Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cake, Cupcake, and Cookie Icing

I am going to do some future posts on cake decorating and I thought it would be best to go over the different types of icing first. Since I took a Wilton cake decorating class all of the recipes below are from the Wilton book. First we will go over the classic Buttercream Icing. This isn't my favorite icing due to it's sweetness, my daughter loves it though, but it's the most common for decorating cakes.

Classic Buttercream Icing (Makes 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup solid white vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract (if you use colored flavoring your icing won't be white)
7-8 teaspoons water
1 lb pure cane confectioners sugar (it must be pure cane or it won't get stiff enough to decorate with)
1 tablespoon meringue powder

Cream shortening, flavoring, and water. Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together. Blend an additional minute or so until creamy.

Next is my favorite taste wise, Whipped Cream Icing. This icing is much softer than the classic buttercream recipe so you will be limited in the types of decorating you can do.

Whipped Cream Icing (Makes 1 1/2 - 2 cups)
1/2 pint (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons Piping Gel
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

Combine whipping cream and sugar in mixing bowl. Whip to soft peak stage. Add piping gel and vanilla, then continue to whip stiff peaks. Do not overbeat. Use topping mix immediately after preparing. Do not allow to stay at room temperature, as it becomes too soft for decorating.

Last we will go over royal icing. This icing is smooth but dries hard making it ideal for decorations that last. Royal icing isn't recommended for icing cakes.

Royal Icing  (Makes 3 cups)
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons warm water

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).

NOTE: Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.
* For stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
**When using large countertop mixer or for stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
Thinned Royal Icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency.


  1. I like the Wilton Extra Special Buttercream. It's one I use all the time. It's sorta like the classic but made with about 6 oz. of whipping cream. It comes out fluffy and not as sweet tasting. Only thing is you have to be sure to mix the sugar and shortening/butter real good (dissolving the sugar) and then add the cream. Also you have to be careful not to overbeat after adding the cream or it almost turns to butter. LOL
    I've never tried the Whipped cream icing...might have to give that a try next time.
    Thanks for sharing the recipes!

  2. Thanks for posting! Can't wait to try the whipped cream icing! :)