You’ve finalized your guest list, decided on your flavors, and now all that’s left is the design and style of your fabulous wedding cake. There are many things to consider in your design – and choosing the right type of icing is one of the most important, as it can make or break your wedding cake on that big day.
Buttercream icing is one of the more popular cake icings and is common for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and other traditional events. With a flavorful sweetness and soft texture, buttercream lends itself well to serving, and most people love buttercream, so it’s a definite crowd-pleaser. One thing to consider is the average temperature on your wedding day (especially if it’s an outdoor reception). If it’s hot or humid, the icing may begin to melt, which could send your cake topper sliding. Cakes can be refrigerated until ready to serve, which unfortunately means you won’t be able to display them while guests arrive.
Fondant icing is often used for wedding cakes due to its smooth texture and easy sculpting ability. Made with sugar, hot water, and corn syrup, fondant is draped over cakes in a thin layer, leaving nice rounded edges. Fondant can be used to create unique and interesting designs and shapes, which makes the possibilities for your cake nearly endless. Some of your guests may not like the gummy texture of fondant, so fondant may only be an option if the design requires it. Don’t assume all fondant tastes horrible though; many expert bakers have found way around that by now.
Royal icing, made with egg whites and sugar, is great for making delicate flowers or other decorations, but is also sometimes used to cover whole cakes. Working with royal icing takes skill and careful planning, as it hardens rather quickly. Royal icing can also be placed over fondant for a smooth base and intricate designs.
Marzipan is similar to fondant in its draping properties, though it is made with almond paste. The almond paste is not only more pliable, but also more sweet and flavorful, making it a good alternative to fondant in terms of taste. However, marzipan may dry out if left uncovered before serving, so sometimes marzipan and fondant are mixed together to get the best of both options.
When you’re deciding on the best icing type, be sure to think about your guests, the environment, taste, and of course, your design. Each option has its own benefits and downfalls for each person, depending on personal needs and desires.