Spiderman Cake and Homemade Marshmallow Fondant

Late last week my 16 year old daughter asked me to make a Spiderman cake (yes, technically Spiderman should be hyphenated as Spider-man, but for the sake of my sanity I am typing it in this post as Spiderman, no hyphen.) for her best friend’s birthday. I was surprised to hear that her BFF wanted a Spiderman cake, but my daughter insisted that she was indeed obsessed with all things Spiderman. So who am I to question, or for that matter, to say no?

(Come take a look at the cute stenciled frame we made for Jordan too!)

So I set out on a quest to find a fun Spiderman cake design. At first I was going to use a simple white frosting, pipe black frosting around it and drag a knife through it to create a spider web design. Kristen wanted a Spiderman face in the middle. Hmm.

So I asked some fabulous foodie friends of mine on The Food Blogger Discussion Group. One of the first suggestions came from Brandy of Nutmeg Nanny. She sent through a link to this photo which I ultimately used as the inspiration for my cake.

Yikes. Fondant. I’ve never used fondant. It’s been one of those “I have to tackle that one of these days” things. After much googling, no other cakes measured up to the picture above, so that was that. By the way, I want to give credit where credit is due. I did some extensive searching and was able to find that same cake on Flickr and from there I was able to figure out her website, which is called Spring Lake Cake. She has some truly beautiful cake designs, what a talent!

Also, I found a great video on working with fondant here. Loved it, the baker totally reminds me of me. :)

So on with my adventure in fondant. I have heard that store bought fondant is pretty gross tasting, and have heard some great things about homemade marshmallow fondant, so I decided to make my own. This definitely did not go off without a hitch, there were several issues, even though it did all work out in the end. This could potentially be a looooooong post, so I will try to trim the mishaps down a bit LOL Also, I don’t have a lot of step by step photos as I was so concentrated (and nervous) that I didn’t want to stop to stage photos.

Making and shaping the cake
Kristen wanted boxed cake and container frosting. I baked a chocolate cake in two 9″ round cake pans.  When cool, I chilled them in the freezer for an hour so that I could easily saw off the uneven tops with a serrated knife.

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Cherry Berry Streusel Dessert Bars

spiderman-diagram for cutting cake

Next, I cut a section out of the middle of each cake layer, about 1.5″ wide and set those pieces aside. I slid the two sides together on each cake to make ovals. However, the ovals weren’t long enough to pass as a face, so I turned the cakes a quarter turn, then cut then in half. I separated the two halves and reinserted sections of the pieces I removed earlier. I was able to make longer ovals this way. While this was going quite well, at one point I almost dropped a layer on the floor. I swear I would have cried.

After it chilled a while, I assembled the layers with a layer of white frosting between the two, then I gave the cake a crumb coat. Back into the freezer for another couple hours. I finished it off with the rest of the frosting, smoothed it out really well by misting it with water and smoothing with an icing spatula. Back into the fridge.

Making the fondant
There are lots of different posts and tutorials on making homemade marshmallow fondant. The one that ultimately influenced me the most was this video. However, I must warn you, it’s way too long. She really could have edited a lot of stuff out and still made a great tutorial. I found myself saying “Yeah yeah, get on with it already!” Just sayin’.

I almost hosed up the fondant completely. You are supposed to melt 16 oz of marshmallows with a little water, then mix it with 2 pounds of sifted powdered sugar. (recipe at the end if you want it)

  1. I forgot that 16 oz. is actually about 1.5 packages  – I only melted 1 package.
  2. I forgot to add the water to the marshmallows before microwaving them.
  3. I ended up adding more powdered sugar that the recipe called for because of my other boo-boo’s.

All seemed to work out well, so I wrapped it tightly and let it rest overnight.

Once I had a couple of cups of coffee in me, I set out to finish this cake. First thing I did was take the cake out and trim the cake cardboard with a craft knife to be the same shape as the cake. Got this great tip from Lori of Accro. This allows you to trim the ends of the fondant easily once you’ve placed it on the cake.

I separated the fondant so I could color the bulk of it red. I pulled out my red gel food coloring and started working it into the fondant, and then I RAN OUT.

I thought I was going to have to go all the way to Walmart, but luckily for me the bakery in town, Bodi’s Bakery, had an extra bottle and sold me one. Yay! Thank you!

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  TWD: Chocolate Nutella Thumbprint Cookies

Rolling the fondant out was easy, just make sure you use a good amount of cornstarch on the work surface or it will stick. Roll it 1/4″ thick as suggested by every tutorial I ran across. it lifted easily and went right on top of the cake without an issue.

After trimming the fondant (I used the top of my turntable spice rack to place the cake on LOL) to fit snugly around the cake, I then piped on the spider webs.

I drew out the eyes and cut them from fondant using my drawing. Pasted them together with a little water and placed them on top of the cake. I used a tiny paintbrush dipped in water, squeezed out the excess and touched up the cake. Done!

So all in all, even for my first time, I am pretty happy with it! My daughter and the birthday girl loved it, so that’s what was most important to me. Glad I conquered yet another fear this summer! That’s two now, counting my experience with canning cherry pie filling.

Here’s the fondant recipe. if you can get through it, watch the video I mentioned above, just remember it’s kinda longish.

Homemade Marshmallow Fondant
printable version

16 oz marshmallows (about 1.5 packages)
2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons water
vegetable shortening for greasing

Use the shortening to grease a large microwaveable bowl for the marshmallows, the mixer bowl, your dough hook, and a sturdy rubber spatula.

Sift the powdered sugar and reserve about one cup. Put the rest into the greased mixer bowl.

Put the marshmallows into the microwaveable bowl and add the water. Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted, stirring with rubber spatula in between intervals.

Add the melted marshmallows to the powdered sugar. Lock the mixer and cover the opening with plastic wrap to keep powdered sugar from coming out. Turn mixer on low and allow dough hook to do its thing. Keep mixing for several minutes until the sugar seems to have incorporated for the most part. If still sticky, begin adding reserved powdered sugar, you may use it all, you may not, depends on your weather conditions. It’s really humid here, so I used it all.

Fondant is ready when it balls up around your dough hook or when you can touch it and it’s still pliable but not sticky. Remove from the mixer and wrap in plastic wrap. Allow fondant to rest for a minimum of 2 hours, I think overnight was best.

To use the fondant, knead it several times, like you would bread dough, to get it to a workable consistency (much like that of Play-dough).

To add coloring, do not use liquid food coloring. Use paste or gel colorings to a handful of fondant, then mix that piece into a larger batch.

Cover work surface with cornstarch. Roll out fondant to 1/4″ thickness.



  1. Becky says

    Oh I LOVE this! My son would love to have this cake! I keep seeing recipes for marshmallow fondant but have been to afraid to try it myself. Great Job on the cake!

  2. Nancy says

    Oh how cute! I have a nephew that would LOVE that cake. I have never made fondant, but that is one thing I would love to tackle next…and you make it look easier than I thought it would be. Great cake!!

  3. Nancy says

    Oh and PS….I am trying my hand at canning cherry pie filling this weekend thanks to your post! Hope mine turns out as well as yours did…thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Von says

    Wow! That looks so professional! I've made fondant once before, just to play with but I didn't have some of the ingredients so it dried out pretty quickly. If I ever decide to use fondant I'll definitely try this recipe =D And it's so cool that the bakery sold you their extra food colouring!

  5. Tammy says

    Oh Wow!! How beautiful… Congratulations! the cake looks spectacular… Great job!

    I have used fondant a couple of times before but it's still a little scary for me. I have never prepared MMF fondant so this is an inspiration.

    You should definitely continue working with fondant, you are really good at it!!
    Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to seeing more of your fondant cakes and recipes!


  6. biz319 says

    Amanda, for your first try with fondant, I am so impressed!! You did a great job, you should be so proud of yourself!

    My mom doesn't can anymore, so I am getting all her jars this weekend. . . we are in the season of canning! Nothing better than opening up a can of homemade salsa in December when there is 10 inches of snow on the ground!

  7. Barbara @ moderncomfortfood says

    Love it! Your combination of excellent recipes and a deeply creative streak are always so impressive, Amanda. This cake is absolutely delightful in all ways and is sure to drive children of all ages completely "batty" :) for a taste of it. Well done!

  8. Barbara Bakes says

    I'm so impressed. I would have never thought it was the first time you worked with fondant. I'll have to try it some time.

  9. StepherB says

    Your cake looks amazing! I love MM Fondant! So much better than the store bought! Stopping over from Punkin Seed!

  10. sarah says

    Wow!! i am saving this post so I can try to make one for my son's 5th birthday!! It turned out fantastic!! Great Job!

  11. Tails says

    This might be a silly question, but how did you make the parts behind the eyes black? And did you colour the eyes white or just leave the fondant uncoloured?

    It's a gorgeous cake and has encouraged me to play around with fondant for my birthday on the 24th of Aug :P :)

  12. Alida L. says

    We had marshmellow fondant on our wedding cake and it was beautiful AND delicious! I am not a baker by any stretch but I think that cake came out immaculate! You are so talented!

  13. Fiona says

    AMAZING cake. If I received this as a birthday cake when I was younger I would have been so excited. Well done.

  14. Kristi Flanagan says

    Spidy man turned out great!!!!! Super job! I use homemade marshmallow fondant too – love it – way better than the commercial stuff!

    Thanks for planting your creative seeds at Plant a Punkin Seed Party!

    Punkin Seed Productions

  15. S Lloyd says

    I never tried anything like this before at home. So that will be quite exciting and a great change for me.

  16. Tasty Eats At Home says

    Fondant scares me. But I am amazed by this work, Amanda. First time, and you even made boo-boos, and it still looks this great? Wow.

  17. Pat@Back Porch Musings says

    My grandson (age 4), is a big Spidey fan. I am sending your link to my daughter.

    Wonderful post! Great job!

  18. Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] says

    Wow.. I'd been following your questions on FoodBlogs, you did a wonderful job!! Even though I didn't really understand how you shaped the cake. Just having a blonde moment probably!

  19. lisaiscooking says

    It looks great! I've been curious about making homemade fondant. I have to try this one of these days.

  20. Ingrid says

    You knocked this out of the park, girlfriend!! You go….it turned out completely awesome. :) You make me wanna go out and play with fondant. Thanks for sharing and the nudge!

  21. Deborah says

    Hello! Found your blog from a link on Photograzing… I've bookmarked a few of your recipes, everything looks so tasty! I've just recently gotten into baking myself and your great photos are giving me lots of ideas. Thanks very much for sharing. :)

  22. Amanda says

    Tails – To answer your question about the black part of the eyes. The black and the white of the eyes are actually separate pieces. What I did was colored some of the fondant black and rolled it out. I also rolled out the white, though I did the white FIRST. After cutting out the black eyes and the white eyes, I trimmed the whites by about 1/4" all the way around and placed them on top of the black :) Hope that makes sense! :)

    Thank you EVERYONE for your wonderful comments and to Jen for the feature! This was really fun for me, another "to do" to be removed from the list :)

  23. Vanessa says

    Hello Amanda, This is so awesome!!! I am going to make my first fondant cake this weekend and am going to use your recipe. Did you let this rest overnight on the counter at room temp or in the fridge? Also, I do not have a stand mixer and have watched videos with people making it just by hand so FYI to everyone out there that does not have a mixer. It is possible, just lots more work for you hands..LOL!! Thanks so much!!!

  24. Amanda says

    Hi Vanessa! Good luck with your fondant! Yes, overnight on the counter, not in the fridge. I've seen some videos of people do it by hand too, messy! LOL Have fun!

  25. Anonymous says

    Thank you so much for this recipe and the easy steps you give. It was my fist cake and I think it came out pretty good, sure not like yours, but I am happy and my 4 year old Son is happy too.
    Thank you!!!!

  26. Amanda says

    That is so AWESOME!! Thanks so much for sharing that with me, it looks so great and I am so happy my post was able to help. Happy Birthday to your little guy!

  27. Aubri says

    Thanks for all the info! I tried fondant for the first time yesterday. It wasn't too hard on a two layer round cake, but my princess cake needed some help. (My twins' birthday is today…two cakes) Oh well, I'll have to keep trying! Thanks for the tutorial :)

  28. Anonymous says

    I am just really starting to get into cake baking and decorating. Im trying it all right now it seems. I try something new all time. Thanks for the recipe for fondant!! It looks like a lot better recipe for it than the ones that you buy already made. ( I think those taste gross!! ) Thanks again!!

  29. Reena says

    Hi Amanda,

    Was inspired to try ur spidey cake, with the marshmallow fondant for my sons birthday. Tried out the sample fondant today. Was overall pretty pleased except for the fact that my fondant does not seem to have the smooth, glossy texture urs does. It looked kinda rough n’ dried out. Cud it have been bcoz I left it overnite in the fridge.

    Any tips on how I can achieve the beautiful glossy finish u got?

    Pls help.


    • Amanda Formaro says

      Hi Reena. Are you trying to work with the fondant cold? You should wrap the fondant in plastic wrap and let it sit until it reaches room temperature. As you work with the fondant, spreading it over the cake, you can moisten your hands with water and smooth it out. That should help with the dry look. If you fondant is not hold together, however, then your issue is not enough moisture and you may need to knead in small amounts of water until you reach a good play-dough type consistency. :) it should be soft and pliable. Definitely work with it at room temperature and don’t store it in the fridge. It should really have rested on the counter over night, but should be fine :)

    • Amanda Formaro says

      I should probably also add that mine isn’t really that shiny either. it has more of a matte finish, you may just see the glare from the window where I took the picture :)

  30. Reena says

    hey Amanda,

    thanks for the prompt reply. Yup, I do realise my mistake in trying to work with the cold fondant.

    I did see in a couple of other sites suggestions regarding coating the fondant with shortening before wrapping it up, and in yet another site it said to oil the surface we knead the dough on rather than dusting with cornstarch. Wat say u, do they sound like gud suggestions, or those best avoided? This is my first time with fondant, so am quite clueless.

    Thank you.


  31. Jenni says

    Thanks for posting the Spiderman cake. I followed your directions and made my own. It was a huge hit! I had never made fondant or even worked with it before and it turned out great, especially the marshmallow fondant. My son went crazy over his cake, he turned 4. Thank you so much for sharing, you truly saved the day:)

  32. Des Medina says

    I was looking for a Royal Icing Recipe in the net for me to practice on piping a frosting on cupcakes when I come across your site on fondant. I consider myself a newbie when it comes to baking because I started October of last year I really wanted to try decorating my cakes and cupcake with fondant but I thought it’s really hard but after reading your blog I guess it would be nice to try it and see what will happen. I hope I can do it perfectly like your spiderman cake. I enjoyed rreading your blog. Thank you.

  33. Cristina says

    Hi Amanda,

    I am trying to do the marshmallow fondant but I forgot to add the water before melting them. I added the color and icing sugar and started kneading it. After kneading for about 25 minutes (adding water and some shortening) the fondant was still hard. I put it in a ziplog bag to rest but I am thinking on doing it all over again (with the water).
    How did yours turned out well after you forgot to add the water? Did you just add more water and Crisco? I have read something about adding glycerin. Do you know how much should I add?

    I would really appreciate any help you could give me.



  34. Eve Olsen says

    I painted the gel color on, like watercolors, and it came out vibrant and fast! I love the fondant recipe!!

    • valene says

      How did you get the cake cut from two cirles into the oval shape of the face. I didn’t understand what you had wrote in the instructions. Thanks!

  35. says

    GREAT JOB! Just wanted to mention too when coloring fondant… if you need a large portion colored the easiest way is to put the coloring into the melted marshmallows before adding sugar. It keeps the color and is so much easier then kneading. Now if you need more then one color keep the white. Just a trick I had tried and worked. I also have seen the stacking up of buttercream around the nose area to become 3D when the fondant is placed on. Wish I had the guys info.. he was BRILLIANT.

