Don't be afraid to try fondant! It's not as hard as you'd think. It's certainly not as easy as frosting from a can, but if you're trying to do something special (like celebrate a first birthday!), then this is really fun!
1 (.25 ounce) package unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 cups powdered sugar (plus more for dusting)
LOTS AND LOTS of PAM SPRAY
1.Combine gelatin and cold water; let stand until thick. Place gelatin mixture in top of double boiler and heat until dissolved. If you want colored fondant, add food coloring or gel paste now. If not, it will be white.
2.Add glucose and glycerin, mix well. Stir in shortening and just before completely melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Mixture should cool until lukewarm.
3.Place 4 cups confectioners' sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and using a wooden spoon, stir in the lukewarm gelatin mixture. Mix in sugar and add more a little at a time, until stickiness disappears. Knead in remaining sugar. Knead until the fondant is smooth, pliable and does not stick to your hands. If fondant is too soft, add more sugar; if too stiff, add water (a drop at a time). Use fondant immediately or store in airtight container in fridge. When ready to use, bring to room temperature and knead again until soft.
4. Roll out with a rolling pin on a well greased counter top (I sprayed mine with Pam spray until it looked wet). Keep the fondant about 1/4 in thick. place on cake (hint: frost the cake first with regular frosting so the fondant sticks to the cake). Will sit well for up to 3 days at room temperature.