Home » DIY Tutorials » DIY Sewing » Make-a-Cake Series: Making and Coloring Fondant

Make-a-Cake Series: Making and Coloring Fondant

Have you seen the winner of the Lily Lane giveaway? Scroll down or click here.

And have you seen my newest sponsor Thirty-One found here? You are going to quickly fall in love with all of their purses, bags, baskets, and more. And don’t worry, they have sassy, flirty, classy, and stunning….. A style for each of us.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I have had many requests to do a post on how to make fondant.

I am happy to fill that request.

I also added how to color your fondant.

Homemade Marshmallow Fondant vs Traditional Fondant (found in stores):

– Marshmallow fondant tastes better than store bought fondant.
– Marshmallow fondant is cheaper: $4.00 a batch vs. $15-25 for traditional fondant.
– Store bought is, however, a bit easier to work with.

One thing I must start with is that I cannot take credit for this marshmallow fondant recipe or how to make marshmallow fondant.
When I first started cake decorating I looked up how to make marshmallow fondant and found that most of the recipes/process were very similar.

Here is the exact recipe I used.

I added pictures below to show you the steps that I take.
I hope this is helpful, but know that this is not my own information.

If you want to know how much you need to cover your cake, check out the Wilton site.
(This recipe will make about 3 lbs of fondant.)
  1. Two pound bag of powdered sugar **
  2. 16 oz bag of mini marshmallows **
  3. 1/2 cup shorting (Crisco brand)– put this in a container you can get your fingers into….like the measuring cup shown above.
  4. 2-4 Tablespoons of water
**Don’t buy the “off brand” of these products. Trust me, I have tried all different combinations to be able to use the generic brand and it just doesn’t work. You will end up frustrated like I was….trust me on this one! Ha!

Let’s get started…

Clean your counter really well and spread 1/2 of your shorting in a thick layer on your counter about the size of a basketball.

Sift your powder sugar into a pile on top of the shorting. I hate sifting when I bake but in this case it is really helpful. If you don’t do it you will end up with clumps of sugar in your fondant.

Make a crater in the middle of your sugar, keeping high sides all around and a layer of powder sugar on the bottom.

Place your marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl. Add your water. Start with 2 tablespoons.

**The amount of water you use will depend on where you live. When I lived in southeastern Idaho (where it’s more dry) I would add 3 1/2 tablespoons but now that I am in northern Idaho, I only add 2.
If your fondant is dry (cracking) when you knead it later on, you know you need to add more water. Once you figure out how much you need you can add it during this step.

Put your bowl in the microwave. Heat until your marshmallows melt. This takes about 2 1/2-4 minutes. They will look like this:

Fold the marshmallows until it is all incorporated and smooth.

Pour your mixture onto your powdered sugar crater, making sure to scrape and add the excess from the sides of the bowl.

These next steps can be hot, please be careful.
You can let the marshmallows cool a bit if needed.

Coat your hands with shortening. On the front, back, in between fingers, up to your wrists, everywhere. Ha! That which it’s not coated will have fondant stuck to it. So take off your rings too.

And I am sure there are many ways to do this…..but this is what works for me.
Start to fold the powdered sugar on top of the marshmallows….

…and keep folding and combining it until it all starts mixing together.

It will start to look like this.

Now I scrape the counter with a pastry scraper or spatula, put the extra sugar on the fondant.
Apply a thin layer of shortening onto the counter to prevent sticking and keep kneading the fondant.

Keep going until everything is worked in and smooth. If it doesn’t get smooth right away just keep kneading.

** If you still have some shortening left, work all but 1 tablespoon in.

Now you’re done.
Use the fondant right away or coat your finished fondant with a thin layer of shortening and seal tight in a zip lock bag.

This can be left out for a few days without a problem or for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Keep in mind that making your fondant ahead of time is a real timer saver.


Onto coloring your fondant.
Fondant is available at the stores already colored or in white.

When you color it yourself there are benefits:

  • it’s cheaper
  • you have many more color options
  • you can match any shade you want.

