Saturday, December 29, 2012


Years ago I thought I'd win mother-of-the-year if I homemade Livi's birthday cakes. I made one...when she was 3...and I've bought one ever since. I have the utmost respect for people who do cakes for a living. They are creative, talented, patient people and I have absolutely no problem paying them to do all my cake making for me.

However, in the process of trying to be cake baker/decorator extraordinare, I did discover some good icing recipes that I wanted to hang on to & pass along.

Buttercream Icing

*(From the original author): "This is an egg-free frosting. If you need to add coloring, use color paste. If you use liquid color, you may need to add more confectioners' sugar. Makes 2-1/2 cups."

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 Tblsp milk

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla.
Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light & fluffy.
Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.

**This is a decorating icing & will harden as it sets**

Butterfly Icing

*(From the original author): "This is a great recipe to put into your cake decorator attachments for making letters, borders, flowers, etc. Use any food coloring. Makes 1-1/2 cups."

2 Tblsp. butter
3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 egg white
1 Tblsp. cream
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
3 drops of any food coloring

Cream butter. Add part of the sugar, gradually, blending after each addition. Add remaining sugar, alternately with egg white, then with cream, beating after each addition until smooth. Stir in vanilla & salt. Divide into different bowls if you wish to make different colors, and tint delicately with coloring. Keep frosting covered to avoid crusting. If necessary, one or two drops of cream or milk may be added to maintain consistency.

*This is a great recipe & can even be made the night before as long as you keep it covered.**

French Buttercream Frosting

*(From the original author): "This buttercream is great for icing cakes & writing on them. It gets hard when refrigerated, so you have to let it come to room temperature before serving. You CANNOT make flowers with this recipe. Makes 2 cups."

1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. butter flavored extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Mix heavy cream and flour in a small bowl. Heat the mixture in the microwave for 45 seconds on high. Set aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl, combine butter, shortening, confectioners' sugar, vanilla & butter extract
Using an electric mixer, beat on low until combined. Then beat on medium for 6-8 minutes.
Next add the heavy cream mixture and beat on medium for another 10 minutes. (Mixture will appear soupy at first, but then will become fluffy).

**This is a good, not-too-sweet icing. Don't make it ahead though because it will not warm up to room temperature & be spreadable**

Decorator Frosting

Makes 2 cups

2/3 cups butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 Tblsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
4 drops any color food coloring

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, confectioners' sugar, and milk until light & fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Beat in vanilla & food coloring.

**Hardens when set**

Wedding Cake Icing

*(From the original author):  "Very easy!! Add a little more water to the ice the cake & a little less to make the decorations. Makes 4 cups."

1 cup shortening
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp clear imitation vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup water
8 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Mix shortening, water, vanilla, almond extract and half of the powdered sugar with a mixer for 5-10 minutes (It's very important to mix this long).
Add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat just enough to mix in
Add additional water for desired consistency.

**Use an offset spatula dipped in water to smooth icing on cake**

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