Tradidional Fruit Cake Wedding Cake - Can I Use Buttercream?

Decorating By mandy79 Updated 12 Nov 2009 , 8:09pm by janeoxo

mandy79 Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 7:58pm
post #1 of 26

I am new here and am doing my first wedding cake. I have made a traditional fruit cake, soaked in brandy of course!! and I want to cover it with fondant but am a little unsure as to what goes between the cake and the fondant. Do I have to use marzipan or can a layer of buttercream work fine. Also will I have to worry about the brandy running and ruining the white fondant?
Thank you

25 replies
prterrell Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 8:09pm
post #2 of 26

Unless you have too much brandy in the cake, it shouldn't leak. If you had that much brandy in it, everyone would be drunk after a few bites! icon_lol.gif I make a fruitcake and cover in rolled icing every Christmas in the traditional manner of British Christmas cakes for my mom (my parents used to live in Northern Ireland). I heat apricot preserves and brush that onto the cake to adhere the rolled icing. You don't need a lot, just a light coating will be enough to get the fondant to stick.

bashini Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 9:10pm
post #3 of 26

Hi, like prterrell mentioned above, use apricot glaze/preserve on the fruit cake and cover it with marzipan. Then use clear alcohol to apply on the marzipan and cover it with fondant.

HTH. icon_smile.gif

rainbow_kisses Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 9:18pm
post #4 of 26

yes as already said use apricot glaze/jam/ presserve as teh glue but if you dont want to use marzipan on the cake before the sugarpaste i would recommend a thin layer of sugar paste leave it to dry for 24 hours then stick a second thicker layer on top just using warm water as the glue just to protect the white sugarpaste outer layer from any chance of fruit discoloration.

mandy79 Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 9:12pm
post #5 of 26

Thank you for your responses. I have a question about the buttercream. Do you see any problems with it. The person who requested the cake really likes it but I was a little concerned since people tend to keep these cakes for a long time. Is something like royal icing better or you think I will be fine with the buttercream?

prterrell Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 11:03pm
post #6 of 26

Find out how long she is gong to keep the cake. Anything over a month and I personally wouldn't do the buttercream. Actually, personally, I don't think buttercream would taste very good with fruitcake, but if that's what the customer really wants...

mandy79 Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 12:10am
post #7 of 26

Actually i dont know how long she is going to keep it. I guess I could ask. Do you think it would look like I dont know what I am doing?

prterrell Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 4:17am
post #8 of 26

No, it shouldn't. Basically, if she's planning on keeping the top tier until her first anniv. then it's going to have to be frozen if she wants buttercream. If she's planning on just storing it in a tin, then that layer at least can't be buttercream, because the butter would go rancid in that amount of time even with all the sugar in there.

brincess_b Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 10:10am
post #9 of 26

you just say 'usually fruit cakes are done with marzipan and fondant. it can be done with bc and fondant, although it will mean you can not keep it for as long. are you planning to keep the top tier?'

royal icing would be something to use on top of marzipan, not inbetween cake and fondant.

Charmaine49 Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 10:30am
post #10 of 26

I was asked that same question a while back....
And, when I asked a friend about using Buttercream she told me that
the BC would have an effect on the fruit in the cake and make it rancid.

I also wouldn't attempt using BC on a fruitcake...

rainbow_kisses Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 11:20am
post #11 of 26

just one word of advice if you have but a good quantity of brandy in the cake and let it mature then as soon as you put the buttercream on the cake it will start to go off so it would not last a week let alone a month. i would strongly advise the customer that buttercream and fruit cake dont make good partners and try and sway them towards marzipan and royal icing or fondant.if the customer is sill adamant about buttercream try an dget her to have a marzipan barrier between the cake an dthe buttercream.

janeoxo Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 11:46am
post #12 of 26

Totally agree with others, buttercream and fruit cake blah, would be awful blah

Caths_Cakes Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 12:00pm
post #13 of 26

Please, i beg you, dont use buttercream on a fruit cake, Why even contemplate ruining such a fabulous matured cake full of glorious fat juicy fruit and booze by adding a disgusting layer of sickly buttercream on top? its just not how its done.

im sorry if i seem offensive, but fruit cake is very traditonal in britian at christmas and weddings. The way i was taught, is the way mum was taught by her mum, and by hers, etc etc etc.

Cover your cake with a fine layer of apricot preserve, just a thin layer , enough to make the marizpan stick.