To color your fondant, you will need:
– White fondant
– Gel paste dye — I have used the Wilton brand available at Michael’s and I like it. Now I use AmeriColor gel paste only because I like the squeeze bottle. I buy that brand from
– Food safe gloves (optional)– the food color will stain your hands for a day if you do not wear gloves.

For this batch I needed an aqua color for a cake I was making. I knew I needed a mix of teal and sky blue.

It’s best to use a small amount of color at first and get darker of you need.
First, warm up your fondant in the microwave (just a little) to make it easier to knead.

Then, add a few drops of color to a few different areas of the fondant. This will help it mix in faster.
**Note–if you are coloring your fondant a dark color, like red or black, plan on using a lot of dye. It takes large amounts to get true dark colors.

Knead the fondant until all the color is mixed in. Make sure there are no streaks.

After I mixed in the color, I still needed my fondant to be a shade darker.

So, I added a few more drops of color at a time and kneaded again. Perfect.

And that’s it.

Now you’re ready to make beautiful edible creations!

Wondering how to use your new fondant?
If you haven’t already, make sure and check out the cake preparation tutorial here and the covering your cake with fondant tutorial here.

I hope these steps will make you even more brave to jump into fondant work.
Happy Decorating!

Ashley Johnston
  • Save

Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
  • Save


  1. Brittany says:

    I love making cakes with fondant. I’ve made enough to learn a trick or two to make it a little easier. Instead of adding the color after the fondant is made. We add the color to the melted marshmallows! It is so much easier! And the color always comes out even and beautiful! Just thought I would share!

  2. ashley says:

    I followed all the steps and my MMF came out great except there are still some teeny hard sand like pieces. I refrigerated it and I will not use it for three days when I color it and cover cake for my dad’s birthday. What to do?

  3. casey says:

    I made mmf recently and stored the left over wrapped in the fridge. 2 weeks layer I wanted to use it. It had turned a bit dry and was cracking. Can I add water to stop it from cracking or should I just make a fresh batch next time?

  4. Johan says:

    Looks nice and easy, only problem we cant get SHORTENING is there something else I can use instead?

  5. Laura says:

    thank you, I am definitely going to try this recipe for my daughter’s second birthday. I did her 1st with home made fondant, I struggled to handle it myself until my lovely man gave me a hand then it came out awesome.

  6. Wendy says:

    I am so excited! I have never before attempted fondant before because to be honest, I really dislike the flavor and texture of fondant. BUT…my daughter is turning 30 soon and I saw some cute cookies in pinterest and decided I would attempt my own version of them. I tried another fondant recipe elsewhere and while it turned out ok, I wasn’t completely satisfied. I came across your website and decided it looked simple enough for me to give it a whirl. OMGOSH I can’t say enough how easy this was and absolutely perfect and the taste is like nothing you’ll ever buy in the store. it actually tastes delicious! Since this was my test case, and its St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, I colored part of the fondant green and made shamrocks for some cutout cookies. Just cutes adorable! Thank you!

  7. Misty says:

    How long does the marshmallow fondant last? I read that it tends to dry out on the cake or becomes sticky if too warm. I want to make my first fondant cake using my own fondant, not sure if I should go this route or with the classic recipe. Also, my daughter’s birthday is in May and she will be blowing her candles out, outside. Thanks

  8. valerie says:

    I was a first time fondant maker and user and I was happy with this it was easy to use and make. It Made a giant mess but anyone could have that ! There’s only on thing that was left out that I think should have been mentioned, when u microwave the marshmallows cover the because they pretty much exploded in my microwave an it was very hard to clean

  9. Mahham says:

    I made a marshmallow fondant.. They became hard.. I am having difficulty in rolling them out and they are so hard that i cannot get it big enough for the cake.. Please help me where i am going wrong?.. Thank you :)

  10. marilyn says:

    Can you use that marshmallow in a jar? Microwave is on the fritz?

