The Tip of the Icing: Cake Decorating with Fondant Icing or Gum Paste?

07 Dec 2017 | Blog

When it comes to baking and decorating cakes, many people wonder what the differences are between fondant icing and gum paste – and which is best to use. There are several key points of difference that people should be aware of so they can make the right decision for their specific requirements, as making the wrong decision can mean the difference between success and failure. Fortunately, this blog post contains useful information about the differences between decorating cakes with fondant icing and gum paste.

Fondant Icing

Fondant icing is a sugar paste composed of confectioner’s sugar, gelatin, corn syrup and glycerine. Fondant is suitable for making sugar decorations, plaques, impressive patterns, small edible flowers, cupcake toppers and more. It can also be used to cover cakes, cupcakes and even cookies. An extremely versatile material, fondant icing offers cake bakers and decorators an endless amount of choice for decorating and personalising their creations.

The flexibility and versatility of fondant icing recipe is second to none. There are many different colours and flavours available to choose from, plus its softness and pliability makes fondant easy to roll out across cakes. The moisture from the cake and frosting also helps the fondant to maintain a soft consistency, making it easy to cut through. In addition, fondant allows people to paint, pipe, stamp and quilt the surfaces of their cakes.

Gum Paste

Although superficially similar to fondant icing, gum paste is commonly used for modelling 3D items. The paste can be rolled very thin and is often used to model flower petals and leaves as well as 3D figures and other very detailed objects. Although an edible product, the hardness and bland taste of the paste makes it less suitable for consumption.

Gum paste is composed of confectioner’s sugar and tylose as well as glucose and other ingredients, depending on the recipe. The biggest difference between gum paste and fondant icing is that gum paste turns rock hard after it has dried. This means it should never be used for covering cakes and other baked goods, as it can make cakes significantly more difficult to eat.

Want to Learn More?

At Hot Stuff Bakeware, our cake decorating shop offers the very best cake decorating supplies for domestic and commercial clients. Get in touch with us today to learn more about the differences between fondant icing and gum paste or to make a purchase.

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