Technique: Make Marshmallow Fondant

My son’s 5th birthday was this past weekend, and this is the first in a series of posts with some how-to’s from his birthday brunch!  I baked his birthday cake (Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb) and also Clone Wars clonetrooper cupcakes.  For both of these, I used marshmallow fondant.  (Tutorials: Clone Wars Cupcakes | Perry Cake)

If you’ve never tried marshmallow fondant, it’s a great thing!  It’s got a little different texture from regular fondant (I find it has more elasticity, hence a tendency to droop when left overnight, so that limits it’s 3D usage) but it tastes generally better, is cheap to make, and pretty darn easy to make and work with.  I highly recommend.  I first tried it last year, when I made a Dragon Cake (tutorial here) for the 4th Birthday.

Here’s the basics on how to make it (see recipe below):

16 ounces white marshmallows
2 to 5 tablespoons water
2 pounds icing (powdered) sugar
approx 1/2 cup solid shortening (like Crisco)


  • In large bowl, melt marshmallows with ~2 Tbsp water in microwave. (Zap for 30 seconds, stir thoroughly. 30 sec more, then stir again. Stop when marshmallows are melted 1.5 to 2 minutes for me this time.)  [photo1]
  • Stir in about 3/4 of the powdered sugar.
  • Grease your counter with Crisco, and grease your hands, and turn out the blob out onto the counter.
  • Knead thoroughly for a minute, and then add the remainder of your sugar.
  • Keep kneading.  You are looking for a firm, elastic ball that will stretch without tearing. (Note, if you’re going to be adding color, I wouldn’t worry about getting it perfect or adding any additional water at this point.  You’ll be kneading a great deal more later to incorporate the color.
  • Wrap up into a ball, cover with more Crisco, wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Place in a ziptop bag in the fridge overnight.

You can make this several days in advance, then add color when you’re ready to use.  Just add food coloring (paste or gel will work best for strong colors) and knead thoroughly until the color is incorporated and the texture is right.  It should be able to be rolled thin, and will give and stretch without breaking too easily.

(For even more information, including tips on rolling and using, check out Peggy Weaver’s tutorial)

See all 5th Birthday Party Series

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