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Cake Decoration Icing 101 - Make Your Choice

Apr 25, 2008
When it comes to the world of cake decorating, your bread and butter is the icing. Icing is king in the world of cake decorating. You simply can't decorate a cake without icing, can you? Here is a brief overview of the many different kinds of cake icing. These are the most common kinds of cake icing, although there are certainly many more. Cake icing can be as simple as an easy to make glaze, or it can be complicated as an elaborate fondant. Whatever it is that you are working with, here are some of your more popular choices when it comes to the world of cake decoration and cake icing.

Butter, Sugar and Flavorings

The most common type of cake decoration icing is an icing made with the basic ingredients: butter and icing. This is a simple yet classic icing that you can whip up at the last minute. After all, all cake icings are fundamentally created from a mixture of sugar, butter and flavoring. You can use this simply icing to cover your cake, or you can spread it inside the cake and use it to layer the cake, kind of like "gluing" the different layers of the cake together. It is important to use just the right amount of icing. The last thing you probably want is to avoid overdoing it with the cake icing.

The Classic Cake Decorating Icing - Butter cream

Butter cream icings are classic - these are the icings that have been most identified with cake decoration from the very start. A butter cream icing has a buttery, sweet flavor. The texture of a butter cream icing is creamy and smooth and many pastry chefs generally favor these butter cream icings because it is so easy to work with. Butter cream has a great overall consistency that makes it a favorite icing base for many pastry chefs. Like most icings, butter cream can be either thinned or thickened according to use. You can make butter cream thicker, for instance, if you need to create stiff mold figures.

Royal Icing - The Other Popular Choice

Royal icing is another popular icing type. The biggest mark of royal icing is that it is made using meringue powder. Royal icing also has a sweet taste and flavor, but it is very different from butter cream icing in that it dries much faster and harder. Royal icing is generally reserved for creating mold figures and lace work. Royal icing is well suited for making figure piping, creating flower decorations, and filigree designs. This is the kind of icing that you see on gingerbread houses in order to achieve small details and delicate borders. Royal icing tends to harden and 'hold' parts together. Royal icing is common used in Europe, where it is used to ice many different kinds of fruit wedding cakes.

Welcome to the World of rolled fondant icing. Rolled fondant icing has a consistency that is similar to play dough. It is a smooth and flat icing that can be rolled, as the name implies. In fact, rolled fondant icing is generally rolled out like dough and then it is molded over the cake. It has a soft, pliable consistency. Rolled fondant can be notoriously difficult to work with, and only experienced pastry chefs tend to work with this kind of icing. Another popular form of fondant icing is known as poured fondant icing. As the name implies, this is type of rolled fondant icing that begins as a liquid. It is poured over the surface of the cake and then it dries. The poured fondant icing is known as a generally easy type of icing to work with that even the beginner can use with relative ease.
About the Author
Josephine Gauttier is the author of the popular eBook "The Art of Cake Decorating". You can find more information about cake decorating at http://www.artofcakedecorating.com
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