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What is difference between royal icing and buttercream icing?

marzie - from esfahan, iran

Royal icing is a smooth, hard-drying icing. It is great for making decorations that will last for quite some time. Royal icing is also perfect to use as a “glue” to hold decorations together.  It is edible, but is not recommended for icing cakes. This type of icing is usually made with meringue powder, water, and confectioner’s sugar.

Buttercream icing is a whole different story! It is definitely a favorite for frosting cakes, cookies, and other treats. It has a sweet flavor, soft and smooth texture, and creamy mouth-feel. Buttercream icing is easy to spread on cakes and cookies, and takes a longer time to become dry. The ingredients in buttercream icing are different than those in royal icing, too, resulting in a different icing product. The amount of liquid in buttercream icing can be adjusted to create thinner or thicker icing.


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The Public Television cake decorating show providing easy projects for special celebrations. Not intended to replace instructional classes.