Why Do You Prefer Fondant Over Buttercream? (Fondant Users)

Decorating By jjandhope Updated 26 Sep 2008 , 5:08pm by RookieDeb

jjandhope Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 3:32am
post #1 of 47

Before I came to CC a couple of weeks ago, I had never seen a "real" fondant cake and never tasted one. Growing up, I remember seeing fondant cakes in books at the bakery and being told "oh you don't want that. It looks pretty, but it doesnt taste good".

Now, Ive stumbled upon CC and have absolutely fallen in love with the bright colors, the contrast, the dimension and the smoothness of fondant. I noticed and followed a thread for "buttercream users only". Seems that a lot of people think fondant has "taken over". I dont know about that, but I will tell you, I wasnt interested in cake decorating until I saw all these bright, energetic, alive fondant cakes on CC.

People who dont like fondant cite the texture and the taste. What can we do about that? I'm inexperienced so I don't know. But I love the fondant look so much, that I want to follow it and work with it until I get the most luscious tasting AND the most beautiful cake around.

Who else is with me out there? What do you love about fondant? And what can we do to make fondant as appealing to the palate as it is to our eyes?

"we eat with our eyes first..."

46 replies
leah_s Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 11:42am
post #2 of 47

I prefer working with fondant, but it's always a hard sell. For me, fondant is easier and faster. As for texture, there's not much you can do about that, but as for taste, just don't ever serve
wilton fondant. Satin Ice tastes much better. When I give people a taste of that, they generally like it a lot.

mellormom Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 11:49am
post #3 of 47

Also MMF is a hit as well. (Marshmallow Fondant) You have to make that though. If you're on a budget though it is a good way to try it out. MMF is what I use most of the time but when I get my first wedding cake order I will use Satin Ice.
Jen...

mamacc Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 1:38pm
post #4 of 47

I love fondant because it looks so smooth and perfect...if you do it righticon_smile.gif Also, I like being able to touch the cake without ruining the icing, like when you are placing tiers or putting decorations on. Plus, you can do more with fondant....like sculpting the fondant and using it on 3D cakes. I actually sell mostly fondant cakes, I think I only did 2 buttercream cakes this year! (not counting my PT job)

PinkZiab Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 2:13pm
post #5 of 47

Easier, faster, to me it looks much nicer. I agree that Satin Ice tastes great, so that is what I use (no complaints yet!) I also feel that fondant is more versatile to make and execute complex designs with. Buttercream has its place, I suppose, but for me it's just a medium for holding down fondant! lol

jjandhope Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 3:30pm
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkZiab

Easier, faster, to me it looks much nicer. I agree that Satin Ice tastes great, so that is what I use (no complaints yet!) I also feel that fondant is more versatile to make and execute complex designs with. Buttercream has its place, I suppose, but for me it's just a medium for holding down fondant! lol




I think that is how I will view it as well. It is so pretty. SO many people say they can get the look of fondant with buttercream but I dont know...

I just wish my husband liked the fondant cakes better. Im going to try filling the cake with more buttercream to see if that makes a difference.

BTW, what buttercream recipe would you use for "holding down the fondant"?

jjandhope Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 3:31pm
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkZiab

Easier, faster, to me it looks much nicer. I agree that Satin Ice tastes great, so that is what I use (no complaints yet!) I also feel that fondant is more versatile to make and execute complex designs with. Buttercream has its place, I suppose, but for me it's just a medium for holding down fondant! lol




I think that is how I will view it as well. It is so pretty. SO many people say they can get the look of fondant with buttercream but I dont know...

I just wish my husband liked the fondant cakes better. Im going to try filling the cake with more buttercream to see if that makes a difference.

BTW, what buttercream recipe would you use for "holding down the fondant"?

PinkZiab Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 4:56pm
post #8 of 47

I can get my buttercream as smooth as glass, and I usually do since you need a good base for the fondant, but I still prefer the look of fondant overall.

I most often use a meringue-based buttercream (swiss or italian... don't really prefer one over the other).

