Wedding Cake Icings
There are a variety of different wedding cake icings and your baker may use them so haphazardly, you may not know what they are talking about. If you don’t know the difference between fondant and marzipan, don’t fear we will help you with your wedding cake icing woes.
Buttercream is by far one of the most popular types of icings and not just for wedding cakes but also for cakes of all different celebrations. Buttercream is the best value when it comes to price per slice. The texture is smooth and creamy and not overly sweet. It is soft and easy to cut and perfect for different cake decorations such as a basket weave, swirls, fleur-de-lis, rosettes and swags. Genuine buttercream is made with real butter, so cakes iced with buttercream may need to be kept in a cool place. Heat and humidity will cause the decorations to run and drip. Let your baker know if the cake will be displayed outside or under lights and they should be able to use shortening instead of butter to prevent this from happening. If your cake will be inside, you should be okay during the reception.
Whipped cream can add a beautiful texture to your cake. The icing is light and soft but is also highly affected by heat and humidity. If you are going to use a whipped cream cake, you may want to consider keeping the cake refrigerated just before the cake is to be served. Roll the cake out on a decorated tray and allow the cake to have its own grand entrance to the reception. Bakers may also use stabilizers in the whipped cream so that the cake can be on display during the reception. You should definitely discuss this with your baker.
Fondant is extremely popular on wedding cakes because it is so versatile. The icing is a combination of sugar, corn syrup, gelatine and glycerine. It is rolled out in sheets and wrapped around each tier of the cake. These give a beautiful clean finish and smooth texture to the cake. You can also get very creative with fondant and create a variety of shapes that will stay firm and be edible. It can be coloured for a shimmer look or a clean matte finish. This is by far the most versatile icing. It also serves as an excellent base for flowers and piped decorations. These cakes cannot be refrigerated, however, so you will need to discuss this with your baker, especially if you want a fruit filling.
Royal icing is soft when piped onto the cake and then it dries to a hard finish. This is the icing that is used to create beading, latticework, flowers and other creations that need to remain firm. This icing is used for decoration and not to ice the whole cake.
Marzipan, Spun Sugar and Pastillage
Finishing touches on a cake can be created with all of these decorative icings. Spun sugar is caramelized sugar that is pulled into strands and formed into bows and other shapes. This icing may melt, so it needs to be kept inside an air-conditioned room. Pastillage is a paste made of sugar, cornstarch and gelatine. This is excellent for realistic looking flowers and decorations and dries into a porcelain-like finish. Marzipan is also a paste. It is made of ground almonds, sugar and egg whites. This can also be rolled into sheets and moulded into flours and other shapes and then painted with food colouring.