Monday, August 15, 2011

Decorators' Buttercream Icing {Recipe}

Before I even begin this post... yes, this icing is shortening-based. Yes, I know that. And there are a lot of good reasons for it. Try it. 

There are a million other icing recipes out there. But this is the one that I use for DECORATING. Just like you use different soap for your hands and for your face, there are different icings out there that serve different purposes.

This is my go-to icing for decorating for a few reasons:
- It doesn't have to be refrigerated.
- It doesn't get too soft in your hands when you work with it for a while.
- It's white, not ivory.
- It holds its color well.
- It "crusts" so that you can get a great faux fondant finish.

Without further ado...
What You Need
1 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. Meringue Powder
1 tsp. clear vanilla extract
1 tsp. clear butter flavoring (I prefer Wilton brand)
1/8 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup whole milk or half-and-half

It is very important that you NEVER mix liquids and powders in this recipe! ALWAYS mix well between additions, and never mix liquids with your sugar or you will get lumps that make it hard to decorate!
Place the shortening and the flavorings in the mixing bowl. Mix well.

Add the meringue powder to the sugar and add about 1/2 of the sugar to the bowl. Mix well.

Add the milk. Mix well.
Add the remaining sugar. Mix well.

This icing does not need to be refrigerated. However, it tastes best if it is stored in the refrigerator no longer than 3 weeks. It will freeze well for up to a few months. Always bring it back to room temperature before decorating.

This icing is a thin consistency, perfect for spreading on your cake, and for basic decorations like stars and shells.

*Note: If you really can't handle all shortening, you can do half butter and half shortening. In that case, use 1/2 cup each butter (at room temperature) and shortening. And decrease your milk to just 2-3 Tbsp.

Click the Links Below to See:
Other Icing Recipes/Ideas
My Complete Recipe Index
How to Ice a Cake Tutorial
Other Cake Decorating Basics

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16 comments:

  1. If the frosting has milk in it how does it not have to be refrigerated? I thought any recipe with dairy had to be refrigerated?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lainie,
      The high amount of sugar acts as a preservative for the milk and therefore it doesn't have to be refrigerated. Doesn't really make sense to me, either, but I trust the experts who say the same.
      - Beki

      Delete
  2. hi we dont have here butter flavor can i just skip it ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can skip it. It won't taste quite the same, but up the vanilla flavor, and that should help.
      - Beki

      Delete
  3. where can i get all this ingredients? Is it available at any supermarket??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most of the ingredients should be available at the grocery store, though I usually use Wilton's meringue powder and butter flavoring, and those I buy at JoAnn's or Michael's (Craft stores).
      Good luck!
      - Beki

      Delete
  4. Hi, where do you usually purchase your ingredients??

    ReplyDelete
  5. Can I use this to make a camouflage design on a sheet cake?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you could. I haven't tried it, but I don't know why it wouldn't work. Good luck!
      - Beki

      Delete
  6. Will this melt if it is out in the hot sun for a baseball game??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you have a better chance with this than with something that is butter-based, but I think just about anything will melt in super hot, sunny conditions.
      Honestly, if you're up for trying fondant, that may be your best bet if you're stuck with lots of heat??
      Good luck!
      - Beki

      Delete
  7. Can I use just Eggs white instead Merenge powder???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lena,
      I would start by just leaving it out... see how that goes. IF you're then not getting enough of a crust, yes you could use egg whites, BUT you need to decrease your liquid then by 2-3 Tbsp. for one egg white. AND you want to get those egg whites to 160-degrees (F) before you use them so that you kill any bacteria in them.
      - Beki

      Delete
  8. I wanted to make a black cat with this frosting, do you have a choc. butter cream recipe so that I can start with a darker base and not need quite as much black food coloring?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. I do!
      Check it out here:
      http://bekicookscakesblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/chocolate-buttercream-icing.html

      Delete

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