How to Make Plastic Icing


Bakers rely on plastic icing, otherwise known as "fondant," to create smooth, elaborately decorated cakes. Made from a mixture of sugar and a gelatin, plastic icing is sweet, elastic and holds its shape. Using marshmallows for the gelling part of the recipe increases the sugary-sweet flavor and makes it possible to mix fondant at home. With a few ingredients from any kitchen cupboard, you can start using this professional baker's secret by tomorrow morning.

Things You'll Need

  • 16 ounces mini marshmallows
  • 2-5 tablespoons water
  • 8 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • Mixing bowls, microwave safe
  • Spoons
  • Measuring cup
  • Sifter
  • Rubber spatula
  • Plastic wrap
  • Resealable bags
  • Place mini marshmallows and two tablespoons of water in a mixing bowl. Place in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir with rubber spatula. Heat again for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until the marshmallows are all melted -- about two and a half minutes total.

  • Sift 6 cups of confectioners' sugar onto the melted marshmallows. Fold the sugar into the marshmallows until well mixed.

  • Set up your work space. Rub a layer of vegetable shortening over a clean counter or cutting board. Set a bowl of 1/2 cup vegetable shortening nearby. Wash hands.

  • Pour the marshmallow mixture out onto the work space. Grease hands well with vegetable shortening.

  • Knead the mixture like a dough for about eight minutes. It should become firm, smooth and elastic enough to stretch without tearing. Add confectioner's sugar to dough as needed during the process. Re-grease hands and work space as needed.

  • Form the plastic icing into a ball. Coat the icing with a layer of vegetable grease to preserve moisture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a resealable bag with all of the air squeezed out. Allow the icing to sit overnight in the refrigerator before use.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can add coloring or flavoring to the plastic icing at the end of step two.
  • You can also break off a small section of the finished icing and tint with food coloring. Knead the coloring into the icing until completely mixed.
  • If the icing starts cracking while you knead it, it is too dry. Add 1/2 tablespoon of water at a time until the icing is soft again.
  • Marshmallow mixture will be hot when you take it out of the microwave.

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  • Photo Credit Siraphol/iStock/Getty Images Alister Jupp/iStock/Getty Images
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