On Saturday I went to the second of my cupcake decorating classes. This class was all about working with fondant. Here are the cupcakes I finished. Working with fondant is a lot slower and fussier than piping buttercream icing. I'm starting to understand why bakeries can charge so much for their fancy wedding cakes, etc.!
We looked at a lot of amazing ideas in books and magazines and then worked on learning some basic techniques from which we'd basically be able to tackle any number of ideas or themes. We used various cutters, texture mats, moulds, stencils, etc. By the end of the afternoon, I was getting tired and hungry when Maria, the instructor was showing me how to use the extruder. I happened to use yellow fondant, and the resulting strands looked like spaghetti to me so in addition to some 'pretty' cupcakes, I ended up making a plate of spaghetti and meatballs for one of my cupcakes.
Although it's a lot of fun (much like playing with plasticene!) and can result in some very pretty and creative cupcakes, my husband and I decided that we both prefer the taste and texture of the buttercream iced cupcakes (If you've never had it, fondant is sort of a chewy, tasteless but sweet candy).
I think for my purposes, piping buttercream gives me enough opportunity for creative and attractive cupcakes (you can see some of my earlier cupcakes here and here). I did experiment with putting some of the fondant flowers on top of the piped cupcakes and I though that looked pretty, but again I'm not sure it's worth the time involved to create them.