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Can You Eat Fondant? (Does It Taste Good?)

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Cake decorating shows are a guilty pleasure for many of us, and we’d love to try and recreate these at home!

You will see that many professional pâtissiers are now using fondant to ice their baked goods, and if you get served cake at a wedding or a party it will most likely have been decorated with fondant.

But can you eat fondant, and does it taste good? Fondant is perfectly safe to eat as it is made from only edible ingredients, but it’s very sweet — some say sickeningly sweet. The smooth, paste-like texture of fondant can also be off-putting for many, which is why most people peel the fondant topping off cakes and put it to the side.

Want to learn more about the world of fondant and how to use it on your cakes? We’ve got everything you need to know right here, including how to make your fondant taste so good that everyone will enjoy eating it!

What Is Fondant?

You can’t have failed to notice the explosion in popularity of cake baking TV shows over recent years.

And with specialist patisseries popping up on every street corner, you will see eye-catching, beautifully decorated cakes everywhere you go.

But if you’re a fan of making cakes at home, you may wonder how these professionals make the frosting quite so beautiful. After all, for many of us, getting royal icing not to slide off the cake is a big achievement!

So, how can you create intricate and complex cake decorations at home? Is it some kind of magic that only professionals are privy to? Or could we all give it a try?

Well, the secret here is fondant! And yes, anybody can use fondant and it will transform your cake decorating skills.

Fondant is a very simple type of icing that in its most basic form contains just sugar, water, and corn syrup. These three ingredients create a thick paste with a smooth and elastic texture.

Creating elaborate sculptures with fondant is very much like working with good-quality clay or Play-Doh. It is soft, malleable, and holds its shape well — the cake decorator’s dream!

Fondant is normally rolled out to cover cakes or can be used to create intricate decorative cake toppers.

The fondant can be colored with many different food colorings to change the appearance of the paste. Finished creations can also be painted or given a color wash to create fabulously beautiful designs. 

There are several variations on this basic form of fondant, but all have the same intention.

Other ingredients such as gelatin, glycerin, cornstarch, vegetable fats, or shortening are sometimes also added. These all alter the texture of fondant in subtly different ways!

Gelatin or glycerin are added to make the fondant firmer. This type of fondant is sometimes referred to as sculpting fondant, sugar paste, or gum paste.

Making fondant isn’t too tricky, but to start with you may prefer to buy pre-made fondant from the store. This will come either in a solid block of dough or as pre-rolled fondant sheets.

Can You Eat Fondant?

Have you ever sat at a fancy event and, after the cakes came out, watched people carefully peel away the fondant icing? It is not uncommon for people to put the fondant icing to one side and tuck into the delicious cake underneath with glee!

But why do people put fondant to one side? Is it because it is inedible or do they just not like the taste?

If you’ve been delivered a beautiful box of carefully decorated cupcakes, you can rest assured that the fondant icing is perfectly edible.

Fondant is made from completely edible ingredients. Basic fondant contains just sugar, water, and corn syrup, although thicker sculpting fondant may have had other ingredients such as glycerin added.

So if you’re tempted to eat that beautiful handmade fondant flower that adorns your cake, go for it!

It is perfectly safe to eat fondant, and this is part of the reason why it has become so popular for decorating cakes.

In the past, intricate decorations were made using either marzipan or royal icing. Marzipan contains ground almond flour and royal icing is made using raw egg whites, both of which are ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction.

So, fondant is not only more convenient and easier to work with than royal icing or marzipan, but it also comes without the allergy warning

What Does Fondant Taste Like?

If you were to take a look at the ingredient list for fondant, you would wonder how it could possibly taste bad. After all, it only contains sugar, water, and corn syrup!

In truth, fondant doesn’t really taste bad at all. It is basically a very thick, sugary paste, and that is exactly what it tastes like!

So, if fondant is completely edible and tastes sweet, how could you possibly go wrong by eating it?

The problem is that fondant is quite possibly one of the sweetest things you’ve ever eaten! It is like eating pure powdered sugar, just in paste form.

So, when it comes to eating fondant, a little bit really does go a long way. A nibble or two of fondant can perfectly complement a bite of delicious cake, but it can soon become over-sweet and destroy the flavor altogether.

How much of the fondant you will want to eat will also depend on the type and sweetness of the cake it is used to decorate.

If you’re served a slice of cake that is not overly sweet, such as a rich coffee cake, you might enjoy eating the thin layer of fondant icing.

But those little chocolate cupcakes topped with intricate layers of fondant decorations? Forget it! You’ll be so overwhelmed with sweetness after the first bite that you won’t be able to face eating anymore.

Of course, how much fondant icing you want to eat is entirely up to your own personal taste and dietary requirements. Some people will avoid this sugary icing like the plague, while others will enjoy eating every last scrap.

Although fondant is perfectly edible, there are some reasons why you might want to avoid eating it.

Fondant is absolutely packed full of sugar — every 10 ounces of fondant contains nearly 9 ounces of sugar. And since fondant is normally used to top sugar-packed cakes, it’s very easy to exceed your daily recommended sugar intake!

The other problem with fondant is hidden additives that you might not be aware of. These days, cakes are normally covered in various colors of fondant icing, and food colorings are used to create this effect.

These food colorings are intended for human consumption, but many people try to stay clear of excessive amounts of artificial additives. Food dyes have been linked to hyperactivity in children and can be potential allergens.

