Our Ultimate Frosting Glossary: From Buttercream to Royal Icing
Named for the amount of time the egg whites have to be whipped with the corn syrup, this frosting actually takes closer to 20 minutes from start to finish. It makes a light, delicate finish for any cake.
Italian Meringue Buttercream
The Italian take calls for pouring a hot sugar syrup over egg whites and cream of tartar, whipping until the mixture cools down, and adding chilled butter bit by bit until the frosting becomes spreadable.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Break out your double boiler! For the Swiss version of buttercream, egg whites are heated with sugar and salt until the mixture is completely smooth, then whipped until fluffy and glossy. Butter is added a few tablespoons at a time, followed by vanilla, until the texture is airy and silky. Feel free to experiment with food coloring here -- just be sure to try a drop at a time, as getting the right shade can be tricky.
The classic birthday-cake frosting couldn't be simpler. It's just a matter of beating together butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Keep in mind that this frosting is very sweet and has a high butter content (a whopping six sticks!), so it doesn't hold up very well in warmer temperatures.
Basic buttercream becomes way more exciting thanks to the addition of semisweet chocolate chips.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Similar to American-style buttercream, but this tangy frosting relies on cream cheese instead of butter for the fat component. It's a must for carrot cake, pumpkin cake, red velvet cupcakes, you name it! All you have to do is beat cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Next, try incorporating other flavors like maple syrup or lemon.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
A decadent mixture of chocolate and cream, that's ganache. Add corn syrup and you have the perfect consistency for spreading. Slather onto any cakes or cupcakes you please.
Chocolate Ganache Glaze
Want a chocolate ganache that's more pourable? You only need two ingredients to make it happen: chocolate and cream. This rich, satiny number will take any dessert to the next level.
So much better than anything you can get out of a can! The secret behind the creamy texture is a splash of milk.
The key to this fudgy chocolate frosting? Sifting together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder before stirring in the butter, milk, and vanilla. Make sure the butter and milk are at room temperature -- it makes all the difference in the texture.
A two-ingredient glaze that's just the thing for a loaf cake. It's as easy as whisking together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Try customizing it by swapping in another citrus juice, milk, or your favorite liqueur.