Breaking news: you don't have to buy fondant. That's right–it's actually a super easy DIY project! Today, we'll show you how to make marshmallow fondant.

woman making marshmallow fondant, from Shelf Cooking

You know those Pinterest-perfect baked goods you see in your Instagram feed? The holiday treats that make you drool with envy? Well, it's a lot easier to make your own Insta-ready desserts than you might think!

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

This super simple recipe will show you how to make marshmallow fondant with just a handful of ingredients. It's quick and easy but brings the wow-factor. By the time we're done, you'll be ready to take on a TV baking contest and crush the competition!


If you're a baking newbie, you might be wondering what in the heck fondant is anyway. Well, that's a great question, and it's one we're happy to answer! Here's the Cliff Notes version: fondant is a pliable, moldable icing-like substance that coats or tops cakes or pastries.

Typically, fondant is made from sugar, water, glycerin, and shortening. Sometimes, it's used purely for decorative purposes because the taste/texture can be a little off-putting. But if you make your own, you won't want to scrape off one bit, which is where this tasty, easy, beautiful recipe comes into play!


marshmallow fondant on bunny cupcakes, from Fun Cheap or Free

Aside from making a wedding cake, what can you do with marshmallow fondant? Oh, don't worry! We have ideas:

  • Top Cupcakes – Can you even handle how cute these Easter cupcakes look?
  • Decorate Cookies – Take your box mix cookies up a notch!
  • Bling Out Rice Krispies Treats – Psssst–give these lucky charms treats a try!
  • Make Figurines – Put those figurines on a cake or enjoy some edible playtime!
  • Glaze Homemade Donuts – You could use them to glaze donut holes, too. Our recipe is kinda mind-blowing.
  • Decorate Brownies – Why not? You have to try this easy fudgy brownies recipe!
  • Decorate Gingerbread Houses – New Christmas traditions, anyone?!

You could wow your besties with a hands-on baking day! Teach them how to make fondant (they'll be impressed) and use up your handiwork on sweets spread fit for queens.


Now that you know what types of food work well with fondant, you might be looking for more guidance. After you whip up a batch, here are some fun things to do with your marshmallow fondant:

  • Add Color – Break off the amount you want to be colored, and add food coloring (drops or paste work great). Start with a little; you can add more as you go. Knead and “squish” the color into the fondant. Yes, your hands are going to get stained (don't worry, it'll wash off!). Keep kneading until the color is evenly distributed, then enjoy!
  • Make Curlycues – Take some plain ol' drinking straws, and cut your rolled out fondant into little strips. Wrap the strips around the straws. Let them stay out in the open for at least 24 hours to dry. You'll want them to be pretty dry and firm, or else they will lose shape once they are on your cake.
  • Cover a Cake – Put your cake on the cake stand or plate that you would like to serve it on FIRST. Next, roll out your fondant to 1/8-inch thick, and roll it to be quite a bit bigger than you think you need! Cover your cake generously in frosting (whatever kind is your favorite). Pick up your rolled-out fondant and place it carefully, centered on your cake. Once it touches your cake, you can't move it, so make sure to aim well the first time! Once it's on your cake, carefully smooth it out, so there are no wrinkles, bumps, or cracks. 

Pro Tip: If you're covering a cake in fondant, rub your hands together first to create friction. The warmth of your hands will smooth it out and make it look nice.


a bowl of mini marshmallows, from Shelf Cooking

This recipe makes plain white fondant, but you can add food coloring or fruit juices to give your marshmallow fondant color. Here are three more modifications you may need:

  • Vegetable Shortening Substitute – If you don't have shortening, you can swap in butter. Just be sure to use a little extra! For every cup of shortening in a recipe, use one cup, plus two tablespoons of butter.
  • Confectioner's Sugar Substitute – Our of confectioner's sugar? Make some! Place one cup of granulated sugar plus one tablespoon of cornstarch in a blender or food processor and pulse until powdery.
  • Mini Marshmallows Substitute – If you only have regular-sized marshmallows, you can use those instead. Just add a bit more water to get the consistency right.

To store your fondant, just keep it in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place, and use it within two months. There's no need to refrigerate it!


Ready to get crafty?! Here we go! Let's make marshmallow fondant!

woman making marshmallow fondant, from Shelf Cooking

Easy Marshmallow Fondant

You'll be a baking pro in no time once you learn how to make this easy, cheap marshmallow fondant!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups


  • 16 oz mini marshmallows
  • 2-5 tbsp water
  • 8 cups confectioner's sugar
  • Vegetable shortening


How to Make the Fondant

  • Put mini marshmallows in a microwave-safe bowl with 2 Tbsp water–microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave on high for another 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until marshmallows are melted and smooth (about 1.5-2.5 minutes).
  • Mix 6 cups of the sugar into the melted marshmallows and carefully fold; the mixture will be lumpy. You can add flavoring and/or food coloring at this point if you'd like.
  • Keep vegetable shortening on hand–grease hands and workspace GENEROUSLY with shortening. Dump marshmallow mixture onto your workspace. Start kneading like you would bread dough. Re-grease hands and add more sugar if the mixture starts to stick. If your mixture starts tearing, add a little bit of water. If it's too sticky, add more sugar. Knead until it forms a smooth, elastic ball that can stretch without tearing – about 8-10 minutes.
  • It's best to let fondant sit out overnight. Roll fondant into a ball, coat it with a thin layer of shortening, wrap it in plastic wrap, then place in a plastic bag and remove as much air as possible.

Prepare the Fondant for Use

  • When ready to use fondant, knead it again until it once again turns smooth and elastic. (You might need to add more water or sugar, but knead for a while first because the warmth of your hands should make it just fine.)
  • Roll to 1/8-inch thick when ready to use. When not using, keep fondant wrapped, so it doesn't dry out.


Want to add color to your fondant? Just add a few drops of food coloring! A little goes a long way, so start small. Knead and “squish” the color into the fondant and continue kneading until you achieve the color you want. Yes, your hands will get dirty, but that's part of the fun! 
Keyword marshmallow fondant

See, that was super easy, eh?! Not only is it fun to make your own marshmallow fondant, but it's so inexpensive, too. Yes, please!

Now that you know how to make marshmallow fondant, the world of baking is your oyster! Why not give it a try?

Let us know if you like to use fondant when you bake! Leave a comment below and tell us about your favorite sweet treat.

Marshmallows and fondant, from Shelf Cooking

Want to try a few of our favorite dessert recipes?

Stay sweet!