Cover with marzipan. Allow to dry for a day. the reason for the marzipan is because although it gives a lovley variation of flavor, It also acts like a blank canvas, giving you a lovley smooth surface to work on, And also, it will prevent any of the thoses lovley dark cake juices seeping through and discolouring your final layer of icing.

then you can cover with your icing/fondant (When i say icing, i mean fondant,but i call it icing ) Just apply a very fine layer of clear alcohol to your marzipan, you dont want it wet, just enough to make it tacky so the fondant icing will stick.

Please dont put buttercream on it what ever you do, keep it for sponge cakes and keep fruit cakes how they are meant to be.

im actually in the process of making several xmas fruit cakes at the minute, yes its october, and im making them NOW for christmas, this gives them time to settle, mature and become extreemly yummy, you couldnt do this if you had buttercream on it. the point of a fruit cake is to allow it to mature and become rich and aged, a bit like a good ole bottle of scotch icon_smile.gif which btw, you could use scotch instead of brandy, Or rum, either works lovely.

Charmaine49 Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 12:17pm
post #14 of 26 go girl!!

I second you on everything that you have said here.
I have also got a fruitcake sitting all wrapped up in my cupboard
maturing for a confirmation cake at the end of November.

The longer......the better and the more yummy it tastes!!

mandy79 Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 12:39pm
post #15 of 26

Ha ha. You all make me laugh. So adamant about the buttercream and fruitcake. Thank you for your responses. I totally understand and have one final question.
Well first of all I have come up with a game plan. I will cover with marzipan, then the buttercream (only because she tasted it and liked it....dont want to back track now weeks after the fact), and then put the fondant.
That way the buttercream wont interact with the cake and she will still get her icing.
But in future I will not put the buttercream on the cake.

Caths_Cakes Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 12:50pm
post #16 of 26

The buttercream may not 'touch' the cake, But it will still be there when you bite into it and taste it . And the point of a fruit cake as stated above is to allow to mature and keep it for many many weeks before eating, as said above, you cant do this with a buttercream cake, the buttercream would go bad.

Buttercream is a beautiful icing on its own, but combining it with such heavy flavours of fruit and marizpain, your looking at a bad combination

i still state that by adding the buttercream. Youve wasted and ruined a totally otherwise perfect cake. There is just No need at all for buttercream on a fruit cake, regardless of wether she likes it or not. If she likes it that much then why not have a beautiful sponge that the buttercream would compliment fantastically!

mandy79 Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 12:58pm
post #17 of 26

Thank you. I will talk with her about this.

Charmaine49 Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 1:01pm
post #18 of 26


for a second go girl!!

I have never heard of first putting marzipan.....then BC.....THEN FONDANT???

What is the use in doing that??
Cause the BC is still not going to last for a long while??

Caths_Cakes Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 1:17pm
post #19 of 26

Lol thankyou for the support and encouragement charmaine, I dont know why but after making countless fruit cakes, i take it quite personally these days lol icon_smile.gif

mandy79 Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 1:20pm
post #20 of 26

Lol. Didnt mean to get anybody riled up!

rainbow_kisses Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 1:24pm
post #21 of 26

I know how you feel caths_cakes I am also a traditional English girl who hates the idea of ruining good matured fruit cake icon_rolleyes.gif

I have a kitchen full of them Growing old gracefully.

Mandy79 if the customer is paying well then do as she insists but do tell her that the cake wont keep like it should and that she is wasting good money and ruining a good cake. Just remind her of all of the work YOU will be putting into the cake and what a waste it will be.

Caths_Cakes Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 1:33pm
post #22 of 26

Kudos Scrummymummy, im about 30 mile away from you in sunderland lol icon_biggrin.gif
and me too, i only have 7 made at the minute, i need to make another 9, There only 5 inchs though and this year i used my brains and bought several pans rather that reusing the same one over and over lmao

100% to what scrummy said, You must inform your customer of this, if she is a paying customer after all, The usuall saying goes, the customer is always right, but i find that doesnt ring true in this profession.

Caths_Cakes Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 2:27pm
post #23 of 26

Lol mandy79, i apologise for coming across so harshly, you didnt get me riled up, im just enthusiastic about cake lol icon_smile.gif
Being a cake newbie there is alot to learn, i didnt have a clue about fruit cake last year, Now i do, and im glad to be able to share that with others icon_smile.gif

mandy79 Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 5:22pm
post #24 of 26

Hey ladies I just wanted to tell you thanks and to let you know that I did as I was told icon_surprised.gif) and used the apricot jam, marzipan and fondant. It came out good. I put a picture.

Caths_Cakes Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 5:32pm
post #25 of 26

Fantastic! Your cake looks great and i bet it tasted FANNNNTASTIC! So glad you used marzipan and apricot jam icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif x

janeoxo Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 8:09pm
post #26 of 26

Well done you, it will taste as good as it looks

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