Wedding Cake Frosting Terms
Wedding Cake Frosting Terms
Abbey Zegar (Executive Pastry Chef, Sugar & Spice Cakes) gives expert video advice on: What is 'buttercream' frosting?; What is 'Swiss buttercream'?; What is 'Italian buttercream'? and more...
What is 'buttercream' frosting?
Buttercream frosting is made out of butter and eggs and powdered sugar. It's whipped up, very lightly, so that it resembles whipped cream. Buttercream is flavorful, rich, and the traditional icing to use on a wedding cake.
What is 'Swiss buttercream'?
Swiss buttercream is made with sugar that's been boiled, let's say, and then added slowly to whipped up egg yolks. It's a very rich, very creamy buttercream icing, traditionally used with a fruit cake for weddings.
What is 'Italian buttercream'?
Italian buttercream is made with hard-ball sugar, which is just a fancy term for boiled sugar at a certain temperature. The sugar is added to egg yolks, instead of egg whites like the Swiss buttercream, and whipped up to a fluffy consistency. Again, this can be used traditionally with a chocolate cake at weddings.
What is 'royal icing'?
Royal icing is a decorator's icing. It's made with egg whites, cream of tartar and confectioner's sugar. Royal icing is whipped up, and at first the consistency is really soft, but once the decorator decorates the wedding cake, it turns candy hard.
What is 'fondant'?
Fondant is a sugar dough which is malleable, and the cake decorator usually rolls it out just like a pie crust; thins it out, puts it on top of the wedding cake, instead of butter cream or whip cream. The look is very smooth on the cake.
What is 'European fondant'?
European fondant is cooked icing, and typically it's used on cakes. It's very watery; it's not like regular fondant where you can shape it like dough. It's kind of like a coating, like chocolate being poured over a cake.
What is 'crumb coating'?
A crumb coating typically is the icing that's on the cake before the final icing. This icing catches all of the crumb on the cake so that the crumbs don't show up at the final version of your wedding cake.
What is 'rolled fondant'?
Rolled fondant is, again, fondant that is malleable and can be shaped into anything. You can make flowers out of it, and you can coat the cake to make a very smooth finish on the cake. Again, it's like a dough, where you can manipulate it to look anyway you want - color it, shape it - and your wedding cake turns out very smooth and flawless.
What is 'sugarpaste'?
Sugarpaste, again, is a dough. Typically sugarpaste makes the flowers: roses, orchids, etc. The cake decorator will shape the dough into any kind of flower that you like, and then these flowers are put on the wedding cake. They look very real.
What is 'ganache'?
Ganache is chocolate with heavy cream, and the heavy cream is boiled and poured over the chocolate and mixed, so that it has a very creamy texture. When you pour ganache over a cake, it just flows like the river on top of a gorgeous cake. In fact, every time I use ganache, I wish it could be poured over me, because the chocolate is just so smooth and rich looking. The finished wedding cake just looks absolutely elegant.
What is 'marzipan'?
Marzipan is another version of sugar dough, although it's made mostly out of almond meal or almond extract. It has a very sweet flavor. Most bakers use marzipan to form flowers or form the wedding bride and groom. You can shape it like clay and shape it into things like fruit and flowers. I've seen wedding cakes where the baker has done an image of the bride and groom out of marzipan and put it on the wedding cake as a topper.
What is 'blown sugar'?
Blown sugar is a tempered sugar that can be formed into different shapes. It can be formed into ribbon, or it can be blown like a balloon and the outcome looks like a balloon. Blown sugar has the consistency of taffy, so it's pulled constantly until it gets a shiny, brittle look to it, and then the decorator forms it into ribbons or flowers which put on the wedding cake as decoration.
What is 'candy clay'?
Candy clay is like fondant, but typically it's made out of white chocolate or chocolate, and it's malleable, like a sugar dough. A baker can roll candy clay and form it in to flowers, or use it like fondant and cover wedding cakes with it in place of icing.