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Cupcakes take over the World.
December 17, 2008 9:33 AM   Subscribe

How can I make nice, thick, non-buttercream frosting for my cupcakes as seen on these Candy Cakes cupcakes in London?
posted by santojulieta to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
That kind of icing looks either like royal icing or fondant. Royal icing is pretty simple (here's an alternate recipe, from my own culinary sage Alton Brown, and while it's possible to make your own fondant, most people buy it pre-made.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:40 AM on December 17, 2008


It definitely looks like royal icing, put on when slightly soft then smoothed and allowed to stiffen.
posted by batmonkey at 9:55 AM on December 17, 2008


Here are some cupcakes quite similar to the ones you link to. Seems like she just uses powdered sugar and water.
posted by sararah at 10:17 AM on December 17, 2008


Royal icing is good because you can dip things, rather than trying to frost with a knife. Fondont is nasty. It looks fabulous but tastes like crap.
posted by peep at 10:25 AM on December 17, 2008


I read in a cupcake book recently that the author would microwave normal canned frosting to make it thinner, and then dip in the top of the cupcake for a nice smooth finish. Obviously it wouldn't be quite as thick, but it would certainly be easy...
posted by thejanna at 10:43 AM on December 17, 2008


Fondont is nasty. It looks fabulous but tastes like crap.

In that case, Candy Cakes are almost certainly covered in fondont. I was so disappointed the first time I ate one.
posted by awesomebrad at 11:06 AM on December 17, 2008


It looks like icing made from confectioner's sugar and water to me. Make it thick, spread it on, let it dry well (for a day or two at least).

If you want to go the fondant route, here is a fondant recipe that might not taste like crap. Disclaimer: I haven't tried it yet, but it has butter instead of shortening, which is at least a step in the right direction.
posted by Ms. Informed at 11:24 AM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think fondant is spelled with an 'a' in the second syllable...


Is it possible to flavor fondant so that it tastes good, or to buy good-tasting fondant? I did a little Googling just now which told me that Wilton's pre-made fondant isn't very good (apparently, on "the Disney Channel", they peeled off the fondant before cutting the cake), but that it's kind of a pain to make fondant yourself. If most people are using pre-made, heavily preserved fondant, that may be why it's reputed to not taste very good.

It sounds like basic fondant is just sugar and water, specially prepared, so I'm not sure why that would taste "bad" (maybe overly sweet). The Wikipedia page says it's the white filling in Cadbury Cream Eggs.
posted by amtho at 11:30 AM on December 17, 2008


My girlfriend and I (not professional bakers, but decent amateurs) made the cake for my best friend's wedding. We used a store-bought fondant and it worked out pretty well -- and, in my opinion, tasted pretty good. It does get expensive to buy a large quantity of it, but making "real" fondant seems generally like a nightmare.

However, I have used this recipe for "Marshmallow Fondant" which is basically just made of melted marshmallows, shortening, and powdered sugar. It's fairly simple to make, takes about an hour or so, and is cheap, but is very sensitive to a number of environmental factors that are hard to control (humidity, temperature, and so on). If you do it right, it turns out really quite nicely and tastes like marshmallows, as you'd expect.

In addition, Ms. Informed's link looks pretty good. If I were making another cake, I might give that a shot.
posted by malthas at 11:56 AM on December 17, 2008


I read in a cupcake book recently that the author would microwave normal canned frosting to make it thinner, and then dip in the top of the cupcake for a nice smooth finish.

I use this method when I want glossy, smooth cake icing, too. (I find making icing really dull. I have a low bordeon threshold.) I refuse to own a microwave, but you can warm the container in hot water just fine.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:38 PM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hmm, maybe it's the texture. I've had various fondant-covered cakes (yes I spelled it wrong earlier). During the time all my friends got married, those smooth, fancy wedding cakes were pretty popular. It just tastes stale and feels weird to me. IMO, the best thing about cake is the frosting, and fondant is disappointing in comparison.
posted by peep at 3:40 PM on December 17, 2008


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