Finding new frosting flavors to liven up cakes and more

Frostings take many forms beyond the classics like chocolate and vanilla. Culinary arts students can use these examples for inspiration developing their own unique frosting flavors.

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September 19, 2018 3 min read

Frosting can easily make a cake. The rich, sweet coating and the light, flavorful cake beneath it are a time-honored combination enjoyed by a wide range of people. There are plenty of classics when it comes to frosting, chocolate and vanilla among them, but those are far from the only flavor choices. Whether you want to put together an entirely unique flavor profile or add a twist to a classic cake, Austin culinary arts school students can use this advice to make some standout desserts.

A close-up view of white frosting.A unique or novel frosting can make a dessert memorable.

Less-common frosting flavors to consider

A maple buttercream that’s perfect for fall – and any other season

Certain flavors evoke specific feelings, whether it’s a place or time of year. Maple syrup can evoke a feeling of autumn and fall foliage, given its close tie to the maple tree. Of course, it’s also welcome in a variety of recipes year round, as well as on top of pancakes and in oatmeal. With fall just around the corner, you can use this recipe from Escoffier graduate Helena Stallings for a maple buttercream that adds an additional layer of flavor to this classic type of frosting. You can pair it with the pumpkin bread she helpfully details on the same page or try it on everything from cakes to sugar cookies.

Citrus cream cheese frosting that really stands out

A mixture of rich cream cheese and the fruity, zesty flavor of citrus provides a delicious experience. You have the ability to swap in any type of citrus zest you choose, from lemon to blood orange or lime, fine tuning the recipe to get the best possible results for your intended application. This recipe from our archives also includes instructions for making gingerbread cupcakes, and the marriage of this cake and frosting will surely be a memorable one for friends at home and customers in your restaurant or bakery alike.

Dulce de leche offers a unique combination of flavor and texture

Dulce de leche, which means candy made from milk, is a treat both on its own and incorporated into a frosting. This caramelized condensed milk is especially popular across Latin America and in the Philippines, and has plenty of support throughout the U.S. as well. Escoffier graduate Ryan Hodros shared a recipe for making fresh dulce de leche as well as turning the confection – which has a similar consistency to caramel – into a frosting by adding some confectioner’s sugar and butter.

Avocado frosting pairs perfectly with chocolate

Avocados are versatile fruits, but desserts aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when considering dishes that include them. You can make a unique frosting that includes avocado, however, and it makes for a great combination with chocolate cake. The richness of the avocado pairs with the sweetness of the frosting’s other ingredients to create a citrus-like flavor, baking blog Crazy for Crust said. Preparation is simple, too – you only need to add the avocado to your mixing bowl at the start of of the process.

Chai buttercream offers a deliciously spiced taste

Chai, a mixture of spices that originated in India as a tea preparation and has developed worldwide popularity, can also be incorporated into a frosting that will happily surprise eaters. Baking blog Eat Cake for Dinner shared an easy recipe for a chai-spiced buttercream that pairs especially well with a classic vanilla cupcake, offering eaters a fun twist on a well-known confection.

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