Types Of Frosting – What Are The Different Types Of Frosting and Which Is Best

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If you are at the stage of decorating your cake and putting your layers together, the next step you will be thinking about is frosting! There are plenty of different types of frosting. Knowing which type is right for you can be a little tricky. 

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In this article we will explain the different types of frosting and discuss how to make them.

A whole batch of basic vanilla cupcakes, topped with buttercream

Types Of Frosting For Cakes

Here is a full list of the different types of frosting:

  • Basic Buttercream: Buttercream is a type of frosting that is made with butter and icing sugar. Buttercream is an easy option for cupcakes as it is quick to make and sweet in flavor.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: Cream cheese frosting is a buttercream frosting which includes cream cheese in its ingredient list. It has a slightly less sweet taste and is more tart than buttercream. 
  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream: Swiss meringue buttercream uses swiss meringue added with cubes of soft butter to create a creamy frosting.
  • Italian Meringue Buttercream: Italian meringue buttercream uses the same method as swiss meringue buttercream by adding cubes of soft butter to Italian meringue. The Italian Meringue is made from sugar syrup that is boiled and turns hard when it cools. Therefore Italian meringue buttercream is a solid type of buttercream.
  • French Meringue Buttercream: French Meringue Buttercream is made by using egg whites, butter and french meringue. This is an easy buttercream to make at home that is sweet in flavor and solid in texture.
  • Ganache: Ganache is made from chocolate and cream and is a perfect frosting type for the chocolate lovers! When making ganache at home, you can make it with whatever flavor or type of chocolate you wish.
  • Whipped Cream: Whipped cream frosting is not just from a can of whipped cream, it is made by whipping cream by hand at room temperature and placing the whipped cream in the freezer to become cool and sturdy. This is a popular choice for cakes and sponges.

What Are The Six Basic Types Of Icing?

Many people count the six basic types of icing as such:

  • Buttercream frosting
  • Cooked frosting
  • Whipped cream frosting
  • Royal icing
  • Ganaches
  • Glazes

7 Types Of Icing

However, others believe there are 7 different types of frosting. Since many consider icing and frosting to be the same thing, the seven types of icing almost remain the same. 

Here is a full list of the seven different type of icing:

  • Buttercream icing
  • Flat icing
  • Foam icing
  • Fondant icing
  • Fudge icing
  • Royal icing
  • Glazed icing

Different Types Of Homemade Frosting

All of the types of frosting that we have listed in this article can be made at home.

The easiest frosting to make at home is buttercream. Simply mix up equal parts of butter and sugar and whisk the combination until you get the consistency you are after.

Which Type Of Frosting Is Best?

Choosing which type of frosting is the best very much depends on your cake and what you want to use the frosting for. It also depends on what you need your frosting to do and what your personal taste is.

One of the most popular icings is whipped icing. Whipped icing is not overly sweet and gives a light, fluffy texture. It can give a creamier and richer taste to your cake.

What Type Of Frosting Is Best For Cakes?

The most popular types of frosting that is used on cakes like sponges and cupcakes is royal icing and buttercream.

Royal icing is a fantastic choice for decorating cakes. Royal icing is also easy to make as it is made from powdered sugar, egg whites and meringue powder. 

Buttercream is the other frosting type that is great for cakes. Buttercream is a mixture of butter and sugar and is rich in flavor. This icing can also be very sweet. It’s good to keep at room temperature. 

Types Of Frosting For Chocolate Cake

The best type of frosting that pairs with chocolate cake is a very sweet frosting or a flavored frosting. We would recommend that you use either a buttercream frosting as a topper for your cake or a vanilla filling frosting to give a sweeter taste. 

If you are looking for a bit of a sharper frosting, we would also recommend that you use a citrus flavored frosting. The citrus flavor would give a contrast to the chocolate cake, working perfectly.

What Is The Most Stable Frosting?

The Italian meringue buttercream is the most stable kind of frosting that you can use. The Italian buttercream is silky smooth in texture but the least sweet out of all the buttercreams. What makes the Italian meringue buttercream stable is that it is made by pouring hot sugar syrup into whipping egg whites, meaning it firms up when cooled.

What Frosting Holds Up Best In Heat?

If you live in a warm climate you are probably wondering which frosting is best for hot weather? The answer is Italian buttercream.

Even when sitting in high heats, the Italian buttercream can stay stable. This is due to the buttercream being cooked to a higher temperature which gives the frosting a sturdier structure.

Rainbow swirl cake frosting background.

Frosting Vs Icing

There is not really much of a difference between frosting and icing.

Frosting is a lot stiffer than icing in texture and works better when piped onto a cake. Frosting will most likely consist of cream or butter, therefore making it a thicker more solid icing choice.

Icing is much thinner than frosting and has a sugary glaze. Icing when spread will harden when cooling. It also tends to be used to spread across an entire cake.

Both frosting and icing are used for decorating cakes and other baked goods.

FAQs

What Type Of Frosting Is Less Sweet?

If you are looking for a frosting that is much less sweeter than frosting such as butter cream, then we have found you the perfect frosting. A popular choice for cupcakes, cream cheese frosting is much less sweet and has a slightly tart flavor. Cream cheese frosting is very creamy and tangy and it is made with cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Cream cheese is often paired with red velvet cake, which is a slightly richer flavor itself.

There Are 7 Different Types Of Frosting That Can All Work Well For Your Cake!

There are 7 different types of frosting that all have their own unique flavor. All of the different frosting types range in how difficult they are to make at home. Often frosting is easier to make at home than you would think.

The best frosting for your cake depends on your personal taste and what you may need the frosting to do. If you are looking to simply ice your cake, then fondant will be best. If you are wanting to add sweeteners then one of the buttercreams we mentioned would be a perfect choice.

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By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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