Basic Fondant

Basic fondant recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 3/4 pound (12 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
139 Calories
0g Fat
36g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3/4 pound (12 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 139
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 2mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This basic fondant recipe is a very traditional, classic fondant recipe. It's kitchen alchemy of the best sort—you start with sugar, water, and corn syrup, and end up with a white, pliable, sugar paste. This type of candy making has gone out of favor in recent years, but I think there is something to be said for techniques and recipes that have withstood the test of time.

The fondant that you'll get from this recipe is smooth and soft and can be used to cover cakes, or used as the basis for fondant and cream candies like buttercreams. If you are looking for a faster method, try marshmallow fondant instead.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sugar and water
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 
  2. Prepare your workstation by setting a large baking sheet on a sturdy counter or tabletop and sprinkling it lightly with water.

  3. Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then cover the pan and allow the sugar syrup to boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the lid, and continue to cook the syrup, without stirring, until it reaches 240 F (115 C).

    Saucepan boiling liquid
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Pour the sugar syrup onto the prepared baking sheet. Allow it to sit at room temperature for several minutes. After 2 to 3 minutes, lightly touch the syrup with a finger tip. When it is warm, but not hot, it is ready to be worked.

  5. Dampen a metal spatula or dough scraper with water, and use the scraper to push the syrup into a pile in the middle of the sheet.

    Scrap mixture
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Using a dampened plastic spatula or wooden spoon, begin to “cream,” or work, the fondant in a figure-8 pattern.

    Spread mixture
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. Continually scrape the fondant into the center, draw a figure-8, then scrape it together again. At first, the fondant will be very clear and fluid, but it will gradually become more opaque and creamy. After 5 to 10 minutes, the fondant will become very stiff, crumbly, and hard to manipulate.

    Scrape the mixture with a wooden spoon
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  8. Once the fondant reaches this state, moisten your hands and begin kneading it into a ball like bread dough. As you knead, the fondant will begin to come together and will get softer and smoother. Stop kneading once your fondant is a smooth ball without lumps.

    Roll fondant into a ball
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  9. At this point, your fondant can be used for melting and pouring. Once the fondant is melted and smooth, pour it into your desired receptacle. Fondant can be poured directly into small candy cups and topped with other candies or nuts. Once the fondant hardens, it can be served as is, as the paper cups easily peel away. If it is difficult to pour the fondant from the saucepan, you can first pour it into a measuring cup with a spout.

    Pour mixture into cupcake wrapper
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  10. If you want to make flavored fondant candies, it is best to “ripen” your fondant for at least 12 hours to obtain the best flavor and texture. To ripen the fondant, place it in an airtight plastic container, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the fondant, and seal the lid on tightly. Ripen the fondant at room temperature, or if it is hot, in the refrigerator. After ripening, the fondant can be flavored, rolled, and shaped in whatever manner you wish. If it is stiff, you can always knead it by hand on a surface dusted with powdered sugar, until it is easy to manage.

To Add Color to Fondant

  1. To add coloring and flavoring to fondant, dust your workstation with powdered sugar, and lightly press your fondant flat. Cut several slits in the fondant, and pour the flavorings (like extracts, melted and cooled chocolate, or fruit purees) and food coloring in the slits.

    Add coloring
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Dust your hands with powdered sugar and knead the fondant as you did before until the coloring and flavoring are evenly distributed throughout the fondant.

    Mix coloring in
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

To Make Fondant Balls

  1. Pinch off small walnut-sized portions of fondant and roll them between your palms to create a smooth, even ball.

    Shape balls
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Fondant balls can be served as is, rolled in chopped nuts, or dipped in chocolate for a quick and tasty candy. Serve fondant candies at room temperature, and store in an airtight container in a cool location.

    Make into fondant balls
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

To Melt Fondant

Fondant can also be melted and poured to create soft centers and molded fondant candies. It is best to melt fondant in a double boiler so that it does not overheat. Overheated fondant has a crumbly, unpleasant texture, so be sure to monitor the temperature carefully with a candy thermometer. If you do not use a double boiler, make sure that your saucepan is over very, very low heat, and remove it from the burner as necessary.

  1. Cut premade fondant into small pieces and place them in the top of a double boiler set over gently boiling water. Stir while the fondant melts, and add a teaspoon or two of water to thin the fondant to the desired consistency. If the fondant has not already been colored and flavored, coloring and flavoring can be added at this stage.

    Melt fondant
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Heat until the fondant is melted, but do not let it exceed 140 degrees, otherwise, it will be too hard. If you're ready to try melting fondant for making candy, then you must make the chocolate fondant nut clusters!

    Pecans
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 
  3. Melted fondant can also be used to create fondant-dipped candies. You can dip many different types of fruit (strawberries, grapes, citrus segments, or apple slices) or large nuts, even fondant balls.

    Dip fruit in fondant
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. To dip fondant, prepare a baking sheet by covering it with a sheet of aluminum foil. Make sure that the items you are dipping are dry (and in the case of fruit, clean). Using two forks, submerge the fruit, nuts, or fondant balls in the melted fondant and remove it, scraping the bottom against the lip of the pan to remove excess.

  5. Place the dipped candy onto the prepared baking sheet, and repeat for remaining fondant. It is important to work quickly so that the fondant does not harden too much in the pan. If the fondant does get too stiff, it can be briefly rewarmed over the double boiler to get it back to melting consistency.