I'm new to fondant and I'm going to be making my son's cupcake topper decorations. I don't know if I should mix with gum paste or why would I mix with gum paste. Can someone tell me whats the purpose of mixing with gum paste and are there times when I definitely want to mix and times I shouldn't mix.
Fondant stays mostly soft (it will harden over time) and is used for covering cakes and decorations that will lay flat or don't need to hold their shape.
Gumpaste is used for decorations that you need to hold their shapes. It drays hard and fast. It can also be rolled really thin, so you can get more realistic looking flower petals and such.
By combing the two you get the best of both worlds. It will allow the fondant to hold better shapes, since it will harden faster, but it also allows you to be able to work with it longer than straight gumpaste before it does dry out.
What exactly are you making for the toppers?
I'm still looking, but it looks like I'm gonna end up doing circles with a number on top. Maybe a smaller circle on top of a larger circle or a smaller number on top of a larger number. I made a few decorations last night, not for the party, but just to get a feel for using both.
If you don't need them to stand up on the cupcakes you can do with them with fondant, though I'd do it a few days ahead of time to let them dry some.
If you need them to stand up or need them done more quickly, then I'd combine the fondant and gumpaste.