When it comes to creating cute decorations for cakes there are a few cool materials you can try! Modeling chocolate, fondant and gum paste are the most popular. Which one, however, is going to be the best for you? It all depends on what you need. Don’t be surprised if a cake ends up with all three or more! If you’re unsure what’s what then read on…
Modeling Chocolate, Fondant, Gum Paste
This is a great material if you need something durable that sets quickly and holds shape. We like to use it for stand-up toppers. Anything that needs to stay upright like numbers work well as modeling chocolate accents!
We also used modelling chocolate for the cute bears that perch on the cake above. Instead of working with gum paste saturated with brown food coloring (it can feel sloppy) we opted for stiffer modeling chocolate!
Modeling chocolate is also great for keeping any patterns or impressions you make in it. Impressing fondant works well, but it stays soft for longer so it’s more likely to fade out. For the cupcakes above we pressed a wood grain into modeling chocolate plaques which helped show off the pattern! Modeling chocolate pros and cons
|Durable and holds shape well||Can soften quickly in extremely hot weather|
|Milk and dark chocolate options are great for darker / brown decorative work||Can feel slightly greasy if over worked (set aside for a few minutes)|
|Impresses well with textured mats and rolling pins||Can be stiff so needs to be warmed up via microwave for approx. 5 seconds|
|Colors well, but a cocoa based coloring is needed|
It’s also good for creating most cupcake toppers with too as they’re more likely to be eaten then saved!
Apart from the modeling chocolate coffee, salted pretzel and shopping bag handles on the NYC themed cupcakes above the rest is… fondant! Modeling Chocolate, Fondant, Gum Paste Fondant pros and cons
|Perfect for covering cakes as it stays pliable longer||Too soft for figure or flower work|
|Softer and easy to handle||eeds to set or stiffen a little for topper / plaque work|
This material is perfect for delicate flower work. It stiffens and holds it’s shape fairly quick. This also means that it can be rolled quite thin… perfect for petals.
Gum paste is also great for small leaves and foliage. The cake above features sprigs of gum paste eucalyptus. It may be tempting to make smaller wired leaves out of fondant instead of gum paste, but don’t. They’re still going to need a stronger material.
It’s also ideal for figures that need a little more durability. We like to use gum paste for figures that are going to stand on top of tall wedding tiers. The stiffer material helps keep the happy couple on top feel more stable. Gum paste pros and cons
|Durable||May set too quickly for more complex work|
|Sets quickly||Can feel stiff to work with|
|Great for delicate decorative work||needs warming or working before hand|