Frosting + Icing

Aluminium pan with chocolate cream

Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting • Tara Teaspoon

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Whipped chocolate ganache frosting is smooth, rich and melts in your mouth. It’s great for spreading and piping on any cake. 

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Ganache is that silky chocolate mixture in the middle of truffles. You make it by gently melting chocolate into hot, heavy cream. Once solidified it is a melt-in-your-mouth delight. Often it is poured over cakes before it cools and creates a nice shiny coating.

pan with chocolate ganache frosting remains over dark background

If you whip ganache when it is just cooled, it becomes a spreadable, fudgy frosting. I whip it in a stand mixer or with a hand held electric mixer. It only takes a few minutes and you’ll know when it starts to thicken. I use whipped ganache on many cakes or just as the filling on layer cakes.

For this recipe I added a little secret ingredient. Half a cup of confectioners’ sugar. While whipped ganache can get stiff enough to spread, I wanted a little insurance for stability in this recipe. The sugar also gives it more of a traditional frosting texture, while the actual frosting still melts on your tongue without the grittiness of a traditional buttercream.

I used this whipped chocolate ganache frosting on my Real Kit Kat Bar Cake.

The only trick to success with this frosting is you need to spread and pipe it quite quickly before it sets again. It will maintain that shiny look if you do that. Otherwise it will look a bit rough (although it will still taste delicious).

This frosting is the perfect companion to classic yellow cake for that traditional dessert of yellow cake and chocolate frosting. (My brother’s favorite! Although I always have to make a gluten free cake for him.) It makes a genius combo for good, rich chocolate cake as well.

I use whipped chocolate ganache frosting on many cakes or as the filling on layer cakes.

Use this frosting on cupcakes too. If you pipe it, don’t attempt to pipe it too tall and high. It’s so rich and somewhat softer than buttercream that it won’t stand up to a tall pipe. Try my Extra Rich Milk Chocolate Frosting with extra confectioners’ sugar for that.

Here’s the simple recipe:

Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting • Tara Teaspoon

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: Makes about 4 cups

Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting • Tara Teaspoon

Whipped chocolate ganache frosting is smooth, rich and melts in your mouth. It's great for spreading and piping on any cake. 


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 lb (16 oz) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Heat cream and confectioners' sugar in a saucepan to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate in a mixing bowl. Let sit 5 min, then whisk until smooth.
  2. Set bowl over another bowl filled with ice and water, and allow mixture to cool. Stir until ganache is cold to the touch, about 5 min. Whip ganache in a mixer until lighter in color and just fluffy (don't overwhip or ganache will curdle). use immediately.


Don't over whip this frosting or it will curdle. Cut this recipe in half if you just need about 2 cups for cupcakes or filling.

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For other recipes you can use this whipped chocolate ganache frosting for, try these:

Sweet Little flower cupcakes have chocolate frosting to mimic dirt under a cute candy flower.

Floating Ghost Cupcakes have a layer of chocolate frosting for the ghosts to sit on.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

By | Baking + Desserts, Frosting + Icing, Halloween, Uncategorized | No Comments

Raise your hand if you like cream cheese frosting!

(Please tell me I’m not the only one with both hands raised)

This is the chocolate, luscious, delicious, elegant, perfect version of cream cheese frosting. It is great on yellow cake, chocolate cake and red velvet cake (that red cake that is just a vehicle for cream cheese frosting). Oh and cupcakes. And graham crackers. And your finger.

I most recently used it on the Broken Bones Graveyard Cake for Halloween!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 3 Cups


  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
  • 1 lb (4 cups) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tbsp milk


  1. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese together until creamy, about 2 min. Stir in cocoa. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well. Beat in vanilla extract and milk and stir until smooth. Can be refrigerated up to one week; bring to room temperature and stir before using.
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Recipe by Tara Bench


Lemon Royal Icing is citrus-flavored decorating frosting that dries shiny and hard for perfect cookies. Try it in place of regular royal icing.

Lemon Royal Icing

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Lemon Royal Icing is citrus-flavored decorating frosting that dries shiny and hard for perfect cookies.

This icing is perfect for piping, coloring and decorating with detail. The lemon flavor make it delicious on sugar cookies, and even gingerbread. Royal icing is the type of frosting used on many decorated cookies, especially the kind at boutique markets, because it dries hard and can be packaged without ruining the cookie design. I love it for it’s versatility and I like that I can add a little brightness with lemon juice.

You can use it for cookies like my Santa Face Sugar Cookies, Irish Heart Shamrock Cookies, and White Candy Cane Cookies. The lemon gives these treats a lovely citrus pop.

You can make royal icing on the thin side for flooding (creating a smooth surface of frosting on the cookie), or thicker for piping detailed designs. It just depends on the amount of water you add, and how long you mix it.

I use meringue powder in my icing recipe. It’s easier, and more food-safe than a raw egg white version. Meringue powder (or powdered egg whites) can usually be found in the grocery store baking isle. But if not, here’s a quick link to get it online.

The meringue powder will whip up into an actual meringue if mixed too long. I slowly and gently mix my icing for about ten minutes, but some people like a light, fluffy and thick royal icing so they beat it much faster with less water. The fluffy version doesn’t dry shiny and it’s a bit more crumbly when dry. So be sure to play around with the consistency you like.

Royal icing take food coloring really well. I use gel paste colors because they are more concentrated then the liquid drops, and come in so many colors. If I’m making a bright red or green and need plenty of food coloring, it’s also nice not to be adding extra liquid to my perfect icing.

This type of icing dries out quickly (and if it dries out in your piping tip it’s a mess to clean up), so cover your piping tips with plastic wrap or a damp paper towel even if you are setting them aside for just a few minutes. Keep containers of royal icing covered tightly as well.

Lemon Royal Icing

Yield: 2½ cups

A little citrus tang makes this icing perfect for decorating holiday cookies. It's tasty on shortbread, sugar cookies and even gingerbread cookies!


  • In a mixing bowl combine 4 tbsp meringue powder or powdered egg whites, 4 cups confectioners' sugar and 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice. Mix on low speed, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as necessary, until icing is smooth and glossy, about 5 min. Thin icing by adding more lemon juice or water 1 tbsp at a time to create desired consistency.
  • For flooding, icing should be just thicker than honey; if you're piping designs, the icing should be thick enough to hold the shape. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or use immediately. Stir before using.
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Recipe by Tara Bench

Meringue Buttercream

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Possibly one of the most perfect frostings imaginable.

This isn’t a confectioners’ sugar icing, it starts with a Swiss meringue (a cooked meringue made by heating the sugar and egg whites before whipping). Pure, sweet, unsalted butter is mixed into the fluffy white meringue creating a melt-in-your-mouth texture with a taste that isn’t overly sweet.

It pipes and spreads like a dream and colors like a charm. Keep this basic recipe handy. Very handy.


Meringue Buttercream

Yield: Makes about 5 cups


  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 sticks unsalted, softened butter


  1. Meringue Buttercream
  2. Makes about 5 cups
  3. 1. Whisk together 5 large egg whites and 1 1/4 cups sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer over a pan of simmering water until sugar has dissolved, about 5 min. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers--you shouldn't feel any sugar crystals.
  4. 2. Transfer bowl to the mixer stand with the whisk attachment and beat on high until mixture cools and stiff peaks form, 10 to 12 min.
  5. 3. Reduce speed to medium-high and add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 4 sticks unsalted, softened butter a little at a time. (Buttercream may curdle but will become smooth as you continue to beat it.)
  6. 4. Use within a few hours or refrigerate up to a week. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat on low until smooth.
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Recipe adapted by Tara Bench