Icings, Frosting, and Fillings are available in many types. To decorate the cake beautifully, consider making your own and not using icing from a can.

Regular icing is the covering for your cake and the base for your decorating.  The special decorating icing is what you will use to make the special designs and flowers.  This icing is stiffer than regular icing, yet it will dry to a smooth finish.

One of the more popular icings used by cake decorators is the buttercream icing.  It is the best tasting of all the decorating icings.  It has a creamy consistency and is easy to handle, can be made in advance and frozen, and it keeps its shape when formed into special flowers.

Whipped Cream icing is also delicious and easy to work with.  The main drawback is that it must be refrigerated to keep the cream from spoiling.  Royal icing is also popular because it is smooth and hard drying making it perfect for making decorations that last.  It is also useful as a “cement” to fasten decorations together.  Rolled Fondant covers the cake with a smooth surface and is flexible and easy to handle making it perfect for stand up decorations.  This icing usually has a light vanilla or chocolate flavor.  Gum Paste is used for making flowers and trims and other decorations because the consistency is like dough.  Confectioner’s Sugar Glaze Icing is made very simply from a mixture of Confectioner’s Sugar, milk and vanilla.  This glaze is usually just spooned over the top of the cake.

If you do not want to make icing completely from scratch, Wilton has an icing available in a box that is easy to mix and use.  It can be mixed with different colors as needed to decorate your cake.

Regardless of the type of icing you use, eventually, you will have a favorite that your family will love to eat and that you will enjoy preparing.

Icing, Frosting, Filling

Bakery Frosting Recipe

2 Cups Shortening
1/2 Cup Nondairy Creamer
1 teaspoon Almond Extract
1 package (32 ounces) Confectioners Sugar
1/2 to 3/4 Cup Water

Food Coloring optional

Use a large mixing bowl and beat together
the shortening, creamer, and extract.
Gradually mix in the sugar.  Add enough
water for desired consistency.  Store in the
refrigerator and bring to room temperature
before using.

Fun Icing Tips 

Use red and blue sprinkles on white icing for a fun 4th of July Cupcake.

Bakery Frosting can be kept up to 3 months in the refrigerator ….great for snack attacks.

Add a bit more flavor to canned frosting by blending a 16 ounce can of frosting with an 8 ounce package of cream cheese.  This will also increase the amount of frosting for more cupcakes or a larger cake.

Important Icing Tips

  • Tuck strips of wax paper or parchment paper under your cake edges to protect cake stand while applying icing to the cake.
  • To eliminate crumbs in the frosting add a “crumb coat” by spreading a thin layer of icing on the cake and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  Then add the thick coat of frosting for cake perfection.
  • Ice the cake on a rotating plate or cake stand to make your life easier.

Types of Icings


Light and creamy icing used for all kinds of cakes and pastries.  May be cooked or uncooked.

French Butter Cream

Similar to Butter cream, but whole eggs, extra yolks, and sugar syrup.

Confectioner’s Frosting

An uncooked butter cream that powdered sugar, unsalted butter, milk, and flavoring.


A liquid glaze that is poured rather than spread over a cake or pastry.

Royal Icing

Used for traditional wedding cakes and piping.  Dries to a smooth glossy surface.

Whipped Cream Frosting

Uses whipped cream for a light  filling or frosting.  Can be flavored in chocolate, strawberry, or other flavors

Cream Cheese Frosting

A simple recipe using cream cheese and powdered sugar.  Can be flavored. Lemon is the most popular