With just four ingredients, this EASY Marshmallow Fondant recipe is inexpensive, easy to make, and can be used for any creative cake decorating project! Plus, it tastes great!

Want a cake recipe to decorate with fondant? Keep it simple with a homemade Yellow or Chocolate cake or make it fancy and fill your cake with Chocolate Mousse!

A round cake covered in a sheet of homemade Marshmallow Fondant.

What I love about this recipe:

  • Inexpensive: Store-bought fondant can be pretty expensive but this fondant recipe only costs about $2 for per batch (about 3lbs of fondant)!
  • Fast: Only takes about 10 minutes to make homemade fondant!
  • Texture: This fondant is perfectly smooth, pliable, and can be made any color you’d like! It is perfect for cake decorating!

How to make Marshmallow Fondant:

Microwave: Place marshmallows and water in a microwave safe bowl and microwave.

Two images showing marshmallows in a bowl, and then the marshmallows melted.

Mix in Powdered Sugar: Grease your hands with shortening and use your hands to mix in powdered sugar with the melted marshmallow mixture.

A bowl of marshmallow fondant with powdered sugar on top.

Knead: Grease your hands and your counter-top generously with shortening. Turn marshmallow mixture onto counter and start kneading it like you would dough. Add more powdered sugar as needed and re-grease your hands and the counter-top as needed until the dough is smooth and soft.

Two images showing Marshmallow Fondant being kneaded, and then in a ball.

4. Add color (if desired) and Roll Out: Roll it out thinly (about ⅛ inch thick) for covering cakes or creating decorations.

A round cake covered in homemade marshmallow fondant and topped with a pink flower.

How much Fondant do I need to cover my cake? 

This recipe makes about 3 pounds (48 oz) of fondant. Here is a conversion chart to help you determine how much fondant you need to cover your cake.

Coloring and Storing Instructions:

To Color: Add a little icing color to your desired amount of fondant. Knead the fondant with your hands until it absorbs all of the color (I recommend wearing plastic gloves). Add more color as needed to reach the desired hue.

To Store: Coat homemade marshmallow fondant with a thin layer of shortening then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a resealable bag with all the air squeezed out. It will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Recipe Variations:

  • Stovetop instead of microwave:  Add water and marshmallows to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir well until melted. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar.
  • Substitute large marshmallow:  To substitute large marshmallows, use a 16 oz. bag of large marshmallows.  Follow directions exactly, using a little more water and/or powdered sugar in step 6 to find the right consistency for a smooth dough.
  • To use a stand mixer:  If you don’t want to knead the dough with your hands, you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook.  First grease the bowl and the hook with shortening.  Then dust the bowl gently with powdered sugar.  Add marshmallows and slowly add the rest of the powdered sugar (about ½ cup at a time), mixing between each addition.

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Recipe

Marshmallow Fondant placed loosely on top of a round cake.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 5 mins
Total 20 mins
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Ingredients
 
 

  • 16 ounce package mini marshmallows (8 ½ cups)
  • 2-5 Tablespoons water
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening

Instructions
 

  • Place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a large microwave-safe bowl. 
  • Microwave for 30 seconds on high; stir until mixed well. Continue microwaving in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth.
  • Place about 5 cups of the powdered sugar on top of the melted marshmallow mixture and gently fold it into the marshmallows.
  • Grease your hands and your counter generously with shortening. Turn marshmallow mixture onto counter and start kneading it like you would dough. 
  • Add more confectioners' sugar as needed and re-grease your hands and the counter as needed.
  • If the marshmallow fondant is tearing easily, it is too dry; add water (about ½ tablespoon at a time) kneading it until fondant forms a firm, smooth elastic ball that will stretch without tearing.

