It’s the icing on the cake!
A guide to understanding your options.
7 Main Types of Icing
Butter cream: The most popular icing for cakes, it’s easy to spread, has a sweet flavor and a smooth texture. Butter cream is simple to make, usually butter and sugar, though it can also contain eggs or milk to change the texture and thickness. Butter cream can also be used to create piping, rosettes and other borders. It is very susceptible to heat.
Flat icing: One of the simplest icings, this is mostly sugar and water. Often used to form a glaze for rolls, Danishes and pastries, this can be flavored with spices and fruit.
Foam icing: This icing has a fluffy appearance and is very easy to flavor. To create foam icing, a meringue is made of whipped egg whites flavored with syrup. Marshmallow foam is most common but other flavors such as chocolate or vanilla can also be added to the meringue.
Fondant icing: This icing composed of sugar and water, with either glucose or cream of tarter to give it a smooth, porcelain appearance. More difficult to cut and use than butter cream, this will most assuredly cost you more money.
Fudge icing: Thick and rich, this chocolate icing made of butter, shortening, corn syrup, sugar and a variety of other ingredients can be additionally flavored with almond, peanut butter and mint, among others.
Royal icing: Similar to flat icing, but with egg whites added to make a thicker icing with a brittle texture when dried, royal icing can be used to make beautiful, artistic decorations. Used primarily for decorative additions to cakes and for show work such as sugar sculptures but cannot be refrigerated.
Glazes: Often made with a fruit, coffee or chocolate flavor, this thin, watery icing forms a hard, crisp shell when poured or brushed over a cake. –M.P.
Party with the groom
While wedding cakes are becoming more traditional, with Groom’s cakes anything goes! Though Steel Magnolias debuted the “bleeding armadillo” red velvet cake to a national audience, according to Doyle DeForest, owner of Flour Power Confectionery, the armadillo lives on! See below for other inventive Groom’s cakes.
Flour Power Confectionery: “Three-dimensional stuff is always fun and challenging. [Not long ago] we did the groom out of fondant, sitting on an ice chest next to his boat, holding a redfish,” says DeForest. They have also created: a “grown up” Spiderman, two-tier chocolate cake with a gold skyline and a chocolate Spiderman, a three-dimensional Steinway piano and an exact replica of a groom’s hunting beagle out of red velvet and fondant, complete with whiskers.
Gambino’s Bakery: “From a sailing boat to a hunting lodge and every sporting event and field in between. If you can imagine it, we’ve done it,” says Sam Scelfo Jr., owner, though he says he’s turned down those who asked for … um … specific body parts. “Our Groom’s cakes are usually larger, usually Doberge [since they make their custards from scratch in-house] and often chocolate.” They have even done a full replica of Fenway Park (the home of the Boston Red Socks) as a Doberge cake, complete with tiered seating, the “green monster” and the wedding couple’s
names and wedding date on a chocolate version of a JumboTron.
Haydel’s Bakery: David Haydel Jr. says that they have had many requests for Louisiana State University stadium and the Superdome but have also created cakes for some of the stranger requests, for instance a three-dimensional foot with an attached ball and chain.
New Orleans Cake Café and Bakery: This bakery is “all about the flavors and all about the love,” says owner Steve Himelfarb. Though they rarely do elaborate, and sometimes strange, shapes, their flavors can be very involved. Take, for instance, Himelfarb’s favorite flavor request for a grooms cake: chocolate raspberry liqueur – a very popular choice.
Swiss Confectionery Inc.: Owner Rhonda Moecklin says that they often get requests for the “more traditional tiered cake with either a monogram or a fondant bow.” However, they’ve also done a “such a wide variety [of shaped Groom’s cakes]” that it’s hard to point to any one, though she does mention crawfish pots, drums, alligators, golf balls and baseball caps, to name a few. –M.P.
So charming: wedding cake pull meanings
Airplane/ Ship’s wheel/Eiffel tower: Adventure/Travel
Baby shoe: Happy, healthy children
Carriage: Fairy tale life
Church/Engagement ring/Wedding cake/Wedding bells/Wedding couple: Next to be married
Cupid/Entangled hearts/Heart with hands: Love
Flower: Blooming relationship
Clover/Horseshoe/Red bean/Shamrock/Wishbone: Luck
Kite/Magic lamp: Fun/Leisure
Moneybag/Oil derrick: Financial security
Pacifier: Next to have a baby
Picture frame: Happy marriage
Rocking chair: Long, happy life
Rose/Shell: Lasting beauty
Star/Wishing well: Your wish will be granted
Telephone: Good news
Wine bottle/Carafe: Romance
Wreath: Happy home –M.P.