Cupcake Frosting – Different types of Frosting & Icing
To make a cupcake look pretty there are different types of frosting, or icing, to use.
When it comes to cupcakes it’s the icing that grabs your attention and draws you in. The colourful, shiny peaks compete with each other to be the chosen one (or dozen) whilst the sponge waits patiently to be discovered (similar to icebergs but without any nasty surprises!).
There are a few different variations to cupcake icing, or as it’s commonly described cupcake frosting. (I must say when I started out I was totally confused between frosting and icing and couldn’t make out if they were the same thing or different. I know realise ‘frosting’ is just a term to describe the pretty part of the cake.)
One of the most popular types of frosting for a cupcake is butter cream. There are a few variations to making buttercream – some recipes say to add milk, some to add double cream and some just simply butter and icing sugar. There are also variations to the measurements of both the butter and the icing sugar depending which recipe you follow. Buttercream can be coloured and flavoured with food colourings (pastes work better than liquid) and extracts. Buttercream is my personal favourite cupcake frosting and you can see why on this article here.
It’s fluffy, tastes yummy and can be piped into all kinds of patterns – roses, whips to put Mr Whippy to shame, star shapes or simply smothered on with a palette knife (I say ‘simply’ when actually I find this method quite difficult compared to piping).
Buttercream will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container too. If you use cream or milk in it you will need to keep it refrigerated, otherwise it will store in a cool, dry place.
This topping requires a little more work than standard buttercream frosting, but it’s been said that once you’ve tried Meringue frosting you’ll never go back to just buttercream (I think that’s why I’m putting off trying!)
This frosting requires a sugar thermometer and an electric mixer and instead of icing sugar caster sugar is used along with egg whites. If you’re planning to use Meringue Frosting it’s best to eat them on the day of application.
Whipped Cream Frosting
This is very quick, easy and simple icing to make as it contains just granulated sugar, whipped cream and a flavouring of your choice. As it contains cream it must be refrigerated if not using straight away and once applied to the cake, it’s best eaten on the same day.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream Cheese icing is most commonly used on red velvet cupcakes and carrot cake cupcakes as it’s less sweet than other frostings and so complements the sweetness of the sponge well.Cream cheese icing is made in the same way as buttercream icing, but with the cream cheese substituting the butter. And, like buttercream, it can be flavoured and coloured too – giving you plenty of options to explore.
You can read more on other Cupcake Icing varieties such as Royal Icing, Ganache, rolled fondant and glazed icing on page 2 using the link below.
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