Types of Wedding Cake Frosting

Types of wedding cake Frosting

Ah the cake – one of the better parts of wedding planning because you get to indulge your sweet tooth and enjoy something that is fun for almost everyone! If you are going to create a DIY wedding cake, or even go into a bakery and have one professionally created, you still need to know a bit about wedding cakes before you begin deciding the style, size, and more.

So, let’s be honest for a bit. There are some really really delicious wedding cake frostings, like buttercream, and then there’s the stuff that looks so pretty but tastes like rubber – yeah we’re talking about you fondant. If you’ve already got a vision in mind for your cake, then you may want to rethink it, especially if taste is a huge factor for you as only some types of icing can be used to achieve certain looks.

Generally a good rule of thumb is that the more smooth and beautiful your icing looks (sort of like a sheet of plastic), then the worse it is going to taste. On the flip side, that rough knife spread style general yields much more tasty wedding cake frostings – but you give up that professional look that are on many tiered wedding cakes. Fortunately there are a few exceptions for taste, but this generally will depend on the quality of your baker and the style of cake you are wanting.

Types of Wedding Cake Icing

For wedding cakes you can generally use whatever icing on it you wish but it is important to know the properties of each type of icing so that you can match the right one with your style. Check out the information about each type of icing below to learn a bit more about how it tastes, looks, and how it holds up on certain styles!

Fondant Icing Wedding Cake

wedding cake frosting types - fondant

Normal fondant icing on wedding cakes is very smooth as it is create in a sheet by sugar paste. Originally starting off as white, you need to dye fondant so that is your specific color and you also need to flavor it.

It holds up beautifully thanks to it’s thicker sheet like style, making fondant icing perfect for tiered wedding cakes and elaborate designs.

  • Taste – it is chewy which many people dislike, but you can flavor it excessively to hopefully get rid of the paste like flavor.
  • Appearance – flawless and easy to work with. This gives nice sharp corners, smooth sides, and is very easy to work with making it a favorite amongst bakers.
  • Tolerance – unfortunately fondant wedding cakes cannot be refrigerated, but also don’t hold up well in heat either so you need to keep them at room temperature to prevent sweating.

Buttercream Icing Wedding Cake

wedding cake frosting types buttercream

Buttercream is very popular for cakes no matter what the event. The plus side for buttercream icing is that it is very smooth and creamy without being sweet, but the recipe will vary from baker to baker so you need to check with your baker and see how their buttercream icing tastes as it may be very different than what you are used to!

  • Taste – as stated, you need to taste your bakers icing to see how it is. Generally it is very good and creamy, but you can run into versions that taste like play dough.
  • Appearance – buttercream is smooth, easy to cut, and used often in cakes. It is a great medium for bakers to work with and can be dyed whatever hue is needed!
  • Tolerance – since most wedding cakes need to tolerate a bit of heat, you will find that the buttercream used for those cakes has a shortening base – this helps it hold up in the heat a bit better and not sweat!

Meringue Icing Wedding Cake

wedding cake frosting types - meringue

Lovely, smooth, and very creamy, meringue is an absolutely amazing frosting that does great in the heat because the icing itself is heated during its creation. Wedding cakes for beach and outdoor weddings need to generally be made with meringue to withstand the sun and heat.

  • Taste – generally quite creamy and smooth, you can flavor this icing to whatever you want and the texture will not put you off as it often does with fondant.
  • Appearance – meringue has a lovely and versatile appearance. You won’t be able to get those smooth rounded edges and “flat” apperance that you do with fondant, but you can get really darn close!
  • Tolerance – since meringue is created by cooking the ingredients, it ensures that the proteins in the egg whites are already coagulated. This means that your cake will now hold up so much better with meringue on it as opposed to fondant, buttercream, or another type of icing.

Ganache Icing Wedding Cake

wedding cake frosting types - ganache

Ganache wedding cake icing is simply just lovely melted chocolate mixed with a heavy cream base. Because of how melted chocolate dries, the ganache icing makes an absolutely perfect finish that is shiny, sleek, and beautiful. Flavorings can be added and a larger portion of cream can be included depending on the temperature the cake will be served at.

  • Taste – love the taste of chocolate? Then you’ll absolutely love ganache. Ganache is one of the richer flavorings if you just leave it with a pure chocolate taste, however you can add additional flavorings for strawberry, liqueur, or whatever else you desire.
  • Appearance – the appearance of ganache is beautiful, shiny, and sleek. It makes a glaze that is often poured over a cake so be prepared for a lovely sophisticated look to any wedding cake when using this icing!
  • Tolerance – the tolerance of the ganace will depend on how much cream to choclate ratio there is. It isn’t ideally suited to very hot venues, but speak with your baker to decide on what will be best!

Whipped Cream Icing Wedding Cake

wedding cake frosting types - whipped

Light, delicate, and very tasty, whipped cream icing is a wonderful combination of whipped cream, powdered sugar, and flavoring/coloring. They make very delicate looking cakes and the icing is very light unlike fondant and others.

  • Taste – the taste on whipped cream icing is lovely and can be left as is, with a bit of almond or vanilla flavoring, or a new flavoring altogether. The texture is very light and fluffy so it makes for a perfect wedding cake icing!
  • Appearance – it is really difficult to get all of the smoothness and rounded edges that some brides crave when using whipped cream icing. Instead this is often done in swirl patterns or flower patterns to make use of the fact it is so easy to work with and so light and airy.
  • Tolerance – thanks to the light whipped cream base this icing is made out of, it does not hold up well in heat or room temperatures. These cakes, while beautiful and elegant, need to be refrigerated until right before the reception to ensure that the cake doesn’t begin to melt and lose its form on the designs.

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One comment

  1. Jayne Hathaway says:

    As a baker myself I can definitely say that the ganache icing is one of the easiest wedding icings to work with and it makes fabulous looking (and tasting) wedding cakes!

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