too.
Easy Fondant Recipe For Beginners
So you want to work with fondant but you’re scared! I get it! A lot of beginners are nervous to work with fondant because they have heard how difficult it can be to work with! But you know what? The secret to success really is in making it yourself. If you are getting cracking, tearing, elephant skin, pock marks, bubbles or even dryness, you’re probably using store-bought fondant that is just plain bad.
This recipe is easy to make, doesn’t take any fancy ingredients and works best right after you make it (still warm).
Can You Make Fondant Without Marshmallows?
One of the coolest things that ever came from my LMF recipe has probably been DKF (Danettes Kosher Fondant). My friend Danette can’t eat gelatin so she devised a fondant recipe that is just as easy to make as LMF but uses marshmallow fluff instead of cheap marshmallows. It works just as well and is kosher!
Tips For Working With Fondant
Here are some other tips for working with homemade fondant. You can learn more about the basics of cake decorating in our basic cake decorating series.
- Roll your fondant thin. 1/8″ is a good place to be so that your fondant doesn’t tear, you can get those sharp edges and you get the most out of one batch.
- Chill your cakes before you cover them. Make sure your buttercream or ganache is nice and cold (but not frozen) before you cover the cake for best results.
- Roll your fondant out bigger than you need. A common beginner mistake is rolling out the fondant too small and then you get tons of ruffles and tears around the base of the cake. If you roll out a bigger piece, it practically covers itself.
- Condition your fondant before you use it. Unless you just made it, then always warm your fondant and knead it well until it’s nice and stretchy. Cold fondant likes to tear.
- If you have multiple tiers to cover, cover the largest one first and make your way down to the smallest to get the most out of your fondant. One batch of LMF will cover a 10″-8″-6″ round with a little bit leftover if you roll it out to 1/8″ thick.
How Do You Color Fondant?
Once you master making your delicious homemade fondant recipe, you might want to color your fondant recipe. The key here is making sure you don’t use too much food coloring. If you use too much it could cause ruin the consistency of your fondant and it will look like it it has little holes in it.
If you want a light color of fondant you can simply add a little color to your white fondant but if you want a super bright color or dark colors like black fondant or red fondant then you need to add the color during the process of making it for best results.
Kitchen Tools For Making Marshmallow Fondant
Kitchenaid mixer When I first started decorating, I had a simple second-hand kitchenaid. That’s all you really need! This recipe works best when made in the classic size.
LMF Marshmallow Fondant Recipe
A fondant recipe to extend store-bought fondant into a tasty, easy-to-use fondant that won't rip, tear, or get elephant skin. This isn't a scratch fondant recipe, but has become a standard fondant for many cake decorators in the cake decorating community.
- 2 lbs powdered sugar sifted (also called icing sugar, confectionary sugar)
- 1 lb marshmallows WinCo, Hy-Top, Aldi, and Campfire brands work best
- 1.25 lbs Wilton fondant Satin Ice fondant will also work
- 2 tbsp warm water For dark colors, use 1 tbsp warm water and 1 tbsp food color gel
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening Also called white vegetable fat, trex, copha
Prep the ingredients
Sift the powdered sugar and set aside in a large bowl.
Place vegetable shortening in a stand mixer bowl.
Heat marshmallows for 40 seconds in the microwave on high (or on stove top). Stir with spoon.
Place marshmallows back into microwave and heat for another 30 seconds (or on stove top). Stir with spoon.
Heat marshmallows (last time!) for 30 seconds in the microwave (or on stove top).
Marshmallows should be ooey-gooey at this point and ready to be added to the mixer bowl. Pour your water on top of the marshmallows to get them to release from the sides of the bowl. Pour into bowl with vegetable shortening
Turn stand mixer on lowest setting (setting 1 on Kitchenaid stand mixers) with dough hook attachment
Add in half of your sifted powdered sugar, a measuring cup at a time, and let mix for 2 minutes. It will be really rough looking at first
Don't stop mixing until it's sticking to the sides of the bowl and looks smooth. Add in another cup of powdered sugar.
Pull fondant off the dough hook attachment by putting vegetable shortening on your fingers and pulling it off the hook.
Take the soft mixture out of the bowl and put it into the large bowl with the rest of the powdered sugar.
Incorporate Store-Bought Fondant
Warm the Wilton fondant in the microwave for 40 seconds and add to the large bowl with the powdered sugar and marshmallow mix.
Knead until powdered sugar, marshmallows and Wilton fondant is mostly incorporated. You may not use all of the powdered sugar depending on your climate and that is completely fine.
Pull fondant like taffy until it is stretchy and smooth. If there are still rough spots or it's tearing, put everything back in the microwave for 30-40 seconds to make it really hot and pull like taffy with shortening on your hands until it pulls without breaking
Store in a zip-lock bag at room temperature. Fondant will keep for months in a zip-lock bag. To use again, reheat and knead well until stretchy before each use. You can add color as desired but for dark colors, you should add them during the mixing process or you could get a sticky mess.
Skill level: Newb
One of the most important parts of making any sculpted cake with a 'smooth' look, marshmallow fondant can also be quite the burden. There are many things that can go wrong with fondant, including:
- Fondant tastes terrible
- It can tear and wrinkle, making "elephant skin" on an otherwise smooth surface
- It's expensive!
- It's time-intensive to make and time = money
One of the first things I focused on when started as a cake decorator was fondant. I think Wilton fondant was the first product I used and I quickly became familiar with working hard on a cake, only to have the fondant get elephant skin, or rip and tear, making the process of having to re-roll out the fondant, cover the cake, have it rip... agh!
I began experimenting with ways that I could extend marshmallow fondant with the store-bought brand to create something that was cheap, easy to make and great to work with.
The total cost to make 4.25 lbs of LMF fondant costs about $5, all the while working just like the good stuff that costs an arm and a leg.
I have used small batches of LMF during cake tastings to convince brides and clients that fondant can taste good. I hope this recipe helps you in your cake decorating career as it has in my own.
- Liz Marek
February 17, 2018