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What Is Lemon Frosting?

By Misty Amber Brighton
Updated May 17, 2024
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Icing that has a dash of lemon flavoring added to it is known as lemon frosting. This type of frosting can be purchased commercially or made from scratch. It can be either thick or thin and is usually dark or pale yellow in color. The frosting typically tastes very sweet and has a light lemon flavor and aroma. It can be used to frost almost any type of cake and might also be used on other pastries.

Canned icing can be used to make lemon frosting. This is accomplished by adding a bit of lemon juice or extract to vanilla cake frosting. Some brands could already contain lemon flavoring, so there is no need to add lemon juice to them. Cooks can also make frosting from scratch using confectioner's sugar, butter, lemon juice, and water. Grated lemon rind is sometimes sprinkled over the top of this icing to add additional color and flavor to it.

The consistency of lemon frosting may vary based up on how it is made and its intended use. Frosting from a can is typically very thick and creamy. This type of lemon icing is often used on cupcakes or white, yellow, and chocolate sheet cakes. Homemade frosting may be either thick or thin depending on how much butter and liquid is added to the recipe. Thin frosting may resemble a glaze more than cake icing, which might make it ideal for pound cakes, doughnuts, or turnovers.

Lemon frosting is typically a very pale yellow and may even appear to be white, as lemon juice adds only a slight bit of color. Many people like to add yellow food coloring when making frosting, especially when using it to frost lemon or cream-filled cakes. This addition does not affect the taste of the frosting, but the color that is created often adds visual interest to these types of desserts.

Even though lemon juice is used in this frosting, it does not normally give the finished product a sour or bitter taste. It is typically a very sweet icing that may have just a hint of lemon flavor. Lemon frosting may have a stronger citrus smell when it is fresh; however, this aroma is usually not overpowering even at this time. This confection can be enjoyed by guests of all ages, so it could be an ideal choice for nearly any dessert or occasion.

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Discussion Comments

By Grivusangel — On Jan 26, 2014

@Lostnfound: An average sized lemon will give you about a teaspoon or so of grated rind.

You can use a lemon zester to get the rind off, or a regular box grater, on the fine side, or you can get fancy like the TV chefs and use one of those microplaners. I use a grater that goes over a bowl. Works just fine. Make sure you don't get any of the white pith underneath the rind, though. It's really bitter.

By Lostnfound — On Jan 25, 2014

@Grivusangel: So how much rind do you get from a lemon, anyway? And what's the best way to grate it?

By Grivusangel — On Jan 24, 2014

Good lemon frosting not only has lemon juice, but also grated lemon rind in the frosting itself. The rind has essential oils and carries a lot of the actual lemon flavor.

Almost everything lemon-flavored benefits from a grating of lemon rind in it.

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