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Fondant vs buttercream expectations

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 

How many decorators are getting the request to make Fondant looking cakes with Buttercream?

Everyone wants" the look" but no one wants the entire cake to be covered in fondant and nine times out of ten the decorations are all made in fondant and need to adhere to the side of the cake via fonant. I am going crazy!!!

I have a bride who wants a cake to be covered in straight lines of pearls, upon pearls, upon pearls all the way down the side of one whole 14 inch tier but does not want me to use strings of pearls that I know will stick to buttercream but knows she can not afford to have me place a ka-jillion hand made edible itty bitty pearls placed one by one. She does not want to see "the thread" holding the pearls together like on a dress.

Help!!!

Any ideas?

post #2 of 63

I would pipe them onto the cake with buttercream. Tedious, but can come out really nice if done correctly. Or what about sugar dragees. Probably even more tedious though..

post #3 of 63

Of course everyone wants "the look"; it's pretty and allows far more options than straight buttercream.  The general public has no idea of the massive skill set and practice required to get flawless buttercream results that look like fondant.

Perhaps if you  inform this customer (and others) what is and is not possible with the different cake decorating mediums?  It may only require some education of what is possible to come to a compromise that is both "Do-Able", and meets with the customer's wishes.

post #4 of 63

99.9% of my cakes are fondant looking butter cream cakes.   No one here likes fondant.    If I absolutely have to do fondant due to the design, then I insist.   It took me many, many cakes to get the "look"...but working at a production bakery helped because I had to ice a million (not really) cakes a day. 

Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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post #5 of 63

Guess I didn't really answer the question.......If I cannot do a (fondant) technique in butter cream that is acceptable (to me)....then I insist it be done in fondant.    They don't know what can and cannot be done in fondant or butter cream.    It is up to you to make that decision....stick to it and "tell them" how it must be done.   I would definately use a fondant pearl necklace mold. 

Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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post #6 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaigle View Post

99.9% of my cakes are fondant looking butter cream cakes.   No one here likes fondant.    If I absolutely have to do fondant due to the design, then I insist.   It took me many, many cakes to get the "look"...but working at a production bakery helped because I had to ice a million (not really) cakes a day. 

I can't figure out who does like it. I'd be afraid to buy a cake from someone who claimed it was good. I pretty much don't do butter cream any more. I just tell them fondant isn't supposed to be eaten anyway, the cake will look better with fondant and be moister and that they won't have to eat colored icing. On a side note, I seem to be the only person in the free world who knows fondant's supposed to be left on the plate.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaigle View Post

Guess I didn't really answer the question.......If I cannot do a (fondant) technique in butter cream that is acceptable (to me)....then I insist it be done in fondant.    They don't know what can and cannot be done in fondant or butter cream.    It is up to you to make that decision....stick to it and "tell them" how it must be done.   

This ^^^

post #7 of 63
Ummm fondant is not "supposed" to be left on the plate. It's made of sugar. It's "supposed" to be eaten. Enjoyment (or not) of the texture and taste is purely individual opinion and highly dependant on the recipe/brand and how thin the covering/decorations are.
post #8 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK View Post

Ummm fondant is not "supposed" to be left on the plate. It's made of sugar. It's "supposed" to be eaten. Enjoyment (or not) of the texture and taste is purely individual opinion and highly dependant on the recipe/brand and how thin the covering/decorations are.

This.
post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK View Post

Ummm fondant is not "supposed" to be left on the plate. It's made of sugar. It's "supposed" to be eaten. Enjoyment (or not) of the texture and taste is purely individual opinion and highly dependant on the recipe/brand and how thin the covering/decorations are.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoDivine View Post


This.

So am I eccentrically English to like eating Fondant????  My husband hates marzipan, so I get to eat his share of that too  icon_biggrin.gif I am still hopeless with neat looking buttercream... although I am learning to put the fondant on with a base layer of buttercream now....or I might try the ganache next time...

post #10 of 63
On the original question - if she doesn't want pearls on a string that the caterer can * easily * pull off before cutting and serving, then the only two options I know are a) individually placing the individual pearls or b) hand molding a string of pearls using a press mold. Those will necessarily be packed together in look. Whether or not she can afford what she wants is her problem not yours. If she wants it enough she'll find the $.

And I actually do like fondant. Its a food and * of course * its meant to be eaten. To suggest otherwise. Is just silly.

I simply explain, buttercream has air beaten *into* it, while fondant has the air beaten * out of* it. Two different products, two different tastes, two different looks.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #11 of 63

Agree....I never talk trash about fondant...in fact, I defend it when people say it tastes bad.   I have found that many people have not even had it and their opinion is based on some one elses!    I tell people it tastes good....has a "different" texture, but by all means, edible.   I think a lot of people are still stuck in the old days when Wilton was the only fondant in town.    It has come a long way.   I actually love it on cookies with butter cream in between the two.   I guess because both textures are the same. 

Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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post #12 of 63

I agree. I also have a lot of customers who comes saying fondant tastes bad. But once they taste the fondant they love it. I make Rhonda's ultimate MMF. I know little ones who just eat the fondant or sometimes eat the fondant first and then the cake. 

 

Fondant is meant to be eaten! 

post #13 of 63

I don't cover cakes in fondant. That's just my caking POV. So I explain the look and let my book speak for itself. I don't feel badly turning down a cake that I can't or won't create. I feel it would be worse for me to promise something I can't provide. 

 

So tell her what you can do and she can decide yes or no. Though I don't understand why she would eschew fondant and then ask to  have her cake covered in something else. 

 

Don't be afraid to say no. Though I know that it's hard to turn down work.

post #14 of 63

I have, on more than one occasion, told people "The cake will not look like that if it is done in buttercream.  If you want your cake to look anything like the picture then it needs to be covered in fondant."

Then I let them decide.  If they are insistent I either decline the order or add to the contract they were advised to have a fondant covered cake but declined. 

Some cakes can be done in buttercream but there are some that really have to be done in fondant.
 

Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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post #15 of 63
Virtually all of my cakes are covered in marshmallow fondant per the request of the customer. I really think taste all depends on the kind of fondant you use.

As far as the pearls, I think you give the bride a couple of choices along with price for each. Sounds like you know what will look good and what won't. Let her know you can't create something that you don't think will look perfect, and let her make the choice whether she wants to pay more or adjust her vision of the cake.
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