Tip: Fondant vs Gum-paste

on Monday, November 26, 2012

Tip on Fondant vs Gum-paste by www.dish-away.com

I have never had formal cake decoration training!!! I learnt what I know from a few cake decoration books I have plus a lot of trial and error. Last year I started watching some videos on cake decoration on Youtube…. Oh my God the good stuff you can find and learn in this cyber world!!

Many have sent me messages requesting the recipe for the fondant! But before I post the recipes I  use for that, I want to share with you some of the information I learned over there years on fondant that I wished I had known years ago… before the many mishaps in the kitchen, LOL. 

There are two different and distinct cake decoration dough (let us call it dough for now) that is made from sugar. The first is rolled fondant and the second one is gum paste!  I didn’t know that until a two years ago!! Maybe it is because in Arabic both are called the same: sugar dough.  

If I had known this difference I would probably have averted many decoration disasters!

So what is the difference you ask? and why is it important? 

Right after preparation both are very similar! They are, sugar white colored, dough-like, pliable, soft and have a sugary sweet taste.  In short, they look and function exactly the same way while rolling.

The difference happens as they dry out.  Gum-paste hardens as it dries out and becomes more as hard candy, while fondants remains soft and pliable. This distinction plays a big role in what they are used for.  


Fondant is a fun, flexible, icing, that also happens to taste yummy and chewy, especially if you prepare the Marshmallows Fondant. It is very easy to work with it and mold it. 

As it dries, fondant slightly hardens but pertains its pliable and flexible form.  Fondant can be shaded any color you want with food coloring, preferably the gel or paste food coloring.  

Fondant is mostly rolled-out and used to cover cakes and cupcakes. It creates a porcelain-like, polished and beautiful finish that can be painted and stamped.

Fondant is also used for decorating cakes with cutouts and molded shapes as long as these will lie flat against the cake. Such as this cake below that I pulled from the web.  

Fondant will not hold shape and support it’s own weight so it is not recommended to use it when your want to make 3-D shapes.

Tip on Fondant vs Gum-paste

Gum paste:

Gum Paste is also a sugar-based, pliable dough that includes gum taganath (I use Gum-tex from Wilton). This assists the dough to harden as it dries until it is almost like hard candy. This makes gum paste perfect for when want to prepare flowers, bows, 3-dimensional figures and shapes.  It can also be rolled very thin and prepare leaves, flowers and detailed decorations that will hold form as they dry. Gumpaste is never used to cover cakes.

can be shaded any color you want with food coloring, preferably the gel or paste food coloring

It is very important to remember that while working on your decoration keep the excess amount that you are not immediately working on, tightly wrapped so it doesn’t dry out.

I made these angry birds shapes with gumpaste for my daughter’s 9th birthday. The green grass is made out of rolled fondant.   

Tip on Fondant vs Gum-paste by www.dish-away.com

To remember:

  • Both fondant and gumpaste should be stored tightly wrapped in a nylon bag. I store them in the fridge.
  • Keep fondant and gumpaste away from liquids.
  • When using gumpaste, after you finish making your decoration give it enough time to completely dry. 
  • After layering your cake with rolled fondant, refrigerate. This keeps the fondant crisp and smooth.

Hope you enjoyed today’s easy tip: Fondant vs Gum Paste. Bon appetite.

Press link for my Marshmallow Fondant Recipe.
Press link for my Gum Paste Recipe.

اضغط الرابط لقراءة عجينة السكر.. ما هي؟ أنواعها واستعمالاتها باللغة العربية