Notes

Yield: This recipe makes about 3 pounds (48 oz) of fondant. Here is a conversion chart to help you determine how much fondant you need to cover your cake.
Coloring Instructions: Add a little icing color to your desired amount of fondant. Knead the fondant with your hands until it absorbs all of the color (I recommend wearing plastic gloves). Add more color as needed to reach the desired hue.
Storage Instructions: Coat fondant with a thin layer of shortening, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, and place in a resealable bag with all the air squeezed out. It will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Variations:
  • Stovetop instead of microwave:  Add water and marshmallows to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir well until melted. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar.
  • Substitute large marshmallow:  To substitute large marshmallows, use a 16 oz. bag of large marshmallows.  Follow directions exactly, using a little more water and/or powdered sugar in step 6 to find the right consistency for a smooth dough.
  • To use a stand mixer:  If you don’t want to knead the dough with your hands, you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook.  Be sure to FIRST grease the bowl and the hook with shortening.  Then dust the bowl gently with powdered sugar.  Add marshmallows and slowly add the rest of the powdered sugar (about ½ cup at a time), mixing between each addition.

Nutrition

Calories: 2890kcalCarbohydrates: 663gProtein: 4gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 5gSodium: 193mgPotassium: 21mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 600gCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg

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*I originally shared this recipe December 2013. Updated April 2020 and July 2022.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. I made a cake for my granddaughter’s first birthday last year, I worked with the sugar geek show marshmallow fondant and it’s wonderful except, it taste terrible as there is still fondant required! Now I am making her second birthday cake as I write and the cake I am so wanting to make calls for a fondant type covering but my family does not want to peel their frosting off their cake and i can’t say I blame them. I then saw a buttercream that can be molded but it calls for to much cornstarch and even the creator said , taste? well….. So I am going to try yours but because I still have SOOO much to do, if you see this and want to tell us anything about the taste I should know about, “please do”.
    I mostly need to cover the three tier square pans , for a fondant covering of the bases. I would love to mold with it but have other terrible tasting stuff and then will pipe with butter cream. Doing a mold to make it look like Spirit the horse, with a three tier of blue sky, green grass (That’s the need for fondant) and them molds and piping of branches, cherry blossoms (mostly on top for the horse) and grass, wild flowers rocks, forest animals , water and clouds. If this fondant works I am going to TELL THE WORLD! especially lol if I can mold with it instead of this other horrible stuff, (nothing against sugar geek she’s amazing) But really, no one can make truly edible fondant? I hope if works (prayers are welcomed?)

    Sincerely Momio (grandma) reaching out

    1. So, not for covering the cake, but for small molded pieces, have you tried candy clay (modeling chocolate)? You can make it from almond bark, candy melts or white almond bark and color it with gel color – it works quite well. It gets pretty firm for sculpted pieces…maybe I misunderstood your question, but if not, I’ve used it several times, and my kids live the taste. I have also used marshmallow fondant to cover a cake, and it does taste better, fyi.

  2. I’m making a fresh strawberry cake for my granddaughter’s b’day. Can I place this fondant on top of iced cake, or should it be placed directly onto cake sans icing?

    1. It just depends how thick/sturdy the frosting is. Did you use fresh or freeze dried strawberries for your cake frosting? Fresh strawberries will result in a runnier frosting and I don’t think the fondant will stay put very well. If it’s a thicker, sturdier buttercream, then yes, that would be fine.

  3. Hey, I’m looking at the ingredient measurements and wondering if they’re written out correctly? It says 16 oz package of marshmallows (8 1/2 cups) but 16 oz is 2 cups. Then for the powdered sugar it says 8 cups – is that correct or is it supposed to be like 1 1/2 – 2 cups?

    1. The amounts of correct! 16 oz of marshmallows is 8 1/2 cups of marshmallows. The 8 oz= 1 cup is for liquids. Hope you enjoy the Fondant.

  4. Do you need to add all the powdered sugar? or do you just add until you get the proper consistency. I made this again recently and used all the sugar but then had to add more water. i’m wondering if I should have just stopped adding sugar when it seemed right?

  5. Hi, i am planning to try this recipe for fondant but i only need to make enough to make the shape “1 D” and a few heart shaped cut outs to decorate an 8″ cake. How much fondant will I need and how do I alter the recipe?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Halle, I’m sorry it didn’t work for you—what went wrong? I make this recipe all the time and have never had a problem.

