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Fondant and buttercream frostings are some of the most common cake decorations you'll see for big projects. While fondants are easy to mold and roll, you may be looking for a textured look that buttercream icing recipes would provide.
In either case, here's a breakdown of what you can expect between fondants versus buttercream toppings for your bakes.
Fondant recipes consist of a rollable paste sheet, typically made from confectioners' sugar and water, that you can mold into any form of decoration. Buttercream frosting is a light and fluffy spread that's made by whipping butter and sugar.
The difference between fondant and buttercream boils down to how festive you want to get. Fondant is incredible for making distinct shapes and detailed decorations for any kind of project. It's moldable, bright with color, and smooth so any minute pattern just pops.
Though buttercream is a little trickier to decorate with, it brings a delicate flavor to the project. It's also worth noting that there are several types of buttercreams, such as American, Swiss, and ever famous Italian. So that could add to your decision depending on what you want to make.
While making your choice between fondant or buttercream, deal breakers tend to come about when it comes down to appearance and texture.
Fondant may have a tendency to crack and harden but it provides a great base to stack decorations or add sugary garnishes. Making fondant recipes, though, can prove to be challenging which is why most cake decorators would opt to buy ready-made fondant to avoid any potential pitfalls. Make sure to have a fondant rolling pin and smoother tool for ease of use at home.
Buttercream frosting recipes are way easier to make and is highly customizable on the presentation front. You can smooth down the surface for an elegant look or pipe it on the sides and top for a more textured finish.
When it comes to tastes, buttercream frosting will give you the better experience. Though fondant is made from confectioners' sugar, you won't really want to consume it when it comes time to eat.
For your next project, you may find it advantageous to use a combination of both with buttercream icing providing a tasty under layer while a fondant surface lays down the perfect cake face to decorate on.
Yes, you can get the best of both buttercream and fondant by working with them together. Use fondant for cake decoration accents, while lathering buttercream for taste and texture.
For decorating, you may have a better time putting adornments over a steady base of fondant than the light touch of buttercream. Or switch it up and stick smaller fondant pieces on big slabs of buttercream.
Buttercream icing tends to be cheaper per ounce than ready-made fondant, but you'll need to consider how much of each you plan to use.
While most can get away with a couple packs of fondant for a project, you may need extra buttercream frosting depending on the thickness you want or if you're using it for more than just cake decorations.
A big birthday cake project can definitely be topped off with either fondant or buttercream as the main component, but just know what you're going for.
If you're simply aiming for your birthday cake to have a great taste to feed a bunch of people, then buttercream may be more suited for your needs. If it's a special occasion, fondant can really open up the door for extravagant decorations to remember.
Don't be afraid to experiment and get your hands dirty with both materials. There's pros and cons to buttercream frosting and fondant sheets, so don't feel limited to using just one kind.