Glossary of terms | Cutting your cake

Glossary of Terms

We came across an article on called “Wedding Cake Dictionary” and we thought what a great idea! Decorators know what they are saying but the bride probably has no clue, at least for the most part! Here are some highlights from that article that might help you understand what your cake decorator is saying so you can order just want you want!


Buttercream : Very traditional icing used on all kinds of cake flavors, great for creating icing roses, swags, boarders, basket weave, and shells. This icing is made almost completely out of butter and is not suggested for outdoor weddings.

Fondant : This icing makes cakes covered in it look flawless. It is made with gelatin and corn syrup and does not require refrigeration. Fondant isn’t for everyone and should be tried before ordering. Usually there is a thin layer of buttercream or fruit preserves under the fondant, so if your guest’s hate it they could peel it off and still have a treat.

Royal Icing : This is an egg white based icing. Royal icing dries super hard and is used for some decorations like latticework and dots.

: The best filling for a cake! Although it tastes wonderful, ganache is very temperamental. It is a combination of chocolate and heavy cream and can be poured over a cake for a shinny chocolate coating or it can be used in the center of the layers as filling. Because of its ingredients, ganache does not stand up well in any humidity or hot weather.

Whipped Cream : A very creamy and light frosting but it is also temperamental. Traditionally, wedding cakes sit out for long periods of time and whipped cream frosting does not hold up well without refrigeration. If you have to have whipped cream, stacked cakes are best because they can be stored in a large refrigerator until it is time to serve.


Marzipan : An Almond based paste used for making flowers and fruits. Marzipan can also be used for an icing.

Gum Paste : A mixture of cornstarch, gelatin, and sugar. Gum paste can be shaped in to the most realistic flowers ever made from sugar. Although gum paste is edible, it dries out and is very hard. You could keep gum paste flowers from your wedding cake and they would never decompose!

Piping : Technique use to create decorations like swags, shells, roses, and basket weave. Buttercream is place is a pastry bag and is pushed through special tips to create beautiful icing decorations.