Wednesday, April 4, 2012

MY DIY Marshmallow Fondant Cupcake Toppers

So, I tend to believe I can do almost anything.  I've been proven wrong and have failed, but at least I try.  Well, when it was my daughter's birthday last October I was throwing a zebra themed party.  I found some super cute cupcake toppers on the internet and instead of paying $16 for 6 of them, I thought I'd try to make my own.  I also found a super cute fondant covered cake with zebra stripes.  Since I am a copy cat, I decided to give it a whirl...with no cake decorating experience let alone fondant, I set off on my googling adventure.  

There are a million and one recipes for fondant out there.  Some are so extravagant I don't know where I could possibly find all the ingredients while other companies sell rolled or lump fondant at stores.  I just can't imagine that would even taste okay...  So I searched for something like easy fondant which is when I came across Marshmallow Fondant.  I found a tutorial with the easiest one I could find (without using the marshmallow crud in a jar) and gave it a whirl.  I know fondant isn't the yummiest thing on the earth, but it's easy to form into what I want it to be (I think) and apparently you don't need to know what you're doing to end up with something super cute.  Marshmallow Fondant actually doesn't taste bad--kinda like extra sweet smashed marshmallows.  And, who cares if it doesn't look made it, which is something to be super proud of!  

Here are some pictures of my daughter's cupcakes and cake (I am very proud).

Perfect?  No.  Cute.  Yes.  Cheaper than $16/6, YES.  Super super fun to make? YES!

I decorated all this for the cost of 2 large bags of large marshmallows, 2 pounds of powdered sugar and a little extra to make the pink frosting on the cupcakes themselves (and food coloring).  

Fast Forward 6 months and we are celebrating my son's 3rd birthday (March 31st) and having his party on April 7th.  You've probably seen my posts on how much he LOVES Thomas the Train.  And by Love, I mean it is all he thinks about and talks about.  He would turn into Thomas if he could.  

So naturally, the party will be Thomas Themed, so I wanted to make cupcake toppers with trains.  
So-a-Googling I went.  

SO STINKING CUTE, but at $2 each, I don't have that much to spend on cupcake toppers... 

So here we go again, I am making my own.  I'll walk ya through it.

What you'll need:  
Big Glass Bowl
2 T Water
1 16oz bag of BIG marshmallows
1 bag of powdered sugar
**TIP: Get the name brand marshmallows and powdered sugar.  Get the good stuff here, it works better.  

Be prepared with:
Rubber working mats (if you have them)
Metal Scraper

Let the FUN begin!

Pour Marshmallows into glass bowl, add 2T water over Marshmallows (will help them melt)
*I know I know I said get big Marshmallows but I grabbed a small bag (10oz) so I just added some little ones to make 16oz.  Not a big deal...just use a total of 16oz*

Put in Microwave
Heat on high about 20 seconds at a time take them out and stir after each segment until fully melted.

While you are melting these, prepare your work station.  
*PLEASE wash your hands well before doing this--you're gonna get dirty.
Wash your counter top then spread with a generous amount of Crisco.  I am not saying light layer, I am saying pack it on.  I probably used about 2/3 of a cup to do this.  
*Take off rings*

This is probably about 18" square.  
Put a gob about 1/2 cup on the counter where you can get to it easily.

Then pour about 3/4 of the bag of powdered sugar into the middle of your grease spot.  
Make a hole in the middle like you do with your mashed potatoes for gravy.   

When your Marshmallows come out of the microwave all creamy, stir em up and then-

Pour them into the middle of your powdered sugar bowl (apparently make the bowl bigger than I did here)

Coat your hands with Crisco--Again not lightly-- 
**Make sure the Marshmallows aren't too hot!  Test them first!!!**
Begin working the fondant like bread dough.  Kneed it until you've worked in the powdered sugar, add more when needed.  Re-Crisco your hands when needed and keep going.  Kneed until the fondant doesn't run when you hold it up, but doesn't crack when kneading.  It should feel like Silly Puddy.  If you don't know what Silly Puddy is, Stop, go to the store and buy some...because everybody should have Silly Puddy around the house.  

