Marshmallow Fondant Issues - Is It My Icing Sugar Brand?

Decorating By StephChivas Updated 3 Jun 2018 , 3:16am by SandraSmiley

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StephChivas Posted 31 May 2018 , 1:43pm
post #1 of 5

Hey guys, 

I’ve been doing my baking and decorating for a good number of years now and using the same marshmallow fondant recipe for at least 6 years. However lately I’m having so many problems with it drying and cracking. Maybe I’m just out of practice after focusing on university but today especially I can do nothing with my batch. 

I use a 2 to 1 ratio of icing sugar to marshmallows, although sometimes it’s a little less or a little more icing sugar depending on how it’s coming together, and always use vegetable fat to grease my gloves, bowls, spatulas etc. I roll it all out using The Mat which I got a few years back and love :)

Made my fondant last night, let it sit by itself as usual until I was ready for it and rolled it and OMG what a mess. I had to take it off the cake and try again cause it was drying when it was just draped over the cake and I could not smooth it at all. I decided to try and heat it up a lil in microwave to make it more pliable when smoothly and it helped for maybe a minute and then the same drying issue arose. I’ve had to leave it on cake and I’m hopeful since I’ve a lot of fondant layers to add for decoration that I can salvage it but I still have another tier with less decoration to do and don’t want the same thing. 

The only difference I’ve done this time is my icing sugar, I usually use silver spoon but the shop stocked Tate + Lyle this time, so I’m wondering if there is anyone with known issues with this brand? I usually can smooth cakes not too bad with only minor tears towards the bottom which I’m sure everyone get’s now and then. I don’t have anymore marshmallows to make new fondant and I have a whole batch that I was hoping I could rescue. 

Any help would be amazing guys, oh, and I’m in the UK in case there’s anyone with helpful American ingredients which I can’t get here T_T 


4 replies
-K8memphis Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
-K8memphis Posted 31 May 2018 , 6:55pm
post #2 of 5

idk-- but I avoid sugar made from beets or anything other than cane sugar -- for powdered sugar and even for baking with crystalized sugar -- I only use cane sugar -- some bags of sugar int he us do not even say if it's cane or beet or whatever so I don't buy  it -- has to say cane or I know which brands too --

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jchuck Posted 1 Jun 2018 , 1:29am
post #3 of 5

Well, K8memphis, I’ve used both icing sugars. One from beets and cane sugar. I do prefer the cane, but neither has made any difference to my homemade mmf or icings. 

StephChivas before you use the fondant again, don’t nuke it anymore, that’s just drying it out. When you knead it, is the fondant smooth and elastic, with a little give? If not, knead a generous amounts of shortening. Let fondant sit for about 10-20 minutes to absorb the shortening. Then try kneading again. Keep adding shortening until the fondant is workable as I stated above.

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bakemeenchanted Posted 3 Jun 2018 , 2:11am
post #4 of 5

Hi! I hope this isn't too late for you, but I had the exact same problems with my MMF a year or so ago. I figured out that the marshmallows were the problem.

In this heat, if they haven't been stored correctly, they get dry and stiff and that ruins your fondant. There's no way for you to know how the store you buy from  has stored them, so just try to get the freshest bag possible. The marshmallows should be super pillow soft and powdery on the surface but not cracked.

With this batch, you could try panelling your cakes instead of draping the fondant over the top. That'll remove the gravity factor at least and cause fewer cracks hopefully.

My best advice is to switch to LMF (Liz marek fondant) if possible. That's what I did, and it's actually cheaper for me overall. Any issues with your marshmallows, sugar, etc are almost always masked by the addition of the premade fondant, the texture is beautiful and so easy to smooth and blend seams, plus it can be used right away. Give it a try if you can.

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SandraSmiley Posted 3 Jun 2018 , 3:16am
post #5 of 5

I also use LMF and have experienced no issues.  If you are in a position to purchase a small quantity of commercial fondant, the addition of about a pound to your existing fondant might solve the problem.  I use Wilton because it is cheap and readily available.

Another way to add moisture is glycerine.  I have, several times, restored old fondant which has lost its stretch and flexibility, by adding a dab of shorting and a good squirt of glycerine.  

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