The Differences Between Frosting and Icing

Despite what you may think, frosting and icing are not interchangeable. Neither is superior in taste or application, but each has distinct purposes.

Traditional buttercream is easy to make and versatile in flavor and color. This type of frosting pairs well with carrot cakes, red velvet 생일케이크 cakes and more.


Buttercream frosting is a sweet, fluffy icing that takes any cake or cupcake to the next level. It’s great for piping designs onto cakes, and its cloud-like consistency is perfect for swirling onto cupcakes or spreading over cookies. Unlike many icing recipes, which are often made with powdered sugar and liquid (like water, milk or juice), buttercream frosting starts with butter, which gives it its thicker and more spreadable texture. It also allows the frosting to hold shapes and decorations, like flowers, more easily.

There are many different buttercream types, each with their own unique flavor and mouthfeel. Some are softer than others, but all can be flavored with whatever you prefer, such as vanilla, chocolate, fruit, spices or extracts.

One of the most common types is American buttercream, which doesn’t use any meringue and is simply made with butter and shortening beaten with confectioners’ sugar and flavoring. This variety of buttercream is easy to pipe and holds up well to being carved, molded or decorated.

Another type of buttercream is known as Swiss or Italian buttercream, which is made with meringue and has a lighter texture. This type of frosting is better suited for covering or filling cakes, as it’s less likely to rip or tear.

A third type of buttercream is French buttercream, which uses pasteurized egg yolks to give it a richer taste and mouthfeel. This variation of buttercream is slightly more delicate than meringue buttercreams and can be a good choice for frosting cakes that aren’t too tall.

Regardless of which type of buttercream you choose to make, it’s important that the ingredients start at room temperature so they can be properly creamed. It’s also a good idea to add the powdered sugar in batches, beating on low after each addition and scraping the bowl down. Adding a bit of milk or heavy cream will help thin the frosting to your desired consistency, too.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese is a great base for frosting because it’s so easy to work with and has just the right amount of flavor. It’s the perfect topping for carrot cake, pumpkin spice cupcakes or even just a simple sugar cookie.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until they are very soft and well-combined. This is important for smooth, lump-free frosting. You can use an electric mixer or just a hand-held beater. Beat for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. Add vanilla and half of the powdered sugar, beating well. Continue to mix until everything is well combined and smooth, adding the remaining powdered sugar as needed.

You can also customize this recipe by adding in any dry-ish flavor, such as cinnamon, nutmeg or citrus zest. I would recommend a small splash of lemon juice, as this will help cut through the richness of the cream cheese and make the frosting taste less sweet.

Finally, you can change up the texture of this frosting by adding in some sifted confectioners’ sugar or by using a different brand of powdered sugar (some are made with tapioca starch which helps them to stay thicker). I prefer to sift mine because it makes it extra smooth and fluffy.

This frosting is best if it’s spread on completely cooled baked goods. It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week and it can be whipped again briefly before using for a fluffier, lighter frosting.

One of my favorite ways to serve this frosting is on top of a batch of homemade cinnamon rolls. It is absolutely amazing! You can even spread it on pancakes or cookies, but I think it’s especially yummy with warm rolls straight from the oven.

Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is a delicious frosting that can be used for cakes and cupcakes. It is very light and airy, making it perfect for when you want a frosting that is a little lighter than buttercream. Whipped cream is also very versatile and can be used for both sweet and savory dishes.

Adding powdered sugar and vanilla extract to the whipped cream will make it taste even more delicious. The addition of these ingredients will also help it to hold its shape better. This will make it a lot easier to pipe onto cakes or cupcakes, and it will also be able to last longer before it starts to deflate.

The key to getting whipped cream that is both fluffy and holds its shape well is using the right ingredients, and taking the time to mix it properly. It is important to never over mix whipped cream or it will develop a curdled texture. If you are having trouble with your whipped cream frosting, try adding more milk or rewhipping it to see if it will improve.

To make this whipped cream frosting, you will need heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar. It is important to use a cold bowl and whisk or stand mixer attachment, as this will help the frosting to come out nice and fluffy. It is also essential to use only fresh, high-quality cream. If the cream is too old, it will not be able to hold its shape.

Once the cream is ready to be whipped, place it in a cold bowl and set aside. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let it soak up the water (aka bloom) for about five minutes.

Once the gelatin has absorbed the water, add it to the heavy whipping cream and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. If the frosting begins to look curdled or grainy, stir in a tablespoon of milk and rewhip it until smooth. This whipped cream frosting is beautiful on top of a chocolate cupcake, a strawberry angel food cake, or any other dessert that calls for frosting!