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Q&A – Fondant vs Buttercream

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I often get questions similar to this one regarding the difference between fondant & buttercream:

Which one do you recommend (fondant vs buttercream) based on appearance plus taste? I’m not sure what the difference is between fondant & buttercream. I believe the fondant looks better. Does it taste better too? I think buttercream might be really sweet. Also, what would you do with the inside of the cake? Would there be a filling?

Fondant tastes sort of like marshmallows – it’s sweet. I always cover my cakes in vanilla buttercream first, and then put the rolled fondant on top – so you get the best of both worlds :)! Fondant looks really smooth which is why we use it a lot. Some people really like the taste, and those who don’t generally peel it off.

My cakes are two layers of cake with a thick layer of buttercream filling in the middle. For fillings we can do vanilla, hazelnut, chocolate, raspberry, peanut butter, oreos and cream… just to name a few!

Related to the fondant theme, we often get questions similar to this one below:

Can I ask what fondant you use or do you make your own? I always made my own but lately been having problems with cracking and I am trying to decide whether I should make it or buy it.

At Pink Cake Box almost everything is made onsite including our buttercream and all our cake flavors. However we do not make our own fondant – we’ve had good success with Satin Ice Fondant which we use for all our cakes, cupcakes & cookies. Customers like the taste and we also find it easy to work with.

Interested in learning more about cake decorating? Pink Cake Box recently launched Pink Cake Box University where you can order our instructional DVDs, find more information about our upcoming classes in 2013 and find additional free video tutorials.

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Comments

  1. Laura says:

    Hi – I just made a fondant covered cake for the first time. It turned out even better than I expected! However, taste-wise, fondant cannot compare to buttercream, and I found myself telling the guests not to worry if they don’t want to eat the fondant, it’s more for decoration. My question is, according to the book I used as a guide (which shall remain nameless :-), I was directed to only put a small amount of buttercream, a crumbcoat basically, on the cake and then put the fondant on top. Is that right? I wanted to put more buttercream on so there would be good tasting icing, not just the fondant. How much buttercream do you put on? The book said only the thinnest of coats becasue once the fondant was put on and then smoothed out, if there was too much buttercream it would come out the bottom, from under the fondant. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I really loved how the cake looked, but I’d love it it the cake could take as good as it looks, too. Thanks!

  2. kim says:

    I am a beginner when it comes to putting fondant on cakes. I have the hardest time getting the fondant on the cake and smoothed out with out there being any wrinkles or over lap… is it a sercret how to do this? Every cooking show & internet directions I see goes from putting the fondant over the cake to it already being smoothed out and cutting the extra fondant off the bottom. Please help me.

    1. Brooklyn2 says:

      Cup your hand around one corner at a time while you smooth the other sides! repeat this for all sides

  3. Anne says:

    Kim – you need to roll our your fondant very thin – about 1/16 of an inch. And make sure you have more then enough to cover the whole cake. Start by smoothing it on the top, and then move to the side and pull the fondant out slightly as you push down with the fondant smoother and continue around the cake.

    1. Cindy says:

      Anne;
      I found your site because i was watching the food network channel, and i saw that you were a competitor on a wedding cake competition show. I looked at your cake gallery and love your work!! I work at a supermarket bakery. we do cakes there but what i enjoy most is creating them at home. i have gotten into using fondant because you can do so much with it. If you would like to check my work send me an email. keep up the great work!!
      CiNdY

  4. thomas says:

    ahoys,
    fondant is very smooth and a wonderful thing to work with. my first fondant cake i didnt buttercream… and the thin fondant fell into every pore and every line. it look like a smooth pot hole… since thin i always place iceing (butter cream or not) under the fondant to “hide” the cakes internal lines.

  5. kelley hackney says:

    You guy’s do amazing cakes i do mean amazing so well done. keep up the good work.i’ll keep coming back looking for more & new cakes.

  6. Tawanda says:

    Hi Anne, ever since I ran across your site and CAKES… I have looked to you for insight on the cake world. I am new at designing and making cakes and I love to bring a smile to my family whenever I create one. Thanks for your dedication to making cakes and making people like me smile!

    Best regards,

    Tawanda in Henderson

  7. I know it’s an old post… We just put an article about this on our blog. Being in Florida, to us Fondant is a mandatory for the cake. It really helps protect the buttercream from the humidity (which seems to simply never go away). That being said, we also make our own fondant and try to keep it a little on the thicker side.

  8. Evelina says:

    Hi, I am from Argentina (last country in Souht America, hanging on the map!!) I knew your work looking for birthday cakes for my little daughter in the internet.
    It´s wonderfull!!!!
    I wish I could take clases with you some day!

    Thank for showing us your work. It´s brillant!

    Bye

  9. Hi Anna, I’m Marco from Italy! I hope you remeber me… I have attended at your class one year ago.

    Your works are always the best I find on the web. Only Marco from Italy (myself ) is better! ;) (of course I’m jocking… you are the best! )

    Kisses from Milan ( Italy )

    1. Anne says:

      Hi Marco – of course I remember you! It’s so sweet of you to write and I’m flattered that you consider us the “best on the web”! I hope everything is going great with your decorating in Italy!

  10. Micah says:

    I am interested in knowing what kind of buttercream you use on your cakes? I have had great success with Italian Merinque, but am wanting to try something different. Also, any tips on keeping the buttercream from getting spongy? Thank you, and always love your work.

    Micah

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