  11. Ashley says:

    Thank you so much for posting! I’m making a two tier cake with fondant for the first time and with your instructions managed to make the fondant perfect on the first try!!! Thanks!

  12. Anonymous says:

    When you put the marshmallows in the microwave do you need a lot of water?

  13. Kristin Mills says:

    Super easy! thank you! All the others drag it out and make it a lot more difficult than it needs to be. You have saved my computer from hitting the wall lol thanks again :)

  14. Victoria says:

    Thank you very much for making this and for teaching me how to make cake fondant

  15. Val says:

    THANKS – did it exactly like it – turned out perfect (no sticking on my hands) – knitting like you said 5-8 minutes so easy! THANKS so much

  16. jennifer says:


  17. 08cowwife says:

    I made this for my daughters sweet 16 b- day cake I love the way it makes up great. I was surprised how much it made. You weren’t kidding about needing more water on the desert we are in Blackfoot and its a rainy day and I needed 5 TBSP. I did add almond extract because of personal tastes. I wonder how much I will need on dry summer days?

    1. MonikaC says:

      When did you add the almond extract? How much?

  18. Casey says:

    Do/Can you bake the fondant or is it already edible?
    Sorry if this question is stupid… Last time we made icing which included the Cisco shortening thing and we got stomach aches, and my parents said it was probably because the recipe was wrong and it shouldn’t use shortening because you’re supposed to bake it.

  19. amanda says:

    im a pastry chef, and buying fondant is what ive always done. some of my custmers hate marshmellows so i highly reconmend Choco-bucket white chocolate fondant, they also carry a lot of other flavors. however i love marshmellows and this is a great money saver, im going to try and adjust the receipe to create a smooth and non drying fondant. the addition of heavy corn syrup and crisco/coconut oil should help. ill post the results and receipe after i make it this week! this was the most helpful blog i found on fondant, love it !

  20. Jewlz says:

    Thanks for ur ideas help alot

  21. Nikki Parker says:

    Barbie cake lifesaver. Thanks!!

  22. Lydia J McDonald says:

    This has to be the best tutorial I have found for making fondant. I’ve used the same recipe but wasn’t sure how to do it. This sure helps an awful lot!

  23. Nikki says:

    shorting on your hands before mixing in the food coloring will also work :) learned the hard way

  24. Sierra says:

    Oh my goodness! First time working with fondant and first time making a cake without my mom. I have to say, I nearly gave up on the fondant. Forgot to pay attention to the marshmallows while they were microwaving and, of course, they exploded all over. So then we realized we had to microwave more marshmallows except then we used too many. That’s when I almost gave up, it was a sticky, gooey mess on the counter and it was taking waaay more time than we had planned. My friend, however, (who, for the record, was not elbow deep in marshmallow gunk) wouldn’t let me give up. She helped me slowly sprinkle in more powdered sugar until it all mixed together perfectly.

    So, my advice:

    It’s gonna get messy and it’s very easily fixed if you do mess up.

    Oh, and pay attention to the mallows!!!!

  25. Erica says:

    This is an amazing help for me, I’ve always wanted to be a cake decorator when I grow up and this page has really inspired me! :)

  26. Andrea says:

    Stir in your food coloring to the melted marshmallow before adding the powdered sugar.. It’s way easier. Just make it a tad bolder than you actually want it as it will fade a little with the powdered sugar

  27. Sadaf says:

    I am planning to make the rainbow cake for my daughter’s birthday… Does butter work fine instead of shortening, cuz where i live we dont get the crisco shortening.

  28. Kristen says:

    Have you have ever tried using organic, non-hydrogenated shortening with this? I’d like to try using something other than regular shortening. Thanks!

  29. Dusti says:

    Turned out great. I posted pics on my blog (

  30. Dani says:

    I just made this and it was so easy! I was even able to do it while my 11month old son entertained himself. Didn't take long at all. I did keep a glass of warm water next to me while I was kneading and I added it a tablespoon at a time because mine was a little dry. It worked great.

