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“Easy Fondant? For real!” Carrot Cake

“Easy Fondant? For real!” Carrot Cake

April 01, 2014
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I’ve never made fondant before. Let’s just get that out in the open. Honestly, even though I am a “food professional,” the thought of making fondant seems overly complicated and time-consuming. Plus, when I think of fondant, I think of the stuff you can buy in craft stores. Let’s face it, that stuff doesn’t have a whole lot of flavor. So when this Carrot Cake was developed in the Test Kitchens, I was a bit reluctant to try it. “But it’s made with butter!” said the recipe developer. That sounds better than the shelf-stable fondant, but I still wasn’t convinced. “It’s made with marshmallows, too!” she said. Okay, I like marshmallows. A lot. “It has cream cheese frosting underneath!” she continued. Alright, I was going to try it. And to my surprise? Wow! It tasted great. But then came even more skepticism from the back of my brain.


“It must be hard to make,” I said. Then she went on to explain that all you do is microwave marshmallows and water, add butter and powdered sugar, and that’s it. I was completely taken aback. Everything I had assumed about fondant was wrong. Plus, this cake is too adorable not to make. I decided I’d give it a whirl to see if it really was as easy as she said.


Let’s start with the simple ingredients you’ll need for the fondant.

Fondant Ingredients

Combine the marshmallows with 1 tablespoon of water, and microwave. Stir the marshmallow mixture every 30 seconds (roughly 1 ½ minutes) or until it’s melted and smooth. Add the powdered sugar to the melted marshmallows…

Fondant Ingredients

…and then butter your hands. It’s like a spa treatment…or something.

Buttered Hands

Work a half stick of softened butter into the marshmallow and powdered sugar using your buttered hands.

Mix Fondant with Hands

This is what you’ll end up with. Magic!

White Fondant

Now, remove 1/3 of the fondant and tint it with green food color gel.

Add Green Food Color

Work it in gently. I found it was best to use gloves while doing this so my hands didn’t turn a shade of alien green.

Knead Color

This will make the stems of your carrot cakes.

Green Fondant

Do the same with the remaining fondant, only using orange food color.

Green and Orange Fondant

Now, break off a small piece of the green fondant and place it into a garlic press. This will make the “fronds” of the carrots.

Use Garlic Press

The trick is to keep feeding small pieces through the press to make one long strand.

Green Leaves

Now, onto the cake. Mix the dry ingredients together, then stir in the shredded carrots. You want to use fresh carrots for the best flavor – none of the pre-shredded matchstick kind.

Carrots with Flour

Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl and mix.

Combine Wet Ingredients

Then, stir the wet ingredients into the dry and add the pecans.

Stir in Nuts

Pour the cake batter into a greased 9x5-inch loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely. While it’s cooling, make the cream cheese frosting.

Pour Batter in Pan

When completely cooled, place the cake on a cutting board and put a toothpick at the very top, center point on the cake. Make a cut diagonally from the top of the cake to the bottom corner, like this:

Cut Carrot Cake

Then do the same on the other side. You’ll end up with three pieces like this:

Cut Cake Again

The two outer pieces will go together to form a carrot shape, so you’ll have two cakes. (I’ll just be showing how to decorate one).

Put Pieces Together

Place the cake on a platter and frost it with half of the prepared frosting:

Frost Cake

Frosting Covered Cake

Now it’s the orange fondant’s time to shine. Roll half of the fondant out to a trapezoid measuring 11 inches long, 9 inches wide at the bottom, and 5 inches wide at the top:

Roll Out Fondant

Drape the rolled fondant over one of the cakes…

Lay Fondant Over Cake

…and gently press around the edges to adhere.

Press Fondant Around Edges

Use a sharp knife or pastry cutter to trim the edges.

Trim Fondant

And there you have it! Almost done.

Trimmed Cake

Now it’s time to attach the greenery on top. Press the fronds into the top of the carrot firmly.

Attach Greenery Stem

Use either a butter knife or the fluted pastry tool to create ridges in the carrot.

Create Carrot Ridges

How adorable is that? This Carrot Cake is sure to be a hit at your next spring celebration.

Final Fondant Carrot Cake

Give it a try and let us know what you think!  



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Is the butter that you coat your hands with included in the 1/2 stick of softened butter, or is it over and above what the recipe calls for?

Posted March 16, 2015 by Barbara
Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Hi Barbara, the butter I used in this recipe was additional to what is in the recipe. You could try using about a teaspoon of the softened butter and it shouldn't affect the fondant too much. Happy baking!
Posted March 16, 2015

These instructions look reasonably easy to accomplish. And the cake ingredients seem like a great cake. Can't wait to try it.

Posted March 12, 2015 by Linda
Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Hi Linda, I hope you do try it! If you do, let us know what you thought. Happy baking!
Posted March 12, 2015

can you add flavorings to the fondant and if you can how much?

Posted March 12, 2015 by Dotty
Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Hi Dotty, we would suggest adding 1 teaspoon of your desired flavoring to the fondant to customize. Happy baking!
Posted March 12, 2015

at what power level should you microwave the marshmallows at?

Posted March 12, 2015 by Dotty
Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Hi Dotty, when we tested this in the Test Kitchens, we microwaved on high. Hope this helps!
Posted March 12, 2015

No measurements given for ounces needed of mini marshmallows to cups needed of powdered sugar. The only measurement was 1 tablespoon of water.... How to directions were fine, pictures were good. Just need some guesstimate measurements for the marshmallows and powdered sugar....

Posted April 10, 2014 by Sissee Igl
Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Hi Sissee, If you click on the underlined recipe name in the blog, it will take you to the recipe page which will give you exact amounts. Thanks for reading!
Posted April 11, 2014

Can you post the ingredient measurements ?

Posted April 04, 2014 by Erin
Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Hi Erin, if you click the underlined link that says "Carrot Cake," it will take you to the recipe. Happy baking!
Posted May 02, 2014

That is so cute! I will probably try it.

Posted April 04, 2014 by Brenda
Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Thanks, Brenda! If you do, let us know how it turned out for you. Happy baking!
Posted May 02, 2014

I consider myself a pretty goodbaker but have never ventured into the fondant realm either. Fondant tends to looks nice but, I agree, it's usually not too tasty. Read through this and followed the pics - I'm sold! I cannot wait to try this for Easter. Thanks!

Posted April 03, 2014 by M. Aguilar
Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Glad to hear it! Hope it worked well for you. We'd love to see pictures if you have them - just go to our Facebook page and you can post one there.
Posted May 02, 2014

you didn't say how much powdered sugar or how many marshmallows

Posted April 03, 2014 by xx
Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
If you click on the underlined link that says "Carrot Cake" in the blog, it will take you right to the recipe. Hope this helps!
Posted May 02, 2014