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Recipes and Tips to Make the Perfect Fondant Icing

Puja Lalwani Mar 12, 2019
Ever wondered how that impeccably smooth icing on wedding cakes is made? If you have, here's how you can make it too.
Whenever you see wedding cakes, you fail to understand how that flawless, even layer of icing is created and placed on the cake, and how those roses we loved to eat as kids are made. This layer of smooth icing called fondant used on such beautiful wedding cakes can be easily made at home.

Tips to Make Fondant Icing

Before you learn how to make this icing, there are certain tips that should be followed to make the perfect icing.
  • Fondant icing is best made at room temperature. Even its ingredients should be maintained at room temperature, unless specifically mentioned otherwise.
  • It is always better to have excess icing, as it is easy to store and reuse. It can even be used to make those extra roses or other decorations on the cake.
  • When you are asked to heat ingredients, first stir them together at room temperature, and then proceed to heat them. Maintain the right temperature as per the recipe or the mixture could easily burn.
  • Make sure your hands are clear of any jewelry, and that the dough is kneaded and rolled on a clear, smooth surface.

Basic Recipe

  • ¼ cup cold water
  • ½ cup glucose/white corn syrup
  • 1½ tbsp. glycerin
  • 2 lb confectioner's sugar (sifted)
  • 1 tbsp. unflavored gelatin
  • Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. desired flavoring (vanilla/chocolate, etc.)
  • Sift the sugar in a large glass bowl. Make a well in the center.
  • Toss the gelatin in the water in a small saucepan for 5 minutes, until it softens. Now heat this mixture until it turns a clear solution, but do not allow it to boil.
  • Once the solution is ready, take it off the stove, and add in the glycerin and glucose; stir until it blends completely. Add in the flavoring.
  • In the sugar well, pour this blend of ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  • Knead the icing well until stiff. 
  • The mixture may be sticky, so you may add a small amount of confectioner's sugar to it.
  • Knead the icing into a ball, tightly wrap it in a plastic wrap, and keep it in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Avoid refrigeration. The icing should be allowed to rest for 8 hours before it is used.
  • In order to use the icing on a cake, on a clean, flat, preferably marble surface, dust some cornstarch.
  • Roll the fondant icing into a circle large enough to cover the cake from all sides.
  • It should be at least ¼-inch thick.
  • Carefully lift the fondant and place it over a cake that already has butter-cream icing. The icing seals the fondant to the cake.
  • Now, gently smoothen the surface of the fondant on the cake. Do not allow any bubbles to form beneath the surface. Using a pizza cutter, evenly cut off the excess icing.
  • The cake is now ready to be decorated with butter-cream icing. You may even tie a ribbon around the cake for added decoration.
  • With fondant icing, the cake will remain fresh for at least 2 days at room temperature. This cake should not be refrigerated.

Poured Fondant Icing Recipe

  • 2 tbsp. dark corn syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • 6 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • On low heat, cook the confectioner's sugar, water, and corn syrup together.
  • It should reach a temperature of 110 °F and of a consistency where it can be poured, yet is thick enough to coat the cake.
  • Slowly stir in the almond extract.
  • Frost a cake with a smooth layer of butter-cream. Place on a cookie sheet over a cooling rack.
  • Now pour the fondant over the cake, starting from the center and flowing outward in a circular motion. Using a spatula, even the surface of the icing.
The use of fondant icing is not limited only to wedding cakes, though that is where we see it the most. You can use it for just about any cake and any occasion. So go ahead and create that cake you've always only wondered and dreamed about making.