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 24 Sep 2008 , 5:56pm
post #9 of 47

sorry to high jack your thread but

PinkZiab, when you use SMBC, do you let it harden in the fridge first and cover it while it's still cold? how do you cover it with fondant? tia! icon_smile.gif

marknelliesmum Posted 24 Sep 2008 , 6:50pm
post #10 of 47

Hi
I've only ever used fondant. I had never seen a cake covered in buttercream before i joined here - the cakes we have over here are pretty much always covered in fondant anything else is considered more of a dessert than a cake. BC is on my to do list but i'm in no hurry coz i can sense the impending disaster - also our fondant must taste different coz most people try to get an edge piece or a piece with the most icing on it coz it's so tasty.

MistyGirl2008 Posted 24 Sep 2008 , 6:54pm
post #11 of 47

I love the look of fondant too and now that I've discovered MMF I love the taste also. I love the bright colors and I find it easier to play with different shapes and patterns in fondant than I do mastering a new tip when decorating with buttercream.

PinkZiab Posted 24 Sep 2008 , 6:59pm
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcakeshoppe

sorry to high jack your thread but

PinkZiab, when you use SMBC, do you let it harden in the fridge first and cover it while it's still cold? how do you cover it with fondant? tia! icon_smile.gif




Absolutely. That's how I am able to get my cakes so smooth. I let it harden fully and then use a warm bench knife and a mini offset to smooth it and square it off. Then another pop back into the fridge, then I cover it with fondant while still cold, and then back in the fridge again!

weirkd Posted 24 Sep 2008 , 7:00pm
post #13 of 47

I still find that a lot of people dont like the taste of fondant because they say its too sweet. Well from my experience, I think buttercream is too sweet also. But atleast with fondant you can have a great tasting frosting underneath and if people dont want to eat it, they can peel it off or eat around it. Not to mention if you want lets say chocolate for your frosting but you want a prestine white wedding cake, you cant do that with buttercream.
Fondant also gives the cake a moisture seal. Your cakes stay nice and moist inside. Not to mention the design possiblilties you cant get with buttercream.

tx_cupcake Posted 24 Sep 2008 , 7:02pm
post #14 of 47

I am still learning with both fondant and bc, but I really like working with fondant. It's smooth, and gives me the pristine finish I want to see after hours of hard work (I can not for the life of me get a completely flawless finish with bc, and it is beyond frustrating!).

Plus, I guess I'm more interested in the trendier, modern cake designs - and the vast majority of those are done with fondant.

Kitagrl Posted 24 Sep 2008 , 7:02pm
post #15 of 47

I like how smooth and professional it is. I always tell customers that it makes the cake look more "realistic" (for 3D) and professional. And I always mention that there is buttercream underneath the fondant for those who do not like it...and that pretty much helps the sale.

I don't mind buttercream but I find myself unhappy with my buttercream cakes now that I'm used to how my fondant ones look.

tx_cupcake Posted 24 Sep 2008 , 7:04pm
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkZiab

Absolutely. That's how I am able to get my cakes so smooth. I let it harden fully and then use a warm bench knife and a mini offset to smooth it and square it off. Then another pop back into the fridge, then I cover it with fondant while still cold, and then back in the fridge again!




You don't ever have problems with condensation?

muddpuppy Posted 24 Sep 2008 , 7:18pm
post #17 of 47

That's so funny I was just going to ask about condensation.. wouldn't you have to keep the cake in the fridge right up until serving time to prevent it from sweating, saggin, and running colours?

mixinvixen Posted 24 Sep 2008 , 7:49pm
post #18 of 47

i dread it when people insist on going with buttercream...and it's usually because they've "heard that it tastes nasty"....when i ask them if they like marshmallows and they say yes, then i tell them that is what my fondant is! i recently did two cakes, both in buttercream, and as i'm doing them, i'm just cringing, because i know they could have been so much better with fondant. (helmet cake, and puppy/lego cake)

i really think it is what you've been raised with. european clients are used to fondant, so they typically hate the feeling of sugary buttercream in their mouth. they think it's grainy or too sweet, etc...on the other hand, we here in the u.s. have mostly been raised with frosting/icing, and so we are not accustomed to the texture of fondant, which requires chewing. we're used to our icing desolving in our mouth.