  31. neally82 says:

    I made this today for a birthday cake for myself. It was my very first time doing anything with fondant, including making it. I did use the dough hook on my Bosch mixer and it was AMAZING! I greased the hook well with Crisco and let it do all the work for me. I had to redo the Crisco on the large hook a few times, but it was great and the fondant was so easy to work with. My kids had a great time helping me cut out some different sized circles and putting it on the cake with me. Totally fun!

  32. Nanu says:

    Have you ever thought of using your dough hook in your Bosch or Kitchen Aid? I have been a decorator/baker for years and wondered if this would work…

  33. The Evans says:

    I have loved your series. I have now made two fondant cakes and love your instructions, so helpful. I do have question though. I need to make a cake wednesday but they won't use it until Saturday, will it still look good? How will it taste?

  34. Brittany says:

    I have had that happen a few times and I don't know if there is a reason to it. When I am working with dry fondant I always try warming it up first, and then I work in extra shortening to get the right consistency. I hope this helps and good luck!

  35. Aubrey says:

    Thank you for putting this together! I've been wanting to try using fondant, but couldn't bring myself to pay that much for it at the stores, so I was glad to find this recipe. It made it easy to make with all the great pictures. I made this for my son's birthday and made a Mater cake. My kids were all super excited and it turned out really cute. I'm looking forward to working with fondant again. Thanks!!

  36. Anissa says:

    Hi! I made three batches of fondant using your recipe. After finishing them all up and putting them in the fridge for a couple of days I pulled them back out to color them.

    I think my fondant is too dry. What would have been the cause of that? I followed the recipe to a "T". If I try to pull at it like you do in the picture of you kneading the color in, then it tears apart. Not good, right? Any tips on how to salvage my fondant?

    Thanks! Anissa

  37. Cami says:

    I am so excited to try this out! Do you think it would work with the big marshmallows? I have two bags of big marshmallows on hand…

  38. Marla says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for doing this cake series! I just finished making my first two batches of fondant for my daughter's birthday party. So far so good!!

  39. Anee Dupaix says:

    so, i took your advice and bought a cake mix and added the extra oil and its so much better! and the fondant was SO much fun to make! i've never done anything like this before and it was just so fun. i'm so excited for end product which will come to be on the 18th! so far so good though. thanks for the awesome recipe!

  40. Brittany says:

    Kris– Here is a address:

    That is the only natural gel food dye I know. There are more liquid food dyes but in the gel its harder to find. I hope this helps!!

  41. Kris Mazy says:

    Any places that you know of to get NATURAL cake dyes?… I have one who is deathly allergic to RED DYE… and she has ALWAYS wanted a pink birthday cake.

    1. katy says:

      maybe you could try strawberry or raspberry syrup or juice, in place of the water used when melting the marshmallows? you might have to play with the proportions of liquid to sugar when you do, but it would be totally natural. just a thought!

  42. 2 Giggle Boxes says:

    Never mind about the food coloring…I read your response to an earlier comment!

  43. 2 Giggle Boxes says:

    I am so excited about trying this out! Thanks for sharing all of your tips! It would be so nice to make a cake instead of spending an arm and leg buying one. Can you use food coloring to color the fondant?

  44. Natalie Ruth says:

    My sister and I followed every step you gave and our fondant turned out GREAT! Not to mention, it actually tasted good. My daddy even ate it and he HATES fondant haha. You have some proud students. Check out our cute cake:

  45. Bloggy Mama says:

    I'm totally in love with this. Thanks!
    I also figured out that I can add my food colouring to the water before I have even microwaved my marshmallows and it makes a really smooth and even colour, without all the extra kneading!!

  46. Julie says:

    That is awesome! I always hesitated trying it because I thought it would be really expensive to buy and if I liked it to keep buying! How awesome that it can be made and that we have a perfect visual tutorial for this! Ya'll rock!

  47. Wendy and Spencer says:

    I didn't even know you could MAKE fondant! I thought it was some fancy expensive thing you had to buy somewhere!

