When you are choosing the look for your wedding cake, the first decision will be the type of icing you will have. This will be influenced by the type of finish you would like as well as the style of your wedding and cake. Here are three common types of icing:
Royal icing is made from pure icing sugar and egg whites, and it sets very hard so is generally the best option is you want intricate piping and delicate shapes. Royal icing tends to be used in icing wedding cakes for very formal occasions, and it is quite heavy so should be used on a dense cake such as a fruit cake. You will need a layer of marzipan or jam between the cake and the icing.
Fondant icing tastes similar to royal icing, but liquid glucose is added to the icing sugar and egg whites meaning that it never sets really hard. It can be used to make simple shapes, but is usually too soft for elaborate piping. Fondant icing gives a completely smooth and even finish. Fondant icing can be used on lighter sponge cakes, but still requires a base layer between the cake and the icing.
Butter Cream Icing
Butter cream icing is a delicious alternative to royal or fondant icing, and it is egg free. Made from icing sugar and butter, butter cream gives a textured finish, and is ideal for icing wedding cakes for informal occasions where the cake will all be eaten on the day. Butter cream can be applied directly to the cake without a base layer, and is often used for cupcakes. It can be piped to give a swirling effect, but this will be very soft so care should be taken in transportation.