Craftsy Cakes

A while back, I did a free masterclass about the different types of frostings to use on cakes and treats, and I broke down the most common types. Because this masterclass’s content was so rich and valuable, I decided to share it in a few posts so you can get the most out of it here. So, in this first part, I will share with you three main types of frostings to cover cakes and how to use them, and you can also download their recipes. 

Let’s start by saying that we bakers use the word “frosting” for anything to cover cakes. Frosting can be buttercream, ganache, or icing. So it’s a very broad term. Here are the three main types of frostings to use on cakes and pastries. Feel free to experiment with variations of flavors and colors.

1. Icing or glaze – This is thinner than buttercream frosting and ganache. It requires a few ingredients, no equipment, and just a few minutes of your time. It is made from icing sugar and a liquid combined to give a thin cover to your treats. For the liquid, you can use whipping cream, milk, or just water for a non-dairy version.

You can control the consistency of icing by making it thick and spreadable or add more liquid to make it thinner and drizzle it over treats. A popular icing flavor is a vanilla, but you can add other ingredients to flavor it, like lemon or orange juice. It’s a simple sweet, thin glaze that is a perfect finishing touch to many desserts. Get the recipe for an icing glaze with my lemon cake recipe. Drizzle it on a marblesugar cookies, or pastries.

2. Ganache – is made from two main ingredients, chocolate and whipping cream. Using different ratios of chocolate to cream, you can create different consistencies for several uses. You can fill and cover cakes, drizzle on top like a drip cake, or make chocolate truffles. That’s not all; it’s a frosting that you can use on any dessert. And if you thin it out, you can use it as a chocolate sauce over ice cream or profiteroles, for instance.

Ganache can be made with any chocolate you like. However, I prefer semi-sweet or dark chocolate. This creates a ganache that isn’t too sweet or too bitter and gives a nice dark contrast to my dessert. You can get my chocolate ganache recipe here. If you want to read further about ganache, go to How To Make Chocolate Ganache.

3. Buttercream frosting – is made from sugar and butter, and sometimes eggs for meringue frostings or custard for the German and Ermine buttercreams. I have a Complete Guide To Buttercream that you can read, and next week I will compare some of the most commonly used buttercream frostings, like American and Swiss Meringue buttercream. And I will share with you my favorite recipes.



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