Notes: Test your icing consistency at room temperature. To test the peak of your icing, dip a metal spatula in the icing and pull it straight out.
There are three icing consistencies: Stiff, Medium, and Thin.
STIFF consistency icing:
Uses: Upright flowers like roses. Also, can be piped to form a dam to keep in cake fillings.
Peaks at: about 3/4"
Should not: crack when piped. This is too dry.
MEDIUM consistency icing:
Uses: Stars, borders and flowers with flat petals. Also, used to frost and fill your cake.
Peaks at: about 1/2".
* I use medium consistency the most.
THIN consistency icing:
Uses: Writing and vines.
Peaks at: about 1/4".
Should not: be runny.
Tips: In my honest opinion, it is best to start with a medium consistency icing and thin or stiffen it to your desired consistency. A great medium consistency buttercream recipe can be found here.
Happy Cake Decorating!