Icing, Frosting And Advance Cake Decoration

Icing or Frostings can be defined as sweet coating for cake and other baked goods in a simple language. Frosting is thick and fluffy and used to coat the outside and often inner layer of cakes while Icing is thinner than frosting and used for detail decoration. The main purpose of using Icing and Frosting is to improve cake appearence and quality of cake as it forms protective coating around it. They are sweet and creamy glaze made of sugar with liquid Such as water or milk and can be enriched with egg whites , butter , cream and flavouring. It also acts as cover to decorate baked goods. If it is used between layer of cakes , it is called fillings.

Frosting is what we see on cup cake or coating cake and is usually thick , cloudlike and can be piped out into swirling shape . It doesn't dry while  Icing is sugary glaze and is too thin  for piping. It dries hard 

There are different basic kinds of Icings :-

1. Fondant
2. Butter cream
3. Foam type Icing
4. Fudge type Icing
5. Flat type Icing
6. Royal icing
7. Glazed
8. Ganache

1. Fondant :- Fondant is a sugar syrup that is crystallized to a smooth creamy white mass and when applied it sets to shiny , non - sticky coating.  It is mainly used for first coating on fruit cakes before applying Royal icing. It is icing made of sugar , water , gelatine and vegetable Fat normally.  The word Fondant in french meant  "melting" and to made it , granulated or cube sugar with water is boiled till it reaches soft ball stage which is then tested by dropping little syrup in iced water where it will form a ball under but loosed it shape immediately when exposed to air. The syrup is immediately cooled and poured out into cold surface to form white solid which is then kneaded and left to ripen in cool place .

2. Butter Cream :- They are light ,smooth mixture of fat and icing sugar which may also contain eggs to increase their smoothness. It is made of butter ,icing sugar with milk and flavouring which is beated untill creamy and smooth. Simple butter cream are made by creaming together fat and sugar to the desired consistency. Small quantity of egg may be whipped to obtained desired lightness. Similarly, decorator butter cream is simple butter cream used for making flowers and other cake decoration which is creamed only a little because if too much air is incorporated ,delicate shape would not be hold.  Meringue type butter cream are prepared by first beating egg whites and adding boiling syrup or sugar then soft butter is mixed . Moreover, french butter cream is similar to meringue type but the mixture is made with whole egg and boiling syrup. It is very popular and used for covering many kinds of cake.

3. Foam type Icings :-  They are also known as boiled icing and are made made with boiling syrup. It may contain gelatine and is simple meringue which is applied thickly to cake and left in peaks. These icing are not stable and  should be used the day prepared.

4. Fudge type Icings :- It is heavy , thicked , rich cooked icings which are used on cup cakes , loaf cakes and sheet cakes. It can be flavoured by variety of ingredients. 

5. Royal icing :- it is mainly used in wedding Cakes and made from icing sugar beaten with egg whites and lemon juice . It is applied over fondant and to make royal icing - egg whites are are beated at first ,then icing sugar and lemon juice are beated till smooth white.

6. Glace / Glaze :- it is thin transparent coating that gives shine to baked products and help prevent drying. They are brushed over small cakes to give smooth finished 

7. Ganache :- It was created in 1850 in Paris and is flavoured cream made with chocolate and fresh cream with butter added . Sometimes, it may be  used as a sauce or to glaze cake and it may be whipped and used as fillings also.

Basic point For selection of Icings :-

1. Always use best quality and flavouring

2. The flavor of frosting should not be stronger than the cake

3. Always use heavy frosting with heavy cakes and light frosting should be used with light cakes.


Cake decoration is a sugar art and uses icing or frosting , other edible decorative elements to make more visual appearance on cake. The cake is covered by some form of icings and Types of cake decoration involves :- Filling, Topping, Glazing along with icing and frosting. 

Decorating a cake is not easy though it looks like easy process. We should always keep flavour, texture and design of the cake in mind when decorating a cake and some points to be considered are :-

1. Do not smear the icings that is already applied

2. Dipping the knife in hot water will help to spread the Icing faster

3. The knife while decorating should only touch frosting part and not the cake

4. We have to start icing with thin layers before moving to thicker ones

5. We have to put a lot of icings in the corner and in middle of the cake

6. Cake should be allowed to cool down before applying frosting

7. Corner of the cake are always hard to frost so the decoration should be started from the corners of the cake

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