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 icing is easy to use and easy to make. The ingredients are confectioners sugar, and butter or shortening. The major point to note is the ratio of Butter to powdered sugar, usually 2:1 works just fine that is 2 part sugar to 1 part butter. 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. Take care 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. Add a little flavour to the frosting to enhance the taste. Let your choice of flavor be influenced by the cake itself.

            To assure an even finish on your frosting, dip the icing spatula in cold water to make the              surface smooth. This will give a smoother finish for writing. Buttercream is used to                   create flowers and other decorations made with a pastry bag. The icing needs to be the right consistency to make flower petals or writing. When you make roses out of icing,                  you can freeze them and add them to the cake later. This will make it easier to handle.                  Buttercream can be stored in the refrigerator without getting hard. Make sure it is back to room temperature before you attempt to use it.


500 grams Powdered sugar

250 grams Butter or Shortening

1 Teaspoon flavour


Combine in a mixing bowl all ingredients, mix until fluffy.

  • Foam Or Meringue Icing: This is a meringue and is used on the 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. A little bit of lemon juice will help keep the frosting firm. Use on cupcakes if the will be eaten shortly after making them.
  • Recipe
  • 4 Egg whites
  • 2 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavor
  • Direction
  • In a mixing bowl combine the ingredients and whip until stiff peaks form.
  • 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.
  • Recipe
  • 1 Tablespoon Gelatine
  • 3 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon Glucose syrup
  • 500 grams Powdered sugar
  • Direction
  • Pour the Powdered in a mixing bowl and set aside. Prepare a double boiler, to do this place a pot with water on the cooker with medium heat, place another bowl over the pot to receive the steam from the pot of water.
  • In a separate bowl, add the gelatine and water, wait a few minutes while the gelatine absorbs the water. Pour the bloomed gelatine in the bowl over the boiler. The gelatine mixture will melt into a clear liquid, then add the Glucose syrup, mix until they are melted together and clears, remove from heat and immediately pour the mixture into the Powdered sugar. Mix together with a very strong spoon (I find this to work best) you will have a dough after mixing. Turn the dough onto a powdered surface and knead until smooth.
  • Fudge Icing: Fudge icing is made from chocolate, peanut butter, almond, or mint. This icing is quite thick and contains both shortening and butter.
  • Recipe
  • 150 grams butter
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • Directions

In a pot, set the heat low, melt butter. Stir in cocoa powder, the mixture will become thick. Pour mixture to a large mixing bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar and milk, alternating the two. Reserve a few tablespoons of milk. If frosting is thick, add in remaining milk.  Turn mixer to medium-high speed and beat some more, until frosting is smooth and creamy. 

  • Glazes: This frosting is thin and watery, and will harden into a shell after it is placed on the cake. This frosting is mostly used on pastries. Glazes help to keep the pastry moist. 
  • Flat Icing: This icing is similar to a glaze, but it is a bit thicker. Flat icing is a combination of confectioner’s sugar and water and is used to drizzle onto pastries.
  • Akinwale Adebukola
  • Fluffbova Cakes.

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