Can we all just agree that the best part of wedding planning is cake tasting!? Catering is a close second, but it’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth so cake will always come first in my book! I’ve briefly considered pretending to be engaged just to get to go to these again…
All joking aside, as a Washington, DC wedding photographer, I know that cake tasting is serious business. It’s so much more than just deciding what flavors you’ll have for guests to enjoy; it’s also about determining the aesthetics and design of your cake! Wedding cakes typically scale anywhere from 3-7 tiers, making them a centerpiece of your reception, which means looks are often just as important as taste. One of the key factors that greatly affects both taste and appearance is making the decision between buttercream and fondant.
If you haven’t ever encountered fondant, let me be the first to tell you that generally, it’s not delicious. It’s basically sugar-water that has been cooked and formed into a chewy, flat surface. While it’s absolutely edible, personally, I’m not a huge fan. Buttercream, however, comes in a variety of delectable flavors and let’s be honest… what’s a better combination than butter + sugar?
You’re probably thinking, “it doesn’t really sound like much of a contest….” but the truth is while fondant may not taste fantastic, it’s what makes wedding cakes look so smooth and elegant! Fondant is truly the only way you can get that sleek form on sculpted cakes as buttercream is much more spreadable and therefore, cannot hold a completely stiff form. Fondant allows for those intricate little details that are shaped and molded and wouldn’t hold up with just a traditional frosting. It’s actually so sturdy, that the baker can “paint” on the fondant, making colors look very natural and true to life. So while fondant may not be as scrumptious as buttercream, it is significantly more attractive and creates a more detail-oriented cake.
But did I mention? Buttercream is heavenly. So really, the choice is yours! Deciding between aesthetics and taste can be a huge decision and I know there are some very talented bakers out there who can apply fondant over a thick buttercream layer so you can have the best of both. But it’s best to leave that level of detail to the experts, so I’m going to leave you with some amazing options to reach out to for your wedding day!
Catherine George Cakes
Maggie Austin Cake
A few more examples below — first up, fondant!
And delicious buttercream begins here!