  6. 4 stars
    Thank you so much for this receipt. First time making it and it turned out beautiful.I will never buy fondant again.Mu granddaughter ask for a frog birthday cake so I’m hoping this will make a great fondant frog with Lilly pad. It tinted so easily. Thank you again a I had fun making it as well . Directions we perfect

  7. 4 stars
    This recipe has worked awesome for white or light colored fondant. I’ve tried using gel colors when I need a deeper, brighter color. Unfortunately, I still end up using so much gel color to get a deep red or green that is throws off the fondant consistency and makes it really difficult to work with. Any suggestions on how to remedy this? Should I leave out the water when I microwave the marshmallows? I’ve tried adding more powdered sugar but it doesn’t seem to help. Should I add cornstarch too?

    1. For the color issue, I tend to dip the toothpick into the gel and mix it with whatever is stuck to it because sometimes drops can be too much! It comes out much lighter and the color can be controlled better this way!

  8. I really like this recipe. I added food coloring while melting the marshmallows with the water which worked perfectly. The coloring and texture are both beautiful.

  9. This is a fondant that folks will eat rather than peal it off their cake slice! It’s delicious!

  10. I’m seeing mixed instructions online. Can the fondant be used right away or does it have to be set in the fridge overnight? What’s the difference?

  11. 5 stars
    I really like this recipe. The fondant came out smooth. I put vanilla extract in the fondant as I was kneeling the powdered sugar into the melted marshmallow. It worked just fine. I am saving this recipe for sure!

  12. 5 stars
    Easy to make and taste great! Wondering once refrigerated how long does it need to be out of refrigerator to go back to the original softness or is making it advance not good?

    1. It should be pliable enough right out of the fridge, to be able to roll and shape. You could let it rest at room temp for 30 minutes or so if you need it softer.

  13. 5 stars
    This is my go to recipe for fondant. It is so easy to make and so easy to work with. I have made a unicorn cake, a ice hockey cake, and a Rapunzel cake using this recipe. Perfect every time. The leftovers have become a favorite playdough for my daughter and her friends as well and it is much easier to clean up than playdough.

  14. I made this in a small batch which, by the way, worked very well. However, instead of water, I used Rose water. The taste is absolutely delighful! Also, a quick tip: try freezer wrap vs greased countertop– glossy side up and clear or duct tape the ends. You will be amazed how easy it is to work fondant with no additional dusting or grease. Lauren, thank you for sharing. I have always purchased this very expensive product.

    1. Butter contains a small portion of milk, shortening however does not and therefore works better for some things where grease is needed without the moisture. Hope this helps!

  15. 5 stars
    I was wondering have you ever flavored the fondant. I love marshmallows but I know I would love to add flavor to also make it more delicious

    1. I haven’t but i’m sure it would work and I’d love to hear how it goes! You may have to adjust the ratios of powdered sugar and water to reach the right consistency.

      1. I just flavored my fondant with blueberry flavoring and it is brilliant. I basically replaced some of the water with flavoring and it was perfectly fine.

  16. Could I use this fondant to mold into 3D figures or would it be best to cut out flat figures from rolled sheets?

  17. 4 stars
    This was my first attempt at making as well as using fondant. It went alright except that my fondant was very sticky. I added more powdered sugar but that just made it sticky AND dry so that it tore easily. Any suggestions? Also, we applied it to a refrigerator-cool cake, which caused the fondant to condense so much moisture that it began to melt! Any suggestions there?? Thank you!

  18. Great recipe! Refrigerated it over night, rolled it out the next morning after allowing it to rest, and it was wonderful!

  19. Can I color and roll the fondant into sheets and keep it refrigerated in an airtight manner for 1-2 weeks? I have an event coming up and want the sheets pre-rolled for children to make cut-outs and decorate cupcakes.

  20. I tried it and it came out perfect. So much more easy to make than regular fondant. My family usually hate fondant but love this. Thanks so much !!!

  21. 5 stars
    I followed this recipe and my fondant was amazing. I made a cake for my daughters second birthday and made farm animals for the cake. looked amazing. people at my party were amazed at how clean and professional it looked.

