Difference Between Icing and Frosting

The majority of people believe that frosting and icing are two separate names for the very same item. Many people in the United States, for instance, refer to the frosting as opposed to icing.


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Nonetheless, an increasing number of specialists believe that there have been significant differences between the two terms and this article precisely highlights those differences for ease of understanding.

Icing vs Frosting

The difference between icing and frosting is that icing is much more subtle and thinner than regular frosting. The texture of icing is slithery and soft which makes it easy for cake designers and bakers to use it in flexible designs and patterns for the cake top. The icing is usually made out of confectioners’ sugar and a fluid such as milk, buttermilk, or juices. Frosting on the other hand has a harder and stronger settling texture. It is thick and more flavor-rich when compared to regular icing.

Icing vs Frosting

The much more common type of frosting for elaborate cookie decoration is royal icing. It also includes confectioners’ sugar and water, as well as egg whites or creme flour, which adds solidity and helps the icing to harden to a firm, polished coating.

Icing, on the other hand, is a thin, sweet coating that solidifies as it cools. Regardless of the type of dessert cooked, frosting is a velvety icing created with sugar and enhanced with margarine, egg whites, mascarpone, or flavorings.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonIcing Frosting
TextureThin and softer texture with subtle taste of lime or orange.Thick and glazy texture with strong flavors like cinnamon and coffee.
UsesUsed over cakes and pastries. Also, used as creme fillings inside biscuits and cakes.Used over cakes and Donuts as well as pastries. It can also be used as croissant fillings.
ComponentsConfectioner’s sugar, water, that is often enriched with ingredients like butter, egg whites and lime juice.Sugar or corn syrup, butter, flavor, chocolate chips and butterscotch chuks, cream cheese etc.
FlavorsLemon, Lime, Orange, Raspberries etc.Coffee, Chocolate, Pink berries, Cardamom and cinnamon.
Applying MethodUsing a piping bag and nozzle.Spatula or spoon, butterknife.

What is Icing?

Icing is a rich, typically velvety frosting created by combining sugar with a fluid, such as milk and water, and then adding cream, scrambled eggs, mascarpone, or flavorings.

To produce a particular color, edible colors can be applied to icing mixes; this is typically due to the implications of additional components. On top of the icing, sparkles, liquid inks, and other embellishments are frequently utilized.

Icing is described as being lighter and shinier than confectioners’ sugar. The term “icing” is believed to be used in a more sophisticated meaning.

For its fluid nature, the pumping procedure is the only way to employ icing. It’s too difficult to apply with a spoon since it’ll just stream off.

What is Frosting?

Conventional (or American) crème frosting, mascarpone frosting, Swiss meringue fondant frosting, and Italian meringue buttercream frosting are some of the most frequent types of frosting. The classic chocolate cake icing is conventional (or American) crème frosting.

This buttercream is smooth and sturdy, making it ideal for piping and embellishing. The Italian meringue crème frosting begins with beaten egg white American egg, which is then combined with boiling icing sugar and blend until smooth until the frosting is lustrous, frothy, and marshmallow-like.

Frosting, on the other hand, is considered to have existed for at least 200 years before the publishing of the book which first mentioned the term ‘icing’ in The Experienced English Housewife in 1769, this indicates that frosting came in prior to the sophisticated icing procedures.

Main Differences Between Icing and Frosting

  1. Icing is known for its glassy and subtle texture and taste whereas frosting usually carries a rich taste and thick texture.
  2. Icing does not contain cream cheese whereas frostings contain cream cheese and richer fondant constituents too.
Difference Between Icing and Frosting


  1. https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cake-frosting-1718976
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/icing
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