  48. Amber says:

    I have also used my kitchen aid mixer for this, and it works wonderfully! So much less mess!! :-) I just use the dough hook and coat both the bowl and the hook with crisco. I put in half the powdered sugar in the bowl, and then pour in the melted marshmallows. Then I slowly add the rest of the powdered sugar. This is so much faster and easier! It is also very easy to add color this way, if you are going to color one whole batch the same color. I also typically use only name brands fr the marshmallows and powdered sugar, however this last time I used the Walmart brand since that was all I had, and it turned out just fine, no problems at all!

  49. Adrienne says:

    You can use the Wal-mart brand (Great Value)shortening instead of Crisco shortening… It comes out the same. I was even told in my WILTON cake decorating class that it doesn't matter what brand you use.

    JUST AN FYI to whoever doesn't want to buy/can't afford to get the Crisco brand.

  50. MommyB says:

    I did this and it was super easy, I added the dye while the mallow was hot and that was an easy way to spread the color.

  51. Mindy says:

    I also use a kitchen aid when mixing my MMF, such a time saver. I also like to add a little light corn syrup to mine which makes it more pliable and it lasts longer.
    my vote is ALWAYS MMF over store bought.
    Great tut!

  52. Michelle says:

    Good heavens, its a lot easier than I thought it would be! I will definitely have to try this soon!! Thank you so much!

  53. Jill says:

    I just finished my first cake with fondant!!! It went pretty good even though all I could get for today was off-brand marshmallows. I'll be putting it up on my blog (will props and links to here) soon, and I'll send you the link so that you can check out how I did! :)

  54. kathy says:

    I never knew that you could make it this easily I thought you needed to buy it in specialist stores.

  55. Sarah @HarriganHowdy says:

    I have seriously learned so much from your blog- and now this cake series- Wow! :) I have given you the "Sunshine Blog Award" because you truly are inspiring to me.


  56. Jeanne says:

    Thank you for the fondant info. I have a lunch bag from 31 and love it!

  57. Mandy says:

    I've never used store fondant because it just sounded like it would taste yucky, plus I'm so thrify – – I love this alternative – I will be trying it!!

    Love your whole series

  58. Lavinia Creati-Vita says:

    Hi, i really love this "make a cake seies".
    Here in Italy we don't decorate the cake with fondant, we decorate with whipped cream, sugar icing(?), or little candies of sugar (we call it "code di topo").
    We also use little colored puppet of sugar, flower of sugar…we have a lot of different kind of little sugar decoration! And here in Italy we use "marzapane" (you call it marzipan maybe) a lot!
    Your way is very interesting, I'll try someday, thank you!

  59. עינת says:

    i have a tip: when you dye the fondant, make a little hole in the fondant and pour the color there, close it and then start kneading0 saves a lot of mess!!
    great tut! altough i love to buy the fondant- saves a lot of time!

  60. alaskafam says:

    Thanks for the post. Your directions were great. I can't wait to try it myself.

  61. Elizabeth says:

    This is an excellent tutorial…thank you so much. I've been on the fence about fondant, but I love this and will definitely try it soon. I'm especially loving the cost saving!!

  62. Rafahi Family says:

    I have used the same recipe for yrs now and it does work. So many people waster their money buying the already made fondant and it isn't even that good. My daughter and i both prefer the taste of the marshmallow fondant. :-) I had thought about doing a post on y blog as well, but since I haven't used fondant on a cake in over a yr I kind of forgot. Thanks for sharing.

  63. Kiera says:

    I love the posts on making the cake! I'm so excited to give it a try! You mentioned that it's better to make the butter cream frosting…what is the recipe that you use?

  64. Sunshine of Seven says:

    Thanks for sharing the recipie. I have dreamed of making a fondant cake sometime, now I need to sooner! I love the look of fondant wedding cakes, so many possibilities. And, you make it look simple, Great Job!

  65. Becky says:

    I have used this recipe on 3 wedding cakes. I think this fondant is so much easier to work with.
    When I have added coloring I add it at the "soupy" stage of the melted marshmallows before adding the powdered sugar and it works great (and my hands don't get colored).
    Thanks for sharing.

