What Is Orange Frosting?

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  • Written By: Megan Shoop
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2020
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Orange frosting typically refers to frosting that is orange in color and contains artificial orange flavor, orange extract, orange juice, or orange zest. Some types of orange frosting may have all of these characteristics, while others may have only one. A few varieties may only be orange in color as part of a larger color scheme, and its flavor may be completely different. Other orange icings may be white or cream-colored but with an intense orange flavor. These factors usually depend on what the cook needs.

Sometimes the term 'orange frosting' only refers to the color. The actual flavor of the frosting may be vanilla, white chocolate, or even some other fruit. Papaya or kumquat-flavored frostings may feature an orange color, but taste quite different than icing with an orange flavor. Cream cheese icing may also be colored this way, especially if it is on top of a dessert containing pumpkin or carrots.

There are several ways to make orange-colored frosting. The first, and possibly easiest, involves mixing orange food coloring into white frosting. Cooks may combine red and yellow food coloring to create different shades of orange, or purchase fondant dye at craft and baking stores. Those using fondant dye only need a few drops per batch of icing, unless they want the frosting to be very dark orange, indeed.


The name 'orange frosting' may sometimes refer only to the flavor of the frosting. Commercial companies often sell icing with the flavor already mixed into it, but home cooks can also create this icing at home. A few drops of orange extract in vanilla icing will do the trick. Those that want a more intense flavor might use orange zest and a few spoonfuls of orange juice. Artificial flavors, which are often very sweet and intense, are usually available at grocery stores, as well.

Bakers may require orange frosting for several reasons. Halloween-themed pastries are often decorated with orange and black frosting, whether they’re marbled together or part of a piped design. Weddings with orange as one of the colors may require orange icing on the cake. Easter pastries may require piped carrots or many brightly-colored frostings for gum paste eggs. These are only a few of the possibilities.

Orange-flavored frosting may be necessary on lemon or cream cheese-based desserts. Chocolate cupcakes and pies may take on a fresh, summery taste with the addition of a citrusy topping. Even a wintery gingerbread cake might benefit from the fresh, bright taste of orange frosting.


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Discuss this Article

Post 3

It's really interesting how food coloring can give off the appearance of something completely new, when in reality, the frosting could simply be a generic flavor that's been dyed orange.

Post 2

Normally, I like to make my own orange frosting at home, naturally flavored of course. However, generally speaking, I do agree with RoyalSpyder when she says that it can be used for decoration as well. Either way, both are very suitable for their respective purposes.

Post 1

When I first started reading this article, I was under the impression that orange frosting meant orange flavored frosting. However, I'm glad the article cleared this up for me. Also, it's one of the icings I don't see very often, and usually only around Halloween is it available. In fact, though you can obviously make this kind of frosting from oranges, it seems to be more for decoration than anything else, especially at Halloween parties. It's not about the taste, it's about the visuals and presentation.

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