|Carved buttercream? Who woulda thunk?|
|American buttercream ruffles.|
|Beautiful rough smoothing with Swiss meringue buttercream.|
Australia is known for using chocolate ganache to cover their cakes, usually followed by fondant if they don't want a dark brown cake. Ganache is probably the most simple frosting out of all of them; it's chocolate (usually bittersweet or semi-sweet) and heavy cream. However, it is probably the toughest to use because you have to use it when it's just at the right consistency/temperature, and it sets rather fast. Though its difficulties, it can be smoothed so well that you'd swear it's fake. This makes for a rich, delicious, and sleek-looking cake.
|A smooth ganache-covered cake. Tutorial via TLB|
|The "Madhatter" style cake by Planet Cake. They ganache their cakes first, then cover them in fondant. Look at those crisp edges and clean lines!|
Now, most people who aren't decorators turn to canned frosting found in the baking aisle. That's really fine. Kudos to you for wanting to make a cake yourself.
|Pretty if you made these for your daughter's|
tea party. Sad if you're pretending to be a
Canned frosting tends to be gooey and has a shiny finish, so it's easier to just slap on and call it good. However, trying to sell those baked goods and make a business out of them is NOT okay. The frosting is not meant for piping, so it won't look good on cupcakes, and it definitely wasn't made to smooth out like buttercream or ganache, so you'll most likely get a lumpy mess. Personally, I have no idea what it'll do to fondant over a long period of time, but I'm sure that with it being so gooey it won't hold it's shape when covered. Either way, if it looks like it was piped with a ziptop bag, it's not suitable for any sort of "business." The only exception to the rule would be if you're baking for a fundraiser or something similar.
Buttercream frosting and ganache all have their advantages and disadvantages, and they all require patience and practice, which is why no one should ever jump into decorating head first. Take the time to try all the different varieties and see which one(s) works for you. From-scratch recipes always taste better, and you can assure your audience that what your whip up is not only fresh, but chemical free. After you've chosen the perfect frosting for you, your next step is learning how to use it effectively. Then you're on your way to making amazing cake!
Like these. I just love the style Yuma Couture Cakes brings to every single cake.
Ok, I'm done now.