Last Updated on February 20, 2023
Fondant is an incredibly unique ingredient used to make beautifully detailed decorations for cakes and baked goods. But, can you eat fondant?
The short answer: fondant is edible. However, the real question is “Should you be eating fondant?” Over the decades, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding this decorative ingredient. Today, we will be diving deep into fondant itself and discussing all of the factors that determine whether it is edible or not.
What is Fondant Made Out Of?
Fondant is a type of icing that is commonly used to decorate and sculpt cakes and various other pastries. This fondant is also commonly referred to as “fondant icing”. This prevents people from becoming confused with the chocolate fondant dessert.
This icing is usually made from a combination of powdered sugar, gelatin, water, vegetable fat or shortening, and glycerol. However, today there are many “cheat fondant” recipes available that are much easier to make.
It has a very pliable texture. Once mixed, you can shape fondant into anything you can think of. Fondant can also be colored with gel or powdered food coloring. People use it to cover cakes, create figurines, and have loads of incredibly detailed decorations. The possibilities are endless, which is exactly why it is such a popular ingredient for bakers.
Using fondant is very easy. First, you have to knead the fondant to make it soft and pliable. If you want to cover cakes, roll out the fondant into a thin layer and drape it over the cake.
However, if you are making figurines, the process is different depending on what you are making.
What is Poured Fondant? Is it Edible?
Poured fondant is extremely similar to regular fondant. But, it has a much higher liquid content. This makes it very runny. When using liquid fondant, you can pour it over oddly shaped items to cover every inch evenly.
Liquid fondant is also used as a filling for pastries or candies. You can thicken it if needed.
What is Sugar Paste? Is it Edible?
Sugar paste is fondant. The only reason that it has another name is because of how it is used. Usually, when bakers talk about using fondant, they refer to this mixture that is specifically used to cover cakes or make bulky decorations (like ruffles or certain figurines).
The term “sugar paste” is used to describe delicate decorations made using this flexible mixture. It is usually very pliable and can be rolled into extremely thin sheets. It is often used to make edible flowers.
You can get this soft texture by either altering the recipe, softening the fondant by adding some water, or simply kneading it (essentially heating it) until it becomes very soft.
Is Fondant Edible?
The most common questions we get surrounding fondant goes something like “Can you eat fondant?” or “Are you supposed to eat fondant?” Fondant, regardless of the type you are making or the recipe you are following, is or at least should be, edible.
Now for the people in the back: FONDANT IS COMPLETELY EDIBLE!
All of the ingredients used to make fondant are edible and 100% safe to eat. If they aren’t, what is the point of using this decorative ingredient?
Why the Controversy?
So, why is this such a controversial question? And, why do so many people claim that fondant is inedible?
Well, have you ever seen someone take the fondant decorations off of their slice of cake and then only eat the cake part? That is exactly why so many people hate it. Hate it so much to the point that they use inaccurate and confusing terms like “inedible”.
While we don’t agree with the use of a word like “inedible” when it comes to any ingredient, we can say that the texture and even flavor of fondant are not for everyone.
Below we have broken down some of the biggest reasons people don’t like fondant.
The sugar content
So, fondant is mainly made from sugar. Sugar isn’t the healthiest ingredient to consume as it has very little nutritional value for the high amount of calories it carries.
A 100 gram of fondant contains roughly 89 grams of sugar. The daily recommended intake is around 24-36 grams per person. And trust us, 100 grams of fondant is less than you’d think.
Portion control is always important and although you don’t necessarily have to count your calories, just be mindful of the amount of sugar you are consuming.
The texture and flavor
People are very texture sensitive. And, in all honestly, we get it! Fondant icing has a very strange chewy, smooth, and sticky consistency – it is almost impossible to describe exactly what it is.
Nevertheless, people don’t like it. Furthermore, when it comes to the flavor, some fondant brands have a very plastic-like flavor which is also not very appetizing and almost ruins the flavor of the cake.
