Picking a Fondant: Pros and Cons

27 Feb

There are lots of different fondants on the market, and it is really hard to find the brand you like without trying them first. My last post I told you I entered into the Sweet Times in the Rockies Sugar Art Show. One of the perks for entering was a goodie bag! I was super excited about what could be in the goodie bag, so much that I didn’t even wait until we got home to check out what was inside! There was edible glitter, fondant, gel food coloring, cake bag, and more! A great way to try out new products in the cake world, as you may know it is an ever-growing and ever-changing. Three different types of fondant I received between the goodie bag and prize bag (I got second place!). There was Fondarific (Buttercream Antique White and Hot Pink), Satin Ice (Buttercream in White), and Bakels (Ivory Rolled Fondant Icing). I had also used Duff’s Buttercream Fondant in white for my competition cake. Disclaimer: I am not receiving payment for my review of these products, I am doing this for my readers. The paragraphs below are my opinion, and I know others might have a different experience with a certain brand. If you have any questions feel free to contact me using the contact page on the blog. I had a cake that I needed to cover one day, so I took out the Satin Ice in white. The first thing I noticed was that it was a true white. For use, I liked how I didn’t have to microwave it to make it pliable enough to knead it. See, I don’t have a microwave and putting it in the oven is time consuming. Plus the chances of me overheating the fondant now is greater. Next up is taste, I really had to suck it up to taste them all. Satin Ice was very sweet tasting almost like the buttercream frosting they use to cover cakes at grocery stores. Better than I remember, however it still had a fake aftertaste. I went to the Satin Ice website to find the ingredient list and nutrition facts. It said that information was available on request, however when looking deeper into a Google search there was a pdf of that information. The information was not exactly readily available for those looking due to allergy concerns. I kneaded the fondant and then started to roll it out. There was no need for corn starch because it wasn’t sticking to the counter. I already had the cake prepped and ready, so I rolled the Satin Ice to a quarter of an inch thick. Using the rolling pin to help me get the fondant centered, I continued on like I did when covering my competition cake. However, the fondant was already cracking and when trying to smooth out the sides it cracked even more. It had only been five minutes from when I had started kneading it, I couldn’t believe it. Thinking about the characteristics of the other fondants I had, I decided to take Duff™s buttercream fondant and create a fifty- fifty ratio with the Satin Ice fondant. I didn’t choose Fondarific because I had to soften it in the oven first and I was running out of time. The combination of the two worked out great because Duffs never cracked on me before, and the two made a really nice pliable product easy to work with. A super fondant I like to call it! Cost of Satin Ice is $23 (average) with shipping included for two pounds. Without the shipping added the base price for the fondant is an average of $16 for two pounds. Pros of Satin Ice in White: A true white color, ability to use it straight out of the container with no heating necessary, and taste is okay. Cons of Satin Ice in White: The fondant cracks too easily. Moving on to Duffs buttercream fondant in white, I used this fondant to cover all the tiers of my competition cake. I was a little disappointed to find that the white, is more of an ivory. However, it is not a big issue as long as you know beforehand. The hard part was softening it, since I didn’t have a microwave I had to put it in the oven. It was very easy to work with after that, and I did have to dust some cornstarch on the counter to help it not to stick. Like the packaging says it does have a rich flavor, but in my opinion without the fake aftertaste. I used a little under six pounds for four tiers plus the cake board. On two of the tiers I covered them twice. In all I think this fondant had great coverage! Duffs fondant costs $20 for two pounds at Michaels Craft Store, however if you can get a 40% off coupon it brings it down to $12 (rounded up) for two pounds. Pros of Duffs Buttercream Fondant in White: Never had a problem with the product cracking, taste is good, and a pliable product. I didn’t have to wait for shipping as I could pick it up in a store. Cons of Duffs Buttercream Fondant in White: If needing a true white this wouldn’t work, if someone has soy or milk allergy this product could not be used, and having to microwave the fondant to soften in order to work with. On the Fondarific packaging they have lots of information about the product. Boasting that it has unlimited work time, which is great for those of us that are still working out the kinks in covering cakes in a timely manner. The company even included a card inside the container talking about the product in the summer and winter months. I thought that was a great touch, especially for beginners like me who are still getting an idea of what is normal when working with fondant. The card did say that in winter months,Fondarific may arrive hard, and to put it into the microwave. For the summer months it seems that it will come soft and pliable, taking out the need to microwave it. I have not had a chance to cover a whole cake in Fondarific’s Buttercream Fondant in Antique White. However, I took a small amount of fondant to soften it in the oven and kneaded it. I rolled it out without any problems, and with no assistance of cornstarch. I placed it on a dummy cake already covered in fondant, no cracking at all. It was very pliable, easy to work with and coverage was great. The taste is of course was sweet with a hint of butter flavor. Cost for Fondarific is $13.29 on Fondarific’s website for two pounds with the cheapest shipping at $10.52 (UPS Ground service). Pros for Fondarific Buttercream Fondant in Antique White: Easy to work with after softening it, the taste is best, and true representation of color stated. Cons for Fondarific Buttercream Fondant in Antique White: Would not be able to use for those with soy or milk allergies. I am familiar with the Bakels brand because I use their gum paste for making my sugar flowers. They have had the most consistent product I have tried to date, and also cost effective. The amount of gum paste I use, I can’t spend $10 on only a pound of gum paste. I also appreciate that they do not use plastic for their product packaging. I opened up the Bakels Ivory Rolled Fondant Icing; the smell kind of threw me off. It is like a metallic sweet smell, something I was not ready for. The taste was very sweet (of course) and had a familiar taste of a marshmallow filling. Again I have not had a chance to cover a whole cake in Bakels Ivory Rolled Fondant Icing. However, I took a small amount of fondant and kneaded it. I rolled it out without any problems, with no cornstarch or anything to help it not stick. I think if using a larger amount there might be a need to dust the counter to help it not stick though. I placed it on a dummy cake already covered in fondant, with no cracking at all. It was very pliable and easy to work with. I can see that it possibly have some cracking issues if not working fast enough, or if it was rolled out too thin. Something to keep in mind when working with this fondant. Cost for Bakels is $19.55 for five pounds with $7.95 cost for shipping on Countrykitchensa.com. Pros for Bakels Ivory Rolled Fondant Icing: Pliable, workable out of packaging, and easy to use. Cons for Bakels Ivory Rolled Fondant Icing: The smell and aftertaste were the biggest cons for me. Overall I think the last three brands are similar in pliability, ease of use, and having an okay taste. I will leave it up to you to pick a fondant based on the cost/availability plus preference on a specific brand. As for taste, most of the time the fondant is taken off the cake before eating so rarely does the taste effect decision. However, I prefer a fondant that will taste good and have a pleasant smell if going on something that will be eaten. I took a picture of all the fondants next to each other, and because of the slight differences I wanted to show you up close and comparing them all together at once. The far left is Fondarific Antique White, next is Satin Ice Buttercream White, followed by Duff’s Buttercream Fondant in White, and then Bakels Ivory Rolled Fondant Icing. What is your favorite fondant to use and why?

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2 Responses to “Picking a Fondant: Pros and Cons”

  1. Kelly April 12, 2014 at 7:22 am #

    I’m wondering about the specifics of how you warmed the duff fondant in the oven. I also do not have a microwave :)Time and temp?

  2. Angela June 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    Hello!

    I hope this helps! I first cut the fondant into smaller pieces (like 1 inch thick by 4 inches, just don’t go too small) I put the fondant on a cookie sheet, and set the temp for 190 F.. For time, I just checked every 3 minutes, making sure that I didn’t overheat it. I hope that helps!!

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