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Frosting vs. Icing: The Differences Explained

Butter or Frosting

** This post also contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you purchase a product after clicking on a link at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Do you know the difference between frosting and icing? No worries, in “Frosting vs Icing: The Differences Explained” will tell you everything you need to know.

In baking, frosting is the mixture of butter or shortening and powdered sugar used to cover cakes. Frosting vs. Icing: The Differences Explained will help you to know the difference and how each one is made.

There is a particularly important distinction between frosting and icing. Many people think that they are the same. That is not true, and understanding the differences is a matter of looking at each ingredient.

Frosting and Icing are both essential when it comes to decorating cakes and cupcakes with beautiful designs. Many of you who follow Bake with Nana, might be wondering, what is the difference between Frosting and Icing?

The difference comes down to the consistency of the product. For instance, Frosting is thicker than Icing. So, if you are using frosting to decorate a cake or cupcake, it will not run off the top of your creation like icing will.

Let us look more closely at the differences. Enjoy!

What is Frosting?

Butter-part of Frosting vs. Icing: The Differences Explained

The frosting is thick, creamy, and fluffy, and is made using butter, shorting, powdered sugar, and sometimes cream cheese.

You spread it with a spatula, knife, or pipe it through a pastry bag. Frosting is used for decorations on cakes and cupcakes.

Frosting stays soft and fluffy and is used to decorate cakes and cupcakes, however, cream cheese frosting is not good for piping through a bag because of its thick texture.

But you can use sprinkles, colored sugars, confetti, or pearls to create a stunning cake.

What is Icing?

Sugar Cookies With Royal Icing part of Frosting vs. Icing: The Differences Explained

Icing is a type of thin glaze that is applied to the surface of a cake or cookies after it has been baked. It is more delicate than frosting because it is typically made with confectioner’s sugar and water.

Icing can cover an area like a cookie without having to be piped on and covers the surface quickly. This type of icing is not good for stacking cookies.

Both Frosting and Icing Have Their Uses

Cream Cheese Frosting is another of Frosting vs. Icing: The Differences Explained

While both frosting and icing are used to decorate cakes, there are some differences between them. The frosting is typically thicker than icing and has more air incorporated into it. It’s often used as a finishing touch to add extra sweetness to a cake.

On the other hand, icing is thinner and smoother than frosting. It’s used to fill gaps between layers of cake and is used on cookies.

You Should Use Whichever One Best Suits Your Needs

A Woman Deciding on Frosting vs. Icing: The Differences Explained

If you’re looking for a simple explanation of the difference between frosting and icing, here’s what you need to know. Frosting is made with fat (butter or shortening) and powdered sugar.

This combination creates a thick paste that covers the top of a cake. Frosting is usually applied using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.

Icing is made with water, powdered sugar, and sometimes milk or cream. This combination makes an extremely smooth and thin paste that fills in any gaps between the layers of a cake. Icing is usually applied using a small spoon or spatula.

Now Let’s Look at Some Textures and Styles of Frosting and Icing


Swiss Meringue Buttercream A classic frosting made with egg whites that are beaten until stiff and then mixed with butter and sugar.

American Buttercream This frosting is made from equal parts confectioner’s sugar and butter. It is often flavored with vanilla. But you can also make chocolate buttercream frosting as well. Delicious! 😋

The thing about buttercream frosting is that it is so easy to use for decorating your cakes and cupcakes. It’s not too sweet and it’s very tasty.

Cream Cheese-Another favorite frosting of mine. Talk about delicious! Note: this is not good for decorating. It is way too thick for that, but you can make a beautiful cake using sprinkles, confetti, etc.


Chocolate Ganache Is an exceptionally smooth texture with a satin finish and will give any cake you make a very elegant look. You can garnish with fresh fruit, sprinkles, or whatever you like to add a finishing touch. You only need 2 ingredients to create beautiful icing.

Basic Powdered Sugar- This is an extremely easy one to make with only 3 ingredients that will give your baked goods just a little dash of sweetness for some added flavor. This icing is considered wet icing because it does not dry hard. Take extra care if you pack them up for transport. Excellent for cinnamon rolls.

Conclusion of Frosting vs. Icing: The Differences Explained

COFFEE AND CAKE part of Frosting vs. Icing: The Differences Explained

I hope you enjoyed reading “Frosting vs. Icing: The Differences Explained” and have a better understanding of each one.