Small amounts of food coloring may not affect you much. However, tons of it can have negative effects on your health. It has actually been linked to hyperactivity in kids!
And, consuming large amounts of food coloring can affect your digestive system.
Does Fondant Taste Good?
Do you like the taste of sugar? Well, that is basically what fondant tastes like. Fondant is primarily made from sugar. So, needless to say, it is extremely sweet. Sometimes even sickeningly sweet.
But, that being said, it does lack the punch sugar has. And, often it has an almost plastic taste. This is the main reason many people don’t like the flavor.
So, if you want to know whether or not fondant tastes good, give it a try yourself and decide. Some people love it while others cannot stand it!
Can you “fix” the taste?
You can add flavoring extracts or essences to your fondant while kneading it. This can be anything from plain vanilla, almond, peppermint, or berries. There are thousands of extracts available.
One thing to keep in mind is that you have to choose a colorless extract to prevent it from altering the color of the fondant itself. If for example, you add vanilla essence to pure white fondant, it will give it a slight yellow-brown tinge.
What is the Best Tasting Fondant?
There are many fondants to choose from, but some taste better than others. Here’s a round-up of some of the best-tasting fondants available.
Wilton decorator preferred fondant
Wilton is one of the most recognized baking brands around the world. Their decorator fondant comes in six colors (white, black, blue, green, yellow, and red) and you can buy a 24oz packet of fondant for $8.99. It’s simple to use, easy to roll and has great taste. This fondant is certified Kosher, but a “may contain” the following allergens: egg, milk, soy, and tree nuts. This means it may not be suitable for those with certain dietary lifestyles.
Wilton flavored fondant
Another fondant from Wilton is their flavored fondant which comes in three different flavors: milk chocolate, white chocolate, and caramel. You can buy 24oz of fondant for around $15. This fondant is great as it’s made with real chocolate, which makes it great tasting. This product contains no artificial colors and is only made from natural ingredients.
Renshaw ready to roll fondant
This fondant from Renshaw comes in 28 different colors, from bold colors to pastel shades. They come in varying sizes and are perfect for any cakes or baked goods. This fondant is Kosher and Halal certified, as well as suitable for vegans. However, this fondant is a “may contain” nut, so you may want to bear this in mind if you have any dietary requirements.
The fondant from FunCakes comes in a staggering 40 colors! It’s available in varying sizes and is an easy-to-roll-out sugar paste. This fondant is certified gluten-free, Halal, and Kosher. However, it’s a “may contain” for nuts.
How to Make Fondant Soft
Fondant is prone to becoming dry and hard. However, if this happens, there are a few ways you can make your fondant soft. Let’s take a closer look at some of the easiest ways to achieve this.
- Glycerin. You can use any softening oil, but glycerin is the best option. You should add around a teaspoon of this ingredient for every 1lb of fondant. All you need to do is knead the glycerin into your fondant evenly.
- Vegetable Shortening. Add a thin layer of shortening to your hands and knead the fondant until it becomes softer. This is a quick and easy way to achieve soft fondant.
- Microwave. All you need to do is add your fondant to a heat-safe bowl and then place it in the microwave for around 5 seconds at a time. You should check after every 5 seconds as you don’t want to ruin your fondant.
How to Make Flavored Fondant
Making flavored fondant couldn’t be easier. And adding flavoring to your fondant can improve the taste massively. There are many quick and easy ways to flavor your fondant. You can use one of the following: extracts, vanilla bean paste, flavored powdered sugar, rolled buttercream, or fruit powder.
Once you’ve chosen your flavoring of choice, add a drop or two of flavoring to your fondant and knead evenly into the fondant. It’s best to start with a small amount of flavoring and add more if needed.
Are You Supposed To Eat Fondant? Final Thoughts
I hope this post has helped to answer the question: can you eat fondant? While fondant is edible and an amazing ingredient to use for decorative purposes, we do agree to a certain extent that you should be mindful of how much you consume.
If you know of anyone that would find this article helpful, share it with them, and also let us know what you think about fondant in the comments below!
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.