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As its name suggests, maple frosting is a type of icing which is maple flavored. It is generally made with either maple syrup or maple flavoring which is combined with a dairy product like butter or cream cheese as well as sweeteners. While maple frosting can be used to ice many different types of desserts, it is most commonly paired with those treats that have a “warm” flavor, such as carrot cake or pumpkin cookies.
Some bakers prepare maple frosting using maple syrup, while others opt to use maple flavoring. It is possible to create icing with a distinctive maple flavor using either of these ingredients, and thus deciding which to use is largely a matter of the cook’s personal preference. Maple flavoring tends to be significantly more concentrated than maple syrup, however, and therefore bakers should note that it is generally necessary to use a greater quantity of syrup to produce the same level of maple taste yielded by a small measure of flavoring.
To make maple frosting, maple syrup or maple flavoring is combined with a thick, creamy dairy product such as butter, cream cheese, or both. Many cooking experts recommend allowing these dairy products to reach room temperature prior to use to make them easier to mix. In most cases, confectioner’s sugar is used to sweeten the frosting. Other ingredients, such as vanilla extract or orange rind, may also be added to lend further depth to the frosting’s flavor. All of these ingredients are whipped using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer until they have been fully incorporated and the mixture’s consistency has become fluffy.
Theoretically, maple frosting can be used to top any sweet foods that are “iceable,” such as cakes, cupcakes, cookies, coffeecakes, truffles, and so on. In practice, this type of frosting is most often used atop desserts that have a “warm” taste, often due to the inclusion of autumnal produce like pumpkin as well as highly aromatic seasonings such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. For instance, it is commonly used as an icing for carrot cake and pumpkin bread. The early 21st century has also witnessed a fad for using maple frosting as a key ingredient in unusual desserts that pair sweet and salty flavors. For example, a dollop of maple frosting might be used to finish cupcakes made from a batter studded with bits of candied bacon.