Know Your Cake Decorating Terms: America and England

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Cake Decorating | Comments


Cake International the Sugarcraft Cake Decorating & Baking Show

Cake International the Sugarcraft Cake Decorating & Baking Show
Cake International the Sugarcraft Cake Decorating & Baking Show
Cake International the Sugarcraft Cake Decorating & Baking Show
Cake International the Sugarcraft Cake Decorating & Baking Show

Just like the joyous milestones they often celebrate, cakes connect us.

For decorators across the world, the love of cakes and their unique artistry crosses geographic, cultural, and linguistic boundaries. When we gaze upon tremendous tiers, pristine piping, superb sugar flowers, or any of the eclectic elements that come together to create memorable cakes, the awe we feel isn’t based in our country of origin, religion, or dialect, but in our essential personhood.

Our appreciation for the creativity, ingenuity, determination, and dexterity that allows decorators to create breathtaking cakes is etched into our DNA, because these are the traits that make us human. In many ways, life is a search for what, and who speaks our language, and it can be said that inspiration is the great translator.

But, when it comes cake, especially with recipes, the nuances of language can make all the difference. Even between England and The United States, two English-speaking countries, small differences in language can cause confusion.

To make sure that your cakes and sugar art don’t get lost in translation, here’s a list of cake decorating terms that we’ve noticed can differ between British and American English.

American Terms :: British Terms

Powdered sugar = Icing sugar

 

Vegetable shortening/Crisco = Trex

 

Fondant = Sugar paste

 

Gum Paste/Sugar paste = Flower paste

 

Topsy-turvy Cake/Crooked Cake = Wonky cake

 

Now that we’ve cleared up those discrepancies, we can all get back to learning, baking, and caking! Have you been surprised by hearing these different terms used before?

Comments

  1. Rebecca says:

    And its more confusing seeing all these recipes and stories when you are from Australia. We also have
    Powdered sugar, Icing sugar, = Confecioners sugar!
    Vegetable shortening/Crisco, Trex, = Cohpa!
    Fondant, Sugar paste, = White Icing
    Gum Paste/Sugar paste, Flower paste, = Modelling Paste or Pastillage!!

    Confusing yes!!!!

    1. Craftsy says:

      Hi Rebecca, thanks for adding the Australian cake decorating terms!

    2. Misty Lee says:

      That is interesting, because in the US gum paste and pastillage are 2 different things. hmmmm

  2. Cake enthusiast says:

    Hi Thank you for your great tips about cake decorating ideas. This is excellent suggestion for a beginner in decorating cake.

  3. judith says:

    lovely cake please tell how the painting is done on the cake. really great work

  4. Sana says:

    I’m a newbie baker and I’m constantly baffled by American terms. Is cake flour the same as British self raising flour? Is almond paste a description of marzipan? What the heck in corn syrup, or canola oil? Can I use glucose or vegetable oil instead? Despite my research, I’m never quite sure, but I think all the experimentation is causing me to learn far more than if I was able to easily follow a recipe!

    1. Misty Lee says:

      Great questions!

      “Is cake flour the same as British self raising flour?” – No. “self raising denotes that the flour has leavening in it already. “cake flour” in the US is just plain old wheat flour that is very low in protein or gluten and therefore better for cakes and bad for making bread.

      “Is almond paste a description of marzipan?” – Pretty much. Marzipan is ground up almonds with sugar and egg whites added. Usually things labeled “almond paste” will have the same basic ingredients. Check the label, but in a recipe consider them interchangeable.

      “What the heck in corn syrup, or canola oil? Can I use glucose or vegetable oil instead? – You can use glucose in place of corn syrup even though it isn’t EXACTLY the same. I often do. However that only works for light corn syrup. I’ve never seen dark glucose so if a recipe were to call for dark corn syrup and all you have is glucose I would replace a few tablesspoons with molasses or dark brown sugar to get the same flavor the recipe intended. It also will change the amount of acid in the recipe somewhat which could have a small effect on leavening. Vegetable oil and canola oil are interchangeable. The only possible differences have to do with debates over health issues. But they perform the same in baking.

      Hope this helps!