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Jun 07, 2010

Inspired by the Great Cake Debate: Fondant Vs. Buttercream

Today we tackle the great cake debate: Fondant Vs. Buttercream! This debate has been raging on for decades and now we have a battle ground for the two sides to duke it out! In my opinion they both have pros and cons. While fondant is super easy to mold into whatever shape you want the taste isn’t so great. And while buttercream is delicious, it is messy to handle and not as smooth. That being said i did have both types at my weddings. We asked wedding experts in various fields to get their opinion, here is what they had to say:

Jessica Claire of Jessica Claire Photography: I WAAAAAY prefer fondant!  It’s so smooth and clean looking, such a good base for elements that pop like sugared flowers, or other decor.  Plus, and I know I’m in the minority, but I think it’s delicious 🙂

Anja of The Knot: 99% of the wedding cakes we feature in the magazine are totally fake (as in not real cake but rather a Styrofoam mold) and are covered in fondant. Reason: During photo shoots, we’re constantly moving these cakes around from stand to stand and to various boards and plates a ton. So the Styrofoam cakes covered in fondant make it much easier to maneuver and get the shot we’re looking for. But that doesn’t mean we don’t LOVE us some buttercream – honestly. (IMO, there’s nothing better than thick fresh buttercream frosting – yum!) Most of the cakes we feature in the magazine could be reproduced in buttercream, and that’s our hope — that cake bakers from all across the country will be able to reproduce these amazing designs in buttercream or fondant, depending on what their brides are looking for and which technique they feel most comfortable with.

Amy from Vanilla Bake Shop: Here is my opinion on the BIG question…We like making both buttercream and fondant cakes equally. For logistical purposes, fondant is a great option during the warmer summer months because it keeps your cake cooler. As far as transporting and assembling buttercream vs. fondant cakes, we are really careful with both. Buttercream doesn’t have that extra protective icing shell, so if I were to chose which one was easier to assemble or transport, I would say fondant. There is still buttercream underneath the fondant, so you get the best of both worlds. With that being said, I had buttercream at my own wedding because my husband is a buttercream kind of guy! Its all a matter of personal preference and where and when your wedding is going to be. Outdoors in warm weather  I suggest fondant. Otherwise either choice is great!

Carissa from JL Designs: i like the look of fondant better than buttercream but its MUCH easier to add florals to buttercream  🙂 personally i like the trend of moving away from fresh floral on cakes and letting the pastry chef create unique textures, patterns, shapes, (argyle, ruffles, polka dots, plaid) etc. with the cakes to make them stand out on their own, without having to add flowers…OR maybe doing one huge sugar flower instead of a cascade of real flowers…or even a clustering of brooches or buttons… overall i just think less is more  🙂

Susan of Bella Weddings and Events: I like the look of fondant, but the taste of buttercream!  Even though there is buttercream under fondant, it’s not usually as thick as buttercream on it’s own.

Melody of Sweet and Saucy: I prefer using both fondant and buttercream on all of my cakes.  We use swiss meringue buttercream to cover all of our cake tiers and then roll high quality fondant about an 1/8″ thin and cover the cake.  Using this method I think I get the best of both worlds…I get great taste from the buttercream and then a perfect designer’s canvas with the fondant.  Fondant gives me the ability to do basically anything on a cake, from handpainting to intricate sugar jewels and that is just something that buttercream by itself can’t do. As far as transport and assembly, I prefer to fully assemble every cake before it leaves the shop because I really don’t like having to decorate that much onsite.  I like having all of my tools at the shop to finish off the cake and assembling onsite just wouldn’t afford me that luxury.  I only assemble onsite if the cake won’t fit in my car because of the height and then I just stack as far as I can and add on the top tier or two of the cake when I get there.  Transporting wedding cakes isn’t a fun job, but I do it because I love the end result!

What do you think? Are you team fondant or team buttercream?

Photo by Jessica Claire

How pretty are the designs on this beautiful cake! We love how each layer has a different intricate design like the florals and the pearls!

This such a creative way to incorporate floral appliques into a cake design! Love how it’s a neutral color but the floral designs still pop!

Found on Martha Stewart

The ombre pink cake is to die for! How cute is that! Perfect for a bridal shower and baby shower!

Photo by Leigh Miller

Ombre layered cakes are all the craze! We LOVE it!

Photos by Jasmine Star

We love this unique cake display on a glass box with a dried mini-tree inside! Perfect for a rustic outdoors wedding!

Photo by Stephanie Williams

Photo by Stephanie Williams

Found on The Knot

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Photo by Jagger Photography

The scallop detailing on this cake is to die for! So pretty and intricate!

Photo by Stephanie Williams

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