Gum Paste vs Fondant: Difference and Comparison

Fondant and gum paste look to be extremely similar at first glance. They’re both soft doughs that may be ground and utilized to decorate cakes. However, these two cake decoration substances are very distinct.

Fondant and gum paste are both made by combining artificial sweeteners and fluid; even so, there are two key differences between the two.

Key Takeaways

  1. Gum paste dries harder and faster, making it ideal for intricate and delicate decorations, while the fondant is softer and more pliable, perfect for covering cakes.
  2. Gum paste contains gum additives that provide elasticity and strength, while fondant has no such additives.
  3. Fondant is more suitable for consumption, while gum paste is primarily used for decorative purposes.

Gum Paste vs Fondant

Gum paste is a sugar-based decorative paste used in baking for creating detailed shapes and designs that harden and hold their shape. Fondant is a type of icing made from sugar, water, gelatin, and glycerol, which is pliable and can be rolled out to cover cakes for a smooth finish.

Gum Paste vs Fondant

Gum paste is a delicate and moldable glucose paste that dries hard.  This makes it ideal for crafting intricate cake decorations such as roses, daisies, as well as other flowers.

Gum paste also dries rapidly, so keep it covered while working with it to prevent it from drying out. Though it is nutritious, do not eat gum paste embellishments or use it to decorate your cakes because it dries rather hard and might be tough to eat.

Fondant is an appetizing sugar dough that is used for cake decoration since it does not harden. It may be used to produce amusing embellishments or to cover cakes.

Fondant comes in a variety of hues and may be easily customized with food coloring to suit your requirements.

While fondant may be used to produce cake topper figures and cake decorations, it cannot generate intricate details like gum paste since it cannot be stretched out narrowly without ripping and does not dry as rigid.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGum PasteFondant
DryingGum paste hardens tightly.Fondant hardens somewhat less tightly.
TasteGum paste does not taste well and is quite hard for the mouth.Fondant tastes quite well and is quite soft for the mouth.
UseGum paste is used in decorating cakes or pastries.Fondant is used in covering the cakes or the pastries.
DecorsGum paste is the ideal decor for creating small and intimate cake accessories.Fondant is the ideal decor for creating large and big cake decorations.
RollsGum paste can be rolled into multiple thin sheets without tears or crusts.Fondant can be rolled into lesser thin sheets, but with tears or crusts.

What is Gum Paste?

Gum paste is a dough formed from confectioners’/icing sugar and a few additional components that make it much easier to work with when making sugar flowers, leaves, and other little items used to adorn cakes.

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After they have dried, you may paint them with food coloring or decorate them in a variety of ways. 

The paste is laid out thinly to produce flowers and leaves, and the petals and leaves are cut out using specially designed cutters or you may manufacture them without cutters, then stretched and molded with tools.

After they’ve dried, you’ll have stunning, porcelain-hard, life-like flowers. To manufacture items out of gum paste, either spread out the dough to the desired thickness and cut out forms with a knife, or press the dough into molds. 

Gum paste can be used uncolored or colored using gel-paste colors. It is mostly used to create lifelike sugar flowers and foliage, but it may also be used to create miniature things such as bells, shells, butterflies, boxes, and so on that are used to decorate celebration cakes. 

It can be consumed in principle because it’s manufactured with edible components, but it’s not designed to be consumed because when it’s dried, it’s exceedingly hard, and the gum it’s made with doesn’t taste very good.

Products made with gum paste are only for decoration.

gum paste

What is Fondant?

A fondant is a form of icing that is most used to sculpt or adorn cakes, cupcakes, or pastries. However, the texture of fondant is significantly different from that of other icings, which is what truly distinguishes it.

Fondant is available in two forms: rolling or pouring. 

Rolled fondant has the texture of clay but is a touch stiffer than you’re used to, whereas poured fondant is a gelatinous, thick liquid. For starters, the surface of a fondant cake differs greatly from that of a cake decorated with “normal” icing.

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Luxury cakes, such as those served at weddings or bat mitzvahs, need a more versatile decoration tool to achieve rich and unique designs. 

A type of rolled fondant called sculpting fondant is also commonly used. Fondant is an edible frosting composed entirely of edible materials.

Although the frosting is edible, you may notice individuals removing the fondant from cakes when eating cake because some people dislike the texture or flavor of fondant. 

Fondant keeps cakes fresh by sealing off the exterior surface of the cake. You may make the cakes ahead of time and keep them refrigerated; they will still taste delicious and fresh a few days later.

Fondant hardens when it gets cold, therefore it is best served at room temperature.

fondant

Main Differences Between Gum Paste and Fondant

  1. Gum paste tends to dry tightly, whereas fondant freezes less rigorously.
  2. Fondant has more taste and flavor and is soft upon eating while gum paste does not have any special flavors and can be quite hard for someone to eat.
  3. Fondant is used as a covering to cover the cakes, whereas gum paste is commonly used to make cake embellishments or cute decorations like rainbows or figurines.
  4. Gum paste is used to create smaller, more complex decors, whereas fondant is utilized to create larger, more elaborate cake embellishments.
  5. Gum paste can be rolled into several thin sheets without rips or crusts due to its rigidity, but fondant can only be formed into a few thin sheets and can have tears.
Difference Between Gum Paste and Fondant
References
  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/gfc.2011.11.1.71
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408390802248833

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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10 thoughts on “Gum Paste vs Fondant: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This information is really helpful, I didn’t know about these differences before. I think I would rather use gum paste than fondant for my next cake.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, it’s always good to have a clear understanding of what we’re using. This will be very helpful when baking cakes.

      Reply
  2. I’m glad to know the differences to avoid any mistake next time. Now I will use gum paste for decorating and fondant for covering cakes.

    Reply
  3. I understand since now it’s important that we shouldn’t eat gum paste or use it for decorating cakes. Thank you for highlighting that.

    Reply
  4. Very good on the information. I think it would be interesting to experiment with both substances and see which better suits my cake decorating needs.

    Reply

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