Remember as a kid, eating the icing off the top of the cupcake and then leave the cake behind? Yeah, we still do that.
Baking cakes is fun and all, but they are really just an elaborate vehicle for the sugary stuff (carrot cake, we're looking at you). Great slabs of icing, fluffing up the top, the thicker the better. That heavenly feeling when you slide your tongue right through the lot.
A quick note on fondant icing. We'll include a recipe for the traditionalists, but, let's be honest, if it requires rolling, it's not our favourite. Give us a swirly buttercream any day of the week. Or every day of the week. We'd like that.
This frosting is the ultimate slatherer. It's basically a meringue with added butter, so it holds its shape beautifully and tastes like a dream. Swirl it, pipe it, tint it, drag it and lick it straight off the spatula when you're done.
We're all about cupcake bling and this stunner is shining bright like a sweet, sweet diamond. #MardiGras40
I first made a version of this cake for my daughter’s fifth birthday. At the time I thought it was completely original, very clever idea I had dreamed up with colourful sprinkles decorating not only the outside but also the inside of the cake.
Peanut butter, sour cream, butter and... dextose?. Because we wouldn't want to bump up the calories on a chocolate layer cake any more than necessary, right? Regardless, this nutty sour cream frosting is all the way okay.
We promised a fondant recipe, and here it is. Fussy, but good at weddings. Also rather lovely in a peppermint slice biscuit.
1 tbs gelatine powder
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 tbs glycerine
1/2 cup glucose syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
7 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
Dissolve gelatine into water over a low heat without boiling. Remove from heat and stir in glycerine and glucose syrup. Add vanilla essence and set aside to cool.
Sift the icing sugar into a large glass bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the gelatine mixture into the well and stir until combined.
Knead the icing until it is smooth then roll out with a rolling pin to desired thickness.
When your grandma/nonna/ยาย/omi made icing, she probably made it just like this. Icing sugar mixed with a bit of lemon or orange juice. It's been lifting cakes around the world since forever.
Top these light, bright-tasting cupcakes with your favourite icing. This Donna Hay recipe includes recipes for smooth vanilla and luxurious chocolate icing options.
Super simple, and equally delicious, these cupcakes with chocolate frosting are the perfect party cake for kids (both big and small) when gluten and dairy needs to be avoided – no more missing out on the fun stuff!
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Another of the fussier icings, marzipan has a distinctive flavour that is integral to many of the traditional cakes it wraps. A Sri Lankan Christmas cake just wouldn't be the same without it. There's an easy-to-follow recipe for marizpan here.
Fresh ricotta perfectly takes the place of cream cheese in this maple syrup-sweetened ricotta icing. Be extra-generous when slathering. We'll accept nothing less than teeth marks.
A genius move sees melted dark chocolate whipped through a cream cheese icing that also has added butter. This frosting literally melts on the tongue and could well be our undoing. What a way to go!
I know this is another chocolate cake, but this version is a little lighter but no less delicious.
Cocoa and vanilla cake batters "spooned" into a tube tin create this fun zebra pattern.
Golden syrup is an ingredient in this salted caramel icing and we are here for that. Remember when salted caramel was in everything. Good times.
Though lacking proper swirl-properties, royal icing is quite nice on biscuits at Christmas time. It gets its stiff upper lip by adding egg whites to icing sugar and beating them into meringue-like submission. Best keep it covered to prevent it drying to a firm lacquer before you use it.
Wagon Wheel alert! Two black sesame biscuits, sandwiching a vanilla marshmallow and a layer of yuzu jam, all covered in black sesame white chocolate... sign us up! #BringBackTheClassics
A classic your kids will love decorating. The dough is soft and pliable, making for easy rolling.
If there ever was a cake that epitomised the flavours of England this would be it! The combination of elderflower, strawberries and gin not only make this chic sponge cake uniquely special but also incredibly lust-worthy.
It’s hard to beat a great carrot cake with lemony cream cheese frosting. Decorate the cake with edible flowers from the garden, if you have them.
Carrot cake is one of my favourite ‘vegetable-type’ cakes to make at home; it’s simple to prepare and rather rustic yet absolutely delicious. I’ve infused this carrot cake with chai (the Hindi word for tea is chai) and used a few of my favourite spices that I use when I have a craving for masala chai (the Hindi word for spice is masala). I've also skipped the vanilla flavour in the cream cheese frosting in favour of pistachio. This recipe is adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks, Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book.
Coconut cream is a worthy addition to a decidedly tropical icing. Whip it through with butter, sugar and passionfruit to send your lucky taste buds on a quick island getaway.
The only thing better than icing is booze. So, this recipe had us at rum buttercream.
Kaya, or coconut jam, is a popular spread in Singapore and Malaysia, and brings a rich coconut flavour to baking. You can usually find it at Asian grocers and online.
These cakes capture the true essence of an aromatic, soul-warming Indian marala chai.
The nuttiness and extra flavour that comes from browned butter is fantastic. Just don’t walk away from the pan as those delicious milk solids will change from toasty-brown to nearly burnt in the blink of an eye.
You may have heard of strawberry champagne cake; this cake is a riff on that concept, except using kombucha!
Everyone needs a good old-fashioned chocolate cake in their repertoire that is easy enough to whip up on a whim. Made with a simple melt-and-mix method this delicious cake is a real crowd-pleaser.