It doesn’t matter which option you choose; you will soon be the talk of your family and friends with these delicious toppings.

No time to bake? Let me do it for you! Visit Nana’s Bakery and place your order(s).

Thank you for supporting my small business!

Nana 🍰

Nana’s Bakery (To Place Your Orders) 

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Using Kitchen Aid Attachments

Kitchen Aid Mixer

** This post also contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you purchase a product after clicking on a link at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Using Kitchen Aid Attachments. This week I am going to teach you how to use them.

The KitchenAid Kit is an essential tool for any kitchen, it has many different attachments that allow you to mix things in several ways.

The attachments are used for mixing dough, whipping cream, kneading bread, and much more. Now, check out my tips below. Enjoy!

The Right Tools for the Job

Kitchen Aid Mixer Attachment's, The Right Tools For The Job

If you’re new to using attachments, start with the whisk attachment. It’s easy to use and comes with detailed instructions. Next, move up to the dough hook attachment. Feeling confident enough, try the Flat Beater or Paddle. Each one has different uses and benefits which we will discuss below.

FYI: The above attachments come with the purchase of a KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

Using the Kitchen Aid Whisk Attachment


The Wire Whisk is used for mixtures that need air incorporated to help them mix up better and be lite, fluffy, and delicious. Ingredients like eggs, egg whites, heavy cream, boiled frostings, sponge cakes, angel food cakes, mayonnaise, and some candies.

For long-lasting results of your Whisk attachment, make sure to wash it after every use. Allow the whisk to air dry for a few minutes, and dry with a soft cloth. Store it in your designated area like a drawer or cupboard.

If your wire whisk is stainless steel, I recommend hand washing in warm soapy water. Allow it to air dry for a few minutes, and dry with a soft cloth. Do not put it in the dishwasher. This will prevent any rust from forming on your attachment. Prolonging its life.

Using the Kitchen Aid Dough Hook

Kitchen Aid Mixer

The Dough Hook mixes the dough. It works by pulling the ingredients through the mixing bowl with the help of the paddle. This process helps to incorporate air into the dough, making it easier to knead.

Use it for mixing and kneading yeast doughs that include bread, rolls, coffee cakes, and buns for quick tasty results.

Wash your dough hook after each use in warm soapy water. The dishwasher causes rust. And this lessens the life of your attachment. Allow it to air dry for a few minutes, and dry with a soft cloth. Store in a drawer or cupboard you have for your baking utensils.

Using the Flat Beater or Paddle


To use the Flat Beater, simply attach it to the beater shaft after you tilt the head of the mixer back. Rotate the beater shaft until it locks into place. Next, lower the head of the mixer into the bowl, and lock the motor head in place. Pick desired speed and start mixing your ingredients. FYI: You use this same process for the above-mentioned attachments.

The flat beater is best for mixing normal to heavy mixtures. Here are some examples: cakes, creamed frostings, candies, cookies, pie pastry, biscuits, quick bread, meatloaf, and mashed potatoes.

Make sure to wash your flat beater in warm soapy water. If it is stainless steel, let it air dry a bit. Dry with a soft cloth, and store in a drawer or cupboard.

FYI: The above KitchenAid Mixer is mine. It comes with three attachments shown in the picture. The flat beater is attached to the mixer my daughter bought me. Notice the rubber on the side? I love it! It helps to scrape the sides of the bowl. You get the stainless-steel flat beater along with the wire whisk and dough hook.

Conclusion of “Using Kitchen Aid Attachments

KitchenAid Spiralizer Attachment

Now that you have finished reading “Using Kitchen Aid Attachments” I know that you are confident that you can do this and have a good understanding of how these three attachments work: the whisk, dough hook, and flat beater or paddle as it is sometimes called.

As you can see the Kitchen Aid Mixer is an indispensable tool for any baker’s kitchen. It can help you get a lot of things accomplished in a brief period, like mixing up cakes, cookies, pie dough, biscuits, cornbread, and even meatloaf!

I absolutely love my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and can’t imagine my life without it. For me, it is way better than a handheld mixer. But this is what I prefer because I do lots of baking and cooking around the holidays.

**No time to bake? Let me do it for you! Visit Nana’s Bakery to place your order(s). **

Thank you for supporting my small business!

Nana 🍰

Nana’s Bakery (To Place Your Orders)

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