Buttercream Iced Cakes

Decorating By kathrynmc Updated 21 Jan 2009 , 1:45pm by kathrynmc

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kathrynmc Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 9:15pm
post #1 of 5

Hi, I am quite new to this forum and to cake decorating. I have made a few cakes for my children's birthday etc, but not extensively.

I have seen a few cakes posted on here that have been decorated with buttercream. Can any cake be covered in buttercream or is it mainly sponge cakes?, what do you do when you want to decorate a fruit cake?

Thanks for answering my question


4 replies
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cakesmade4u Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 9:48pm
post #2 of 5

Yes any cake can be decorated in buttercream. As for fruit cakes you can put fruit in the center of the cake or on top. icon_biggrin.gif

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kakeladi Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 11:46pm
post #3 of 5

I bet you are in the UK icon_smile.gif If by Fruit cake you mean what is known as "The traveling Fruit Cake" (one that is given from one person to another for years and years as a joke here in the US) Then my understanding is that it is covered w/marzipan, then fondant. Some people use Royal Icing I think too. Not sure as I'm not from the UK.

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prterrell Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 4:29am
post #4 of 5

Hi! I am in the US, but my parents used to live in Londonderry, so I make British-style fruitcakes for my mom.

I warm some apricot jam just until it's thin enough to brush on the cake with a pastry brush and then coat the cake with that.

Then I cover the cake in marzipan.

My mom doesn't like fondant, so I don't cover the marzipan with that, but you can if you like.

BTW, marzipan can be colored with food gel paste, just like fondant can.

Then I decorate the cake using royal icing.

However, a meringue-based buttercream, such as Swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC) or Italian meringue buttercream (IMBC) would taste lovely on a fruit cake. You can flavor the buttercream just about any flavor. Vanilla and almond are two of the most common flavorings in the US. If you substitute apricot jam for a portion of the sugar in the sugar syrup for the meringue-based buttercream, you wold get a lovely delicate apricot-flavored buttercream that would have a pale ivory-apricot color that I think would taste very nice on a fruit cake.

The typical American-style cake is a bit denser and richer than the sponge cakes found on your side of the pond as they use levening agents, such as baking powder or baking soda, as opposed to relying on air whipped into egg whites. Additionally, the American-style cake contains quite a bit more fat (in the form of butter, but more often vegetable oil or vegetable shortening) than sponge-style cakes (which often contain no fat at all).

I hope this helps! Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions! icon_biggrin.gif

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kathrynmc Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 1:45pm
post #5 of 5

Hi, thanks for all your info, helped a lot. There does seem to be quite a big difference in styles/trends between the UK and US with regards to how you decorate a cake.

I am going to have a go at making a buttercream (generally in the UK made with icing sugar, butter, flavouring) covered cake and then smoothing it.


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