Fun and learning with Marshmallow Fondant

Have you ever seen those amazing cakes decorated with fondant and gum paste decorations? Cakes in the shape of castles and cats. Wedding cakes stacked to the ceiling, covered in handmade flowers. Unicorns and cars and suitcases, oh my! If you can imagine it, someone out there can make it!

When I first started working seriously on baking, I decided to try my hand at fondant work. I wanted to make tiered cakes for my kids birthdays and try to express even more of my creative side in my baking with decorations.

I’ve never had anyone to teach me to bake so all of my recipes are the result of trial and error. I quickly found out that fondant decor would be the same way!

My first few batches of homemade fondant were NOT perfect. I ended up with some cracks and soon realized that I was adding too much powdered sugar into my marshmallow fondant, making it too dry. It tasted great (if you like very sweet marshmallows!) and when compared to store bought fondant, my family INSISTED that I only use homemade. The store-bought fondant apparently tasted horrible compared to my simple marshmallow/corn syrup/powdered sugar mixture.

I searched for recipes and tutorials for making the fondant and shaping it into all types of things to put on my cakes. Of course, I found a ton of videos on youtube as well as more websites than I can count. Most recipes are basically the same but I came across one that was a little different. It also caught my eye because of the amazing artwork on the site!! Check out the recipe HERE and while you’re there, look around. A-MAZ-ING!

So I had found the PERFECT recipe for homemade fondant. No cracking. Easy to soften by popping it in the microwave for a few seconds. Lasts a very long time. Perfect!

Now to make all the things. And I mean ALL of them. Everything I saw became a model for my next project. (Things like “Hey, you using that TV remote right now?” No? Cool, hand it to me so I can make a fondant one exactly like it!” were very common in my house.)

I never start anything small. I SHOULD HAVE started with a small cake with just a few simple fondant decorations. But, no, that wouldn’t be anything like me. I started with a huge 3 tier birthday cake and then I never even took a picture to prove it. It was cute but there were a ton of imperfections! I was so proud of this cake, though, because I (mostly) managed to make a 3 tier stacked cake that stayed up, tasted great and was decorated far beyond anything that I had done before!

I’ve continued to practice over the last couple of years and just love working with fondant. I don’t always love a cake that is completely covered in fondant but sometimes, depending on the design, it is necessary. It doesn’t bother me at all when someone cuts into a cake that I have spent hours on. I actually had to stab a knife into my daughters High School Grad cake because no one else had the nerve to cut it! (It is the suitcase and books cake pictured below.) It was A LOT of cake and it definitely wasn’t made to just look pretty! It was made to eat! So, halfway through the party I had to slice it up, otherwise we would be eating cake at home for weeks!

I don’t have a commercial kitchen and, due to state laws, I can’t sell baked goods out of my home. Because of that, all my cakes have only been made for family and friends and I finally had to limit the people that I make them for. Sculpting takes time…SO. MUCH. TIME! Since I work full time and have 3 kids, I don’t have enough spare time to do cakes for everyone that asks. If I do put in the time and eventually find a way to sell them, I will produce more simple designs in order to keep the time invested down because, let’s face it, if you are going to put in the time, you have to charge for your time. But most people don’t seem to understand that the cost of the cake goes up with the amount of detail added. Usually, this means that a highly decorated cake is cost-prohibitive. I’m sure there is a balance to make it doable for me and affordable for people to buy – I just haven’t decided to make that a focus of mine at this time.

And, to top it off, I have no formal training. I taught myself through trail and error, youtube videos and an occasional book. I can’t take on a Wedding Cake just to see it fall over during delivery or something! I don’t need that kind of stress in my life!

So for now it will continue to be an occasional bit of fondant work when the detail bug bites me. I decided to share some of my fondant cakes in this blog. You can see the progression from bad fondant and very little skill to great fondant with slightly more skill! I’m still not awesome at detail but I’m getting there! So if you are new to work with fondant, gum paste or modeling chocolate, just remember…PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT! Keep going! Even if you think your work can be improved, other people will LOVE that you put in so much time to make a special cake for them!

A birthday cake for my husband – he loves his xBox!
More Wizard of Oz cupcakes
Cupcakes for the cast of another show that my daughter was in. Wizard of Oz – she played the Lion and was awesome!
A birthday cake for my husbands cousin for her surprise 40th birthday party.
My daughter’s 20th birthday cake. Oh my holy fondant! SO MUCH TIME invested in sculpting the characters on this that are from the Broadway show ‘HAMILTON’!
Not much fondant on this one but kind of a pain! Making all that ‘hair’ with buttercream was not easy!
A Father’s Day Cake that I made for my husband during my initial ‘every bake must be decorated with fondant’ phase!
My daughters 17th birthday cake. One of my earlier cakes and it shows but I still think it’s cute!
The first Beauty and the Beast cake was for the whole cast, along with cupcakes. THIS ONE was just for my daughter!
My daughters High School Grad cake. My favorite cake to date!
This one was a baby shower cake for the same people that I made the BBQ grill cake!
Made for my neighbors daughter, I always wanted to make something like this. Fun but tons of fondant in those ruffles!
A special cake for my daughter and the cast of one her shows – Beauty and the Beast!
This cake was easier than it looks! The burgers are made of rice crispy treats
Not perfect but still one of my favorites!
My oldest sons’ High School Grad cake – I was learning!
Pretty simple but lots of fondant on this one!

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