Don't you agree that a creamy, rich frosting really transforms a simple cake to a fancy looking delicious one? The frosting is used to cover the outsides of the cake to give it a fluffy appeal. Did you know that frosting is different from icing? The basic difference between the two is that frosting is thick and fluffy while the icing is thinner and glossier. The frosting is cream based and has a buttery taste, and due to its shape holding ability, frosting is used in decorating purposes. Of course, there are all sorts of frostings differentiated by the method of preparation. With a wide variety of options available, the hard part is to decide which types of frosting is ideal to land on the top of your dessert.
Even if you are a buyer, it's beneficial to know about frosting to decide which cake you want to taste next. For all the bakers out there, why don't you explore through the collection of different frosting techniques before you plan to bake your next cake? Because baking, but putting a wrong frosting on a cake can be your worst nightmare.
Types of Frosting
Types of frosting can be divided into six broad categories: Buttercream, Fondant, Whipped Cream, Glaze, Cheese Cream, and Ganache.
This one makes to the top of the list because it’s the most popular types of frosting. Maybe because it requires lesser ingredients and its application is easy. It's made by combining butter (not always) with icing sugar. There are endless options to add flavour and colour to this frosting. But, not all buttercream is made the same (though the base is same); thus, it is further divided into subcategories.
American Style (Simple Buttercream): This one is a classic. Main ingredients are butter and powdered sugar. Optional ingredients include milk, milk solids and eggs (full or just egg whites).
French Buttercream: This is the richest buttercream, and yet it is incredibly lightweight. But do not confuse it with french French Meringue Buttercream. Start by combining hot sugar and beaten egg yolks, yes, yolks not whites. Beat until you attain foamy texture and then add butter and beat again till light and creamy.
It's further divided into three primary forms-
Swiss Meringue Buttercream: Heated egg whites and sugar are combined, cooked, and then whipped with butter at room temperature.
Italian Meringue Buttercream: Pour boiling sugar slowly into egg white mixture, then add cubes of butter after it has cooled down.
French Meringue Buttercream: It works on a simple principle like Italian and swiss meringue, you have to switch egg whites with egg yolks.
Fondant is heavy types of frosting which are by the way which is beautiful to look at you are probably going to use for fruit and chocolate cakes. It has a thick and shiny texture and can be stretched without tearing. But it can be kneaded and rolled and molded into shapes by the help of decorating tools. Combination of water, food-grade glycerine, sugar (icing), gelatin, the firmness of fondant helps in keeping the cake fresh for longer, making it appropriate for bigger cakes. Fondant is not only beautiful to look at and but also easy to make. Available in ready to use the form in white and ivory colours, but can be dyed to any colour.
Whipped Cream Frosting:
This delicious stuff is consists of stabilized whipped cream, powdered sugar, and flavours and can be used as a frosting or filling for cakes. This types of frosting are also amongst the popular ones. It has the power to turn a simple cake into a masterpiece. Add butter or gelatin for extra soft and smooth texture that won't melt quickly. Make sure you don't overbeat the ingredients which will make it turn grainy. Due to all the fresh ingredients and no preservatives used in making cakes with these types of frosting needs to be refrigerated and consumed to the earliest.
The glaze is the most straightforward frosting and is divided into two categories.
- Powdered Sugar Glaze: As the name suggests, powdered sugar is combined with a liquid (milk or water) to form a thin consistency like a syrup depending on the ration of both ingredients. It is drizzled all over the cakes, cookies, and donuts to form a hard crust when the glaze sets in.
- Chocolate Glaze: Chocolate glaze is also thin and glossy, made of powdered sugar, chocolate, butter, and water. The consistency can be controlled by varying the amount of powdered sugar depending upon whether you want to drizzle it over your dessert or want a more firm coating. Whether translucent or opaque, this frosting makes sets to make a perfect coating. Use it on the slices of cake, butter cookies, donuts, etc.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Think about any pastry that is rich with creamy and cheesy deliciousness. All thanks to this cream cheese frosting. It's the reason behind that taste. It is made with combining buttercream frosting and high-quality cream cheese (quality can vary the taste), these types of frosting are filled in donuts, pastries, and cakes. As it is loaded with cheese, it's a bit heavier than other frostings. Cheese cream frosting is mostly clubbed with carrot cakes, red velvet cakes, or hummingbird cakes. Tip: use high-fat cream cheese to get the best flavour and texture.
In simple words, ganache is melted chocolate combined with heavy cream. The ratios of both the ingredients are almost the same. It's a bit liquid when applied on the cake, but gets firmer as it sets in.
Tip for easy ganache dessert: chill and beat ganache to make it fluffy and firm and convert it into the ball. Treat for all the chocolate lovers.
Now, the question remains, which types of frosting should you use? Because it's the first thing you taste while enjoying a piece of cake, you must choose carefully.