Old School, Old Dog...

Decorating By TRussClark Updated 10 Nov 2014 , 4:14am by cazza1

TRussClark Posted 9 Nov 2014 , 2:07pm
post #1 of 19

I used to have a very successful home-based cake business but discontinued when we moved 16 years ago.  However, I continue to make cakes for special occasions, primarily for my church.  A friend who sells cakes in the Dallas area recently said, in the context of her prices, that "if all you want is a buttercream cake you might as well get it at Wal-Mart."  I know she meant no offense but I do my cakes in buttercream and have limited experience so far with fondant. I primarily use buttercream but can still make it sing.  :)  So I'm wondering if fondant is "where it's at" now or if anyone else out there is an experienced "old dog" that is proud of their buttercream cakes?  This is on my mind as I just made a cake for church and am proud of it.  Does everyone who orders a cake want fondant or is it just the preference of the cake decorator?

18 replies
JanDunlevy Posted 9 Nov 2014 , 2:38pm
post #2 of 19

AI have only been decorating for a little over 2 years (I found decorating as a later in life passion) and I use nothing but buttercream except for accents I do use fondant. My customers don't want it and frankly I don't like it either. If you look thru my gallery you will see that I am neither old school, nor and old dog! I deliver what my customers want and that is really what matters isn't it? Never let someone with a "superior" attitude discourage what you know to be right for you!

HELLOsamii Posted 9 Nov 2014 , 3:38pm
post #3 of 19

I worked at Wal-Mart as a cake decorator. I also took notice of the cake decorators in my area. There is a home baker that only uses fondant as a decoration. I don't think she ever covers her cakes with it, because she doesn't think it tastes good and she only wants to put out good tasting products. There is also a woman with a store front that uses fondant, and some of the grocery chains use fondant. I think it became more of a trend when shows like "Cake Boss" etc came on TV.


I've only made marshmallow fondant and I think I'm going to switch over to using modeling chocolate.... I like using frosting only for decoration. It tastes way better in my opinion.

cara1982 Posted 9 Nov 2014 , 4:18pm
post #4 of 19

AI've just been to The Cake International show (Birmingham, uk) and there were some amazing buttercream cakes there. We tend to use fondant over here, but I would love to be able to make a cake like that!

FioreCakes Posted 9 Nov 2014 , 5:00pm
post #5 of 19

A[IMG ALT="All buttercream with a fondant nose!"]http://www.cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3211871/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

Pretty sure wal-mart cakes don't look like this. I think fondant is necessary for some designs but these days people cut and paste fondant and call themselves an artist for copying something they've seen online. Buttercream takes more skill and artistry, in my opinion (of course). And agree with others, customers usually prefer buttercream over fondant. Sounds like her insecurities were getting to her.

freesia777 Posted 9 Nov 2014 , 5:27pm
post #6 of 19

AThere are over 400 posts in the following thread that will show you that fondant is NOT a requirement in the decorating world.


I think if the people you currently make cakes for are happy, you don't have to change unless YOU want to.

-K8memphis Posted 9 Nov 2014 , 6:05pm
post #7 of 19

no fondant is not where it's at -- where it's at is where you make it sing -- if you bake/make it they will come



Originally Posted by TRussClark 

 I primarily use buttercream but can still make it sing.  :) 


best to you

Cevamal Posted 9 Nov 2014 , 6:29pm
post #8 of 19

AYour friend only cares about aesthetics and not taste if she thinks there's anything worthwhile at Walmart.

remnant3333 Posted 9 Nov 2014 , 6:47pm
post #9 of 19

I am not a fan of fondant either and everyone in my family or that I know can not stand it either. I prefer buttercream or stabilized whip cream frosting. I have tried the flour frosting which is pretty good for borders and maybe swirl roses but not so much for delicate buttercream flowers. I guess everyone has different tastes but I would never want a cake covered with fondant. This is just my preference. 

As for Walmart cakes, forget it!!!!


Oh, and that dog cake is awesome looking!!! WOW!!!

maybenot Posted 9 Nov 2014 , 9:16pm
post #10 of 19

I can do both, so it becomes a matter of which works best for the design--and sometimes transport and temperature requirements play into that decision, too.


I use a full coating of BC and a tiny piece of fondant is easily removed if someone doesn't want to eat it.  I don't see it as a big deal. 

Now, if the client makes it a big deal---and I still believe that the cake needs to be fondant covered for the optimal results--I just tell them that I'm not the baker for them.  I'm the expert and while I'll definitely consider the client's wishes, I won't allow them to tell me how to do my job.


Fondant is just another tool in my arsenal.

AZCouture Posted 9 Nov 2014 , 9:37pm
post #11 of 19

APish tosh! I would take a bc only cake any day over mooooooore fondant. Pfffffft!

ellavanilla Posted 9 Nov 2014 , 11:32pm
post #12 of 19

sounds like your friend was just shooting her mouth off. I'd let it pass. I am another BC only designer.

TRussClark Posted 9 Nov 2014 , 11:43pm
post #13 of 19

Thank you ladies for the encouragement!  This is the cake (all buttercream) that I did for church today and there weren't any complaints!

-K8memphis Posted 9 Nov 2014 , 11:50pm
post #14 of 19

pretty pretty

FioreCakes Posted 10 Nov 2014 , 2:10am
post #15 of 19


Originally Posted by TRussClark 

Thank you ladies for the encouragement!  This is the cake (all buttercream) that I did for church today and there weren't any complaints!


Beautiful piped lettering...let's see your friend do that with her fondant? ;-)

cakeladywalker Posted 10 Nov 2014 , 2:30am
post #16 of 19

AOmh thts beauitful:-) I to agree with rest of ladies, buttercream where ever it can be used and fondant accents if necessary.

kazita Posted 10 Nov 2014 , 2:35am
post #17 of 19

AThat is a very beautiful cake....love your writing/piping...

enga Posted 10 Nov 2014 , 4:09am
post #18 of 19


Originally Posted by kazita 

That is a very beautiful cake....love your writing/piping...

I concur, Well Done! I still cant get my writing even unless I use a guide :wink:

cazza1 Posted 10 Nov 2014 , 4:14am
post #19 of 19

WOW Your piping skills are exceptional.

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