Have you ever fantasized having an entire cake all to yourself and eating it all in one sitting? OMG, me too! I have an idea, let’s do it for reals!
Okay, so my actual idea is a bit more reasonable than trying to take on a triple layer wedding cake and it doesn’t require competitive eating skills, but I think it’s still pretty awesome. Let’s make petit fours! Well, these are a little bigger than petit fours but you get the idea. Mini cakes for everyone!
So I’m sure at some point in your life we’ve all asked how we look and received the answer “it’s on the inside that counts”. Anyone? (Fine, maybe that was just me when I was going through my awkward stage and thought my bangs look perfectly fine hanging in my face, when in reality I looked like Cousin Itt.) You might have no clue what I’m talking about because you’re some kind of super model, but for those of you who do, you know it makes you feel like “Gee, thanks a lot!”. Well, that statement isn’t always a semi politely disguised insult and sometimes it’s even true. For example, as cute as these cakes are on their own, the best part of them is what’s in them, or rather what’s not in them.
And what isn’t in them is high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial colors, or any other unpronounceable junk. I used homemade coloring and this marshmallow fondant is made with homemade marshmallows (and one of my new favorite things ever, by the way)!
I’ve told you guys before that my mom and grandma are both really good with cakes right? Well, they are, and I’ve grown up playing with cake decorating all the time, plus my family is huge so every few weeks we have birthdays. That’s why I can’t believe I’ve never made marshmallow fondant before now. When I think of all the hours I’ve spent in my life trying and failing to get buttercream fondant to do what I want and not crumble and crack on me, wow. It’s pretty ridiculous.
Of course, I know that some people aren’t comfortable with candy making and I get that because it can be a little touchy. But really you guys, homemade marshmallows aren’t that big of a deal, and once you have them the fondant takes like ten minutes tops. However, you can use store-bought marshmallows if you must but I’d recommend natural ones.
Oh, and for the colors I used natural ones that I’ve made and have on hand. I’m a loser, I really want to do a post and show how I do it but I haven’t yet so I’m just going to tell you that: for the yellow all you need is a few sprinkles of turmeric dissolved in a little water, for the pink I used a few drops of beet juice, and for the blue I used (get this) red cabbage. You just have to boil the cabbage in water until it’s lost most of its color and then boil the water down a bit more to concentrate it. Then you’ll have this dark purple and all you have to do to get blue is add a sprinkle of baking soda and watch the magic happen!
These aren’t as bright as the commercial colors but I happen to like the pastels. I bet you could also use organic dyes from your local whole foods market. For the cakes I made both chocolate and vanilla and went with simple square shapes, but you could get really crazy with flavors and shapes if you want. This post is basically all about the fondant and everything else is extra. Who’s ready to decorate?
- 8 ounces (about 4 cups) homemade marshmallows *
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- a few drops of natural food coloring (optional)
- 1 - 2 tablespoons water
- 4 - 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 (1/2 stick) butter, room temp
- 1 recipe for chocolate or vanilla cake *
- 1 recipe for chocolate or vanilla frosting
- In a medium saucepan, warm marshmallow over low heat for about 1 minute until soft but not quite melted (just until you see a few start to ooze). Stir in vanilla, salt, and if desired, food coloring (coloring can still be added after but if using a lesser concentrated liquid it is best to add it now) then add 1 tablespoon water.
- Remove from heat and add 4 cups of powdered sugar and stir until mostly combined in a rough dough, then grease hands with butter and start to work the butter into the fondant on a clean surface. Add more water or powdered sugar as needed until fondant is easy to work with. For best results I like to refrigerate it for at least 1 hour before using.
- Prepare cake of choice according to recipe with the exception of using a greased 13 x 9 inch glass pan or a similar size pan. (Although any shape of cake can be cut to your desired sizes)
- Cut the cake into squares (about 2 inch) or any shape you'd like and slice them 2 or 3 times, depending on how tall they are, horizontally into little layers. Spread desired frosting in between layers and add a thin layer on the outside of each.
- Divide fondant into sections and roll out each into a layer about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 8 inch squares and use to individually cover each mini cake then cut off and save excess. Decorate cakes with extra fondant as desired and serve or refrigerate for up to 3 days until ready to serve.
*You can use store-bought marshmallows as well (preferably organic without corn syrup) but you will need about 1 tablespoon more water You can also use this recipe or any one of the three flavors in it.
*Most cake & icing recipes will work for these. If you have a favorite then you can use that instead. I have also used the cake from this recipe with great results.