Can It All Be Done In Buttercream?

Decorating By Bella214 Updated 19 Feb 2010 , 3:09am by ayerim979

Bella214 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 7:31pm
post #1 of 19

I see so many cakes done in fondant here. I see a lot in buttercream, but I think I see more of them done in fondant. So my question is, can it all be done in buttercream as well? Does fondant HAVE to be used for accents, or could it be done with buttercream as well?

18 replies
_Jamie_ Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 7:36pm
post #2 of 19

There are absolutely times when fondant must be used. No ifs ands or buts about it. If you want some examples of what happens when someone tries (note the word tries) to replicate a design originally done in fondant, in BC, check out www.cakewrecks.com. Prepare thyself for the horror that awaits. icon_biggrin.gif

_Jamie_ Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 7:42pm
post #3 of 19
LetThereBeCake07 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 7:52pm
post #4 of 19

you can do it in buttercream! I use fondant here and there but my clients prefer buttercream. Its cheaper and tastes better. Visit my website and see what you can do in buttercream (some cakes may fool you into thinking they are fondant, but more than likely they are buttercream!)

www.LetThereBeCake.net

LetThereBeCake07 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 8:03pm
post #5 of 19

just looked at the cake wrecks! laughing so hard i can hardly type!

LaBellaFlor Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 8:06pm
post #6 of 19

Very nice cakes, but I have to disagree. Even some of your cakes would have been even better in fondant.

Loucinda Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 8:21pm
post #7 of 19

If a client brings a photo of a cake that is done in fondant, you are usually better off doing the cake as it is the photo. A lot can be done in buttercream (that is the medium I use most) but there will be some distinct differences.

There have been a few posts of folks talking about very unhappy clients that got something they were not expecting when they ordered a cake that was originally done in fondant and then not done well being reproduced in buttercream.

Most decorators will know if they can actually do it or not. If you are not sure, I would not attempt it! (unless it is just for you and family - then go ahead and give it a try!) icon_wink.gif

TexasSugar Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 8:34pm
post #8 of 19

As a none business stand point, of course you can do all buttercream cakes. I think IndyDebi would be a good example of a mostly buttercream decorator, though I think even she finally ventured into fondant too.

If you are doing this as a hobby and just for friends and family, then I say do what ever makes you happy. If you are doing this as a business and want to do all buttercream cakes, then I would say be sure to be very clear to your clients that you only do buttercream cakes. As Loucinda said, if they bring you a picture of a cake decorated in fondant, then they need to be aware the cake they get will look different, because some things just don't translate from one medium to another.

Do you have a specific objection to fondant? My family personally does not like fondant covered cakes, for us it isn't a taste thing, but a texture thing. Since I do most of my cakes for them, I use buttercream, though I will use fondant decorations.

There will be some techinques that just won't translate the same. Does it make fondant better than buttercream? Nope, just different. You can pipe dots on a buttercream cake or you can put fondant dots on a buttercream cake. Same idea/design, different look.

Yes you can but buttercream or royal icing flowers on cakes or you can make fondant/gumpaste flowers. Yes they are all flowers, but some will look like icing flowers and some will look like (hopefully) realistic flowers.

You can pipe a bow with buttercream on a cake, or you can do a bow out of fondant/gumpaste/chocolate and have it look more realistic.

If you choose to be a buttercream only decorator, there is nothing wrong with that. Just know that not everything that is done in fondant can be down in buttercream, draping would be an example. If those aren't your style of cakes anyway, then it won't matter.

Loucinda Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 8:40pm
post #9 of 19

TS - that is a GREAT answer!

TexasSugar Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 8:57pm
post #10 of 19

I try Loucinda.

I think I'm channeling my inner Debi today. icon_smile.gif

Bella214 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 10:42pm
post #11 of 19

Well thank you for the site. That has to be some of the funniest stuff I have ever seen and I now sit here and type in between giggles and snickers. I needed a good laugh.

Now I need to ask: How did this site show me that things needed to be done in fondant? IMO, it seems like those who did those cakes had next to no talent, NOT that they used the wrong icing LOL. Not to mention many of the mistakes made were pure stupidity and lack of imagination or motivation. Does anyone else feel that way?

I guess I can understand using fondant sometimes and even that it is sometimes needed. But I definately didn't get that lesson from that website LOL.

So, any suggestions for learning to use fondant?

_Jamie_ Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 10:48pm
post #12 of 19

Right, seriously lacking of talent, you got that right. But there are just times when you need fondant. And if you don't know when, you aren't experienced enough yet, and that's not a bad thing. But it's like asking "Please make me a list of each and every time I should use fondant". Well, there could be millions.

