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Types of Frosting for Decorating Cakes and Cupcakes

Muskhan Powar 12/20/2017

Types of Frosting for Decorating Cakes and Cupcakes


Everyone loves cakes or cupcakes with delicious frosting and decorating. Here, we compiled a list of 7 classic types of frosting decorations - and the basic steps to prepare for cakes and cupcakes - that taste absolutely amazing and are cherished around the world by home cooks, bakers, and patissiers alike. You can also try frosting's and decorations at home to add a wow factor to your desserts that family and friends will be raving about for days!

1. Basic Buttercream

Buttercream is a super versatile frosting made with butter and icing sugar. It is one of the easiest types of frosting to make and goes well with most cakes, especially cupcakes. A substitute that can be used in place of butter is vegetable shortening. For those unfamiliar with vegetable shortening, Dalda found in our local stores and supermarkets is a good example.

Frosting Basic Buttercream - Cakes Club
Basic Buttercream - Cakes Club

2. Cream Cheese Frosting

Whenever red velvet cake comes to mind, we think of the delicious cream cheese frosting that it comes with. The two perfectly complement each other. Some other cakes that are lip-smacking with cream cheese frosting are carrot cake, gingerbread, pumpkin cake, and alcohol-based chocolate cakes.

Normally cream cheese frosting is buttercream frosting with cream cheese added to it.  We noticed that if the cream cheese is added right at the end while it is still cold, it works the best! However, to each his own!


Frosting Pumpkin cake - cakes clubFrosting Pumpkin Cake - Cakes Club

3. Swiss Meringue Buttercream

This delicious swiss meringue buttercream frosting is a base of Swiss Meringue with room temperature butter added to the Meringue while it is cold.

To make the Swiss Meringue you need to heat the egg whites and sugar/icing sugar in a bain marie (a bain marie consists of a pot of hot water with a bowl placed on top of it – ensure that the bowl does not touch the water) until the sugar has melted. Once the sugar has melted, add the mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer and mix it with high speed until you have firmly whipped meringue. We’d recommend placing paper towels or napkins around to avoid a mess!
Frosting Buttercream Cakes Club

4. Italian Meringue Buttercream

The process of making Italian Meringue Buttercream is similar to that of making Swiss Meringue Buttercream, by gently adding chunks of room temperature butter once the meringue has cooled down.

Almond Cupcakes Meringue Tops Fluffy Light - Cakes club

Italian Meringue:

To make Italian Meringue, cook sugar syrup to the hard boil stage (125-133ºC) while whipping egg whites in a stand mixer. Check to see if the syrup is prepared, then slowly add it your bowl of firmly whipped egg whites from the side. Once all of the syrup has been added, continue whisking on high speed until the bowl of the mixer is cold to touch.

Frosting Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcake - Cakes Club

5. French Meringue Buttercream

French Meringue Buttercream works, again, just like Swiss and Italian Meringue Buttercream, only, instead of egg whites, we’ll use the yolks of eggs.

Start off by beating your egg yolks in a stand mixer at medium speed for approximately 5 minutes until their colour turns pale. In the meanwhile, prepare a sugar syrup and cook on high heat until it reaches 118-120ºC. Slowly pour the syrup into the yolks while continuing to whisk at low speed. After all the syrup is added, turn up the speed of the mixer to medium-high until the warmth from the bowl is gone.

Frosting French Meringue Buttercream - Cakes Club

6. Ganache

Ganache is the perfect type of frosting for chocolate lovers. To make a basic ganache, start by heating heavy cream in the microwave. Heat it until it is hot, not boiling. Next, add chopped dark chocolate (or chocolate chips!). Let it stand for a few minutes and then mix well. Cover with a piece of transparent film, right on the mixture’s surface, to avoid a skin from forming on top. Let it cool at room temperature then transfer to a refrigerator to set completely.

To make milk or white chocolate versions you will need to add more parts chocolate than cream to make sure the mixture sets right.

To convert ganache to the frosting, bring the mix to room temperature and beat on high until the ganache is a light and fluffy consistency, resembling frosting.

Ganache Frosting Moist Chocolate Cake Milk Topping - Cakes Club

Ganache Frosting  Chocolate Cupcake - Cakes Club

Ganache Frosting  Chocolate - Cakes Club


7. Whipped Cream

To make the whipped cream frosting, some tips are to ensure that the cream, bowl, and whisk are all chilled before beginning the process. Also, ensure the bowl you are mixing it is grease free. Add your cream to the bowl and along with your whisk, place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Then, take it out and begin by beating at low speed until bubbles form. Slowly increase the speed until soft peaks form. At this stage, add 1-2 tbsp of white sugar gently into the cream. Further speeden the whisking and continue until firm peaks form. To check if it’s done, turn the bowl upside down, if it stays, it’s ready!

Frosting Whipped Cream Black Forest - Cakes ClubFrosting Whipped Cream Chocolate Cupcake - Cakes Club