Sweet Sixteen Cake Icing and Decorations

sweet sixteen box cake with fondant bows gum paste pink

What Makes a Great Cake?

Now that you’ve figured out what kind of cake flavor best fits your personality, we can figure out what kind of icing and decoration combination you’ll need to create the look you want. Here are the main types of icing that are used on cakes:

Fondant – Is a covering for cakes made of sugar and water cooked and then cooled to make a smooth outer covering for cakes. Rolled fondant is generally time intensive but can deliver the best looking icing/covering for a cake.

Butter Cream - Made of butter and powdered sugar primarily this icing is fluffy light and airy.

Cooked Frostings – The lightest of all icings these are generally made from whipped eggs and are very delicate like a meringue pie.

Cream Cheese Frosting – Creamy, sweet and delicate this type of frosting stays soft after being applied to the cake. This type of frosting works well with fruit flavors and needs to be refrigerated until serving.

Whipped Cream - Made of powdered sugar and cream this frosting is heavier than butter cream and cooked frostings.

Royal Icing – This is the gel like icing that you see brightly colored used primarily for decoration and writing.

Ganache - Chocolate and cream make up this icing and it can be used in a variety of situations in formed balls or as frosting for the cake. Rich and fluffy while maintaining complexity.

Flat Icing/Glaze - Powdered sugar and various types of liquids form an easy way to cover and decorate a cake in a shiny crust.

Types of  Cake Decorations

shark cake with sour patch kids in fondant and gum paste

Working with sugar and transforming the raw ingredients used in baking into exceptional cakes and designs is very complicated and can be very temperamental. Temperature, humidity and air pressure can all play a roll in the success of decorating a cake and having it last. We’ve listed below the main types of cake decorations and what they are made of.

Gum Paste – Primarily used for modeling, gum paste is similar to fondant but unlike fondant dries very hard. This is sometimes used for details like flower petals or creating figurines. Gum paste is edible but does not taste like anything much at all.

Image Transfer - Images are printed in sugar or in food coloring onto a transfer sheet or on a thin layer of edible film that is then secured to the cake. This allows for pictures and logos to be applied directly to the cake.

Edible Gold Leaf/Silver Leaf – This gives the effect of gold or silver on the cake. These sheets are edible and can be applied directly to the cake.

Decorating Sugar – Sugar crystals are dyed and then sprinkled onto the cake surface or icing to create a textured color appearance.

Gel / Piping – A clear goo like consistency this can create bright vivid shiny colors on a cake. Often used to write letters directly onto the cake or icing.

Cake Decorating Powder – A super fine sugar that is dyed that can be shimmery or add sparkle to a finished cake or gum paste .

Food Coloring – This is the base for any color changes to the cake or the icing of a cake.