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Six Fondant Alternatives for Cake Decorating

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The joke about using fondant for cakes is you should Fon "don't". Ask 10 people if they like the taste of fondant, 6 will say the dislike the taste, 2 will like it, and 2 will not know what fondant is.

So what is Fondant?

Ingredients-wise fondant is a sugar and water paste that is used for making cake, cupcake and cookie decorations. It can sometimes have a little glycerin, corn syrup, and flavorings in it to make different flavors and colors and textures.

Why do we use fondant for cake decorations?

So you can make beautiful and amazing cakes. The advantage of fondant is that it allows you to make unique decorations by shaping the paste either with molds, like we do with ComposiMold molds, or by hand. It looks beautiful and allows the cake decorator to make amazing creations. AND, you CAN have fondant look and taste amazing. Stay tuned, we'll talk about that below.

Why do so many people dislike the taste of Fondant?

My opinion on why people dislike the taste of fondant is that they have only tried the lousy brands. The typical fondant that people first try is the junk bought at the box store or chain art stores. The comparison would be to say you hate hamburgers because the only hamburger you've tasted came from McDonald's. There are so many incredible options out there or you can make it yourself to make extremely tasty fondant for your cakes.

But sometimes you want other options.

Alternative to Fondant for Cake Decorating

1. Use better fondant. There's two options for using better fondant, either make it yourself or buy better brands. Making fondant is relatively easy. Many like the marshmallow flavored fondant, but other versions taste great too, if made well and with quality ingredients. The disadvantage to making your own is that it doesn't last a long time. So if you're making a cake, not only do you have to deal with the cake making, now you have the fondant making, before you even get to the cake decorating part. So it can be a huge time-saver to just use pre-made fondant, just don't use the junky fondant.


  • 1 (.25 ounce, 2 full teaspoons) package unflavored gelatin
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • ½ cup glucose syrup or corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon glycerin
  • 2 tablespoons (1oz/30g) shortening or butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Mix together. There's also tons of recipes out there for the marshmallow recipe.

Alternatives to making your own fondant, there are many very good tasting brands out there. Of the large brands, Satin Ice is probably on the better side. Choco-pan is nice. And Pettinance is a great taste. And they are great for mold making.

2. Use gum paste. It's very similar in texture to fondant, but is closer to the typical buttercream frosting. It's made with egg, shortening, and confectioner sugar. For the longest time, this was my go-to frosting recipe for sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies.

3. For decorations, use isomalt. I couldn't imagine covering a cake with this, but it's great for decorations and is very popular in many cake decorating competitions. It's basically a hard candy that you can form by melting. The isomalt is not sugar based. You can find lots of isomalt options at simi-cakes.

4. Use sugar candy. You know the candy apple material? It can be almost any flavor and like isomalt, you can make some amazing designs. The recipe is super easy. Check out the previous blog posting on how to make the sugar candy for mold making.

5. Chocolate! My favorite. I love chocolate. And you can make it act almost exactly like fondant by adding corn syrup. The chocolate comes in many variations. For molding decorations, you can use the chocolate as is. If you want to make it moldable, you can use modeling chocolate, or candy clay, or chocolate modeling clay as it's sometimes called. I've seen it also called chocolate plastic, which I think is a great description. Chocolate plastic is just chocolate melted and then corn syrup is added to it to give it some flexibility.

6. And if all those alternatives to fondant don't get you excited, you can use frosting. You know that's tasty, and works.

Well, there are 6 alternatives to fondant for cake decorations. What did we forget? What alternatives do you use?

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