How to Choose Which Frosting to Use for Your Desserts

Photo by Owen Bruce on Unsplash

Frosting, or icing, as it’s sometimes called, is a sweet and creamy topping used to decorate and add flavor to baked goods. Bakers around the world have used frosting for centuries – mentions of frosting in dessert recipes date all the way back to the 1600s! Today, there are many different types of frostings used in both commercial and home baking, each with its own unique flavor and texture. If you’re looking to improve your baking skills, knowing the differences between each type of frosting is a great place to start. Read on to learn more about some of the most popular types of frostings and how to use them.


Buttercream is the most commonly used frosting in baking. There are actually several distinct types of buttercream – American, Swiss, and Italian, for example, though each is made with some combination of butter and powdered sugar. Buttercream frosting has a light and fluffy texture that makes it perfect for piping onto cakes and cupcakes.

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese frosting is another popular frosting that’s made with cream cheese along with butter and powdered sugar. It has a tangy flavor and a dense, creamy texture that pairs well with denser cakes such as carrot and red velvet that tend to be rich in flavor. It’s also delicious thinned out with a little milk and poured over cinnamon rolls. 


Ganache is a decadent frosting made by melting chocolate into heavy cream. It’s quite versatile in that it can be used as a glaze or whipped into a fluffy topping for cakes and cupcakes. Serious chocolate lovers can even use it as a filling for truffles and other candies.