Keep adding powdered sugar until you get to the right consistency.  If it gets too dry, try adding a touch of Crisco first then if that doesn't work just a touch of water.  Not much or it will get sticky, get your hand wet and that should be enough.  
If you need/choose you can stop here and start up again the next day or so.  Just smear the fondant with Crisco and wrap tightly in some saran wrap and throw it in the fridge.  When you're ready to work with it again take it out of the fridge and let it warm back up to room temp and you can work with it again, or nuke it for 20 seconds or so and it will be nice and pliable.  Again, make sure you're careful it isn't a hot ball of molten skin remover in the middle after nuking (yes this happened to me, outside cold, inside VERY HOT!)

Now time to color and cut.  Use corn starch to keep the fondant from sticking to the mat and rolling pin.  
Take your fondant and split it up in sections to be colored.  Use your favorite food coloring and kneed it in until you get your desired color.  Food coloring develops nicely if you let it sit overnight.  You don't have to do this, but if you do, smear the ball with Crisco and wrap tightly in saran wrap and toss it in the fridge.  

If not, get it ready to roll.  
I recommend a non stick rolling pin.  I tried using my wood rolling pin and almost threw it through the window I got so frustrated with it.  

Roll the fondant out to be about 1/8" thick.  

(I am too cheap to buy cookie cutters-a baby bottle cover works)

I started with red and blue....  
The paint brush in the bottom of this picture is in a glue.  And by glue I don't mean glue--it is a thin mixture of water and powdered sugar.  It holds all the pieces together.  It should be about the consistency of Elmer's School Glue.  1T powdered sugar to a dribble of water.  

Here is the black for the faces.
Again, no cookie cutter, it is the top off a breast milk baby bottle. 

The white for the faces
Again, no cookie cutter-tea ball (man I am cheap)

So since there is no such thing as grey food coloring (I know what you're thinking, just use a little black and wallah you'll have grey, um, no.  Black food coloring is almost purple when you thin it out.  Tried it with the zebra luck)  So I resorted to cake spray in silver.  So in order to spray these, I need to put their noses on first.  

I used a little glue, dabbed some in the middle, made a little ball and stuck it on there.  

Train faces and noses.  I then sprayed these and let them dry over night.  I didn't know how well it would work, since the can said nothing about fondant, but it worked great!

The next day, I put them together.  Following my Etsy picture I stuck the black circles on first, cut some rectangles for the steam funnel, and 2 little circles for the buffers.  I attached all this with the thin sugar glue.

Here they are before the faces are put on.  I think this is right before I went to bed.

So again, I attached the faces with the sugar glue.  This is also the point I used the rest of my white, died it green and made 10 more circles for Percy.

Keep them out of the reach of toddlers.  2 casualties.

This is them all set, except the eyes and mouths.  I added the little do-hinky on the front like the Etsy picture.

Lastly, I rolled little pieces of fondant in to balls for eyes and stuck them on, then made mouths.  I painted the black in the eyes on with a thinned out black food coloring.  They turned out pretty cute-and really cheap.  

Sure some of them look a little psychotic, but they are fun and I made them. 

To decorate I will make some yummy cream cheese frosting and put a hefty layer on each cupcake and then set these on top. Done.
Best yet-my son knows who they are!  
"Hi, Thomas"

What can you create!?
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  1. Thanks! I wanted to do something like this for my sons' combined b-day in July! I wanted to do Thomas because my 2.5yr old (will be 3 in July) LOVES choo-choos! I was trying to figure how to do something on my own! Now I just have to figure out how to get the silver cake paint here in Italy! This seems easy enough to do on my own and it has very nice results!

  2. Aw, these are really cute! I googled marshmallow fondant and cookie cutters, and your blog post came up :) For my son's birthday, we're doing a pirate theme, and I would like to make a skull and crossbones for the cake. His birthday is a long ways off, but I like to plan ahead :)

  3. Cool idea! Did the same thing but with real fondant......I should have read this first! LOL

  4. These turned out really cute. There is such an easier way to make the fondant though if you have a kitchenaid mixer with a dough hook. It will save your hands/arms/neck/back! :) Here is the link to the first video I found (she has a part 2) but I use different extracts. I use 2T water, 1 1/2 T clear butter extract, 1/2 T almond extract and 1 T clear vanilla extract. If I'm doing a pink or red fondant, sometimes I will substitute strawberry for the almond & portions of the other extracts & it gives it a strawberry bubblegum taste. Be creative in your flavorings, just remember that some have color in them, so try to find one that is similar to the color of fondant you will need if you can't find it in a clear form.

  5. Did you leave them covered or uncovered overnight?

  6. My mind has been running crazy w/ ideas ever since I discovered your site. I love your ideas & you are so crafty! =)