Food

Difference Between Fondant and Royal Icing

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Main Difference

The main difference between Fondant and Royal Icing is that the Fondant is icing for the cake that is made up of icing sugar, corn syrup, water, and gelatin, whereas the ingredients of royal icing are icing sugar, gelatin, and egg whites.

Fondant vs. Royal Icing

Fondant is icing for the cake that includes icing sugar, water, gelatin, and corn syrup. Royal icing is another type of icing used for cake and cookies decoration; its ingredients are icing sugar, gelatin, and egg whites. Fondant is comparatively less hard than the royal icing; on the other hand, royal icing is more reliable for cake and cookies decoration as it is harder than fondant. The fondant is placed on the cake by rolling it and giving it a shape out and placed on the cake; on the contrary, royal icing is applied to the cupcakes or cookies in coats with the help of an icing gun.

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Fondant can cover the cake, and it is used to give different colors, shapes, and forms to the cake; on the other side, royal icing is not used to cover the whole cake, but it is used to decorate it in many ways. Fondant has different types, i.e., poured fondant, rolled fondant, sculpting fondant, and sugar paste; on the flip side, royal icing has no types. A layer of buttercream is sometimes applied under the fondant layer for better adherence; on the other hand, the marzipan layer is often applied under Royal icing to prevent color from mixing.

Comparison Chart

FondantRoyal Icing
Fondant is a type of hard icing having a clay-like consistency.Royal Icing is a pure white hard type of icing.
Ingredients
Fondant ingredients are icing sugar, corn syrup, water, and gelatin in contrast.Royal icing ingredients are icing sugar and egg whites, (glycerine is added to avoid dryness).
Hard
It is relatively less hard.It is harder than fondant.
Underneath Layer
ButtercreamMarzipan
Applied
It is rolled out and placed on the cake.It is applied in coats.
Covering
It is used to cover cakes.It is not generally used to cover cakes.
Piping
Not well suited for piping.Ideal for piping.
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What is Fondant?

Fondant is a type of hard icing having a clay-like consistency. It is typically made of icing sugar, corn syrup, water, and gelatin. Due to its harder consistency, it is used to decorate the cakes. Usually, edible flowers and decorations are made by the fondant and applied to the cakes. It can also be molded into a sheet rolled over the cakes. When the fondant is implemented as a sheet on the cake, it seals out the air. That is why it is also used to preserve fruitcakes.

Fondant has two main types of Poured fondant and rolled fondant. Poured fondant is made by mixing cream, sugar, and corn syrup and cooking this mixture. It is then poured into cakes and other desserts. Poured fondant is used as a filling or coating for cakes, pastries, food like éclairs and petit fours, etc. Rolled fondant is also known as pertinence and sugar paste. It also uses gelatin as an ingredient that keeps the sugar pliable and adds consistency to the icing.

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Types

  • Poured Fondant: have a creamy texture, made of confectioner’s sugar and corn syrup.
  • Sculpting Fondant: similar to the rolled fondant, stiffer consistency, suitable for baking projects.
  • Rolled Fondant: (pertinence), traditional fondant, roll out, and cover cakes smoothly.
  • Sugar Paste: similar to the rolled fondant, hardens completely.
  • Quick-Pour Fondant: made over the stove, used to dry and harden cakes and petit fours.
  • Leftover Fondant: can be reused by reheating.

What is Royal Icing?

Royal Icing is a pure white hard type of icing that is made from confectioner’s sugar, egg whites. Sometimes other ingredients are also added to it for different tastes such as lime, lemon, or cream of tartar. It has a white color, and it is the most traditional of all icings used to make traditional cakes and desserts. Royal icing is commonly used in wedding cakes, Christmas cakes, flavored cookies, themed cakes, gingerbread houses, and various other bakery products. This type of icing is perfect for piping (adding details, i.e., dots, flowers, or swirls). It can also be colored by using food colors.

Royal Icing can settle easily, and the designs made by it last longer due to its dried texture. Glycerin is usually added to royal icing to prevent hardness. It is ideal for piping and adding intricate details to cakes and cookies. However, it cannot be rolled out to make flowers and stuff. It is mainly coated on a cake. Royal icing is very sweet to taste, and some people do not eat its layer on the cake. However, royal icing is not used to cover large surfaces or curved as it is a dried icing and tends to crack. Before placing the royal icing on cakes, marzipan layer is often placed beneath its layer to prevent the discoloration of the icing.

Key Differences

  1. Fondant is a cake icing that includes icing sugar, corn syrup, water, and gelatin, whereas royal icing is made of icing sugar and egg whites (glycerine is also sometimes added).
  2. Fondant is less hard; on the other hand, the royal icing is harder than fondant.
  3. A layer of buttercream is sometimes applied under the fondant layer for better adherence; on the flip side, the marzipan layer is often used under royal icing to prevent color from mixing.
  4. Fondant is placed on the cake by rolling it and giving it a shape out and placed on the cake, whereas royal icing is applied on the cakes or cookies in coats with the help of an icing gun.
  5. Fondant has different types, i.e., poured fondant, rolled fondant, sculpting fondant, and sugar paste; on the contrary, royal icing has no types.
  6. Fondant can cover the cake, and it is used to give different colors, shapes, and forms to the cake; conversely, royal icing is not used to cover the whole cake, but it is used to decorate it in many other ways.
  7. Fondant is not suitable for piping as it is harder; on the contrary, royal icing is considered the best for piping and many other intricate details of cake and cookies.

Conclusion

Fondant and Royal Icing are the two different types of hard icing. The difference between them lies in their various ingredients. Both the icings are primarily used to decorate the cakes and cookies.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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