The icing on the cake: fondant or buttercream frosting

When it comes to the look of your wedding cake, the most popular choices are fondant and buttercream. In this post I will explain each choice and what are the pros and cons. Hopefully, this will help you choose the perfect icing for your wedding cake.

Fondant icing

The fondant is a dough-type paste, that can be rolled and applied as a covering on the cake. Highly misunderstood, in my opinion, the fondant is excluded from start by some brides, for the reason of “not tasting good”. Perhaps some brands of fondant have an unpleasant taste to some. Or, some cake decorators roll it too thick or over marzipan (which affects the taste completely), but I’m here to defend fondant, which doesn’t pretend to be buttercream, if I may say it like that. A good fondant has a marshmallow and sugar taste, and a good cake decorator will roll it very thin, over a smooth layer of buttercream or ganache. Also, it can be easily be removed.

At Dulcerella, we use homemade marshmallow fondant or Satin Ice brand.

Here are the many pros of the fondant:

  • perfectly smooth and matte look
  • perfectly white color
  • perfect for dark colors like red, navy, black–doesn’t stain your teeth or your clothes
  • ruffles and folds can be made only in fondant
  • sequins, wafer paper decorations and watercolor painting can be done/attached only on fondant
  • certain textures like tree bark, stone or quilting
  • allows precise mold decorations or stenciling

Cons:

  • it can be more expensive, not necessarily for itself, but because of the extra decorating time for the many types of design I mentioned before

Buttercream frosting

As the name itself calls for, a real buttercream has real butter in it. At Dulcerella, we use Swiss meringue buttercream. Made with whipped egg whites and sugar, this buttercream is light, not too sweet, and perfect as far as taste and stability. Because of the real butter, the buttercream can be slightly ivory in color, and some types of buttercream might not be as stable as others.

Pros:

  • perfect for simple design or texture cakes with fresh flowers
  • not complicated designs will be less expensive
  • tastes good
  • natural, beautiful look

Cons:

  • doesn’t allow complex designs like ruffles, folds or sequins
  • does not allow painting
  • not a matte finish, and it is easily marked
  • it is not preferable for heavy colors, and it will stain teeth or clothes

Other types of icing: ganache and whipped cream.

Whipped cream

The light taste of real whipped cream is one of my favorite for certain desserts, however, I do not recommend it for wedding cakes, and here are the reasons why:

  • it does not have a smooth finish
  • it is very unstable/light for stacked cakes
  • requires refrigeration
  • in time, real whipped cream it looses it’s volume

Mihaela LeCedre, owner and cake artist at Dulcerella Cakes

With 10 years experience in the baking business, Dulcerella Cakes specializes in wedding and special events cakes.