I was recently asked to make a cupcake tower for a wedding where half of the cupcakes had to be suitable for vegans. After a few trial and errors, I figured out a recipe for vegan chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with frostings in the same flavors.
But the wedding cupcakes were supposed to be decorated as well, so I needed a vegan fondant recipe.
The main reason why most other home-made fondant recipes cannot be considered vegan is because they contain gelatin or marshmallows as thickeners. One vegan alternative is agar agar.
I bought this agar agar powder at the Asian food store. If all you can get are agar flakes use 1/2 tbsp and you will probably need less than 4 cups of icing sugar.
After doing a little bit of research, I found out that the (icing) sugar brands available to me at the major grocery stores use bone char (charcoal from animal bones) in the refining process. For this reason I buy organic icing sugar for vegan baking from Wholesome Sweeteners, which is also certified vegan.
UPDATE: I received comments/emails regarding the glycerin used in this recipe. I learnt that there are different types of glycerin, some of which are derived from animal fat. The type I am using (Wilton glycerin) is NOT animal-based and therefore suitable to use for vegans. So definitely do your research on the type of glycerin you are using.
You may have noticed that the fondant is not pure white. That is alright for me as I am going to color it anyway to make fondant animals.
I figured out that the reason for the off-white color is the organic icing sugar. When I made the same recipe substituting my regular icing sugar, then the fondant was white.
Therefore, if you need white vegan fondant, say for a wedding cake, knead in white food color into the finished batch or better yet, add it at the same time with the flavoring.
I hope you enjoyed this short tutorial. Drop me a line if you did or share your results via a comment below.
And – as I mentioned above already – if you are a vegan dessert lover or simply want more vegan cake recipes in your arsenal, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Claire’s vegan dessert cookbook.
Personal Note: What I love so much about it is that she developed vegan versions of many popular desserts like classic white layer cake, frosted chocolate cupcakes, to chocolate chip cookies, apple pie and even cheese cake.
It is an e-book in PDF format, so you can instantly read all of the mouth-watering recipes right from your computer, smartphone, iPad or any other reading device.