One of the first things you need to decide on when baking is which type of frosting are you going to use. Why? Simply because there are a lot of different types of frostings to choose from. While you could just pick whatever you want to as all kinds of frostings go well with most types of cakes, it still pays to know the difference between one with another.

Whether you’re an amateur baker or even a pro, a proper knowledge of the different types of frostings is important if you want your cakes to turn out exactly how you want them to. If you need help with that then don’t worry because that’s what we’re here for. With that being said, here’s a quick guide on some of the different types of frostings used in baking.

Buttercream Frosting                                                                       

Buttercream is arguably the most common type of frosting in the world of baking, it is also one of the easiest to make. All you need to do is to mix powdered sugar and some sort of fat such as butter.

What’s great about buttercream is that it is very flexible in terms of the fact that you can add any flavor and color into it to fit your vision. Not only that, but you can also alter its consistency by adding ingredients such as eggs and vegetable shortening. Buttercream is so customizable that there are five primary variations of it.  And they are as follows:

  • American Buttercream or also known as Simple Buttercream
  • Meringue Buttercream
  • Decorator’s Buttercream
  • Pastry-Cream Buttercream
  • French Buttercream

These are the five main types of buttercream. But as we mentioned, you can pretty much customize it as much as you want to. So yes, the real number of buttercream variations is practically endless.

Looking for a recipe that involves buttercream frosting? Then check out these Pina Colada Cupcakes!


Cream Cheese

Another popular frosting is cream cheese. It is commonly used on carrot cakes, red velvet cupcakes, and hummingbird cake among some. There are different ways to make cream cheese frosting but the simplest method is by adding cream cheese to your buttercream and then placing it in the refrigerator as soon as you’re done.

Cream cheese can also come in different consistencies that can range from thin to thick, making it a fantastic topping and filling.



Considered as the easiest frosting to make, a glaze is something that every baker should know about. Glaze frosting is made out of powdered sugar combined with some sort of liquid to form a frosting with a thin consistency. It is most commonly used on pastry such as doughnuts, cookies, churros, and even cakes.

Note: Melted chocolate can also be used as a glaze.


Cooked Frosting

Also known as ‘seven-minute frosting’, this one is made by mixing corn syrup, water, and sugar in a bowl and bringing them to a boil. While mixing the boiling mixture, a meringue will form and that will be the final product.

What sets cooked frosting apart from others is that you must eat the meringue on the first day or else the cake might completely absorb it, leaving you with a dry exterior. The seven-minute frosting is commonly used on cakes and cupcakes.


Royal Icing

If you want to give your cake – or even cupcakes – a full-on decoration then you might want to consider using royal icing. Sounds fancy, right? Royal icing can be made by mixing egg whites, meringue powder (or a form of liquid), and powdered sugar to create a frosting that has a similar consistency to that of pancake batter.

What’s great about royal icing is that aside from the fact that it is very easy to make, it also sets almost instantly when applied on the surface of your baked treat. This makes it very suitable for creating flowers and other decorations made out of frosting,



Another popular frosting in the world baking is fondant. If you’ve watched shows like The British Bake-Off, Cake Boss, and Cake Wars then you probably already noticed how common bakers use rolled fondant to decorate their cakes.

Curious as to how you can make fondant? Well, all you have to do is mix water, gelatin, food-grade glycerin, and sugar. Fondant has this dough-like texture which helps it be molded into different things seamlessly. It is also flexible enough that you can use it to cover entire cakes,

Pourable fondant is another type of fondant that has, yes, a pourable texture and a shiny – somewhat glossy – finish. These particular characteristics also make it a favorite for coating cupcakes and cakes.


So that’s it, this is your quick guide to the different types of frosting used in baking. Of course, there are more that we have not covered such as syrups, paste (yes, there’s frosting in paste form), and ganache but we hope the ones that we did cover are enough to help you choose the perfect frosting for your cake.

And if you’re more into eating then baking then that’s okay too! At least now you have more knowledge on the different types of frostings that you might find on your favorite baked treats.