Fondant Recipes from 19th Century France to Modern Times.

Here’s a summary of the evolution of fondant recipes, starting from the earliest known types, moving through traditional methods, and concluding with the newer trend of using marshmallows:

1. Earliest Known Fondant-Like Recipes

  • Origins: Fondant’s origins trace back to the 18th and 19th centuries, primarily in French pâtisserie.
  • Sugar Paste: The earliest form was more of a sugar paste, made from sugar and water boiled to a specific temperature, then cooled and kneaded.
  • Early Use: This early fondant was used as a covering for cakes or sweets and as fillings in pastries.
  • Evolution: Over time, the recipe evolved, incorporating techniques to improve its texture and workability.

2. Traditional Rolled Fondant Recipe

This recipe typically includes ingredients like gelatin, glucose syrup, glycerin, and powdered sugar. Here’s a basic outline of how to make traditional rolled fondant:


  • Unflavored gelatin (usually one packet, about 2 teaspoons)
  • Cold water (about 1/4 cup)
  • Glucose syrup or corn syrup (1/2 cup)
  • Glycerin (1 tablespoon)
  • Powdered sugar (usually 2 pounds or more, as needed)


  • Gelatin Preparation: Dissolve the gelatin in cold water and let it swell for a few minutes.
  • Melting Gelatin: Gently heat the gelatin mixture until it becomes liquid, taking care not to boil it.
  • Adding Syrup and Glycerin: Stir in the glucose syrup and glycerin into the melted gelatin.
  • Incorporating Sugar: Gradually add powdered sugar to the liquid mixture, mixing until it becomes a dough-like consistency.
  • Kneading: Knead the fondant on a surface dusted with powdered sugar until it is smooth and pliable.
  • Resting: Allow the fondant to rest, covered, for a few hours before using it to ensure it’s firm enough to roll out.
  • Rolling and Using: Roll out the fondant on a surface dusted or use a Fondant Sheeter with powdered sugar for use on cakes or other confections.

Tips for Success

  • Ensure the gelatin doesn’t boil as this can affect the texture of the fondant.
  • The fondant should be kneaded well to avoid any lumps.
  • If the fondant is too stiff, a little more glycerin can be added to soften it.

This type of fondant is known for its smooth texture and is widely used for decorating cakes with a professional finish. It can be coloured and flavoured as desired. This recipe is a bit more complex than the marshmallow fondant but offers a different texture and taste.

3. Modern Marshmallow Fondant Trend

  • Introduction: A newer trend in fondant making involves using marshmallows, which are simpler and more accessible for home bakers.

This recipe is simple and requires only four ingredients. Here’s a summary of the process:


  • 16 ounces of mini marshmallows
  • 32 ounces of powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon shortening


  • Marshmallow Preparation: Start with white mini marshmallows. Ensure they are fresh and not clumped together.
  • Melting Marshmallows: Use a glass bowl to melt the marshmallows in the microwave. Stir well to ensure a smooth mixture.
  • Mixing: Use a mixer with a dough hook attachment. As the mixture thickens, it will become stiff and pliable, similar to play dough.
  • Kneading: Once the mixture is ready, knead it while keeping your hands and surfaces lightly covered with shortening. Avoid using flour or powdered sugar as they can stiffen the fondant.
  • Rolling: Use a long rolling pin, preferably with thickness rings, for an even finish. This is especially useful for larger projects like wedding cakes.
  • Colouring and Flavouring: You can add food colouring or flavouring as desired.
  • Storage: Store the fondant in an airtight container or wrap it in plastic wrap. It does not need refrigeration.

Tips for Success

  • Ensure the marshmallows are fresh and white for the best results.
  • The fondant should have a matte appearance and play dough-like consistency when ready.
  • Practice is key, especially for layered cakes.

This recipe is versatile and can be used for various decorative purposes, from birthday cakes to special event desserts. For more details and additional recipes, you can visit the Favorite Family Recipes website.

Each of these stages in the development of fondant reflects changes in culinary techniques and preferences over time. From the more labour-intensive sugar pastes of the past to the convenience and accessibility of marshmallow fondant, the evolution of fondant recipes mirrors broader trends in cooking and baking.