Wedding Cake Terms-A Visual Guide

Basketweave Design

A piping technique that features interwoven vertical and horizontal lines (like a wicker basket).

Basketweave Example
Basketweave Design

Buttercream Frosting

Smooth, creamy and delicious, that is easy to cut through. Traditional buttercream has a flavor that tastes just as described, like butter and cream. However, it can be flavored to your liking. Buttercream can easily be tinted with color which makes it ideal for matching a special wedding theme. A word of caution, buttercream is a soft icing and is prone to melting in humid and warm conditions. Possibly not the ideal frosting for certain outdoor weddings.

Buttercream Icing Example
Buttercream Icing

Dotted swiss Pattern

A piping technique that forms tiny dots in random patterns that resemble a fine dot swiss fabric.

Dotted Swiss Wedding Cake

Dotted Swiss Design

Dragees

Round, edible sugar balls coated with silver or gold and used for decorative purposes.

Dragees

Dragees

Fondant Icing

A sweet, elastic icing made of sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin that’s literally rolled out with a rolling pin and draped over a cake. It’s a smooth, firm base for gum paste flowers, decorative details, and architectural designs, and has a porcelain finish.

Plain Fondant Wedding Cake

Simple Fondant Icing

Ganache Icing

A sweet, rich chocolate, denser than mousse but less dense than fudge, which can be used as icing or filling. Many bakers offer ganach in flavors other than chocolate.

Chocolate Ganache Wedding Cake

Chocolate Ganache Icing

Gum paste Icing and Decorations

This paste of sugar, cornstarch, and gelatin is used to mold realistic-looking fruits and flowers to garnish a cake. Gum paste decorations are edible and will last for years as keepsakes, but, say some, they don’t taste as yummy as marzipan.

Gumpaste "Sugar" Flower

Gumpaste "Sugar" Flower

Latticework Design

A piping detail that criss-crosses with an open pattern.

Wedding Cake with Latticework

Latticework Design

Marzipan Icing and Decorations

A paste made of ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites, used to mold edible flowers or fruit to decorate the cake. Marzipan can also be rolled in sheets, like fondant, and used as icing.

 

Marzipan

Marzipan

 Piping Technique

A Decorative technique created using a pastry bag and various metal tips. Piping details include leaves, borders, basket-weave patterns, and flowers.

Wedding Cake with Intricate Piping
Intricate Piping

Pulled Sugar Flowers

A technique in which boiled sugar is manipulated and pulled to produce flowers and bows.

Pulled Sugar Flowers

Pulled Sugar Flowers

 Royal Icing

Made of egg whites and confectionary sugar, this icing starts life as a soft paste piped from a pastry bagto create latticework, beading, bows, and flowers.

Gum Paste Flowers and Royal Icing Piping

Gum Paste Flowers and Royal Icing Piping

Torte Style

A dense cake that does not use leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda.

Torte

Torte

Whipped cream Frosting

Heavy cream beaten to achieve a thick consistency.  A fragile icing best suited for indoor weddings and cool conditions.

Whipped Cream Frosting
Whipped Cream Frosting