One of the most common questions I get asked every day is, “What is the difference between gumpaste and fondant?” Many people who come in and want to work with fondant or gumpaste for the first time are confused about which one is better to use for their particular cake project. They look exactly the same, sometimes on the outside, depending on the brand, as well as on the inside. I thought this would be a perfect question to explain on here!
The most simple answer to our questions is, Fondant is used to cover a cake and gumpaste is used to make flowers, bows and 3-D creations.
Fondant is a soft, pliable, roll-able icing to cover cakes, cupcakes and even cookies. It comes in an assortment of different colors as well as flavors (depending on the brand). My favorite brand to use is Satin Ice. Satin Ice is wonderful to work with and tastes good as well! The ladies and I at the shop even sometimes eat it right out of the bucket! I will be honest though, not all fondant has a good taste and is not so fun to work with. If you heard not so good things about fondant or have used it in the past and didn’t care for it, I defiantly recommend giving it another try! 🙂
Gum paste is a soft, mold-able substance used to make flowers, figurines, and other decorations. It will dry very quickly, while fondant doesn’t dry as quickly. It is very strong when dry, but will break if dropped or bumped. Gum pastes takes like an un-flavored neco wafer. You never want to cover your cake in gumpaste. If you want to make sugar flowers you want to use gumpaste. You can roll the gum paste thinner, so your flowers have a more realistic look to them, rather than fondant. Gumpaste also dries faster, so it will keeps its shape.
You can also mix fondant and gum paste together and get the best of both worlds: the flexibility of fondant and the strength of gum paste. We refer to this as a 50/50 mixture. Any time you want to make figurines or something 3D, I always use half gumpaste and half fondant.
To sum it up….If you are covering a cake, you want to use Fondant. If you want to make sugar flowers, 3-D accents and even bows, you want to use gumpaste. 50/50 mixture is used to make figurines. Hope this helped clear up the difference between the two!
Be sure to see our selection of Satin Ice fondant that we carry at the shop! Also, click here to go to Satin Ice’s website to watch some fun video tutorials on how to work with fondant! 🙂