Do you know your cream cheese frosting from your buttercream and your Royal Icing from your fondant? Whether an amateur baker or cake baking professional, it’s important to choose the right frosting or icing to finish off your cakes that will complement their flavour, leaving a lasting visual impact too. At The Cake Decorating Company, we want to make your decorating experience super easy, so we’re breaking down the main types of icing and frosting in our handy guide so that you’re guaranteed a perfect finish. Get ready for show-stopping cakes every time with our beginner’s guide to cake frosting.
The best frosting for your cake is the one that best suits the type of cake and the finished look that you’re trying to achieve. Here are some of the most commonly used types of icing;
A softer consistency that’s easy to work with and spread, buttercream is a great coating for decoration and also works as a delicious and tasty filling. Easy to make, simply cream together icing sugar and butter into a fluffy consistency, adding vanilla extract to the cream for extra flavour. The main thing to be mindful of when making your buttercream is the quality of butter that you use for the mix, as this can impact on the taste, consistency and appearance of the cream.
If you’re looking for a much lighter frosting for your cakes, whipped cream is a perfect choice. Whipped cream is made by cold-whipping heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract and icing sugar until it’s light and fluffy. The perfect topper for meringues or as an addition to cheesecake, chantilly cream is light and full of flavour.
Usually used to decorate dense fruit cakes, Royal Icing is made by beating egg whites, lime juice and icing sugar together until smooth enough to spread. A fluid, white paste that solidifies once dry, it’s used to decorate Christmas cakes, cookies, wedding cakes, biscuits and gingerbread houses. It’s also an effective choice for creating sharp peaks.
The perfect pairing to cupcakes, carrot cakes, red velvet cake and a delicious doughnut and pastry filling, cream cheese frosting is made by creaming together butter, icing sugar and cream cheese. A richer and heavier frosting than most types, use high-fat cream cheese for the best taste and texture.
Most popularly used to cover celebration cakes, or for making small, flat decorations that don’t require a lot of detail, fondant is soft, flexible and pliable. Containing glycerine which makes it easy to stretch without tearing, it’s great when used with silicone moulds and can easily be reshaped.
In terms of ease, buttercream is the best frosting to use as it’s easy to make and relatively easy to spread. Great for covering and piping, it’s full of flavour too, making for a perfectly tasty topping.