Icing Types

by Pauline

I'm making a 4 tier cake all different sponges (fruit cake, chocolate sponge, lemon cake & Madeira) What type of icing would be best for doing this & do I marzipan them all?

Hi Pauline, I believe buttercream is the best. The Italian meringue buttercream is so good. It is not too sweet, it's creamy and smooth and subtle. You can flavor it in many different ways to go with each cake.

I rarely use Marzipan but I believe the fruit cake is traditionally done with a marzipan icing. The cakes are coated in a thinned out apricot jam , marzipan goes over that and then fondant or royal icing.

With the Madeira cake you may want to flavor your icing with Madeira wine. I have never done that but it sounds interesting.

Chocolate sponge cake may be best with a whipped filling or a mousse actually. Try the chocolate mousse recipe. And then the vanilla buttercream for the coating.

The lemon cake - I would probably do a vanilla or a lemon buttercream with that one. I like to use lemon curd that I make fresh and then add it to the buttercream.

Having said all of that they would all be great with plain old vanilla buttercream if you want to keep it simple.

Thanks for visiting-great question too.

Please come back soon:-)

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Mar 01, 2013
icing for maderia cake
by: devi

I found this page really helpful so need to ask a query regarding icing.I am planning to bake a madeira loaf cake for my son's bday..so i just want to know mocha whipped cream frosting wld be taste good with madeira cake or any other option???i thought to avoid butter cream frosting this time as it is very sweet.Pls help with ur valuable suggestion.


Mar 13, 2013
Mocha Icing
by: Lorelie

Hi Devi. I hope this gets to you in time. Yes I believe the mocha icing would be a very nice compliment to your Madeira cake, which is really just a pound cake. The wine is for drinking along with the slice. You can use pretty much any frosting for this one and it will go well with it. A whipped cream flavored with mocha (chocolate and coffee) would be perfect.

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Not so sweet Icing

by Jennifer

I'm looking for a buttercream frosting recipe that is not so sweet and also has a good consistency to do a diamond print on it. I'm also wondering how to make the frosting more white.

Hi Jennifer, Good questions. I have a few buttercream icing recipes to choose from on this site. I have been using these for years.

This wedding cake frosting has the nicest texture and is shiny smooth and not so sweet. It is an Italian meringue.

The easy buttercream recipe can be adjusted to your taste as far as how much confectionery sugar you add to it.

And this one here is one that a reader added along with her cake recipe. I just tried it and it is not so sweet and has a great texture. I really love it. She uses it as the filling for her cake recipe. You will have to experiment a little to see which one is best to make a pattern on.

If you are not opposed to using crisco then this cake decorating frosting one is the firmest and the whitest. I have used this only once in my career to cover a cake because the bride wanted the cake really white. I prefer butter.

Which brings me to the white frosting question. Whip the buttercream a lot and the frosting will get whiter or add white paste, you can get it from Wilton. You will have to use a lot and it may affect the flavor, so I would go with the whipping. (whip the butter really well before adding the sugar or any other ingredients.)

Hope this helps

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Icing Flavors And Consistency

by Anonymous

I see many cakes with a nice shiny icing and many Hispanic made cakes with that same meringue icing. What do you think is the best icing for baby shower and birthday cakes. I have a few events coming up this month and I would like to hear from the experts.

I am looking for something that tastes good but is not so sweet that no one will eat it. A nice vanilla flavor will do, right? please HELP ! ! THANK YOU


I highly recommend the Italian meringue recipe on this website. It is a recipe handed down to me from a fellow chef at a kitchen I was working in making wedding cakes and deserts.

You can flavor it with vanilla or add other flavorings. For a baby shower, birthday celebration, wedding or any other kind of cake, this frosting is the best in my opinion.

I call it wedding cake frosting but it is technically Italian Meringue Buttercream.

Anyone who would like to add there ideas to this post or any other post please feel free.

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Icing for a 3 layer cake

I am making a basic 3 layer cake and I want each layer to have a different icing. One of the first icings I want to use is buttercream. Can you tell me what other icing pairs well with buttercream icing?

Hi, It depends on the cake flavor. I am assuming you are making a vanilla cake?

Vanilla buttercream is on the light side so you don't want to overpower. How about a lemon buttercream or a white chocolate buttercream for the second filling?

If you are talking about a chocolate cake then possibly a stronger flavor like the caramel icing or mocha icing would go well.

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Buttercream Icing

by Jenny Troutman
(Somerset, PA, USA)

Hi, I have a buttercream icing question? I will be doing my sister's wedding cake in June. It's my first wedding cake ever so I'm quite nervous about it.

I was thinking about doing a large batch of homemade buttercream icing at least a month before the wedding.

Is it possible to make the buttercream frosting ahead of time?

Also, if I can, what would be the best way to store the wedding cake icing so it won't separate?

Hi Jenny,

You can do that but I wouldn't highly recommend making it a month ahead. You are adding more work to your project. You will have to wrap it really well and freeze it, thaw it and re whip it.

But if you absolutely have to make the buttercream icing ahead of time just be prepared to do the steps above.

If you can make it say 1 week ahead and refrigerate it. It will be a little easier to thaw and re whip. Either way you must wrap it VERY well in plastic wrap, or better yet in an airtight container because it will quickly absorb any odors in your refrigerator.

If you are trying to get some of the work done ahead of time I recommend baking and freezing the cakes. I freeze all of my wedding cakes with excellent results, although not usually for a month. Again you must wrap them very well.

This post by another reader about 3 tiered cakes should help you out as it has the order in which I use to do my wedding cakes. If you have more questions feel free to come back and ask me. You can use the comment form below to add to keep this thread going.

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