i love fondant because i can do so much with it, and it really looks pristine. i hate that no matter how smooth i get my buttercream, you can still step up close and see the little pits and holes from the buttercream. i love that i can smooth the fondant down, and suddenly this ugly little cake, lumps and all, is transformed into something wonderfully smooth and accurate in detail. i love that it helps give my cakes stability, which allows me to try crazy designs that i wouldn't normally step out of my box for. i love that it takes airbrush better. i love that i can use it for many different thing, like roses, scrolls, painting, etc..i love that it acts as a barrier to the air. i especially love that i can give the customer the best of both worlds: a beautiful outer shell that tastes good to some, and for those who don't, they just peel the shell off!

i live in nashville, and around here, the argument is about music...is the new stuff really country? or is the country "classics' really country, and we've just strayed into foreign territory nowadays, with the likes of carrie underwood, shania twain, etc....change is inevitable, in my opinion, and just because i differ from your opinion of "country" or "cake decorating", doesn't mean i'm wrong...

my slogan is "who died and made you god?"

jjandhope Posted 25 Sep 2008 , 2:36am
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by marksmum

Hi
I've only ever used fondant. I had never seen a cake covered in buttercream before i joined here - the cakes we have over here are pretty much always covered in fondant anything else is considered more of a dessert than a cake. BC is on my to do list but i'm in no hurry coz i can sense the impending disaster - also our fondant must taste different coz most people try to get an edge piece or a piece with the most icing on it coz it's so tasty.




How is your fondant made? I love fondant look best, but want the taste to be just as great so I can feel good about recommending it. Thanks.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 25 Sep 2008 , 2:40am
post #20 of 47

PinkZiab, i wanna know about the condensation too! it sounds really interesting that you do your cakes that way. icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 25 Sep 2008 , 3:12am
post #21 of 47

I'm just starting to play with fondant (check out my "envelope" sided cake! I think it looks pretty cool, if I may say so myself! icon_biggrin.gif ).

Can you guys help me understand the time element a bit better? So many say it's faster, then I read posts about all the time needed to knead it and color it and roll it and how they end up with Popeye arms! icon_lol.gif

I know it depends on design, but if you were doing a 3 tier wedding cake that was pretty simple (fondant covered, ribbon, maybe some scrolls or something), how long would it take you? If you make your own fondant, how long is that process?

Like i said, I'm starting to play with it, and I'm getting curious on this aspect of it. So I thought I'd get the expert opinions from the experts! thumbs_up.gif

PinkZiab Posted 25 Sep 2008 , 3:28am
post #22 of 47

Nope. I've never had major issues with condensation. Of course when it is hot there IS condensation, but you just leave the cake alone, and it'll evaporate in no time. I've never had any disasters because of it. I've learned from/worked/interned with a few well-known cake designers, and they all refrigerate as well. Most recentl I did an internship at Pink Cake Box... check out her blog (blog.pinkcakebox.com).... every one of those cakes was refrigerated.

tx_cupcake Posted 25 Sep 2008 , 12:49pm
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

So many say it's faster, then I read posts about all the time needed to knead it and color it and roll it and how they end up with Popeye arms! icon_lol.gif




Having fantastically toned arms is one of the perks! icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 25 Sep 2008 , 1:19pm
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by txcupcake

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

So many say it's faster, then I read posts about all the time needed to knead it and color it and roll it and how they end up with Popeye arms! icon_lol.gif



Having fantastically toned arms is one of the perks! icon_lol.gif



icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Now THERE'S an angle I didn't consider! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

mixinvixen Posted 25 Sep 2008 , 2:25pm
post #25 of 47

hey deb...mmf doesn't really take that long, i think.

first...make sure you get the correct bag size of marshmallows...there are smaller bags out there that only have about 8 oz in them

also, when buying your marshmallows, jiggle the bag first...if the marshmallows are clumped together from being squashed, try not to buy that bag. try to get the ones that still are loose as possible..also watch your expiration dates.


1)sift out 4 cups of confectionary sugar into a large bowl. make a well in the center. sift another 2 cups into another bowl..you will need that for your work surface and may need to add it to the fondant if the humidity is high.

2)grease a plastic bowl and a wooden spoon with a long handle. also grease the large area (i use my island) where you will be kneading.

