The Way To Add Color To Fondant

If you've been watching a variety of Food Network's many baking competition shows, you might be feeling inspired to test your baking skills in the kitchen. Fondant is a great way to create designs exactly as you want for your cakes. In fact, this delicious treat is similar to icing — it's sweet, often used to cover cakes, and pliable, so you can form it into any shape you want (via Bob's Red Mill). Though the texture of the fondant may remind you of Play-Doh, it is completely edible.

Fondant is made from a sugary mixture. If you make it at home, you can whip it up with just four ingredients, according to Favorite Family Recipes: miniature marshmallows, powdered sugar, water, and shortening. The gelatin from the miniature marshmallows will hold the fondant together, while the powdered sugar will prevent it from being overly sticky. Once your fondant is ready to go, you can start working on your decorations. But if you want to add a little color to your cakes, you'll need to employ the help of some food coloring.

Start off slowly adding color

Whether you choose to make your own, or purchase pre-made fondant, the base often starts off white. While this might be ideal for decorating a winter wonderland cake, or simply adding some dimension underneath frosting decorations, sometimes you want to fulfill your creative vision using colorful fondant. To add color, you must start off by kneading the white fondant until it is flexible. This will make it easier to work with as you add color.

Wilton states that less is more when coloring the fondant — the site recommends dipping a toothpick into the food coloring and then wiping it on the surface to transfer the color. Then, put on your favorite food-safe gloves, and begin kneading the color into the fondant. Continue kneading the fondant until the color is smooth and evenly spread. If the shade is a little too light for your liking, you can always add more and repeat the process until you have a color you like.

Prevent your fondant from being too sticky

Once you've finished coloring your fondant, it may be a little sticky, depending on how much food coloring you had to use to achieve your desired shade. To remedy this, Baking Kneads suggests using powdered sugar or corn starch.

Of course, like with all aspects of baking, there are pros and cons to each choice. Powdered sugar can maintain the sweet flavor of the fondant, but it can also dry it out too quickly. Unfortunately, if fondant is too dry, it can crack or tear more easily. While corn starch is better at maintaining moisture levels, it can also add a bitter flavor if too much is used. The site states that, to work around these issues, some bakers use a combination of both.

Once your fondant is colored and ready to use, you can roll it out, sculpt it, or use molds to decorate your cakes. If you wind up with extra, or just want to use it in the future, fondant will normally stay good for up to two weeks, so long as it is stored in an airtight container at room temperature.