Old Fashioned Fondant Recipe

With these old fashioned fondant recipes, you can make a wide variety of quality molded candies and delectable hand-dipped chocolates.

You will also find some great ideas for making homemade candies that are perfect for both eating and gift giving. Make some homemade fondant today.

Old Fashioned Fondant Recipes

The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1916)

Homemade White Fondant CandyHomemade White Fondant Candy
(Source: ©hatfielddesign.com/Depositphotos.com)

How to Make Fondant

Fondant, the basis of all French candy, is made of sugar and water boiled together (with a small quantity of cream of tartar to prevent sugar from granulating) to soft ball, 238°F (115°C).

The professional confectioner can decide when syrup has boiled to the right temperature by sound while boiling, and by testing in cold water, the easier method for beginners.

These candy boiling tests seem somewhat difficult to the amateur at first, but only a little experience is necessary to make fondant successfully.

A sugar thermometer is often employed and proven valuable, as by its use one need not exercise his or her judgement. Simply go by the temperature indicated.

Basic White Fondant

Vintage Illustration of Lady Making FondantMaking Fondant

2-1/2 lbs sugar, 1/2 cup hot water, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Put ingredients into a smooth saucepan. Stir, place on range, and heat gradually to boiling-point.

Boil without stirring until, when tried in cold water, a soft ball may be formed that will just keep in shape, which is 238°F (115°C).

After a few minutes' boiling, sugar will adhere to sides of saucepan; this should be carefully washed off with the hand first dipped in cold water.

Have a pan of cold water near at hand, dip hand in cold water, then quickly wash off a small part of the sugar with tips of fingers, and repeat until all sugar adhering to side of saucepan is removed. If this is quickly done, there is no danger of burning the fingers.

CAUTION — Using a wet pastry brush or small damp cloth instead of the hand is much safer for those not experienced in candy making! Leave the fingers dipped in cold water technique to the experts and avoid a bad burn!

Pour fondant mixture slowly on a slightly oiled marble slab. Let stand a few minutes to cool, but not long enough to become hard around the edge.

Scrape fondant with chopping knife to one end of marble, and work with a wooden spatula until white and creamy. It will quickly change from this consistency and begin to lump, when it should be kneaded with the hands until perfectly smooth.

Put into a bowl, cover with oiled paper to exclude air so that a crust may not form on top, and let stand twenty-four hours. A large oiled platter and wooden spoon may be used in place of marble slab and spatula.

Always make fondant on a clear day, as a damp, heavy atmosphere has an unfavorable effect on the boiling of sugar.

Coffee Fondant

2-1/2 pounds sugar, 1/4 cup ground coffee, 1-1/2 cups cold water, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Put water and coffee in saucepan, and heat to boiling-point.

Strain through double cheese cloth; then add sugar and cream of tartar. Boil, and work same as White Fondant.

Maple Fondant

1-1/4 pounds maple sugar, 1 cup hot water, 1-1/4 pounds sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Break maple sugar in pieces and add to remaining ingredients. Boil, and work same as White Fondant.

Sweet Stuff's Old Fashioned Fondant Recipe

Calling All Girls (Dec. 1944)

Sweet Stuff Comic Page with Recipe for Making Homemade Fondant CandiesAn Easy Old Fashioned Fondant Recipe
(PD Source: Calling All Girls, December 1944)

Sweet Stuff Fondant

From this single old fashioned fondant recipe, you can make a variety of different candies.

Evaporated Milk

To substitute 1 cup evaporated milk, use 1 cup heavy cream, or gently simmer 2-1/4 cups whole milk in a saucepan until reduced to 1 cup.

Beat till blended the white of 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of evaporated milk, 1 tablespoon cold water, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Beat in confectioners' sugar until mixture is stiff enough to knead — about 1-1/4 pounds (sifted), or more if egg is large.

Turn it out on a smooth, greased surface (enamel table top is best) and knead till smooth. When you have enough sugar in it, it loses its "shine."

Cover fondant with a damp cloth and set in a cool place for an hour to "ripen" before making into different "kinds" of candies.

This old fashioned fondant recipe will make at least 1-1/4 pounds of candy — and how much more is hard to say. It depends on how much and what you add to the fondant.

