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 Cake Icing

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Icing a Wedding Cake

Cake icing a huge part of the success of a dessert. Statistics show that 25% of guests do not eat wedding cake. While some of it may be due to dietary constraints, the rest may be because people just don’t it. Why? A lot of cake just doesn’t taste good to many. They think it's too dry, too greasy, or too sweet. A good wedding cake icing recipe can surely help break this chain.

Any dessert that tastes heavenly will have your guests asking for a 2nd piece, even if they are on a diet! At a recent event we attended, the cake was 3 layers – each with a different cake type, filling and vanilla cake icing. I was hesitant to try a piece, because I had already indulged in sweets the entire week. The first piece I tried was decadent. Dare I try another? But of course. The 2nd piece even better! A 3rd? There was plenty, why not? This kind of damage requires an extra 30 minutes on the treadmill…but boy, was it worth it. Wouldn’t you want all of your guests to have the same experience with your dessert?

Most couples opt for traditional white cake icing, but it’s also pretty trendy at the moment to drape a cake in color. The most popular cake icing colors are muted or pale, yellows, pinks, blues and greens. The colors either match the bridal party, flowers, detail in the brides gown or another element of the event.

Wedding Cake Icing Recipe

Dark colored frostings are not the best choice for a formal affair. Can you guess why? I envision my son eating his dark blue Spiderman cake on his 3rd birthday. His teeth were blue, his lips were blue, and so was half of his face. Unless you want some funky wedding photos of your guests, stay away from dark colored frostings.

Coloring icing is an art! It’s done by adding a few drops of liquid color to white frosting. It’s not as easy at you may think to get the perfect color. Bakers often use a color wheel (just like when mixing paint) to create a mixture of colors to get the shade just right.

If the frosting’s shade of pink doesn’t match the swatch of fabric that the bride provided, the baker may be in for some trouble. The key to a good tasting cake is top quality ingredients, i.e. real butter and cream. The trick is a cake that looks fabulous AND tastes fabulous. We talk about tasting cakes in the Hiring a Baker section of our site. Most professional bakers offer wedding cakes in a variety of delicious fillings and flavors. Wedding cakes can also have different layers with different flavors - whether lemon cake with lemon mousse filling, chocolate cake with hazelnut cream filling or white chocolate cake with a filling of fresh strawberries and whipped cream…pick your favs!

The elements that factor in how cakes taste are: the cake, the filling and the frosting or icing. A wedding cake frosting (or wedding cake icing) recipe or two is covered in this section. Icing a wedding cake is an art for sure. Enjoy!

Fondant Wedding Cake 
Dreaming of a fondant wedding cake? This wedding cake frosting is rolled out like pastry dough. The dough is laid upon the cake and molded to literally wrap, like skin, producing a very smooth finish. This smooth finish is the choice for many brides these days – it looks clean, smooth and perfect. However, many detest the taste or even the texture (the way it feels in your mouth), its kind of weird and icky to some people. It reminds us of the skin on the outside of mochi, a Japanese confection. It's just not the typical soft and yummy frosting most of us are used to. Fondant icing can be flavored though, ask your baker about these options and aim to taste them too. 

Buttercream Icing 
The first thing you need to know about butter cream icing is that it needs to be refrigerated, and should never be left in the sun, in warm outdoor weather, or in an overheated room. The last thing you want is frosting that’s melting and sliding off the side of your cake! If you’re in warm conditions, but are able to keep your cake in an air-conditioned place up until the cake cutting, then you’re good. This wedding cake frosting is excellent as butter cake icing or vanilla cake icing.

Spun Sugar 
It’s a mess to make, but we love spun sugar. It’s also the name of our favorite cake supply shop in Berkeley, CA. This process creates a intricate and delicate web of glossy golden caramel strands that can be used to wrap or top pastries (such as the croquembouche wedding cake) to produce a dimensional and festive appearance. Is it just decor? No way, it's edible! You can eat it for sure - it actually melts in your mouth. 

Royal Icing 
Royal icing is made from gently beaten egg white, lemon or lime juice and powdered sugar. The egg whites are sometimes substituted with meringue powder, to avoid risk of salmonella. Alternatively, pasteurized and refrigerated egg whites can be used. You'll see this used a lot to decorate sugar cookies

Marzipan 
Marzipan is mostly used to mold edible sweets such as flowers, miniature fruit, figurines (like for cake toppers) and anything else you can imagine. It can also be rolled into sheets and used as icing (like fondant), and is colored more often that used in its natural state. Sometimes it’s used as a thin layer between cake and royal icing

Whipped Cream 
The first thing you need to know about whipped cream icing is that it needs to be refrigerated. This white fluffy stuff is formed when cream is beaten (with a whisk or fork) until it’s light and fluffy. Light, airy and sweet, it works on all cakes, but especially cakes with fruit. Picture this: a light sponge cake with whipped cream and fresh fruit filling, served on a bed of drizzled fruit puree.

Vanilla Cake Icing
A lot of cakes seem to be vanilla by default. So what's the best icing to add to the deliciousness? One of our readers here submitted one of her favorites recipes that's absolutely delicious. 

Cream Cheese Icing
Cream cheese icing goes great on lots of types of cakes: carrot, zucchini, red velvet, chocolate, vanilla or orange. Our favorite is hands down carrot cake.

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