Sugar & Spice and All Things Nice »

June 24, 2013 – 7:46 pm |

Kate will surely be having a Royal baby shower any time now, so here’s some cupcake ideas fit for a Princess
Boy or girl? We just don’t know what sex the Royal Baby will be, but …

Read the full story »
Cupcake Showcase

Your cupcake creations showcased here. Submit your delecious delight and see your cupcake in lights!

Cupcake Recipes

From vanilla to rocky road whatever your taste buds desire I’ll be posting it here.

Decorating Cupcakes

My favourite part! Ideas, hints, tips on decorating your cupcakes.

The Cupcake Queens (and Kings)

I talk to the Kings and Queens of the cupcake industry.

Cupcake Bakeries

Cupcakes and bakeries from around the world. Send us your favourites to get it featured here.

Home » Decorating Cupcakes, Icing

Cupcake Frosting – Different types of Frosting & Icing

Submitted by on June 7, 2011 – 4:14 pm7 Comments

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.)

Magnolia Bakery Barbie Cupcakes

Buttercream icing

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.

Meringue frosting (also known as cooked frosting and seven minute frosting)meringue or seven minute cupcake frosting

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.

Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Pages: 1 2


  • andrea says:

    hi! i love your blog! i’ve been having questions for a while..i made some cupcakes frosted with buttercream (made with butter, icing sugar and milk) but it tasted waaaaayyy tooooo buttery and greasy, and i even added a lot of sugar (it was really sweet, so i didn’t want to add more..and i didn’t add more milk couse i was afraid it turned too liquid), is it supossed to taste like that???? couse i always read it’s the best frosting but for me, it wasn’t that good :S :(

    • Cupcake Cutie says:

      Hi Andrea
      Glad you like the blog :) Buttercream icing is sweet, but not in an over-powering way. It could be that you just don’t like the taste or it could be that something was going wrong with your icing. I usually make my buttercream without milk, so perhaps you could try this way first? Use unsalted butter at room temperature and beat it until soft. Then add the icing sugar and continue to beat. I use a standing electrical mixer and the paddle attachment and I beat for around four minutes on a high speed setting, so if you’re using a hand electric mixer it will take longer. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract (or whatever flavour you’re using) and beat some more. You should have smooth buttercream that tastes just right. Different recipes say different quantities, but I tend to use the double the icing sugar to the butter i.e. 110g butter, 220g icing sugar. If the buttercream is too ‘hard’ and doesn’t stick to the sponge when piping simply boil the kettle and add a tablespoon of boiled water to the mixture and beat some more. Do this until the buttercream is smooth and sticks to the cake when you ice it.
      Good luck and let me know how you get on.

  • Yvonne says:

    Thanks for your help! My daughter and I will try buttercream first. I’ve never tried to bake cupcakes from scratch. scared. :)

  • Linda says:

    I find the butter cream frosting doesn’t always stay firm enough pipe . Or once you have piped it it doesn’t hold the nozzle’s shape

    • Hi Linda, if you use the same quantity of butter to icing sugar and beat for a good five to ten minutes your buttercream should be firm enough to hold its shape, but not too firm that it bursts the icing bag and doesn’t adhere to the cake. Make sure you’re using proper butter, not margarine, and good quality icing sugar. let me know how you get on, good luck x

  • Beverly says:

    Hi there!

    I’m so glad I found your website, it’s been very helpful on the information it has. I have a question on icing/frosting cupcakes. I’ve been making buttercreams, swiss meringue buttercreams, and whipped cream to try to put it on top of my cupcakes and although all three hold up fairly well, the taste was not what I hope to get. In fact, it’s very different from a professional baker’s shop.

    With the buttercream I often find it too sweet tasting and if I do go less on the sugar, the consistency becomes too runny. The swiss meringue buttercream, I’ve been told that it tasted too buttery and whereas the whipped cream it tasted too milky. I have put vanilla essence, or different flavors to try to tone down the buttery or the milky flavor but it still doesn’t work.

    Do you have any tips or good recipes for icing cupcakes? I’m also curious in Magnolia’s bakery or Sprinkles, what type of icing do they use? I’ve tried mostly all the cupcakes in Sprinkles and the icing is so spot on! Very crisp, not too sweet and compliment well on the taste of the sponge.

    Hope you can help me out!

    Thanks so much! Sorry for the long post.

    • Hi Beverly
      Thanks for your question and for enjoying the blog. Firstly, everyone has different tastes, likes and dislikes, so it could well be that you or the people you’re baking for just don’t like the three types of cupcake covers you mention. I too find buttercream sweet and therefore I can’t eat as much of it as my boyfriend can, who has a very sweet tooth. I find swiss meringue cream more enjoyable to eat, but again I don’t like too much of it. I’ve never tried whipped cream on a cupcake, but again it’s not a favourite of mine. However, it could be that something isn’t working out quite as it should in the icing-making process, so here are a few tips for your buttercream icing.
      Make sure you’re using real butter and not margarine. Alternatively you could use white vegetable fat like Trex. Make sure your butter is at room temperature before you begin the process. When it is add it to the stand mixer (if using) and mix on its own for 30sec to one minute to soften it. Then add the vanilla essence (1 teaspoon for 250g butter) and mix a little more. Then add the icing sugar (I use equal amounts) and mix on a slow speed to start (cover with tea towel to avoid icing dust everywhere!). Then increase to a high speed and leave for a good five minutes. Then, scrape down the sides of the bowl and start again mixing for another 3-5 minutes. The buttercream should have become whiter and be a soft, but firm consistency.
      If, after trying this you find you still don’t like the taste then I recommend trying different toppings for your cupcakes instead. Popular options are using rolled fondant / sugarpaste (i’ll be posting examples of these shortly) and using liquid fondant (see the posts I did from a Peggy Porschen workshop).
      Hope this helps – let me know how you get on and visit our facebook page to share your experience and keep up to date.
      Thanks and good luck!

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.