Last Updated on January 15, 2022
Fondant is an incredibly unique ingredient used to make beautifully detailed decorations for cakes and baked goods. But, is fondant edible?
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.
To use 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 always used to make edible flowers.
You can get this soft texture by either altering the recipe, softening the fondant by adding some water, or by 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 in 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. In fact, 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 is 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. Obviously, 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 grams 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 go 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.
Are You Supposed To Eat Fondant? Final Thoughts
While fondant is edible and is 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.