BUTTERCREAM or fondant: The choice is yours on our cakes, but what's the difference?
When helping our customers decide what they would like as decoration on their home baked cakes, we normally recommend either buttercream or fondant icing (both can be made vegan and gluten free friendly). However, not everyone knows the differences between the two types of icing, and there are pros and cons to each, depending on what style you want from your cake, so here's your definitive guide.
Buttercream is our cheapest option, and is nearly always used on our cupcakes. We'd describe it as sweet and rustic looking, perfect for filling sandwich cakes like Victoria Sponge, or a base for decorating with other items, like your favourite sweets. We can do it vanilla or chocolate flavour, but have done lemon in the past. It's not great in hot weather though, be warned!
Some customers like to know fondant is "the kind you see on traditional birthday cakes". Fondant is sheet sugar paste, essentially, is used in modelling and can come in many colours. It is a little more expensive as more work and skill is involved in using it compared to buttercream, kneading it until it's smooth and pliable. A buttercream 'crumb coat' is normally applied underneath the fondant to ensure there's no lumps.
It's not for everyone, as it's a little sticky to eat and is fingerprint prone if you have little hands around, but fondant gives you a beautiful smooth finish on a cake, like you can see here:
This is the third type of icing we use at 280 Bakes. It's not a common request, but it's good if you want something a little less sugary. Meringue icing basically a sugar and egg white mix, creating a meringue style finish. Glossy white, fluffy, and very pretty, we love this one. A word of caution goes to our bakers on this one: Another cake for cooler days, this icing needs to be stored in the fridge. Make sure there's no strong odours from other food in there. Meringue icing picks up strong smells and ends up tasting a little off. Garlic icing, anyone...?
We hope this helps with deciding what style of icing you'd like on your cake. At the end of the day, each type has its place, not everyone likes it, but it can really be the 'icing on the cake' - literally - for our delicious home baked cakes.
The Team @ 280 Bakes
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