Ice, Frost, And Glaze

ENTRY #4
1104.07

I have a question this time.  It’s a very simple, very easy question.  For some reason, though, I have never been able to get an answer that makes any sense, and I am really hoping that someone reading this will either have an answer, or can pass the question on to someone who does.

Here’s the question:  When we talk about cakes, what is the difference between frosting and icing?

We talk about something being “the icing on the cake,” yet cakes from a bakery are topped with buttercream frosting.  Are there distinctive differences between an icing and a frosting?  Or are they the same thing, with whether the word one uses being a cultural, regional, or personal preference?

Now, I know that a glaze is different from either an icing or a frosting.  That is powdered sugar that is added to water, milk, or perhaps a fruit juice.  It has a fairly liquid consistency, and is usually poured or drizzled over a cake.  Icings and/or frostings have a much more stiffer consistency.

Is there a difference between the two?  And if there is, could someone please explain what that difference might be?

Thanks.

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