Fondant | American Society of Baking
Commercial Baking Ingredients:


What is fondant?

Fondant is a glossy hard icing or topping used for covering and decorating cakes and pastries. Technically, fondant is a partially-crystalline confectionery product made of small sucrose crystals in a saturated sugar syrup.1

Hardness of fondant is determined by its water content with typical range from 10 – 15 %.1 

Commercially available types include:1

  • Poured: sweet paste-like texture
  • Rolled: dough-like texture with plastic consistency often used in cakes
  • Powdered: icing sugar
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Fondant is thought to have originated in 19 th century France. The word fondant comes from the french word fonder which means “to melt”.2 Another presumed origin is in Ottoman, Turkey. The classic use of fondant or fondant cream was as candy or chocolate cream bar filling.3

Today’s fondant was established in the 20th century and is known as a cake icing or a cake decorating material.3


Fondants are used in baked goods and confectionery products for:1

  • Cake topping, covering and decorating.
  • Seed crystallization in fudge and chewy candies.
  • Base material for frostings and icings


Typical nutritional value of commercially available fondant per 100 g:4

Component Grams
Carbohydrate 80.00
Water 12.00
Fat 5.71
Water 2.29

The high sugar content of fondants make them highly caloric confectionery products. They provide 371 kcal per 100 g.3

Commercial production

A typical formulation for batch fondant production is:1

Ingredients Regular fondant Suger-free fondant
Sucrose 64-71
Maltitol 70
Water 20 20
Glucose syrup* 9-16
Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate** 10

*80% dissolved solids, and 20% water
** 75% dissolved solids, and 25% water

Fondant is commercially produced through the following process:1

  • Weighing and scaling of ingredients: water, sucrose and glucose syrup
  • Mixing: sucrose and water are mixed in a stainless steel kettle
  • Concentration: the sucrose syrup is heated until complete dissolution. Glucose syrup is added to the mixture with continued heating and boiling to the desired water content.
  • Cooling: Thin layers of the mixture (5 mm) are placed in a cooling drum fitted with refrigerated water circulation 45 -50 oC (114 -122 oF).
  • Crystallization: cooled mixture is  beaten for 20-30 min to generate the appropriate size crystals
  • Fondant blocks are packed in 22.7 kg (50 lb) blocks


Fondant most common use is as a cake covering and as the base for a wide range of cake decorations.2

Considerations when working with different types of fondant:2

Fondant type Considerations When to use
  • Produces a shiny, non-sticky coating.
  • When prepared at home, avoid stirring until it cools down properly to avoid formation of large crystals.
Napoleons, éclairs, petits fours, and some cakes
  • Generates flat and smooth surface to use as the base for other decorations.
  • Cake surface crumbs should be removed prior to applying rolled fondant.
  • Use icing or jam as a sealant or adhesive.
  • Avoid placing refrigerated fondant covered cakes in humid environments to maintain acceptable appearance.
  • Use confectioner’s sugar for dusting when kneading.
Cakes and cupcakes, especially wedding cakes.


Fondant is considered GRAS by the FDA when following good manufacturing practices.4

In the EU, fondant is classified as confectionery products and is considered safe when used for its intended purpose following good manufacturing practices.5


  1. Hartel, R W., H. Joachim, and Randy Hofberger. Confectionery science and technology. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2018, pp. 245 – 253.
  2. Gisslen, W. Professional Baking. United Kingdom, Wiley, 2004, pp.416 – 448.
  3. Olver, L. “The Food Timeline: History Notes-Candy.” Foodtimeline.Org, 2021,
  4. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 14 July 2017. Accessed 06 April 2021.
  5. European Commission, Guidance document describing the food categories in Part E of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 on Food Additives, June 2017, 06 April 2021.