  22. Any on have any tips on making this easier to knead ,with out hurting hands from R.A, putting pressure on ur hands with arth. is very difficult , any suggestions from any one , i buy every gadget i can find , for making my life a little easier in the kitchen or any where else in the house , cause I love to cook . any suggestions on any thing would be appreciated . thanks in advance . ouch

    1. Helene, I haven’t tested this so please take it with a grain of salt, but perhaps using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment would work. I would grease the bowl and the dough hook with a little shortening and knead it in the mixer bowl. It might still require some hand kneading at the end, but hopefully the mixer could do the hardest part for you.

      1. I DO use the stand mixer with a dough hook. Works awesome – and YES definitely grease the boal and hook with shortening before you start. I then add a little powdered sugar dusting to bowl and marshmallows to start. Add the rest of powdered sugar by 1/2 Cup at a time. Be careful to mix well between additions and not over do the sugar.

  23. Made it this morning. It worked well and molded well. I was very pleased with this as it was my first attempt at any sort of fondant. My 8 yr old had been snatching decorative pieces from the top of the cake all day and said it was melting in her mouth. When we finally actually got to the cake it really did melt in your mouth. It was, it seemed, true to the recipe – EIGHT TIMES sweeter than a marshmallow! 🙂 I could hardly stand to eat it. It was like cotton candy in a more solid form. But it was a huge hit with the kids. Thanks for this recipe and the directions. Knowing to use oil to help it not stick was a lifesaver.

  24. All the recipes I find say to microwave the marshmallows. I do not have a microwave, what would be the best way to melt on stove?

    1. I think you could follow step one in a saucepan on the stovetop.
      Water plus marshmallow, in a small saucepan over med. heat.

    2. YOU CAN USE THE SAME THING ON THE STOVE BUT WOULD RECOMEND TO USE A DOUBLE BOILER TO AVOID SCORTCHING OF MARSHMELLOW.

  25. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe for the first time, and I’ve never made fondant from scratch before. I really like the texture! I cut the recipe in half because I didn’t need that much and I wanted to try it out first. I haven’t added my coloring yet so I hope the texture doesn’t change much. It seems like I added more water than was called for, but it was tearing too easily so I followed Lauren’s advise and added water as needed. I also added clear almond extract for flavoring and it smells yummy! I used the dough hook on my Kitchenaid to initially mix the ingredients, but I still ended up kneading it for several minutes to get it nice and smooth. I don’t think there’s any way to avoid kneading. I’m excited to try this on the cookies I made it for!

    1. Smooth a thin layer of shortening around it to keep it from drying out. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap then store in an air tight container or zip-lock bag. Store at room temperature one-two months.

    1. Hi Camille, I wouldn’t recommend butter because it doesn’t have the same sturdy properties as shortening–but I haven’t tried it to say for sure.

      1. Using Butter instead of vegetable shorting works just as well! It adds a slight buttery flavor that only enhances the fondants flavor.. Everyone Loves my Fondant..You should try the Butter sometime! I have made homemade Fondant for years now Always turns out Perfect! thank for Posting the Recipe, I had lost mine and needed a refesher, for my getting OLD brain! LOL!!

  26. 5 stars
    I love this recipe!! It is so easy to make and all of the ingredients you can find around the house!! Thank you so much!!

  27. This was so easy and quick…I made sure I had all ingredients and utensils readily available.The proof will be in when its rolled and placed on cake or cupcakes.It tasted good too…not like the store bought or ready made that I’ve had, that has a questionable, too sweet taste. 🙂 thanks so much for the recipe! 🙂

  28. I wonder if your dislike of traditional fondant is because you ate the commercially prepared type? Some of it can be less than flavourful. I always made mine from scratch and it was yummy. I also made my own marzipan. Once you make the real thing you will never settle for store bought again.

  29. Can u mix the marshmallow fondant with a kneeding hook in a kitchen aid mixer?
    Will 2 cups cover a 9 inch round double stack cake?

    1. Hi Liz, I think kneading the fondant with your hands would work better, just because you can apply more water or smooth in more shortening with your hands to keep it soft and get the right smooth texture. I’ve never tried it with my mixer though…
      This recipe should cover your 9” double stacked cake!

    2. You totally can! I’ve made it with the kitchen aide and bread hook several times. Works great and WAY less messy!!!