  66. Laura says:

    I made the marshmellow fondant for the first time last week when I was asked to do a 3 tier birthday cake up until then I just did butter cream. I really liked working with it and the recipe I used was simular to yours.

    I also read where you can add the color to the marshmellow mixture after it is melted and before you add the sugar. Have you tried it that way?

    Also I added some vanilla, almond and lemon flavoring to my fondant to give it some different flavor.

    Thanks for the awesome cake tutorials!!

  67. Little Yancey Family says:

    I just wanted to thank you for these tutorials! First because I've been wanting to take a cake decorating class, but with two little ones & hubby's work it's just not in the cards for me at this time of my life, and 2 because with your home made helps my husband may actually let me do it. :) He think spending $30 to decorate your own cake is silly when you can just buy one or have a plain one. He has no sense of whimsy. :)

  68. Aleisha says:

    Hey that's exactly how I was taught in college (BYUI)! same method/recipe and everything. Now I can refer people to this post when they ask how i do it.

  69. PeaceLoveApplesauce says:

    Love this series!!

  70. tysmom1010 says:

    Awesome! I had no idea it was so simple. Just in time to make my daughter's 1st birthday cake next week!

  71. Vielka says:

    Whoa! That looks SO easy, I'm gonna have to give it a try this weekend! Thanks for the tutorials! I'm totally inspired!

  72. Nadine says:

    That is a fantastic trick! I went to culinary school and they certainly made it way more complicated than that! :0) Great post, thanks for sharing!

  73. Brittany says:

    Amanda–I have never tried using my mixer. But if it works for you I say go for it!
    summerbummer- What I have heard about food coloring is that the regular food coloring will add too much liquid to your fondant and change the consistency. If you held back some water when you heated I wonder if you could do it? Also, I believe the regular stuff is not as strong. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!!
    Valerie–No you don't have to use it right away you can store it for weeks in the fridge. Coat it with Crisco and seal it tight in a zip lock bag. You just have to warm it up in the microwave when you use it again.

  74. Valerie says:

    do you have to make it the same day as you use it???

  75. Jill says:

    YAY!!! This is what i was waiting for!! Now I have an intense desire to make a fondant style cake!!!

  76. summerbummer says:

    I didnt know you could make fondant. Now i'll have no excuse to make a cute cake, or at least try.

    do you have to use the gel dye, or can you use regular food coloring?

    1. crafty cakester says:

      USE THE GEL DYE! Serious, the liquid type can affect the consistency of the fondant and can even have a tendency to bleed out in humid/moist environments. The gel type also produces better/brighter color with less dye than the liquid type. I like Wilton and AmeriColor brand and use the AmeriColor brand most often.

  77. Danae says:

    Ah! Thank you so much! I have always wanted to decorate a cake using fondant, and this series is making me brave enough to actually try it. So much good information– thanks!!!

  78. Adam and Sarah says:

    I love this new cake series that you guys are doing. I'm so excited to try this! Thanks!

  79. Amanda says:

    The first time I made the MMF it took forever! I have a shoulder that goes out of whack sometimes, and it chose this day to do it. The next time that I had to make it, I used my Kitchen Aid for the initial kneading. It helped so much and I didn't notice a difference in the MMF. Do you know if it matters? I like the fact that you put all of your powdered sugar out at once. The recipe I used said to incorporate it slowly, and I wound up with about a 1/3 pound of sugar that wouldn't incorporate. Thanks

  80. Christina says:

    Thank you for doing this series! I have been dreaming of learning how to decorate cakes with fondant and you're making it easier than ever!

  81. Angie says:

    I need to go supply shopping and practice for my daughter's birthday! Thanks again for these great tutorials!!

  82. PRYOR says:

    Wow I didn't realize how easy that was to make, I'm gonna have to try this out this summer. Thanks for the tips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

Back to Top
Share via
Copy link