I am very particular about frosting. I find a lot of frostings to be too sweet and often times are piled on too thick on cakes. Then there’s also the frostings (generally I’ve encountered them on store bought cakes) that don’t have much flavor at all but are weirdly artificial and greasy in texture. No thank you. This means that I pretty much have to make my own frosting if I want it to be to my tastes. Fortunately basic frosting is really easy to make at home. We’ve covered basic icing on the blog before, but while some people using “icing” and “frosting” interchangeably to me they are different things. Icing is more thin and glaze-like, whereas frosting is more thick and fluffy. This is primarily due to the addition of fat in the form of butter. Icing is mostly just sugar and milk, while frosting has sugar, milk, and butter.
This is a good place to mention why making your own frosting is better than using the kind that comes out of a can. While flavor-wise store-bought can frosting isn’t terrible, its ingredients aren’t really great. In order to be shelf-stable it tends to be full of things like hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors. Even if you’re someone who is anti-butter I would think one ingredient you don’t like is better than a whole list of potentially sketchy ingredients.