Fondant Icing Recipe

fondant cake with icing and roses

If you're looking for a smooth fondant that can be melted, poured, rolled or hardened, this fondant icing recipe is for you.

The Many Faces of Fondant

Fondant icing is more than just a frosting. Fondant, a thick and creamy sugar paste, can be adapted to countless recipes and baking techniques. While many people think of fondant as the smooth, satiny topping for wedding cakes or petit fours, you can do countless things with the right fondant. This fondant icing recipe is extremely adaptable, and can be used in any of these confections.

  • Roll the fondant into a sheet and drape it over a cake. Use the left over fondant to cut shapes for decorations.
  • Allow the fondant to ripen for 24-hours and form it into a ball of candy. Dip the fondant candy into melted chocolate and let it cool for a chocolate butter cream.
  • Add chocolate to the basic fondant recipe, allow it to ripen for 24-hours and press it into candy molds.
  • Melt the fondant in a double boiler, add a few teaspoons of crème de cacao and pour it over éclairs or petit fours.
  • Color and flavor the fondant with a few drops of extract and food coloring, roll it into a sheet and cut shapes to decorate cakes, cupcakes or cookies.

Fondant Icing Recipe


  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar


  1. Place the ingredients in a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil covered for five minutes.
  3. Uncover and continue to boil without stirring the mixture.
  4. As crystals form on the sides of the pan, remove them carefully without allowing them to drop into the syrup.
  5. Continue cooking until the candy reaches the soft-ball stage, or 238-degrees on a candy thermometer.
  6. Pour the candy onto a cool platter or marble slab.
  7. Allow the fondant to cool until 100-degrees and then begin to work the fondant with a metal spatula. Pull the candy from the corners through the center in a figure 8 pattern until the fondant becomes creamy.
  8. Place the fondant in a covered bowl and allow it to rest for an hour.
  9. Knead the fondant until it becomes soft and pliant.
  10. You can now allow it to ripen for 24-hours by placing it in a bowl covered with a damp towel, or you can roll it out with a rolling pin covered in confectioner's sugar.
Fondant cake with bow

Tips and Tricks

If you want to vary the recipe slightly, or are having difficulty, try some of these tips:

  • Make chocolate fondant by adding four squares of chocolate to the recipe, increasing the cream of tartar by 1/8 teaspoon and replacing the milk with water.
  • If the fondant is too thick and difficult to work with, try adding just a bit of water at a time until it reaches a creamier state.
  • If the fondant is not setting up, increase the amount of cream of tartar. Always begin with the lowest amount possible however, as too much will cause the fondant to become grainy. Not enough and it won't set up. The amount of humidity in the air may affect the fondant, so if you find that in humid weather, it isn't setting up properly try the additional cream of tartar at this time.

With a little bit of patience and practice, fondant icing can be used to decorate cakes of all kinds. Once you have the basic fondant icing recipe down, add a few drops of food coloring or extract to the formed fondant before ripening, melting or rolling to personalize your icing. In time, you'll be using fondant for all your confectionery needs like a pro.

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Fondant Icing Recipe