Have you ever looked closely at a cake’s icing and thought it appeared too perfect to be real? Fondant has a distinctive appearance of a decorative canvas laid out on top of cakes and other baked goods, which makes this colorful creation look like it’s only there for aesthetics.
But is fondant edible?
Yes; fondant is made of ingredients that are 100% safe to eat, such as sugar, water, corn syrup, and food coloring. You might also find varieties that contain melted marshmallows or gelatin.
If you have more questions about the taste of fondant, whether you can feed it to a toddler or a pet, or other related topics, keep reading!
The answer to this question depends on your definition of what tastes good. However, most people have agreed that fondant tastes okay, as in not downright terrible!
But how best to describe the flavor of fondant?
The closest thing to how fondant icing tastes is plain sugar or unflavored marshmallows. So, while it may have a decent taste, it lacks complexity and richness, which compels many people to remove fondant from the top of their cake slice before eating.
Eating fondant isn’t as enjoyable as having other types of icing on your baked goods. Cake icing made with chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, or peanut butter will always be several steps ahead of classic, unflavored fondant.
You may have had an unfortunate experience eating fondant before, and not just due to its overly sugary, plain taste. Well, I’m here to tell you that fondant can taste bad sometimes because of the choice of ingredients that some bakers add to the sugar, water, and syrup.
Usually, including gelatin, glycerin, or stabilizing gums is what causes this undesirable taste that makes you feel like you’re chewing on plastic!
While you can avoid this scenario by making fondant from scratch, you can’t always be lucky when you’re served fondant-covered cake at a birthday party or wedding.
See, ingredients like glycerin make the texture of fondant more pliable and easier to work with. Therefore, the majority of bakers go for this variety of fondant, choosing looks over taste to create aesthetically-pleasing decorations.
Thankfully, it’s a breeze to make fondant taste great instead of putting your entire focus only on the cake or the baked goods themselves. You don’t have to choose one or the other like some people do!
Here are a few tips to follow for delicious fondant.
If you don’t have time to make fondant at home because of a tight schedule or you just want to avoid the hassle, getting fondant from the cake ingredients aisle is a good option.
Since many fondant brands have that plastic-like flavor, you’ll only need to add a flavoring agent to enhance the taste.
A suitable choice here is vanilla beans; that is, of course, if you’re okay with the appearance of tiny black spots all over the icing. If not, you could use a dash of vanilla extract instead.
Another cool idea is to knead in other types of flavoring extracts based on what tastes most flavorful to you and goes well with your cake. Orange, almond, lemon, banana, coconut, peppermint, or maple extracts suit a wide range of cake flavors.
You’ll have to pay attention, though, to use clear extracts if your fondant is white.
You’ll need to do some extra digging on the best fondant brands that make good-tasting fondant to save yourself some time and energy. Some options that I recommend include:
If you can’t find these types of fondant in your grocery store, don’t fret. The next most convenient choice is to shop for flavored fondant instead of plain picks.
A lot of people have claimed that chocolate-flavored fondant was a safe bet, so you may want to give it a shot!
Ultimately, a surefire way to end up with mouthwatering fondant that rivals the most delicious cake frosting is to prepare it at home. By doing this, you’ll have full control over the texture, sugar content, and, most importantly, the taste.
Let’s go over one of my favorite recipes for tasty fondant!
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 5 cups of powdered sugar (you’ll need some more for kneading)
- ½ cup of light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon of meringue powder
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (or any other extract you’d prefer)
- ¼ cup of whipping cream
- 1 ½ tablespoons of glycerin
- 1 ½ tablespoons of gelatin
- ½ teaspoon of salt
Now, you’ll just need to follow these easy steps for the perfect homemade fondant icing.
- In a bowl, add the salt, powdered sugar, and meringue powder and mix them well.
- Grab a separate bowl that goes into the microwave and pour the whipping cream into it along with the gelatin.
- Let them rest for a couple of minutes before tossing them into the microwave, slowly heating them up until they dissolve (at 15-second intervals).
- Take this bowl out of the microwave (make sure not to leave it in until it’s too hot) and add the corn syrup, vanilla extract, and glycerin to the gelatin mix.
- Mix all these ingredients carefully until they become consistent, ensuring that the gelatin doesn’t fully set (if it does, put it back into the microwave for a few more seconds).
- Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the first bowl that contains the powdered sugar and meringue mix, stirring all the way.
- Knead the butter into the mixture using your hands or a mixer, ending up with a dough-like texture.
- Now that the fondant dough is ready, lightly sprinkle your countertop with powdered sugar and move the dough over there for kneading.
- When the fondant becomes not too sticky or too dry, cut it into pieces, put each portion in a Ziploc bag, and place them all in the refrigerator.
- You can take the fondant out within several hours, allowing it to come to room temperature and kneading it thoroughly before use.
- You may also add a bit of shortening to your hands while working the fondant dough at this stage.
While fondant is definitely edible, that doesn’t make it a healthy choice for babies, toddlers, or older kids.
That’s because fondant has enormous amounts of sugar, which is around 89 grams for every 100 grams of fondant. Add that to the sugar already present in the cake itself, and you’ll have an all-around unhealthy dessert!
Plus, food dye has been associated with hyperactivity in children—another reason to think twice about giving fondant-topped desserts to your little munchkins.
Having a piece of rolled fondant at a birthday party won’t hurt, though!
Fondant isn’t harmful to dogs or cats because it doesn’t include any toxic ingredients. So, if your pet chomps on a piece of cake behind your back, you can leave it alone.
Still, that doesn’t mean that fondant won’t have any side effects if a cat or dog consumes it in large amounts. Because it’s high in sugar and fat, it may lead to unwanted scenarios like tooth decay or diabetes.
Just because it’s mostly made of sugar, which doesn’t expire, doesn’t mean you can eat fondant past its “best by” date.
If you consume expired fondant, you increase the chances of ingesting mold particles, which can make you sick.
Eating too much fondant has the same negative outcome as consuming huge amounts of sugar. You’ll subject yourself to higher chances of developing:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Fondant is the ideal final touch on a cake thanks to its smooth texture, a multitude of color options, and pliable nature that lets you experiment with various decorative ideas.
Even better, fondant is edible just like any other type of cake icing, though it may not be as rich in flavor. Still, you can improve its taste by adding flavoring agents like vanilla, orange, lemon, or banana extracts.
You could also buy readymade fondant from cake supply stores or make it at home, although the latter gives you more control over the taste.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.