The styles of frostings available for icing cakes and cupcakes are endless. These are twelve of my favorite and most used types of cake icing. Each one has its best use, and they vary slightly in flavor and texture.
This simple homemade vanilla buttercream is easy to make and results in a silky smooth frosting that is easy to pipe. This style of buttercream is known as American buttercream and is the easiest type to make. It is also sometimes referred to as decorators buttercream or crusting buttercream because of the slight crust that forms when it is exposed to air.
Cream cheese frosting is equally as easy to make as American buttercream but cream cheese is substituted in for some of the butter. This creates a cake icing that is a bit tangier than buttercream. It is also softer and doesn't hold intricate piping work well. Cream cheese frosting is typically used for icing red velvet cake, carrot cake, and cinnamon rolls.
This is a basic powdered sugar glaze is the perfect icing for a pound cake or bundt cake. It can be made with milk for a plain sweet glaze or can be made with citrus juice for a tart glaze. You can add any extracts or spices into this glaze to create different flavors.
Swiss meringue buttercream is a silky smooth type of buttercream that is made by heating egg whites and sugar together, whipping them into a meringue, and then beating butter into the meringue. This buttercream is slightly more difficult to make than American buttercream but is much less sweet and a lot easier to smooth on a cake.
Italian Meringue Buttercream is made by making a hot sugar syrup and streaming it into egg whites while they are being whipped. This mixture is then beat into a meringue and butter is then whipped into it. This is the most stable style of meringue and can hold up in heat better than the others. It is also silky smooth and makes icing a cake very easy.
French Buttercream is made the same way Italian Meringue Buttercream is made, but egg yolks are used instead of egg whites. French buttercream is the richest tasting of all the buttercreams and it makes a decadent filling for a cake or a delicious cupcake icing.
This frosting is my take on a less sweet and more smooth American Buttercream. I add mascarpone cheese to the mixture which really helps cut the sweetness and adds a nice tanginess. It is no more difficult to make than American buttercream and I find the flavor and texture to be far superior.
German buttercream is my all-time favorite style of buttercream. This style of buttercream uses a custard base (like pastry cream) that is then beaten into butter. This makes it taste like ice cream in my opinion!
This basic chocolate buttercream frosting is incredibly easy to make and will come together in just about 10 minutes. The long mixing time will result in a silky smooth frosting that is intense in chocolate flavor.
Whipped chocolate ganache frosting is an incredibly rich and decadent frosting that is a simple alternative to buttercream. A simple ganache mixture is whipped into an airy frosting creating something that resembles a very rich chocolate whipped cream. Use whipped chocolate ganache frosting to frost cakes and cupcakes, fill whoopie pies, or even to fill cream puffs!