What's the difference between these two? Do you use them in the same way when making accents for a cake? Are figures or accents on a cake made from gumpaste refrigeratable, or do they melt like fondant ones do?
Fondant is used for covering cakes for an elegant look and gumpaste is used to make decorations such as flowers, leaves, figurines, etc.
Gumpaste has more stretch and dries much more quickly. Do not refrigerate gumpaste. The humidity will ruin it. Fresh gumpaste can be frozen for later use. Dried pieces can be kept in air-tight containers.
Fondant and gumpaste is and is not interchangeable. Cakes are covered with fondant, either homemade or commercially produced, you wouldn't cover a cake with gumpaste, accents on cakes can be either, If the design is part of the cake to be eaten I use fondant, otherwise I use gumpaste, it dries harder, Here is an example of both
The bow is gumpaste, the rest is fondant.
Thank you! That clears it up. So one more related question:
If someone orders a birthday cake and is going to serve it several days after they pick it up (they are getting it on the weekend and then going away with it for a party on Wednesday), so that the cake will need to be refrigerated for a few days after I finish it, is it true that I should stick with BC or RI decorations and shy away from fondant or gumpaste accents?
You know I've been sitting here thinking about your question, If you have the cake ready on Sunday and they are going to serve it on Wednesday I think it will be fine out of the refridgerator, especially if you are going to cover it with fondant. I think it would be okay to go ahead and use fondant for your accents, the stripes on that cake I showed you were fondant and the bow was gumpaste. If you use RI the humidity in a fridge could cause it to break down, and BC might pick up the taste of any smells you have in the fridge. Here's what I would do.
Bake, fill, brush with simple syrup, crumbcoat, smooth crumbcoat, ice with thin layer of buttercrream, smooth, cover with fondant, decorate. I use Satin Ice fondant, when you roll it out cover your area with a thin layer of crisco and also your hands, this keeps your fondant from getting "elephant skin", apply accents/decorations, box
hope this helps
This is very helpful -- except for one thing that I left out of my question. This is a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. So I won't be covering it with fondant. I'm just trying to figure out what I should be using to decorate it over top of the cream cheese frosting. Does this change things?
Thanks again, so very much!
Yes, it does change things but not in a bad way, That type of cake can be refridgerated very easily, I would box it and instruct the people picking it up to keep it in the fridge until a few hours before serving, you could even freeze this. I would use buttercream decorations. I usually coat the sides of my carrot cakes with finely chopped nuts, put a top and bottom border and pipe carrots on top. You didn't say if this is a decorated cake or a dinner cake.
Any more questions, just ask, I'm always happy to help!
If you need to refrigerate your cake AND want to use fondant for decorative accents,
use white chocolate fondant like Chocopan.