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5 Types of Fondant You Need to Know About

Rolled or poured, stretched or dipped, fondant comes in many forms and has a variety of uses. It’s hard to keep track of everything available to you and all the ways to use it. If you’re new to the world of fondant (or if you just can’t remember of all your options!) pin the image below or bookmark this list for future reference — you’ll be glad you did!

Get to know the different types of fondant, including pros and cons for each type

types of fondant

Rolled fondant

Rolled fondant

has become the covering of choice for many cake decorators. Working with rolled fondant comes with a bit of a learning curve, but once mastered it can be sculpted and molded into an endless number of shapes, textures and designs. Within the world of rolled fondant there are a few options, each with its pros and cons.Cake by Bluprint Instructor Maggie Austin | Erin Gardner | Bluprint

Image via Bluprint Instructor Maggie Austin

Traditional rolled fondant

Traditional commercial rolled fondant varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but typically contains some combination of sugar, oil, glycerine, corn syrup and stabilizing gums or gelatin.

Pros

Store-bought fondant can be rolled to cover a cake or sculpted into shapes or figures. It dries firm but sliceable, with a matte finish. It can be flavored with the addition of oils or extracts. Traditional rolled fondant is easy to color and lasts for many months stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Cons

Fondant recipes vary by maker and each has its quirks. Learning which brand is best for you can be time consuming and pricey. Bluprint Instructor Lesley Wright breaks down her take on each fondant brand here: “The Good, the Bad and the Tasty: A Comparison of Fondant Brands.”

Cake by Bluprint Instructor Shawna McGreevy | Erin Gardner | Bluprint

Image via Bluprint Instructor Shawna McGreevy

Chocolate-based rolled fondant

Whether store-bought or homemade, the ingredients in chocolate fondant are similar to those found in traditional fondant with the addition of white or dark chocolate. Chocolate adds both flavor and elasticity to the fondant.

Pros

It’s typically a little more forgiving, tearing and creasing less than traditional fondant.

Cons

Chocolate fondant needs to be tinted with oil-based candy colors and flavored with oil-based flavorings, which can be a little more difficult to find. It’s more perishable than traditional fondant, but still lasts for a few months stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Cake by Bluprint Instructor Jessica Harris | Erin Gardner | Bluprint

Image via Bluprint Instructor Jessica Harris

Homemade marshmallow fondant (aka MMF)

Homemade fondant is made by combining melted marshmallows with confectioners sugar, water and shortening. Get Bluprint instructor Jessica Harris’s foolproof MMF recipe, or watch this simple visual recipe video. Some decorators add some store-bought fondant to their MMF recipes to add elasticity and shelf life.

Pros

It’s quick, easy and inexpensive to make and possesses many of the same positive qualities as traditional commercially made fondants.

Cons

Homemade fondant has a shorter shelf life than the store-bought variety. It can take a few tries to get the fondant to the perfect consistency. Outcomes can vary depending on the brand of marshmallows used and the humidity where you live.

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Poured fondant

Poured fondant is a classic glaze used to coat cakes and candies with a sleek, glossy, crunchy, sugary shell. Some recipes call for breaking out the candy thermometer, others are a simple mix of just a few ingredients. Poured fondant is the traditional finish for petit fours and also makes for a silky smooth candy filling. There are a few types of poured fondant, all detailed below.

Poured Fondant | Erin Gardner | BluprintImage via Erin Bakes.

Cooked poured fondant

The most traditional recipes for poured fondant are ones made of sugar and water that’s cooked to the softball stage and then whipped until glossy.

Pros

It can be tinted with water-based food colorings and flavored with the addition of oils or extracts. Cooked fondant recipes can be made in advance and re-warmed to a pourable consistency when needed. Unused fondant can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days.

Cons

Using a candy thermometer and working with hot sugar can take time to master and may be intimidating to some. 

Poured Fondant Petit Fours | Erin Gardner | Bluprint Image via Erin Bakes 

Quick poured fondant

This icing is typically a combination of powdered sugar, corn syrup, water and a flavoring, whipped together with a stand or hand-mixer. It sometimes contains white chocolate or candy coating for additional flavor and color.

Pros

Comes together in a flash with a few inexpensive ingredients. Easy to color, flavor and re-warm as needed. 

Cons

A smidge less refined than its cooked cousin. Because the sugar is beaten and not cooked, there can be a little more texture to this version. 

If the thought of using a candy thermometer and whipping hot sugar makes you break out into a cold sweat, check out my poured fondant recipe and easy petit four dipping technique here: “How to Make Petit Fours.”

Candy filling

Either cooked or quick fondant recipes can be used as candy fillings. If using a cooked fondant, make sure it cools to room temperature before handling. Fondant candy fillings can be flavored with extracts, oils, jam, nuts and more. Classic chocolate-covered cherries are made by wrapping cherries in fondant before dipping them in chocolate. The sugar from the fondant breaks down the cherry and creates a juicy, sweet filling. Making your own fondant-filled candies with my recipe and tutorial here.

Fondant Filled Chocolates | Erin Gardner | BluprintImage via Erin Bakes

 

5 Comments

Rose

After reading the article above, which would be the best fondant to use in a hot climate?

Reply
Erin Gardner

Hi! All of these fondants have different applications, so it would really depend on what you’re making. The petit four poured fondant recipe would still be the same to use in a humid climate. If you’re referring to rolled fondant, then you might be better off with one of the chocolate-based fondant brands. Thanks!

Reply
filibia

hi. sometimes its not esay to get commercial rolled fondant. can you give me a good recipefor rolled fonfant i can make and please i would need rolled fondant without marshmellows because its so not easy to get marshmellows here. thanks

Reply
Erin Gardner

Hi! So sorry you’re having trouble finding fondant! That’s a tough one to answer without the use of marshmallows. Where are you located? Can you order it online? If anyone else has a fondant recipe that doesn’t call for marshmallows, please feel free to chime in! 🙂

Reply
Gena Smith

Rolled Buttercream Fondant
Recipe By: Kelley @allrecipes.com
“Great rolled fondant recipe for cakes or cookies. Tastes like buttercream frosting.”

Ingredients
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar

Directions
In a large bowl, stir together the shortening and corn syrup. Mix in the salt and vanilla flavoring, then gradually mix in the confectioners’ sugar until it is a stiff dough. If you are using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment.
Otherwise, knead by hand. If the dough is sticky, knead in more confectioners’ sugar until it is smooth. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

To use, roll out on a clean surface that has been dusted with confectioners’ sugar until it is 1/8 inch thick or thinner if you can. Drape over frosted and chilled cakes and smooth the sides down, or cut into strips to make bows and other decorations.

Reply

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