Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rolled Fondant

Rolled fondant is one of the most stunning ways to decorate a cake. It can simply and elegantly cover rounds and it can make the most amazing sculpted cakes. I've tried the store bought fondants and while they are easy to use, they are unpleasant tasting. With a bit of testing in the kitchen, I've developed a pretty good rolled fondant recipe. So let's go through the process of making rolled fondant step-by-step. (You will have to bear with these pictures, I'm researching SLR cameras and will replace these pictures with new ones as soon as I get a new camera. It's an exercise in patience, it's hard for me)

Rolled Fondant

1 (.25 ounce) Package Unflavored Gelatin
3 Tablespoons COLD Water
1/2 Cup Corn Syrup
1 Tablespoon Glycerin
3 Tablespoons Shortening
1/2 teaspoon Clear Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Butter Flavor
8 Cups Powdered Sugar

I almost always double this recipe to cover and decorate one cake recipe.

Combine gelatin and cold water, let stand until thick:

Here's the gelatin thickened and ready to go into the double boiler:

Heat the gelatin over medium-low heat until dissolved:

When the gelatin has returned to a clear liquid, add corn syrup, glycerin, and mix. Stir in the shortening:

Just before the shortening has completely melted, remove it from the heat and add the vanilla and butter flavor:

Place 4 Cups of powdered sugar (this is about half of a 32 ounce bag) in the Kitchen Aid with the dough hook and make a well in the center of the sugar:

Allow the gelatin/corn syrup mixture to cool to almost room temperature and the remaining shortening to melt:

Pour the gelatin/corn syrup mixture into the well of the powdered sugar:

Mix the gelatin/corn syrup mixture and powdered sugar until combined and scrape down the bowl as necessary:

At this point you have only added half of the powdered sugar. Set the remaining four cups (the other half of the bag) aside and use it later as you add your food color gel (if you choose to tint your fondant) and roll out the fondant. I found that if you add all the powdered sugar now in addition to the amount you will need for tinting and rolling, the fondant loses it elasticity and becomes much more difficult to work with. Black is a particularly difficult color to achieve due to the sheer amount of food coloring it takes to achieve a true black color, you can use extra shortening on your hands and silicone mat as you add black food coloring to the fondant.

The final step in making your own from scratch rolled fondant is letting the fondant rest. Allowing the fondant to rest allows the liquid ingredients and powdered sugar to marry. I have found time and time again that when I make fondant ahead of time and pop it into a ziplock bag and put it in the fridge it is infinitely easier to work with:

Rolled fondant will keep in the refrigerator in an air tight container for about a week:

Let your fondant rest for at least two hours on the counter or over night in the fridge. Bring the fondant back to room temperature before you add food color or roll in out. For fondant rolling tips from a previous post click here.

Making your own fondant can require a little patience and practice, but I find it to be well worth the effort!


  1. that's a particularly good image of our emty fridge.

    the dad

  2. Who needs food when you have cake?

  3. Is fondant pronounced like it sounds or is it more like 'fawn-DAUNT'? I hope it's the latter.

    Also, I've never had a cake with fondant on it before. Do you leave it on the cake and eat it whole or are you supposed to undress it first?

  4. Yes, Fawn-daunt, you got! You are climbing the cake word latter (whatever that is)! It's personal preference, some people eat the cake and fondant together, some people pull it off, finding it too sweet, and some eat just the fondant and beg for more (Jay).

  5. Thanks for the instructions! . . . I'm honing my decorating skills and just got into home-made fondant (soo much tastier than the packaged Wilton stuff) but mine got much too dry. I'm thinking I'll use these tips next time around! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Great tutorial...I am going to try this one today. I have a tiered graduation cake due this weekend and I'm thinking that I am going to need extra fondant. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Esther and Simply- I hope these tips help you both!!!

  8. They did! I made another cake this week and used some of these tips and it definitely turned out better than last time. I think I need to practice a little more . . . is it just me though, or is there a very thin balance between enough sugar and too much?

    I made two batches and stuck them in the fridge. When I took the first and kneaded in the p. sugar and then rolled it out, it ended up all cracked. The second, I kept on the moister side and, although I was worried it would slide, it stayed on pretty well (although, it was over the top of the cracked fondant, so it had a base to hold on to)

    I guess I'm used to store bought fondant which is very rigid . . . is homemade supposed to have that same rigidity, or was my second batch actually okay? It was a little difficult to place on the cake because of how flexible it was . . . but once it was on the cake, it looked the same as my store bought fondant cakes (shiny, but not wet) and when I was smoothing it, it had the the same feeling (not sticky).

    Any advice? Thanks!

  9. Esther- I definitely think there is a fine line between not enough and too much powdered sugar. I also find that I end up doubling the amount of shortening that I melt into the corn syrup/gelatin mixture and that helps make it a bit more pliable. I also just comfort myself with the fact that homemade is not perfect and that's ok, b/c it just tastes better! Good Luck!!! ~danielle

  10. How long do you keep it in the frig for before you roll it out?

  11. mousybut01- You can do a couple of things for the fondant to "rest." Refrigerate it for a couple of hours, overnight, or even a week. Or just leave it on the counter for a couple of hours... If I make it the day before I definitely throw it in the fridge, then take it out and let it get back to room temp before I roll it out. Good Luck!

  12. love your blog. i have a cake blog too. you do lovely work! do you always make your own fondant? i did for awhile but it started to get really hard to work with and time consuming.