Play with your food, make fondant

If you've ever watched Food Network's "Ace of Cakes" or a similar television show, you might have heard a strange word tossed around during the decorating process: "fondant." On shows such as "Ace of Cakes," they tend to use a rolled fondant to cover a cake, giving it a smooth appearance. They will also cut pieces of it into little adornments and make little figures to give the cake an extra dimension. This has led me to call fondant by a simpler, less strange name: "candy play-doh."

Play-dohs are edible for the safety of children, but unlike your run-of-the-mill play-doh, fondant is tasty, sweet and meant for eating. It's great for kids because it is the one time you can play with what you'll eat.

For how expensive the price tag is on pre-made fondant at the store, you'd never guess that it is such a breeze to make. It only takes a few short steps. Just be warned - it is messy!


  • 1 bag mini marshmallows (approx. 1 lb)
  • 2 bags of powdered sugar (approx. 2 lb)
  • Crisco
  • Wax paper
  • Microwave
  • Medium-sized microwaveable bowl

Step 1: Pour the bag of marshmallows into a medium-sized microwaveable bowl. The marshmallows are going to expand, so you might have to do this in parts. Heat in the microwave until all the marshmallows are melted. Be careful not to overheat and burn them:

Step 2: Gradually mix the powdered sugar into the melted marshmallows.

Step 2.5: As you mix the powdered sugar in with the marshmallows, it should become a more solid substance. As you mix, you may want to remove from the bowl and mix as if kneading bread dough. This step is easiest if you lay down wax paper and cover in Crisco. Smear Crisco on your hands as well so the fondant doesn't stick to you.

Step 3: Keep adding powdered sugar until the mixture reaches more of a typical play-doh texture. You'll know you've reached this stage because it will be less runny. Add more powdered sugar for a more firm dough to craft with or add melt more marshmallows if you want a more flexible dough. I find it is at its best when the fondant can keep the shape of a ball.

Step 4: Although you can immediately use the fondant, it is best to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. To store, make sure you place extra Crisco over the outer layer of your fondant dough. Then wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or longer if needed.

Step 5: Get inventive! You have fondant, aka candy play-doh now. Have fun and start playing. What can you make with it? Will you cover a cake like on TV, make little people or come up with something completely new and unheard of?

I used fondant to make a car in the examples below. I covered Rice Krispie treats with fondant to help it keep its shape. Then mini Oreos helped make the wheels and M&Ms supplied the headlights. I used a paint brush to paint a blue frosting on the vehicle.

There are other recipes for a more firm fondant, but none are as simple and tasty as this. Enjoy!

Tip: Continue using Crisco or even corn starch when playing with fondant to keep it from sticking to fingers or add some water if it is doing the opposite and being not sticky enough.

Tip: When attaching fondant to other foods such as a cake, it helps to use a normal frosting as an adhesive.


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