When trying to make a cake extra special, I like to use this homemade Fondant that tastes like buttercream. It is easy to work with, and the butter and vanilla extracts really do make it taste like buttercream frosting.
Ever since my kids were born, I like to make them special cakes for their birthday. We’ve had flowers, puppies, Rubik’s cube, Indiana Jones, Barbie, Tinkerbell, Cars, and many others over the years.
There is only so much that you can do with frosting, but by using this easy homemade marshmallow fondant you can expand your decorating abilities greatly. Trust me, I’m not a cake decorator, just a mom that likes to see the look of surprise on her kid’s faces when they see their cake for the first time. If you can play with play-doh, you can decorate cakes with fondant.
I first made this fondant years ago to make pirate cupcakes for my son’s birthday. It is a super simple recipe, using ingredients that you may have in your pantry already, if not, you can pick up at the grocery store. Marshmallows are the base for this fondant recipe, and the butter and vanilla extracts are what make this fondant taste like buttercream.
By using a clear vanilla instead of the usual brown vanilla extract, you keep the fondant a nice bright white, perfect for tinting any colour you want or using as is.
I suggest you use gel food colour for tinting the fondant, because you can get a nice bold colour without changing the texture of the fondant. If you use a liquid food colouring, you will need to add a lot more, and you will end up with a sticky fondant.
If you are trying to get a darker colour, like the red or the black that I have pictured, you can add a small amount of cocoa powder to the fondant before adding the gel colour. This will help you to get the colour you want while using less gel colour.
I originally found this recipe for fondant that tastes like buttercream from a site called Cake Central. If you want to be wowed by what real cake decorators can do, or if you’re looking for inspiration for a cake suitable for beginners, I suggest you take some time to browse their site. They also have forums that you can search or post questions in, which is a great way to learn the basics of decorating with fondant.
Tips for working with this homemade fondant:
- To keep the fondant from sticking on your hands, rub a little bit of vegetable shortening on your hands before handling the fondant.
- Once you have kneaded it, and it is no longer sticky, I like to rub the outside of the fondant with a little bit of vegetable shortening. This helps to keep it from drying out. Be sure to wrap in plastic wrap, and place in a zipper seal bag to prevent it from drying out before you have a chance to use it.
- You can keep the fondant, all wrapped up, on the counter for a week before using it, so feel free to prepare it ahead of time. I think preparing it at least the day before you want to use it is best, since it gives it a chance for the confectioners’ sugar to fully absorb the liquid in the fondant.
- If the fondant is too hard to use, you can microwave it for a few seconds to soften it. Kneading it will also help make it more pliable.
- I like to rub a little bit of vegetable shortening on my counter before rolling out the fondant. It keeps it from sticking to the counter, but it also doesn’t add more confectioners’ sugar to it, so it won’t get too hard or dried out right away.
- To get fondant to stick to fondant, you use a clean paint brush and brush on a little bit of water to one of the pieces before sticking them together.
How to change the flavour of this homemade fondant:
- Coconut – add 2 teaspoons coconut extract, and use 3 tablespoons coconut milk in place of the water
- White Chocolate – Use 7 cups of marshmallows and 4 oz. melted white chocolate in place of the 8 cups marshmallows.
- Chocolate- Use 7 cups marshmallows and 1/2 cup melted baking chocolate in place of the 8 cups marshmallows. Use only 1 teaspoon of each vanilla extract and butter flavoured extract instead of 2 teaspoons.
All the recipes you need to prepare the perfect gluten free layered cake:
- The Gluten Free Cake: Gluten Free Vanilla Layered Cake or Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake
- Frosting: Buttercream Frosting or Crusting Buttercream Frosting
- Bring your “A Game” by also using this Homemade Fondant that tastes like Buttercream recipe and get creative. There are endless options when decorating with fondant.
Homemade Fondant that Tastes like Buttercream recipe:
- up to 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, used for kneading the dough
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, used for greasing the bowl for melting marshmallows in
- 8 cups (400 grams) mini marshmallows, very loosely packed
- 2 1/2 teaspoons clear gluten free vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 teaspoon clear butter flavoured extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon white corn syrup (helps with pliability)
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs) confectioners' sugar, sifted (plus more for kneading)
- Grease the inside of a large microwave safe bowl with butter
- Place marshmallows, vanilla & butter flavoured extracts, salt and water in the bowl.
- Microwave on high for 60 seconds. Stir. If marshmallows are completely melted, you are ready to proceed, if not, return to microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted.
- Stir in corn syrup.
- Fit a stand mixer with the dough hook and pour in the confectioners' sugar.
- Carefully add the melted marshmallow mixture to the bowl with the confectioners' sugar. Mix at low speed until incorporated. Turn mixer up to low/medium speed to knead until most of the sugar is blended in.
- Turn the fondant onto a flat surface that has been lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Knead the fondant until smooth and pliable. Coat hands with vegetable shortening if the fondant is too sticky, and continue adding confectioners' sugar until you have a smooth dough.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap followed by a zipper seal bag. Let dough rest for at least an hour before using it.
- If the fondant has become too stiff to work with, you can soften it by microwaving it for 10-15 seconds, then rub your hands with vegetable shortening and knead until pliable again.
- The fondant can be made up to 2 weeks in advance, as long as it it wrapped and sealed properly, to prevent drying out.
Source: Cake Central
How to change the flavour of this homemade fondant:
Coconut - add 2 teaspoons coconut extract, and use 3 tablespoons coconut milk in place of the water
White Chocolate - Use 7 cups of marshmallows and 4 oz. melted white chocolate in place of the 8 cups marshmallows.
Chocolate- Use 7 cups marshmallows and 1/2 cup melted baking chocolate in place of the 8 cups marshmallows. Use only 1 teaspoon of each vanilla extract and butter flavoured extract instead of 2 teaspoons.
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The recipe, and images, were updated in February 2018.