Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Ayesha. Ayesha Wonders, “What’s the difference between icing and frosting?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Ayesha!

Do you like cake? We do! And it doesn’t matter what form it takes. We like regular cake. We love cupcakes. We’re big fans of cake pops. No matter what the shape or size, we like cake. Even better if it’s topped with that special coating of extra deliciousness!

What are we talking about? Frosting, of course! Some people call it icing. No matter what you call it, it’s delicious and makes anything it’s on that much better.

Frosting is a sweet and usually creamy mixture of sugar and milk or water. It also contains other flavorings and ingredients, such as eggs, butter, and cream cheese. The first recipes for frosting have existed since the 1600s. However, modern frosting as we know it today didn’t become popular until the early 1900s.

Today, frostings cover cakes and cookies and all sorts of other baked goods. How many flavors are there? How high can you count? Frosting can be made in just about any flavor you can think of. Some of the most popular frosting flavors are chocolate, vanilla and buttercream.

Other people enjoy more exotic frosting flavors like white chocolate raspberry, strawberry shortcake, or orange cream. Others ask for their cupcakes with mocha, mint chocolate, or cotton candy frosting. Have you ever had cinnamon roll frosting? How about marshmallow or cherry vanilla? In the fall, some people ask for pumpkin spice frosting. But in the winter, it’s all about gingerbread and peppermint stick!

The next time you go to the grocery store, take a walk down the baking supplies aisle. You might be surprised at the wide variety of frosting flavors you’ll find. Of course, you can always go to a bakery, too. There, you can request a special homemade frosting in just about any flavor you can dream of!

Frosting doesn’t have to be lathered onto a cake in just a flat sheet. Pastry chefs have made frosting an art form. Using pastry bags and other special tools, food artists can shape frosting into letters, flowers, and other decorative designs. How would you like the frosting to look like your favorite superhero? Or a symbol of your favorite hobby? Talented pastry chefs can make just about any design with frosting.

While frosting makes cake taste better and look beautiful, it can also serve an important structural function. Have you ever had a cake made up of multiple thin layers of cake? If you have, it was probably frosting between those layers that kept them all held together tightly.

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.SL.1

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day takes you on a trip to the Ice Age…in the middle of one of the largest cities in America!