Monday, March 5, 2012

Fondant Cupcake Tutorial


For Paisley's birthday pictures I really wanted her to have a cute polk-a-dot fondant cake that she could tear apart while we took pictures. I have a friend that knows how to make fondant cakes so I asked her if she would teach me. For Paisley's cake I made a two layer cake and put a fondant cupcake on top. I also made a fondant cup cake for Jaysa. My friend Marci teaches fondant cake and cake decorating classes through the Community Education Program here in St. George but she has given me permission to show you how to make the cupcakes I made for my girls pictures.

For this tutorial you will need:

Cake mix of your choice and all ingredients you need to make it
microwavable bowl
a bag of marshmallows
powdered sugar
shape cutters
fondant food coloring
Icing of your choice
plastic gloves
rolling pin

The measurments of what you will use will all depend on how many cupcakes you will be making. The measurements I used here was enough to make one and possibly two cupcakes.

First you will need to have your cupcakes baked and cooled. I used a Funfetti mix for my cupcakes because I thought it would be cute for pictures but you can use whatever mix you like.
I also used two different sizes of cupcake pans. The cupcake in Jaysa's pictures is a normal size cupcake but the cupcake in Lilly's pictures is one from the larger cupcake pan that was bought at a garage sale. The big cupcake was fun but if you don't have a cupcake pan this size the smaller cupcakes are just as cute.

Now we will start on our fondant. Fondant is simply melted marshmallows and powdered sugar. To make fondant for one cupcake I used 1/4 of a bag of marshmallows and poured them in a microwaveable bowl.
Then you will use about a 1/2 tbs of water and sprinkle it on top of the marshmallows and microwave it for 25-45 seconds. Make sure to keep an eye on your marshmallows while they are in the microwave. You want them to rise but you don't want them to burn. If your not sure pull it out and stir it. If there are clumps that haven't melted go ahead and put it back in the microwave for a few more seconds. If there are not any clumps you are good to go!
After you've stirred your marshmallows add some powdered sugar. I added 1/4 of a cup and it was just the right amount for me but it may be a little different for you.
Stir the powdered sugar in with a spoon the best you can. After you can't work it in with the spoon anymore you will have to get your hands in there to knead the powderd sugar into your marshmallow ball.
It will be sticky at first but as you add more powdered sugar it will become more workable. You will want your fondant to have a play-dough consistencey. Be careful because it is possible to add too much powdered sugar and it will make your fondant thick and hard to work with.
Here is what it should look like when your done. Next you will want to divide your fondant ball into smaller balls so that we can add coloring. The main color of my cupcake was a blue so that was my biggest piece. My pink, green and yellow pieces were much smaller.
Here is the size of my pink ball and I had plenty to be able to make the dots I needed.

Now you will add your coloring. I bought my fondant coloring at Walmart. They had a box that had all the colors I could have wanted for $13.
Here's all the colors they had.
If you want to buy them individually they are $1.77 a piece. For me it just made sense to buy the box. These will also last forever because it doesn't take much to color your fondant!
To add color to your fondant you may want to put plastic gloves on to keep the dye from staining your hands. You will also want to change your gloves with each new color you work with. This makes sure your colors don't mix while kneading your fondant. Take a toothpick or fork and dip it in your coloring...
and then on your ball of fondant
Fold your fondant in half and then continue working your color in.
During this process your fondant may get a little bit sticky. If this happens pour a little cornstarch on the counter and roll your ball in it
Work the color into your fondant until it is a solid color. If you don't work the color in enough your fondant will look "marbley"
Once you have a solid color worked into your fondant you will want to roll it out on the counter. If you ever have to leave your fondant for more than a few minutes you will want to put your fondant in a bag to keep it from drying out. To roll out your fondant you will want to put a layer of corn starch down on your counter.
like this...
You will also want to coat your rolling pin in cornstarch to keep the fondant from sticking to your pin.
I didn't roll my fondant out into a circle. I was simply wrapping my fondant around the my cupcake. So I rolled mine out like this...
The only disadvantage to rolling your fondant out like this is that you will have to fold one end over the other, shown in the picture.
Since I was putting dots on my fondant I just covered it with a dot and designated that as the backside of my cupcake. I also wasn't to worried about it because the cupcake would be in pictures and no one would ever see the back side of it.
If you wanted to you could roll your fondant out into a circle, turn your cupcake upside down and cover it like it was a mini cake. That would also make it so there would not be any overlapping.

After your fondant is rolled out, take your cupcake and add a thin layer of icing on the side. The icing in my picture is too thick. You will want it even thinner than this.
Then place your cupcake in the center of one of the ends of the fondant and being to roll.
You will want the fondant to come up and over the top of your cupcake so that you can fold it down and the edges will be hidden with frosting. Here is a good picture of how your fondant should fold over the top of your cupcake. (the bottom of my fondant has already been cut so that it sits up)
Once you have your cupcake rolled up you may have to put a little dot of icing on the ends to make sure it does not come unrolled.
Now you will cut the excess fondant off the bottom of you cupcake.
I just used scissors to do this. They have a special tool to do this when you are dealing with a cake but for a cupcake its just easier to pick it up and cut it with scissors.
After you do this your cupcake will be able to sit on the counter on its own.

You may have to add a little icing to the top of your cupcake so that the fondant stays down once you fold it over.

Here is what mine looked like after I was done. Hopefully yours is not so lop sided. If it is don't worry it will get covered with frosting

Now time to put your dots on. You will roll out your smaller fondant balls just like you did your larger one. You can make any shapes or letters you want. I wanted dots and my friend just so happened to have these small circle cut outs. She got her's at Micheal's for a few bucks and they had plenty of other shapes to choose from!

It works just like a cookie cutter. Place it on the fondant and push down.

Here's all my dots. You will need to brush as much cornstarch off your dots as you can
To make your dots stick to your cupcake you will put a thin layer of icing on the back of them and then position them where you want them on your cupcake.

After you have all your dots on your cupcake you may want to take a small craft brush, get it damp with water and brush more of the cornstarch off your cupcake.

Now you can add your frosting. Marci had a homemade frosting that was really thick and worked perfect. You can also just go and buy a store bought frosting and thicken it up with powdered sugar which is what I did for this tutorial.

To color your frosting put it in a bag.
and add a little bit of coloring
then seal your bag up and mix the coloring in
After you have a nice solid color work all your frosting down into one corner of the bag.
and cut the end off. I cut off a good amount of my end. If you make the hole to small you wont be able to give the frosting the look you want.
As you can see this was not my first attempt to do my frosting on this cupcake. My frosting was two thin for my first attempt so I had to scrape it off the top of my cupcake and put it in a bowl and add powdered sugar. I probably added 1/4 a cup or more of powdered sugar. You really need your frosting to hold its shape so you want it thick.
When you are putting your frosting you don't want to go all the way to the edges but you want to make sure the frosting hides all your imperfections.
Then continue circling your frosting inward and slightly on top of your outer layers until you reach the top of your icing dollop.
If you get done with it and don't like it. Don't be afraid to pull it off, throw it back in the bag and try again. I had to do this one three times! Even Marci had to do it a few times when we did the cupcake on top of Paisley's cake. There is a bit of an art to this. Obviously I am not the best. Maybe you will be better!
When you are adding your candle don't just shove the candle down into the center of your icing dollop. Push it down a little bit behind your icing dollop so that you don't mess up the shape you worked so hard to get.
After your candle is in your are done and you have one cute fondant cupcake!
Here is Lilly, my friends little girl, tearing into her cupcake we made her.

To learn how to use any of the other props I used in my girls pictures choose from the following:


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