    Oh found it

  36. Sharon says

    Thanks–i’m going to give it a try! Also, so funny–two of my goals are also to learn to work with fondant and to can sour cherries (for pie)!

  37. kenji says

    I’m french, and I saw your cake spiderman.
    it’s realy beautiful. I will come try to make your cake.
    Thanks for all.
    I hope when you understand my english.
    When you put your cake, you did not think that she it would be seen in France.

  38. LV says

    Never worked with fondant before and my daughters upcoming bday party inspired me (as did your tutorial). Did a practice run last night and came up with this:

  39. Jessi says

    Love marshmallow fondant. If you only need one color the easiest way to do it is add the coloring to the melted marshmallows less of a arm workout ;) great post I just finished the Spider-Man cake

  40. Brenda says

    What is a “crumb coating?” You gave the cake a crumb coating after you assembled the various pieces.
    It looks like the cake is fully frosted before you put on fondant. True?
    Thank. Your Spidy Man looks great!!

    • says

      Hi Brenda! A crumb coating is a thin coat of frosting that you put on first. You then refrigerate the cake to set it, then frost liberally afterward. The crumb coating seals the cake inside, keeping the crumbs from getting into your final frosting layer :)

  41. Danielle says

    Hi there! Awesome cake, I’m going to attempt this for my daughter’s 4th birthday next month. I’m fairly new to fondant as well, only done one before. I would like to put this Spider-man face cake on top of a round tier (first time doing a tiered cake) due to the # of guests. Any suggestions on 2 tier sizes? I would like to keep the 9″ round for the face as the top tier but would 10″ round be too small for bottom? Especially considering the 9″ will be turned into an oval, making 2 of the sides longer. Just don’t want any overhang. I’m ok with it going right up to the edge of the bottom tier though. Thank you!!

  42. Kelly says

    I love this cake. My son’s birthday is on Halloween and he adores Spider-Man. I have never tried fondant before and am eager to give this recipe a try. Thank you for sharing.

  43. Amber says

    First off, your cake turned out great! I’ll be making a tiered cake using fondant for the first time next month for my nephew’s birthday. One of the tiers will be spiderman about the size of yours, so I was REALLY hoping you could tell me about how much red coloring you had to use to achieve this red color?? We don’t have anywhere local to buy individual containers of coloring, so I have to order online and don’t want to buy too little! I plan on buying the 4.5 oz container—about how much of the bottle would you think I would use?? Please help!

    • says

      Oh my gosh Amber, I’m not going to be much help for exact measurements on that. However, you should be totally fine with 4.5 ounces! It really doesn’t take much with gel food coloring. It’s nothing like those little bottles of food coloring you get at the grocery store, it’s much darker and a little bit goes a LONG way!

  44. says

    Wow- for your first try with fondant, this cake looks amazing! I’m doing exactly what you did- googling the heck out of “how to make a Spider-man face cake”, and that is how I found your post. Thank you so much for the clear instructions on how you formed the face. I’ve seen a few methods, and yours makes a lot of sense.

    Thanks for the great tutorial!

  45. Tammy says

    Thanks, you gave great details on step to step instructions. Which was very easy to follow. I used your instructions for my nephews 5th birthday. The fondant was good also. The surprise party was a success the spiderman cake was a hit. Thank-you!

  46. Laura Hammontree says

    A quick tip for you. I make marshmallow fondant all the time. I have found that if you mix the food coloring into the melted marshmallow before adding the powdered sugar, it works much better. It saves loads of time and you don’t have to use as much food coloring. The color is smooth and bright and your hands don’t get all stained.

  47. Laura Hammontree says

    Oh,I also add a little vanilla extract for flavoring, but I’m sure you could add any flavor extract and it would be good.

  48. sasha says

    I have been looking for a simple to make and perfect Spiderman cake for months now to make for my sons first birthday and I finally found it. Thank you for posting!


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