Buttercream vs. fondant.


I wish I were one of those people. You know, the ones who say, "I don't like dessert" or "I don't like anything sweet" (you know who you are).

I'm not a fan of sugar in my coffee or tea or for things to be sweet just for the sake of being sweet. But I do love dessert. I do love pastries. And I do love cake. Especially carrot cake. Anyone have a good recipe they want to share with me?

When you start planning your wedding and decide to have cake at your reception, you will be faced with the question, buttercream or fondant? Here are some quick guidelines to help you make the decision.

Most fondant sort of tastes like marshmallows and is typically overly sweet. There are those who think hands-down, buttercream is better tasting than fondant. However, there are bakers who are able to make good/decent tasting fondant, if they make it by hand (instead of buying it bulk). Buttercream is your typical, creamy frosting that tastes like sugary whipped cream. I personally like the lighter styles that melt in your mouth, rather than the thicker, super sweet type.

Fondant looks like smooth satin. Often, bakers are able to use it for more intricate designs because it can be molded into just about anything. But again, this depends on your baker and how experienced he or she is working with it. There are many wonderful cake designers who are able to duplicate the appearance of fondant with buttercream, like the below photos.

[intricate icings, left and top, Mulberries, right]

If you're going to have your cake outdoors, you'll want to use a fondant covered cake. Buttercream, because of it's butter content, tends to melt in the heat.

These cakes are covered in fondant.

[Intricate Icings]

Fondant usually costs more than buttercream.

You may ask, what is more important, taste or appearance? But you can have a beautiful fondant covered cake that tastes good as well. It's important to taste the fondant of your baker and ask if they make it in-house or buy bulk. Additionally, be sure to look at your cake designer's portfolio and see if there's a similar design to what your expecting your cake to look like. Also, ask your baker if they make their cake mix in-house or if they buy it in bulk...yes, many bakers will buy large quantities of wholesale cake mix, rather than making it from scratch.

So how do you answer that burning question? I say choose both! Tell your baker to add a layer of buttercream under the fondant. It's your wedding, have the best of both worlds.

[Cake Girls]

[Cake Girls]

[Cake Girls]

[Charm City]

[Fancy Nancy]

[By Request]


A Wedding Story said...

We are doing fondant because I think buttercream is icky. I'm not a big icing fan anyways. PS - I finally was allowed to join your blog, it worked! YES!

Hannah Noel said...

I hate fondant. lol. I always scrape it off.

Nichole said...

Just FYI, when a baker covers a cake in fondant, they have to put buttercream or some other kind of frosting on the cake first. If not, the fondant has nothing to adhere to and the bumps and lumps in the cakes show right through. When deciding on fondant v buttercream, it's really a matter of taste and budget.

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