If you’re limited on space, the best icing for you to buy would be icing sugar. This is one of the most versatile ingredients you can buy when it comes to cake decorating and flavour.
What is icing sugar? It’s a powdered sugar made from finely milling normal granulated sugar into a powdered form. It’s so fine that we think it’s the best type of sugar for making any type of cake icing. We’re going to talk through some of our favourite icings and give you some top tips along the way.
Buttercream is one of the most versatile toppings for cakes and is extremely popular spread between cakes too. Buttercream is made of 2 main ingredients; butter and icing sugar. Once you have these two mixed, you can add wide varieties of flavours or colours to really bring it to life. The nation’s favourite flavour is vanilla – and using high quality vanilla is important as it makes such an incredible difference to the taste – why not try adding some Nielsen Massey vanilla extract – you’re sure to notice the difference.
If you want to make it a chocolatey affair, try our chocolate buttercream made with melted chocolate in it.
Buttercream can be piped into different textures to form some really dramatic results. If you don’t have a piping bag, start off with a sandwich bag. Simply fill the bag with the icing, squeezing it down to one of the bottom corners and snip the bottom corner off – and this is where you’ll pipe from! The size of the cut is up to you – we recommend you start small and keep getting bigger – much easier than trying to decant the mixture to another bag if you cut too big!
This is probably the simplest of icings to make and children love it – simply mix your icing sugar with a small amount of water. You can use other liquids too – why not try adding flavoured juices such as orange to really make it pop. It can be applied thickly like a syrup (use less liquid if this is the result you want) or as a drizzle (simply add more water). Whether you opt for a syrup of a drizzle, make sure you work relatively quickly, as the glace sits, it starts to thicken slightly, making it more difficult to decorate.
Cream cheese frosting
One of our favourites here at BakingMad – Cream cheese frosting is a tasty combination of icing sugar and cream cheese. You tend to find this on the top of a carrot cake, or red velvet cupcakes. The only tricky thing with this particular icing is that it has a tendency to go really runny if it’s overmixed, and by overmixed, we mean any more than just mixed – so proceed with caution! We always make it using full fat cream cheese, as itl adds to a better flavour and texture.
This mixture of egg whites, icing sugar, and often a touch of lemon has a consistency that can be piped, but it dries hard for a smooth surface and is often used to create ornate cookie decorations. It can also be used to pre-make flowers or other cake decorations to be used at a later date, and it’s also what you use to make homemade sprinkles.
If that seems like too much bother, why not try Silver Spoon ‘Royal Icing Sugar’ – it’s is perfect for a traditional hard royal icing finish and there’s no need to get the eggs out – simply add water and beat.
The hardest bit is to cover a cake. Watch this video to see how it’s done:
Fondant icing is different to icing sugar because it includes dried glucose syrup. This gives you a smooth, glossy, soft iced finish which is perfect for icing cupcakes, sponges or bakewell tarts. You can even use it to create edible cake decorations. You make it by mixing icing sugar, water and cream of tartar or liquid glucose. Our friends at Silver Spoon have kindly taken the difficulty out of this task by offering fondant icing sugar! Just like the royal icing, simply add water.
(please For allergen information please refer to the icing sugar packs for details- please note that these products may contain traces of egg.
What’s your favourite icing? We’d love to know – Why not share your icing creations on our Facebook page? We’d love to see what you’re up to in the kitchen.