The History of Rolled Fondant

So where did rolled fondant come from? I have been searching for the origin of rolled fondant for weeks now…  It had come up in conversation with a fellow decorator.  My initial guess was that maybe it was somehow related to fruit cake or marzipan.

I was delighted when my copy of  “Professional Cake Decorating” by Toba Garrett arrived in the mail, and it described, with the most detail so far, the invention of rolled fondant.  Not only does her book describe the development of icing, but also goes into detail about the development of the cake, as well as the development of piping and decorating.

This is the excerpt from her book “Professional Cake Decorating”, by Toba Garrett:

“From the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, the term icing usually meant that the cake was marzipan.  Marzipan was chiefly a celebration food, considered both a substance and a delicious confection.  As a substance, it was paired with sugar paste (also known as rolled fondant), and it could be shaped, sculpted, or molded into beautiful centerpieces.  It could be rolled, cut, stamped out, or dried, and candied fruits or spices could be added to it.  It could also be iced with glaze and dried in a warm oven before further garnishing.  Icing continued to evolve until the mid- to late nineteenth century, when royal icing was accepted and the art of piping began.

The early stages of sugar paste (rolled fondant) developed as early as 1558.  The recipe included rosewater, sugar, lemon juice, egg white, and gum tragacanth, them called gum dragon.  This vegetable compound is still used in commercial rolled fondant today.”

Mystery solved! Thank you Toba! More more information on the book Professional Decorating, please check out the following links: