Before I got into baking, and learned how to whip up buttercream frosting from memory, these sweet confections were an enigma. While chatting with a friend who recently got engaged last month, we started laughing about how little we knew about all the options for topping your cake!
After doing a little research on a few of the most popular wedding cake frostings, we’ve devised a savvy little dictionary just for you! We hope you find this as helpful as we do! Feel free to chime in and let us know what you’ve chosen for your wedding cake, and why!
Our Wedding Frosting Dictionary:
Buttercream Frosting: One of the most common frostings with a very creamy, smooth texture that remains fairly soft due to it’s composition. Made from butter, cream, and sugar – buttercream frosting is easily flavored and colored, but because of its ductile and generally soft finish, it is not as manipulatable as other frostings such as fondant.
Cream Cheese Frosting: Generally favored with a rich cake, such as red velvet, or on cupcakes because of it’s thick and creamy texture. Cream cheese frosting is made from cream cheese and sugar, and does not hold up well in heat or humidity.
Rolled Fondant: Unlike buttercream and cream cheese frosting, fondant is kneaded in order to cover the cake with a smooth, satiny surface. Generally fondant is applied over a cake that already has a thin layer of frosting to lock in the moisture. One of the main complaints about fondant is that, although beautifully smooth, is difficult to eat and is often discarded – if this is a concern, consider asking about marshmallow fondant!
Ganache: A rich frosting made by combining chocolate and heavy cream that is used as either filling or frosting. The consistency is more dense than whipped cream frosting, but less dense than thick fudge and will not hold up well in extreme environments. Ganache frostings are generally refrigerated prior to sitting out!
Gum Paste: A very moldable frosting created with sugar, cornstarch and gelatin. Gum paste is often used to create realistic garnishes and it’s durability makes it strong enough to withstand heat and humidity better than other frostings.
Marzipan: This malleable frosting is made from a paste of finely ground almonds, sugar and egg whites. When freshly prepared it can be rolled into sheets, similar to a fondant, and can be used as icing over the entire cake. Marzipan frosting can also be molded into shapes and painted with food coloring.
Royal Icing: A rigid frosting that is created with egg whites and fine confectioners sugar that are churned into a paste which is used to garnish the exterior portions of a cake. It’s brittle and firm nature when dry, make it perfect for small details.
Spun Sugar: A caramelized sugar that is pulled into strands and can be easily formed into shapes. This icing has the potential to soften, warp, or melt, so it’s preferably kept in a cooler environment.
Whipped Cream Frosting: Whipped cream icing is fantastic for piping borders and for filling the inside of the wedding cake. The frosting can be stabilized to varying degrees depending on it’s purpose and is very light in texture.
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