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.
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.”