Now that I'm baking cupcakes almost every week and trying to get serious about making something out of this I've been trying to “catch up” on the proper phrases and such. I'm not a professional baker and I've never been to cupcake school (I wonder if such an exquisite thing exists?). I'm just a simple, quirky girl who loves to bake and is obsessed with cupcakes.
I decided to Google this great debate and see what would turn up.
Apparently everyone is split. There are people like me who grew up with frosting being icing and vice-versa, but according to some sources icing is not frosting...they are very different.
The best definition I saw was from cakespy.com :
"ICING: Thicker than a glaze but not always opaque. Can be made with a sugar base or may also include egg whites, butter or cream. The term "icing" is often used interchangeably with "frosting". Coffee cakes and cookies are often "iced" rather than "frosted".
FROSTING: The thickest of the lot, opaque and fluffy; think buttercream frosting on a birthday cake."
There are also other definitions listed from professional foodies on the same page, but I like this one best.
Now I feel like I've learned something new today. I'm trying to think about all the cupcakes I've made in the past months and what I've topped them with. I know a few have been purely a ganache and some obviously a frosting. Easy nuff to grasp. But even though I have some good definitions to go by it's sometimes hard for me to tell. I prefer to say “frosting” if my cups are feeling sassy and fun and “icing” if they are feeling proper and more mature. It's probably not the best method to use, but since I'm not a pro, I think I'll stick to my silly ways. :-) So you may notice me using frosting interchangeably with icing in my posts and you may see me using it very properly. I hope that's okay for now. I'm sure some day I'll figure it all out to perfection.