3)scoop out a tablespoon full of shortening and have it laying nearby. this will allow you to routinely regrease your hands or work surface without contaminating your whole container.


4)dump your 10+oz bag of mini marshmallows in the bowl and scatter 2 tablespoons of liquid over the top (water, color, flavoring, whatever amount of each you want).

5)pop in micro for 45 seconds... when done, jiggle the bowl or stir with spoon, put back in for 15 sec increments, checking after each one until you get that soupy look...same look you see when when it's just right to add your rice krispy treats!(it's usually an extra 30 or 45 seconds after the initial 45 for me, depends on microwave though)

6) quickly take bowl out and stir with your greased spoon to make sure all marshmallows are soupy.

7)when sure it's ready, (10 second or so of stirring), quickly pour your mm's into the well of your confectionary sugar. stir the heck out of with your spoon. once it's pretty nicely incorporated, turn it out onto your greased and lightly sugared work surface.

icon_cool.giflightly grease your hands

9)knead until it's no longer sticky and hold it's shape. typically for me, that's maybe 5 minutes or so, which go by quite quickly. during the kneading process, it will look funky, trust me...for 2 or 3 minutes, you'll think that the sugar will never incorporate, but it will.

10) put in ziplock bag, squeeze the air out, and let rest for a couple of hours. this isn't a must, but will help with stretching.

total time from start to finish...maybe 15 mins max, for me, probably.

when ready to use (that time or a week later even), you may need to put it on a plate and nuke it in 7 second increments just to soften it up....that will help tremendously. you're not trying to melt it, just make it slightly warmed and more pliable.

jjandhope Posted 25 Sep 2008 , 2:44pm
post #26 of 47

Since Ive just started learning, I may be wrong, but I dont knead my fondant by hand. Yesterday I made several batches of fondant for cakes I am decorating today. Here's what I do:

I melt my MM in a bowl in the micro with the water and some butter flavor. In my mixer is a lump of shortening. I pour the MM into thatt and mix with the paddle. I add the coloor at this time. Then I add just under half the bag of PS and mix wtill with the paddle. WHen it gets a little difficult I switch to the dough hook. I then add the rest of the ps, and as it starts to combine I usuallu add more shortening. I remove it and give it a few turns on the table, coat it in shortening and put it in the ziploc. There is no mess.

__Jamie__ Posted 25 Sep 2008 , 3:11pm
post #27 of 47

I googled MMF one day, and this is the first hit that came up:

http://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/Fondant.htm

I followed this to a tee, and have no desire to try anything else...until if and when this fails me. icon_biggrin.gif

yayadesigns Posted 25 Sep 2008 , 3:26pm
post #28 of 47

I have been wanting to make the MMF to play around with it. Can you add in some flavoring to the recipe or will it affect the way the fondant turns out?

__Jamie__ Posted 25 Sep 2008 , 3:29pm
post #29 of 47

I don't know about adding flavoring, I guess I would be hesitant to do anything that might change the consistency or stretchiness of the MMF. I make sure my cakes and fillings are good and tasty, and the added marshmallowy flavor of the MMF tops it all off!

MacsMom Posted 25 Sep 2008 , 3:33pm
post #30 of 47

...Plus, fondant is safer on warm days. No need to stress over your designs melting.

I love the taste of buttercrem flavored MMF. I've tweaked Rhonda's recipe a bit and I absolutely love it!

MMF takes 15 mins to make. But I would not bother trying to make red or black fondant - it gets too sticky and weird in texture when adding that much food coloring (I've tried adding cocoa powder first to get black, but still... ick).

MMF stays soft, so the texture isn't quite the "chewy" that is off-putting to many people.

Satin Ice dries too fast, too hard, too matte, too chewy.

I prefer the Fondarific black or red buttercream flavor, but it can be too soft for intricate cut-out designs.

I wanted tro try FondX, but it doesn't come in black (that I've found, anyway) so I guess I'll never have the chance to weigh in on that one.


**I just have so much fun playing with fondant! You can't make figurines with BC.

**I really love the look of painted fondant as well. Check out meghan89's photos. Here is one of hers:
LL

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