Buttercream Vs Fondant

Jun 22, 2018

Which do you prefer? Do you know the difference? What am I even talking about?

Well, for those of you who don’t know these are the two most popular finishes to have on a cake.  And you could choose either, or both for you modern wedding cake. The difference between the two is usually visually obvious though not always…


Semi naked buttercream wedding cake
Gold and white four tier geometric wedding cake Barbican
The two above images show an obvious difference in appearance. The semi naked cake: A lightly iced cake with bits of the sponge cake showing through is a minimal style that works perfectly for a rustic wedding with flowers and fruit and also, works for you if you don’t like a whole load of icing. The second image is what I call a fully iced cake. The cake itself is baked in exactly the same way, the flavours will be the same of course, but it is finished very differently. The cake is firstly covered in a layer of ganache. Ganache is chocolate and cream heated and combined together…Mmmmmm. I use either white, milk or dark chocolate depending on the cake it’s going on, or depending what my customer has requested. (Raspberry ripple sponge with dark chocolate ganache is a winning combo by the way!) The ganache is a great base for the rolled out fondant icing to be put onto. It acts as a canvas and a glue. No ganache means super lumpy cake without any of those nice sharp corners! What about these two images… Can you tell which is buttercream and which is fondant?
Blue ombre buttercream wedding cake with flowers
Two tier pillar marble cake with orchids in pink
Well the first is buttercream. If you look closely you can see the slightly unfinished look I have gone for here which is very on trend at the moment. Think a half finished job by a plasterer… But this is a great look as it adds texture to the cake whilst it can still look luxury and it’s great for adding metallic highlights to. The second photo has a marble cake, which is definitely not doable in buttercream. For a marble cake, food colouring is semi mixed into the fondant, leaving a marble effect. People have different tastes, of course. While my personal preference is with chocolate ganache, others would want to go with buttercream everytime. I find buttercream sweeter and ganache more luxurious. The trend for urban wedding cakes actually takes to both types of icing. Concrete cakes can be finished in buttercream. The trend for layering can use a combination of these two types of icing, plus chocolate, and royal icing! Don’t tell charles of example, only use layered and concrete buttercream. Rosalind Miller usually uses Fondant, although she now has a range of buttercream cakes too.
Urban Wedding Cakes
Three tier textured wedding cake with white leaves
Three tier marble and rustic buttercream whimsical wedding cake
This modern looking  rustic style wedding cake uses marbled fondant AND dark red buttercream…
As I always say, the sky’s the limit with all these ingredients. There are so many things you can do to get your dream wedding cake If you’re having problems deciding which is for you, get in touch and ask me all about icing!

About the writer and cake enthusiast…

Hi! I’m Katie and I have been fully cake obsessed since, forever…

Malarkey Cakes is built on a mixture of all my passions. My work is inspired by my background in art and design and I’m honoured to make wedding cakes for couples in love in London and the South East.

I’m passionate about blogging to share my knowledge and give guidance on the ins and out of ordering a wedding cake, making the most of it and making sure it gets the attention it deserves. I also share my tips on wedding planning and team up with fellow suppliers I am lucky enough to work with and who I highly recommend.

When I’m not designing, making or eating cake, you’ll find me trying out new food in London’s amazing restaurants, drinking great coffee, taking in stunning architecture, on long walks, smashing a decent weights workout or exploring the world.

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