What’s the Difference Between Icing and Frosting, Anyway?

The Daily Meal is here to tell you which should be used for what type of dessert

Is there really a difference between icing and frosting? Yes.

Is that icing on my bananas Foster cupcake, or is it frosting? Was I eating chocolate frosting on that cake I tried yesterday, or was it icing? Which do I like more? Is there really a difference between icing and frosting? While the two are basically interchangeable, there are slight differences between them. We’re here to tell you what those are.

Click here for 101 Best Cupcakes in America.

Frosting is usually used to coat the outside of cake. It has a buttercream-like texture and a more buttery taste. Icing is generally used to glaze pastries or cakes, and tastes more sugary than frosting. The Williams-Sonoma cookbook Cake states that “icing is generally thinner and glossier,” while its counterpart frosting is “a thick, fluffy mixture, used to coat the outside of a cake.”

When you’re making cake for your kid’s birthday party, consider using The Daily Meal’s Mocha Buttercream Frosting or our Cinnamon Frosting recipe.