Difference Between Gumpaste and Fondant

Main Difference – Gumpaste vs Fondant 

Many people wonder about the difference between gumpaste and fondant since both look and act the same while rolling out. But the difference between gumpaste and fondant becomes obvious after dying. Fondant slightly hardens after drying, but it remains relatively soft. Gumpaste becomes quite stiff and brittle. Because of this nature, gumpaste is only used to make decorative figures; it is not used to cover a cake. This is the main difference between gumpaste and fondant.

What is Fondant

The term fondant actually refers to two types of fondants: rolled fondant and poured fondant. Poured fondant is a creamy paste in liquid form which is used as a filling. Rolled fondant is a dough-like paste which is used to cover and decorate cakes and pastries. Fondant is edible and has a sweet taste since it is mostly made out of sugar. In this article, we are discussing the characteristics of rolled fondant, not poured fondant, since it is rolled fondant which is often confused with gum paste.

Rolled fondant is commonly used to cover and decorate cakes. The basic ingredients of fondant are confectioner’s sugar and gelatin. Shortening is also added to this mixture to keep the sugar pliable; it is the shortening that adds a dough-like consistency to fondant. Because of this consistency, fondant is used to cover cakes and this cover usually has a polished, smooth appearance.

Fondant can also be used for decorations. It can be cut to different shapes and can be used to make little flowers, plaques, cupcake toppings, frills, and other patterns. However, you cannot use fondant for complex shapes that supports its own weight.

Main Difference - Gumpaste vs  Fondant

What is Gumpaste

Gumpaste is also a pliant dough-like paste like fondant, which is used for cake decorations. This paste is made out of confectioner’s sugar, egg whites, and shortening. Gumpaste can be rolled quite thin and is used primarily for hand modeling figures. Detailed decorations like flowers, leaves, and other intricate figures can be done in gumpaste. This is also known as florist paste.

Although gumpaste is edible, it is very stiff and rather bland in taste. Although fondant and gumpaste have similar textures at the beginning, gumpaste tends to dry quite hard and becomes brittle while fondant stays relatively soft. Therefore, gumpaste should never be used for covering a cake.

Difference Between Gumpaste and Fondant

Difference Between Gumpaste and Fondant 


Gumpaste is made of confectioner’s sugar, gelatin, and shortening.

Fondant is made of confectioner’s sugar, egg whites, and shortening.


Gumpaste is used for intricate and often hand modeled decorations.

Fondant is used for covering cakes as well as decorations


Gumpaste should not be used for covering cakes.

Fondant is used for covering cakes.


Gumpaste becomes hard and brittle after drying.

Fondant remains relatively soft even after drying.


Gumpaste is quite stiff and bland.

Fondant is very sweet.Difference Between Gumpaste and Fondant - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“32/365” by David D (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

“Orchids close up” by mags (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr 

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