Fondant is a popular sugar-crafted icing used to adorn cakes and cupcakes. It’s a very malleable and readily shaped type of icing, and it can transform a simple cake into a professional-looking creation. Unfortunately, it sometimes gets too hard when it is stored, and can be difficult to shape. Fear not, pastry chefs! We’ll show you how to make fondant soft and easy to handle again!
1. What is Fondant?
Fondant is a type of sweet sugar dough that can be used to decorate cakes, cupcakes, and other pastries. It’s a delectable combination of icing sugar, corn syrup, water, and glycerine that can be used to sculpt and shape beautiful decorations. And with its signature creamy texture and bright, smooth appearance, fondant can easily take your treats from bland to beautiful!
Benefits of Fondant
- It’s a versatile product – fondant can be used to imprint designs and simulate textures, making it possible to create highly detailed decorations for a unique and beautiful presentation.
- It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Even novice bakers can achieve stunning results with a little practice.
- Fondant is also durable – unlike other decorations, fondant doesn’t generally melt or wilt in heat, so your cakes will stay looking their best for longer.
Whether you’re an experienced baker or a total beginner, fondant is sure to become an irreplaceable addition to your kitchen.
Preparing and Using Fondant
- Roll out fondant to your desired thickness by dusting cornstarch onto a work surface and rolling pin.
- Transfer fondant to cake or cupcake and trim off excess.
- Press fondant against the cake to get a smooth finish.
- Create decorations with fondant cutters and shape with your hands.
With a bit of practice, soon you’ll have store-worthy decorations covering all your cakes and cupcakes!
2. Tips for Softening Hard Fondant
You’ve worked hard to create your fondant masterpiece, so it’s never ideal when it hardens before you’ve finished! But don’t worry, here’s how you can soften it up for smooth, perfect results.
1. Use Crisco – Cosmetically, there’s nothing worse than a fondant with wrinkles. Add a little Crisco to your creation – leaving some texture if you wish – and knead the mixture until it becomes soft and pliable.
2. Refrigeration Room – If you’ve been working on the cake for hours, it could’ve dried up quicker than you wanted it to. Move it quickly to a refrigeration room – for no more than ten minutes – and your fondant should return to its soft, original state with ease.
3. Zip-lock Bag Trick – Fondant leftovers are best stored in an airtight container, but if you’ve already put them away and there’s not enough moisture, there’s a quick trick to soften them up. Place them in a zip-lock bag, and add a few drops of water, and then steam the fondant in the bag for about 15 seconds.
4. Consider the Temperature – A much simpler, more preventative measure to keep your fondant from hardening is to consider the temperature. If it’s too cold, your fondant can dry out faster. And if it’s a warm day, then you’ll have to work quickly and sparely, as the moist heat makes fondant soften in a matter of minutes.
3. When is Fondant Too Hard?
Fondant can be finicky to work with, and you want to make sure it hasn’t become too hard before you try to use it. If the fondant is too hard, it will be difficult to shape and manipulate for decorations. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to tell if your fondant has become too hard.
Check with Your Fingers
The most obvious way to tell if your fondant is too hard is to simply give it a squeeze. It should be pliable and feel soft when handled. If it feels or is too hard, it is not ready to be used.
Check Against a Food Thermometer
Another way to tell if your fondant is too hard is to use a food thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the fondant and check the temperature. If it is between 32-35 degrees Fahrenheit, the fondant is ready to use. Any colder and it is too hard to work with.
Look For Weepiness
Weepiness means your fondant has become too moist. To check for weepiness, take a small sample of the fondant, roll it into a ball and press it between your fingertips. If there is an obvious sheen of liquid, the fondant is still too wet to work with and could cause problems down the road. You will need to knead in some powdered sugar to help absorb the excess moisture.
4. Melting Fondant: Simple & Effective
You’ll be glad to know that (melting fondant is a cinch to do). Have a look at this simple and effective approach to the process:
- If you’re using pre-made fondant, you can microwave a few pieces at a time. Follow the instructions indicated on the pack.
- Next up, you’ll need to melt your fondant. Place it in a small heatproof bowl and set it over simmering hot water.
- Stir the melted fondant until it thickens and takes on a glossy appearance.
