Buttercream verses Fondant icing is the ultimate debate when choosing wedding cakes, or any cake for that matter.

Most couples come to us not wanting fondant at all. Their memories are of thick layers, tasting of what can only be described as medicine, on a fruit cake that their grandma made. I'm really selling you on it, right?

Well things have definitely changed over the course of a decade. We don't use marzipan, which is what you would remember as a child. Fondant is now a virtually tasteless icing which can be very versatile in designing cakes. It basically just tastes like sugar, and who doesn't love sugar?

We can get the outside fondant layer wafer thin which means it doesn't take away from the cake flavour itself. You still get those delicious layers on the inside but with a smooth traditional exterior.

Now buttercream icing also has its place in the cake world. It's great for creating texture on a cake for a more rustic finish. Its taste can also be altered by adding flavouring. The use of buttercream is not limited to the outside of the cake but can also feature within the layers of the cake.

We will outline a few pros and cons to ensure you choose the perfect cake finish when deciding between the two for your special day.

Buttercream Pros

  1. Creating texture and semi naked styles of cakes for more of a rustic charm. We can also stencil patterns onto buttercream cakes.

2. We can fill the layers of your cake with buttercream and flavour these easily.

3. We can arrange flowers on buttercream iced cakes.

4. Buttercream cakes are a little more cost effective as they don't require as much labour.

Buttercream Cons

  1. If you have an outside venue and plan to get married in the hotter months of summer buttercream icing probably isn't the icing for you. (Discuss this with your cake stylist during your consultations if you have concerns).

2. Your design is limited. Some designs just don't work on buttercream as it's a soft set icing. Take the pattern pictured below, if we did this on a buttercream icing finish after a couple of hours the pattern would slide off the cake.

3. Heavily coloured buttercream will stain just about anything it touches. Not a great look for a wedding and photos of your guests. There are ways around this, as demonstrated in the pictuire below, we have iced the cake in fondant and then created the buttercream texture on top. That way the kitchen can pull that fondant layer off in one piece removing the coloured frosting before cutting slices.

Fondant cake Pros

  1. Fondant iced cakes can stay out of the fridge virtually all day in the heat without melting. Great for backyard or beach weddings where there isn’t any air conditioning.

2. We can colour fondant cakes any colour as this can be easily removed from the cake before serving. No more brightly coloured mouths or hands on your wedding day.

3. The possibilities are endless in terms of design. Stenciling, impressions, lace work, piping work, texture or smooth, the list goes on. We can also pair fondant with buttercream cakes for the best of both worlds.

4. We can also wire fresh or icing flowers to fondant covered cakes.

5. We can get the fondant icing layer super thin so it's virtually tasteless leaving the cake to speak for itself.

Fondant Icing Cons

  1. We cannot create semi naked or naked designs using fondant as the cake has to be exposed. You can however choose to have both as pictured below.

2. Clients tend to love the taste of buttercream over fondant due to the texture. Buttercream is soft and fluffy verses fondant which is hard.

So ultimately the choice is up to your styling and taste preferences. As a cake decorator I love working with both mediums. Fondant is ultimately more flexible with design, but if you are going with a simplistic design there is no reason buttercream cannot be an option.

We cannot wait to talk more in a consultation. Head to our contact us page to enquire today!