Those of us who are into cake decorating, think of the beautiful icing designs when we think of cake. Icing is the finishing touch on cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. There are several different types of icing used in cake decorating. The choice of icing while cake decorating, will have a great deal to do with how the decorated cake will look.
1. Buttercream Icing: Buttercream is the icing that is used the most in cake decorating. This is the same type of frosting that we can buy readymade in the grocery store. This icing is easy to use and very easy to make. The ingredients are confectioners sugar, and butter or shortening. What you use to thin the frosting will differ with the icing texture you need to work with, to determine whether to use eggs or milk. Becareful, when thinning the frosting, remember, a little milk goes a long way. If you find the frosting is too thin, you can add a bit of confectioners sugar to thicken it.
2. Foam Icing: This is a meringue and is used on lemon pie or Baked Alaska. This frosting is made of egg whites beaten into stiff peaks. It is possible to add flavoring and color to the meringue. You will not be able to use this icing for intricate cake decorating, and you won’t be able to use an icing bag with this icing. This icing is used when you want the cake to look fluffy, with little ornate decoration.
3. Fondant: This icing is very popular with those who decorate wedding cakes, and cakes for very special occasions. The ingredients are simply powdered sugar, water, cream of tartar, or glucose. Fondant is thick and doughy, with a silky, smooth, texture. Fondant will give the cake a flawless surface, and soft, rounded edges. Working with fondant is an art and will take practice to get it right. Fondant has a translucent quality, and will work best when placed on the cake over a thin layer of buttercream frosting.