- When it’s ready, use a spatula to transfer the melted fondant to a shallow tray.
Once you’ve melted your fondant, the possibilities are almost endless. Experiment with adding different food coloring to create the hue you’re after. For a marbled finish try adding two shades of fondant together.
You could pour the melted fondant over cookies, or drizzle it over cakes or cupcakes. If you make a mistake, don’t fret – melted fondant can easily be reheated and remelted as many times as you need.
Ready to try it out? Grab your ingredients and get started – melting fondant never tasted so delicious!
5. Flavoring Fondant for Taste & Texture
When it comes to fondant, the sky’s the limit when it comes to getting creative with flavor and texture. While most people think of rolled fondant and its slight sweetness as a cake or cupcake topper, it can be taken to the next level without a lot of effort. Here are some tips for flavoring fondant and giving it some extra texture.
- Liquids & Extracts: Adding liquid flavoring such as juice, extract, or coffee to fondant can help moisten and flavor your fondant quite easily. Start off with small amounts and add more as desired.
- Cocoa Powder: Mixing cocoa powder with fondant is a popular way to get a light chocolate flavor. It is great when making cake toppers that have a chocolate element. It will also noticeably darken any fondant’s color.
- Fresh Ingredients: If you are making cupcake toppers and want to add a bit of fresh crunch, ingredients like chopped nuts, dried fruit, and puffed cereal can add a great texture to fondant.
There are countless ways to add flavor and texture to fondant. Start experimenting with adding extracts, cocoa powder, and fresh ingredients to take your fondant projects to the next level!
Finally, don’t be afraid to go over the top! Have fun with flavors and textures and create show-stopping cakes and cupcakes that will make your guests—or you—swoon.
6. Troubleshooting: Fondant That Stays Hard
When it comes to fondant decorations, a hard fondant is certainly not ideal. If your fondant is staying hard, here are a few steps you can take for troubleshooting :
- Check The Temperature: Fondant can become hard when it is too cold. If your fondant is stored in a room that’s too cool, it will not become malleable. Move it to a warmer area and see if that helps.
- Kneading: Knead the fondant with your hands until it becomes workable. Adding Crisco, vegetable shortening, or lard can help with this process.
- Microwave: Place a damp paper towel over the fondant and heat in 10-second intervals in the microwave. This will steam the fondant and make it more pliable.
- Steam: Hold the fondant over steam from a pan of boiling water. The moisture will turn the fondant into a softer texture.
Beyond these steps, you can add glycerin to the fondant when you are kneading it. This will provide more flexibility and help with the hardening. You may also try adding fewer powdered ingredients, flooding with more liquid, or adding flavoring and food coloring.
If fondant is still hard after trying these methods, it may be time to start fresh with a new batch. Make sure that ingredients are accurately measured and mixed together to achieve the desired consistency.
If you find yourself in this predicament with fondant, remember that these troubleshooting options are easy to try and can help you achieve success with a flexible fondant.
7. Making Fondant from Scratch
Fondant is a pastry dough made of sugar, water, and gelatin. Its malleability makes it a perfect medium for creating decorations for cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts. is not difficult, but it takes time. Here is a guide to creating fondant at home:
First, make a sugar syrup with half a cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water. Once the syrup is boiling, stir in 1/4 cup of corn syrup. Continue to stir the mixture over medium-heat until it turns a light golden brown. Add a teaspoon of butter, and remove the mixture from the heat. Cool it for 15 minutes.
Once the sugar syrup is cooled, place it in a bowl and add 1/4 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin. Sprinkle it on top of the warm syrup in an even layer. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, then stir it until the gelatin is dissolved.
Add one pound of powdered sugar, and stir it into the mixture until all the lumps are gone. Knead the fondant with a wooden spoon or with your hands until the mixture is smooth. If it is too sticky, add a little bit of water and knead it again. Once the fondant is the desired texture, you can start decorating your desserts!
Having a hard time turning your hard fondant into soft and flexible icing? You now have the tips and tricks to make it happen. Starting with bringing the air humidity to your advantage to prevent fondant from hardening in the first place, to quickly softening it with just a few ingredients from your pantry, just remember to be careful when following each step. With the right technique and some added TLC you can have flawless fondant shapes in no time!