Fresh from the Sugar* Oven
The perfect cupcake is delicate, moist, flavourful and topped with a smooth swirl of…. buttercream? Frosting?
Welcome to a long, LONG standing debate in my house. What’s the ideal cupcake topper? A luxurious buttercream swirl or a luscious pile of sweet frosting?
What is the difference you ask? Well, a frosting is butter creamed with icing sugar to make a stiff, sweet topping. Buttercream is made by heating egg whites and sugar, whipping them to stiff peaks, then beating in the butter. If done properly, the result is a smooth and airy taste of heaven.
Personally, the cupcakes I bake are topped with a buttercream 90% of the time. I like its stability, it’s subtle sweet flavour, its versatility and its ability to accept almost any flavouring or fruit puree I add to it. Most of the cupcake shops I’ve been to in and around the GTA (and oh man, I’ve been to many) top their cupcakes with frosting (which some places even make with shortening, leaving a greasy feeling on the top of your mouth – blech!). For my customers, I find that my older clients prefer the buttercream, as it’s less cloyingly sweet, while my younger clients often prefer frosting.
The icing can make or break your cupcake experience, and while I tend to lean more towards the buttercream, sometimes nothing can beat the sugary delight of the good old fashioned frosting.