Cupcakes are a commonly made dessert that you can decorate with your own unique style. Children often bring cupcakes to their classes on special occasions, such as a birthday. Cupcakes also are sold at school bake sales to raise funds for various projects. Whether you’re a professional baker or just making cupcakes for family and friends, there are a variety of icings to spice up your baked goods.
There are several varieties of cream icing you can use on cupcakes. Buttercream icing has a sweet taste with a slight flavor of butter. Use it with its natural white color or get creative by using food coloring to liven up the look of your cupcake. Buttercream is made with unsalted butter, confectioner’s sugar, milk and vanilla extract. If you’re using an artificial color, let the icing set for two to three hours in order for the color to fully penetrate the icing. Add cocoa powder to create a chocolate buttercream icing that’s great on chocolate, velvet and vanilla cupcakes. Another type of cream icing is cream cheese icing, which is made with cream cheese, unsalted butter, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract. It has a creamy texture with a cheesecake flavor.
Peanut butter icing is made with peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, salt and heavy cream. The icing is thin and smooth and has a nutty flavor that complements chocolate or vanilla cupcakes. For a creamier texture with a sweet, cheesy flavor, alter your peanut butter icing by adding cream cheese into the mix. This icing is thicker than the regular peanut butter icing. Garnish the top of your icing with chopped nuts to add crunch to your cupcakes.
Ganache is a fitting icing choice, especially if you’re a chocolate lover. It differs from regular icing because you have to pour it over the cupcakes, then put the cupcakes in a refrigerator for at least fifteen minutes to allow the icing to set properly. Ganache is made with semisweet chocolate chips and heavy cream, but you also can add a tablespoon of light corn syrup for texture or a dash of espresso powder for a zesty, coffee-tinged flavor. Store leftover ganache in a refrigerator for as many as five days.
Meringue icing is a variation of vanilla icing. It has a fluffy texture that resembles white foam when it is spread on top of a cupcake. Meringue icing is made with egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, a dash of salt, vanilla extract and almond extract for a hint of nut flavor. Because of the high content of eggs in the meringue, serve the cupcakes the same day for optimal results. Meringue icing complements any type of cupcake but works especially well with chocolate cupcakes because of contrasting flavors.
References and ResourcesMarthaStewart.com: Basica Vanilla Buttercream
MarthaStewart.com: Cream Cheese Frosting
FoodNetwork.com: Chocolate Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Icing
FootNetwork.com: Chocolate Peanut Butter Ball Cupcake
FoodNetwork.com: Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes with Ganace Frosting
FootNetwork.com: Red Velvet Cupcakes With Fluffy Meringue Icing