cake with light green icing and a handful of strawberries in the centre as decoration
 / Sweet


19 March 2021

Mirrored frosting, also known asglossy frosting ormirrored frosting, is a cake decorating technique that is winning over more and more confectioners. Thanks to its shine and smooth appearance, this frosting adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to cakes, sweets and desserts of all kinds.

But how do you make a perfectmirror frosting? What are the secrets to achieving amirrored cake as bright as a mirror? Whether you're a professional pastry chef or a dessert enthusiast, in this article you'll find all the tips you need to makemirrored frosting to die for!"


Many of us are enchanted in front of the windows of bakeries colored by cakes and sweets of all kinds: but what is the secret to getting such beautiful sweets?"

TheGlazing Art is originally a technique originally developed in the field of painting, but it has also found its application in the world of modern pastry creating desserts with an elegant and refined look. TheGlazing Art involves the application of thin, transparent layers of color (glaze) over an already dry underlying layer (underpainting) that serves as a monochromatic or colored base: light passes through theglaze and is reflected by the underpainting, creating a luminous, translucent effect similar to stained glass


Theglaze is a decorative form that has been used in pastry making for a very long time.

In the past, glazes tended to be opaque, while today, thanks to the evolution of aesthetic taste and new knowledge of both application and materials, increasingly shiny and colorfulglazes are being presented in the showcases.

Mirror glazes are divided into four types:

  • Neutral or fruit frostings.To make aneutral frosting you must bring pectin (a natural thickener), combined with granulated sugar and a little water, to an initial boil. If you want to create afruit glaze, replace the water with fruit puree to taste. Now bring the glaze to a second boil and add glucose syrup. Once these two firings are finished, add acidifier, which can be lemon juice or citric acid, and let the frosting stabilize tightly covered in the refrigerator. Once chilled you can use it directly on your desserts!

  • Chocolate-based frostings. These frostings can be compared toganaches,but a little sweeter. Start making thechocolate frosting by bringing the liquid part (the water, milk or cream) and the sugars (caster sugar, honey, glucose syrup) to a boil. After boiling you have to add the thickener (usually animal gelatin is used) to the chopped chocolate. Like other frostings,chocolate frosting should be left in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours to stabilize the mixture, and then it should be gently heated to 35-37°C and used on cold desserts.

  • Cocoa-based frostings.Thecocoa frosting must be baked above 103°C to completely solubilize the cocoa powder: the risk is that it will impart a sandy effect to the frosting as you taste the cake. Then the thickener is added to the frosting, allowed to stabilize for 24h in the refrigerator and then heated to 34-36°C. Use yourcocoa frosting on cold desserts.

  • Caramel frostings.To prepare this frosting, you must first make the caramel: cook the sugars dry, up to a maximum of 190°C, and then slowly add the boiling liquids (milk, cream or water). Now that you have finished making the caramel, add the potato starch and reheat the mixture to 102°C. Finally, to finish yourcaramel glaze add the thickener off the heat. Let it rest in the refrigerator for 24h and then scale the mixture to 22-27°C before using it on your desserts.


Sugar is the ingredient that, in addition to makingfrosting sweet, allows it to extend its shelf life, prevents crystallization (if frozen), and maintains its soft texture.

  • Sugar Caster. Refined white sugar is preferred over others because it has a faster melting than other types of sugar during heating and baking, plus it makes the frosting very glossy. Warning If you have to make a fruit frosting with ready-to-use purees or juices, then sweetened, the amount of sugar in the recipe should be lowered in relation to the amount of fruit.
  • Glucose syrup. Not to be confused with sugar syrup, this is a sweetener that can inhibit and delay the re-crystallization of sugar, that is, the formation of crystals in the frosting when it is cooled and frozen.It also has a lower sweetening power than granulated sugar: perfect for those who seek the qualities of sugar but want a less sweet frosting.
  • Honey. In contrast to glucose syrup, honey has a higher sweetening power than granulated sugar, but it has a lower anti-freezing power than glucose syrup.


The role of liquids inmirror glazes is to give the classic gloss. The most commonly used liquid is water, because of its neutral flavor, and its function is to melt the sugars and hydrate the thickeners. Other liquids that are widely used aremilk andcream: these two elements have the same function as water, but in addition they have their own taste, derived from the fats within them, which goes to blend with and enrich the other ingredients of the cake that the icing will decorate.


Thickeners are used to create the structure necessary to allow the frosting to remain stable, that is, not runny. The thickeners most commonly used to prepare frostings are:

  • Pectin. There are a variety of types of pectin on the market, each with different characteristics, and some are mixed with other types of thickeners such as carrageenan, alginates, or with modified starches.To understand the best thickener for your needs, you need to test them in various preparations. Pectin is mainly used for fruit frostings and its amount varies from 0.3 percent to 1.5 percent of the total recipe.
  • Animal gelatin.It is among the easiest thickeners to use as it starts to gel and keeps the frosting fluid even at relatively low temperatures (30-40°C). Animal gelatin is often used with chocolate-cocoa frostings; the amount to be used here, too, varies from 0.3 to 1.5 percent.
  • Potato starch.It is mainly used on caramel frostings and gives a slightly stringy texture. Potato starch needs to get to around 100°C to be activated, so it will activate gelling and mix better with the other ingredients. The amount to be used varies from 2 percent to 3 percent.

We have seen how the preparation of amirror frosting requires skill and precision, but once the technique is mastered, the results are truly spectacular! Whether you are a professional pastry chef or a dessert enthusiast, all you have to do is get to work and unleash your creativity!"

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