The two main types of frosting for wedding cakes are fondant and buttercream. If you’re not already familiar with the difference, fondant is a thick substance made from sugar and water that is very similar to the consistency of play-doh. It is used to cover cakes and create a variety of different designs.
Brides love fondant because it rolls out super smooth and can give a very sleek appearance and allows for certain designs that can’t be achieved with buttercream. Buttercream is created from butter and confectioner’s sugar and rather than being rolled on, it is spread on and then smoothed out. The most popular option differs depending on who you speak with, and seems to change every few years. While fondant was super popular a few years ago, buttercream is making a comeback in 2015.
Is Buttercream Really Better?
That’s not a question that can be answered easily, especially since it is a very personal decision and dependent upon the bride and groom’s taste. However, there are some benefits to buttercream that aren’t available with fondant. For instance, the taste of buttercream is rich and can be changed to suit the couple’s taste – you can enjoy flavors like salted caramel buttercream, orange crème buttercream and chocolate fudge buttercream. Fondant has more of a candy taste that isn’t preferable to many people.
Because fondant is more difficult to make than buttercream, and more difficult to work with, it typically costs significantly more. In fact, many bakeries don’t even create their own in-house fondant, preferring to order it from another company that specializes in making fondant. So, brides who are on a budget often choose buttercream. The great news is that excellent cake decorators can make buttercream smooth and beautiful so that it is really comparable to fondant as far as the design goes.
Ease of Use
There are some design styles that can be created with buttercream that are simply not available with fondant. For instance, the beautiful and elaborate piping that many brides love is only attainable with buttercream. It is true that piping can be applied to fondant cakes, so whether you choose fondant or buttercream, you have the option to have piping. Another important difference is how the frosting reacts to the environment. Fondant left out too long can dry, causing the design to crack and tear in places.
While buttercream will harden somewhat, it will not dry out in the same manner. All in all, while buttercream is experiencing a surge in popularity right now, it really comes down to your own personal preference. Make an appointment with your favorite bakery for a tasting and make sure you let them know you’re attempting to choose between fondant and buttercream. Ask about the different options you have available with both types of frosting. You should then have a pretty good idea of which frosting to choose for your own wedding cake.