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What the Difference Between Frosting and Icing Is

Many people love cakes and cupcakes. Baking looks nice, smells good, and tastes delicious. It’s also difficult to imagine pastry without icing or frosting. But few people know the difference between them.

In this article, 5-Minute Crafts is going to tell you the difference between icing and frosting and when to use each.

I. Frosting

Frosting is a whipped mixture that we put on a pastry. To make it light and airy you need to whip sugar and butter together. Also cocoa powder and vanilla can be great flavors to add. Smooth, thick frosting is considered to be perfect for covering an entire cake.

Types of frosting

There are different kinds of frostings for common desserts:

  • American buttercream. To make this type of frosting, bakers mix powdered sugar with butter, they can also add milk or heavy cream. American buttercream is prepared without eggs.
  • Swiss meringue buttercream. It’s pretty easy to make and the result is impressive. The method for making Swiss meringue involves beating egg whites with sugar over hot water and adding the butter bit by bit.
  • Cream cheese frosting. Whip room-temperature butter and cream cheese, then add powdered sugar. That’s how this kind of frosting is made. Bakers usually use cream cheese frosting as a topping for carrot and red velvet cake.
  • Whipped cream frosting. To make it, whip heavy cream until it’s fluffy and add powdered sugar. Whipped cream frosting is good for cheesecake or ice cream.

II. Icing

Icing is a pastry topping made with powdered sugar mixed with a liquid (milk or cream). Cinnamon rolls and pound cakes’ tops are usually covered with a thin layer of it. To add some color to your baking and decorate frosted cakes or sugar cookies you can add food coloring to the icing.

Types of Icing

Here are some different types of icing:

  • Standard Icing. It involves mixing powdered sugar with a liquid (milk or cream). Melted butter or vanilla extract will be good for adding flavor.
  • Royal Icing. It is meringue or whipped egg whites mixed with powdered sugar and water. As an alternative, you can use meringue powder instead of eggs. This type of icing is most common for cookie decorations.
  • Fondant. Mix sugar, water, butter, and gelatin to make fondant. Also, marshmallows can be a great substitute for gelatin. Bakers usually use this icing type to make flowers for wedding cakes.

The difference between frosting and icing

Frosting is normally thicker and fluffier than icing. Icing, in its turn, sets quickly and hardens when dry. Moreover, you need to pour or spoon icing to spread it over the pastry, while frosting needs to be spread with a knife or spatula over the pastry.

5-Minute Crafts/Food/What the Difference Between Frosting and Icing Is
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