And what to add? Well, pitted dates, dried figs, nuts, crystallized ginger, dried prunes and apricots, candied orange peel and grapefruit peel, raisins, currants, and those colored dots used for cake decorations.

But that's not all.

You can make your different batches in different flavors. Back in the beginning, you can use a teaspoon of maple flavoring, or almond, lemon, coffee, or orange extract instead of vanilla. Or a couple of drops of oil of peppermint or wintergreen. But that's not all, either.

You can add vegetable coloring to the batches according to flavor. Coffee and maple need no color, but add a drop of green for almond, yellow for lemon, orange for orange, pink for wintergreen.

Is that all?

No, now you're just ready to start. Take a hunk of fondant, break it open, put a nut meat, a raisin, or bit of fruit inside, close it up again, and roll it into any shape you want. That all?

Hardly! Decorate the candies — in any way that seems like a good idea. Top some with halves of nutmeats, some with bits of cherry or candied orange peel. Sprinkle them with the cake decorations.

Cut a prune in half, take out the pit, put a piece of fondant in each side, and make little sausages of them, rolled in powdered sugar. Flatten out an apricot, spread it with fondant, roll it, and slice like a jelly roll.

There's no end to what you can do. It's more fun than mud pies, and you suddenly find yourself with twenty kinds of candy, all from one old fashioned fondant recipe.

If you have more fondant than you can finish, put it in the icebox in a sealed jar and finish the rest tomorrow.

Mom's Favorite Old Fashioned Fondant Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (1920s)

How to Make Fondant Candy

Two cups white sugar, 1 cup water, 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar. Mix all ingredients together and place over heat, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.

Be very careful not to let any of the mixture get up on the sides of the saucepan, as they will form crystals, which, if dropped into the syrup, will spoil the texture of the fondant.

Cook slowly until the syrup will form a soft ball in water.

Have a large platter, well buttered, ready and pour the fondant on it very slowly. Never pour fondant faster than it can spread itself.

Let it stand without disturbing until partly cool and a slight wrinkle forms around the edge.

Then begin working with a spatula, lifting the fondant each time from the edge and turning toward center. Continue working until it is white when the hands may be used to knead it.

Place in a bowl covered with oiled paper and leave for several hours. It may be left for several days, if you wish, before making into individual candies, such as those described below.

Cinnamon Nut Logs

To a portion of the fondant add a few drops of oil of cinnamon and a few drops of pink coloring. Knead until thoroughly blended. Form into small logs and roll in chopped nuts.

Vanilla Walnut Creams

To a portion of the fondant add vanilla flavoring; knead well. Shape into small balls and place a half of a walnut on the top of each.

Coconut Balls

Drain well some canned cherries. Make small balls of fondant, placing in the center of each a cherry. Roll in shredded coconut.

Chocolate Creams

Melt dipping chocolate (or plain chocolate bars are much cheaper), and dip the balls of fondant. Lift out with a fork onto waxed paper, making a tiny twirl on the top of each candy.

Fondant Stuffed Dates

Remove stones from dates carefully, and stuff with fondant.


Take a portion of the chocolate and knead until well blended. Press out into a rectangular shape, quite thin.

To an equal amount of fondant, add a few drops of oil of peppermint and knead. Press out into same shape as chocolate, then place on top of it.

Roll up like a jelly roll and chill for several hours. Cut into thin slices.

About the Old Fashioned Fondant Recipes

Fondant makes excellent centers for homemade chocolates. You can easily mold creamy fondant into uniform balls or egg shapes by using your hands and rolling them between the palms to make them smooth.

Any of the old fashioned fondant recipes may be used for chocolate making.

Also, you can use a fondant or candy mold to shape the softened fondant into fancy shapes. Candy molds now come in hundreds of shapes and sizes and are readily available from Amazon.

Simply press the soft fondant into the mold. If you spray the mold lightly with cooking oil first, the fondant will release more easily.

Once your fondants are molded, chill them for a while in the refrigerator in preparation for dipping in chocolate.

Have fun with the old fashioned fondant recipes. Several methods are given to experiment with. Making your own fancy confections could be the beginning of a rewarding new hobby.

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