If you’re making fondant yourself, it is easy to check that the food dyes you are using are as safe as possible. This can be trickier with pre-dyed, shop-bought fondant, but look for one that is free from artificial additives if possible.

What Is The Texture Of Fondant Like?

Now we get down to the real nitty gritty of why people don’t tend to eat fondant — the texture!

Yes, fondant is super sweet but on the whole, the taste is pleasant — pretty much like eating sugar. However, the texture of fondant definitely leaves something to be desired.

The best way to describe fondant is having the texture of clay or good quality play-dough.

And while this makes fondant perfect for rolling out and forming into intricate shapes, it means that eating fondant is kind of like eating soft gum. This puts many people off eating fondant, as they find the texture deeply unpleasant.

However, as with the sweet flavor, it is all a matter of personal opinion! So if you like the texture and flavor of fondant, then go ahead and eat it. But if eating fondant is not for you, rest assured that you are not alone!

Does Fondant Taste Good?

When it comes to fondant, opinion is pretty divided on whether it tastes good or not. Most people would agree that it doesn’t taste bad, but the sickly sweetness can be overwhelming.

But the good news is that there are a few simple tricks to help make fondant taste better!

If you’re buying premade fondant from the store, look for flavored fondant for an interesting change. The fun thing about flavored fondant is that the manufacturers tend to match the flavor to the color!

This means yellow fondant could be banana- or lemon-flavored, red fondant might be raspberry or strawberry, and chocolate-brown fondant would likely be coffee or fudge flavors.

And if you’re feeling really adventurous, it is even possible to get custom-made flavored fondant, made to your own specification in terms of taste and color!

It is also super-simple to add flavor to homemade fondant with just a drop or two of a flavored extract or essence. You can also use flavored sugars and fruit powders to give a whole new taste to your fondant.

Is Fondant Better Than Other Types Of Frosting?

For many of us, frosting is the best part of any baked item — a smooth layer of creamy sweetness that perfectly complements the cake underneath. But how does fondant compare to other types of frosting?

The joy of fondant is that it is super-malleable and easy to mold into intricate shapes. This means you can use it to create beautiful butterflies, perfect petals, and so much more.

Unlike most other types of frosting which are piped onto a cake or spread with a knife, fondant can also be rolled out and draped over a cake. This helps to create a perfectly smooth surface without any wrinkles or blemishes.

But although fondant is a cake decorator’s dream, it is not always everyone’s favorite type of frosting. Many people find the sweet flavor and paste-like texture unappetizing and will remove the fondant and leave it to one side.

So fondant cake creations may look amazing, but you could find that you go to an awful lot of effort for something that is just put to one side and later discarded!

If you want a frosting that tops the charts in terms of flavor, then you could opt for something more traditional such as royal icing or cream cheese frosting.

These are normally piped onto the cake or spread with a knife. It is possible to create some clever finishes with these types of softer icing, but nowhere near as elaborate as with fondant.

Another option is to switch fondant for buttercream icing. The smooth, paste-like texture of buttercream makes it ideal for creating swirls and patterns on the surface of your cakes. It cannot be rolled out and must be piped onto your cake.

Buttercream might not be as versatile as fondant, but it massively outperforms in terms of flavor and texture. It is deliciously creamy with a subtle sweetness — you’re unlikely to find anyone scraping off buttercream to leave it to one side!

This frosting is also ideal if you want to decorate your cake with sprinkles or edible glitter.

However, the downside to buttercream is that it has a very short shelf life and will also deteriorate quickly in warm weather. Definitely not the ideal choice for a summer wedding!

Fondant, on the other hand, is very long-lived and will withstand a broad temperature range without deteriorating.

It acts as a seal around the cake, protecting it from air, moisture, and bacteria, helping your baked goods to stay fresh for longer.

Related Questions

So now we’ve got to the bottom of whether you can eat fondant, let’s take a look at some other common fondant-related questions!

Can you eat expired fondant?

Store-bought fondant is shelf-stable and can be stored at room temperature on your pantry shelf. It will be marked with a best-before date, indicating how soon you should consume it.

But can you eat expired fondant, or is it best to throw it away?

The best-before date on fondant is an advisory notice, and it may be perfectly fine to eat for several weeks beyond this. However, you should always inspect it carefully to ensure it has not gone bad.

Keeping store-bought fondant in the best possible storage conditions will help to keep it at its best. A cool, dark shelf in an area of low humidity is ideal, away from any strongly flavored or scented foods.

Does fondant go bad?

The joy of fondant is that it is naturally self-preserving due to its high sugar content.

Store-bought fondant will have a shelf life of up to two years, as it often contains artificial preservatives as well. Homemade fondant is not so long-lived and should be used within two months.

However, fondant can go bad, either because it is very old or has not been stored correctly. It will gradually harden over time and become difficult to work with, so it is better to use it sooner rather than later.

When fondant goes bad, you will see mold on the surface. At this stage, the fondant is no longer edible and should be discarded.

If you’ve got a large amount you could cut away the moldy parts and use the remainder for practicing, but take extra care to ensure that nobody eats it!

How do you store fondant?

The main enemies of fondant are air, moisture, and bacteria — exposure to any of these will cause it to deteriorate and turn bad far sooner than expected.

Store fondant in an airtight container or bag to prevent it from drying out. If you have a block of fondant, it is a good idea to wrap it in plastic food wrap first.

Place the container somewhere cool, away from heat sources, light, or direct sunlight. Avoid storing fondant in areas of high humidity.

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