Take for example the bampoo cake. There is not a chance in Hades I would ever attempt to pipe those twigs instead making them. They just wouldn't look right. But somehow, that decorator thought it would look ok. How delusional, right?

And unless the customer knows that "it's just not going to look the same"...I'm not going to pass something halfa$$ed on to them.

_Jamie_ Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 10:50pm
post #13 of 19

Oh and Bella....you need to grab some fondant and practice. You need to "live it and learn it". And browse the forums for things you like, effects you want to try, and just try things out.

Bella214 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 11:01pm
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Jamie_

Right, seriously lacking of talent, you got that right. But there are just times when you need fondant. And if you don't know when, you aren't experienced enough yet, and that's not a bad thing. But it's like asking "Please make me a list of each and every time I should use fondant". Well, there could be millions.

Take for example the bampoo cake. There is not a chance in Hades I would ever attempt to pipe those twigs instead making them. They just wouldn't look right. But somehow, that decorator thought it would look ok. How delusional, right?

And unless the customer knows that "it's just not going to look the same"...I'm not going to pass something halfa$$ed on to them.




THAT cake made me cry lol! And I definately see the difference, I think I just needed to know if anything could be done in buttercream and still look nice. After looking at that site, I have such a large window for screwing up and it STILL wouldn't be as bbad as some of them.

Last year I attempted fondant and dropped it on the floor trying to move it to the cake lol. PLUS, I tried to make my own fondant and it may have been better to buy it premade. But I couldn't decide which was better....one was Satinice and I am not sure what the other one was now. Is MMF the same as fondant? I can make and work with that!

Thanks evryone, for both the laughs and the honesty! I really want to be more involved in this community.

TexasSugar Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 11:10pm
post #15 of 19

I'm a firm believer when it comes to fondant to first use a pre-made so you can get a feel for it. And even all pre-mades don't behave the same way. Because when you make fondant there is, in my exeperince a fine line between enough and too much sugar.

Have you looked into any classes in your area? Wilton has a Fondant and Gumpaste class, and while it is very basic, you can still get some hands on with it.

_Jamie_ Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 11:12pm
post #16 of 19

Texas---if Wilton fondant tasted good, I would never use anything else. In my experience, that is the best handling stuff on the planet. Love it for dummies and non edible decos.

TexasSugar Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 11:27pm
post #17 of 19

I think Wilton's has a great texture, even though most say it is lacking in taste. But I do feel it is good to learn with.

I think with homemade fondants you need an idea of the texture you are going for. And there area so many recipe varations out there it is hard to know which to pick, plus some forget to mention some things like 'all the powder sugar may not be needed.'

I know there are people out there that are anti Wilton, and I know many around here know I'm a WMI, but I do believe the classes are a good place to learn some things. Of course the WMI you get factors into how good of a class it will be.

I like having hands on, and when I took the classes or take other classes I like having someone there to help me along the way.

Bella, don't have a fear of fondant. Keep trying it and see what you think. Some cake designs can look 'crisper' done in fondant over buttercream. That doesn't mean there are not some gorgous buttercream works of art out there though.

We all prefer and like different things and we all have different styles. Try out different things and find your own style. Good luck and don't forget to have fun!!

Bella214 Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 2:21am
post #18 of 19

Thanks. I really want to learn but I cannot afford the classes. I found the coolest store here in my area that sels cake supplies and it's been my personal Toys-R-Us since lol.

March brings the opportunity to make a Bakugan cake for my soon to be 8 yr old an I am very excited. I desperately need a cake stand tough as it is quite hard to keep moving myself around the cake lol, but WOW are those things expensive! This started out as a hobby but as a disabled SAHM, it has turned into something I absolutely love doing and I get better every time I do a cake......well, except for that dino bones excavation site lol....that cake really sucked.

Slowly but surely I am getting more supplies. Maybe I will try to wor with fondant on my sons cake. Before it was a lack of supplies, now it is just memories of the last disaster experience LOL.

Anyway, I really appreciate everyone's responses here. I usually linger but rarely post but lately, I have been so stressed and decorating helps me relax so I have been doing a lot of it.

ayerim979 Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 3:09am
post #19 of 19

Bella I also feel that decorating relaxes me a bit. Although it does drive me insane sometimes . I have little by little acquired decorating tools thanks to them 40-50% coupons from michaels I also put money aside everytime I sell something . Im saving up to buy an airbrush machine and a cricuit

I want to wish you the best of luck and keep us posted of how your bagukan cake comes out .

And Texasrose for some reason you make the truth sound nice icon_surprised.gif) thats cool. BTW My bday is 12/9 day after yours.

Anyhow happy caking ladies and Gentlemen

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