The facts on wedding cake frosting

September 03 • 2012

Nothing Bakes Like a Parrott cake (styling by Maine Seasons Events and Flora Fauna Weddings)<br><a href=http://www.corbingurkin.com target=_blank>Corbin Gurkin</a>

Here’s one wedding detail you don’t have to agonize over: cake frostings. Memories of sweaty, lopsided cakes at other weddings might have you thinking otherwise, but just listen to your sweet tooth.

“You can use any frosting at any time,” says Jessica Parrott of Nothing Bakes Like a Parrott, one of our favorite local vendors for fabulous desserts.

Different frostings do have their strengths and weaknesses:

Buttercream: This is the frosting your mother made — sweet, homey and very popular this year thanks to its rustic appearance, Jessica says. It can break down under hot sunlight, but some bakers make buttercream with shortening to raise the melting point. Jessica adds meringue powder instead, which has no taste but hardens the frosting a bit.

Fondant: Only one of the 40 weddings Jessica has booked this year opted for a fondant cake. The culprit could be those horrid store-bought versions that give real fondant, which she makes with melted marshmallow and powdered sugar, a bad name, Jessica says. With its dough-like consistency, fondant holds up well and creates a smooth, clean look. Just taste it before you rule it out, she suggests.

Cream cheese: Carrot cake + cream cheese frosting = a match made in heaven. Compared to buttercream, it doesn’t frost as easily and can tug on the cake, Jessica notes. If a flawlessly smooth cake isn’t your thing, stay away from cream cheese.

Swiss meringue: This frosting pleases with a light, almost whipped texture, buttery flavor and shiny look. It’s not as sweet as other types, and can be challenging in hot weather.

To avoid wedding cake meltdown, work with your baker to have the cake delivered to the reception as late as possible, Jessica says. If you’re using a tent, keep the cake away from walls facing the sun.

So, what other tasty trends is Jessica seeing this season? “A lot of bold colors and bold flavors,” she says. She’s gotten requests for cookie dough, mint chocolate chip and, get this, French toast-flavored cakes. Way to get adventurous, brides and grooms!

Posted in Local Tips & Trends

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