The reason I was about to say "When you get to be my age" was because I wanted to say that trends come and trends go, and I have seen a few trends in my day. These trends from the 80s for example. I had a charm necklace that Punky Brewster would have died for. It even had a tiny notebook with a tiny attached pencil that I wrote tiny notes to myself with. Man, was I ever cool.
Perhaps that's not the best example to illustrate the point, although it does illustrate how rad the 80s were.
The point, actually, is that buttercream is back. In a big way.
Before the birth of Pinterest, fondant (or sugar dough) was thought of by home bakers as mainly in the realm of professionals - or it was not thought of at all. When a home baker wanted to get all fancy-pants, they erred on the side of the Wilton Method, and started piping buttercream stars with abandon. Here is an example from my own files, my tried-and-true Super Bowl Sunday cake, circa 2011:
Even my Super Bowl Sunday cake changed with the times:
To be honest, I didn't do much research before starting this post, but I did just come across this nice little summary of some of the most current and on-trend buttercream techniques.
Anyway, here is the first of the two cakes I made for my friend Chris's 40th birthday last weekend, using this very technique. (And having two cakes for your 40th birthday is, by the way, utterly brilliant).
Chris's other cake was just as much of a delight: vanilla cake with coconut buttercream, with a few scattered pink sugar flowers that I made out of fondant. (And still, fondant finds a way to be useful!)
And although I hear the oft-repeated complaint, "fondant doesn't taste good," my 4-year-old Stacey likes to peel it off her cake and eat it like a Fruit Roll-Up.