Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Night Treat: Frosting!

Everyone needs a good frosting recipe - and although this recipe doesn't take butter (to make it a true buttercream), it is a great frosting! I also don't have to worry about refrigerating the cake/cupcakes because of not having butter in it (does anyone else worry about that too?). The recipe is at the end of this post.

Want to see some things I've made with this frosting? I will be showing you a few of these techniques over the next couple of weeks (and I'll show you more if I have requests!).

Basic swirl on a cupcake

Large flower design on a cupcake

A combo of basic swirls and large flowers for a baby shower
(weird background - yeah, it was in our school library :) )

Ladybug cupcakes

Microphone cupcakes

Rocket ship birthday cake
(for my husband's 25th - yeah we're cool like that)

One of the first cakes I ever made
(for full disclosure)

An anniversary cake for my in-laws
(I used stiff consistency frosting to make the white roses)

Monster cupcakes - one of my all-time favorites!
I hope our little one wants a monster birthday party some day!

Are you getting some ideas of what you can make with some good frosting?
I hope so! So, here goes...

Cream together your shortening, flavoring, and water/milk.

It will look like this when it is all creamed together.

Add your powdered sugar and meringue powder. I recommend putting a towel over top of the mixer while this is happening (careful not to get it in the bowl!), so that way the powdered sugar doesn't go EVERYWHERE!

  • This will make a stiff consistency of frosting - which is best for making flowers (such as roses - like on the anniversary cake).
  • Add 1 teaspoon of water per cup of stiff consistency frosting (or 1 Tablespoon for the full recipe) to make it medium consistency - which is best for stars and borders.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of water per cup of medium consistency frosting (or 1 Tablespoon for the full recipe) to make it a thin consistency - which is best for writing and icing a cake.
Usually, I work somewhere between the thin and medium consistency. If you make it too thin, stick it in the fridge for a little while. If it is too stiff, just add a little more water until you get it to the consistency that you want. Does that make sense?

Then, you can leave it white or tint it to the color that you want. Not too bad, huh? Here's the recipe...
Buttercream Icing
(adapted from the Wilton Method of Cake Decorating)

  • 1 cup of solid white vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon of flavoring (vanilla, almond, or butter)
    • My note: I usually use 1/2 t vanilla, 1/2 t almond, and 1/4 t butter flavoring (if I double the recipe I don't double the flavoring).
  • 2 T milk or water
    • My note: I use water (purified to keep the frosting as white as possible) because I don't want to worry about refrigeration.
  • 1 lb. pure cane confectioners' sugar (about 4 C)
  • 1 T meringue powder
    • My note: You can find this in in the Wilton aisle at Wal-Mart
  • a pinch of salt
  • 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.
My note: I usually make a double batch whenever I make this frosting because powdered sugar comes in a 2 pound bag. I either use it all or refrigerate or freeze the leftovers for a future use!

What are you going to frost?
What do you want to learn how to do?

Pin It


  1. oooh! I like those large flowers. What tip do you use for your large swirls? Stopping by way of Tip Junkie.

    1. I used Wilton tip 1M. I have a tutorial all ready to go that I will be posting in the next couple of weeks for the large swirl. Be sure to stop back!

  2. You are such a talented lady. I live for frosting and can't wait to try yours. I have pinned this. I am a new follower visiting from Passionately Artistic. Vicky from Mess For Less

    1. Let me know what you think! Thanks for following!

  3. YUM! looks delish.

    I would love it if you come by and link this up at From Scratch Friday tomorrow @ Marriage from Scratch!


  4. I actually love shortening based frostings!

    1. It's good to hear that I am not the only one! What is your favorite shortening based frosting recipe? Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Is this a gluten free recipe?

  6. This is a great recipe and not overly sweet made a test frosting its smooth and creamy pipes wonderfully love it this is going in my recipe box!! Thank You !!

  7. Does this "harden up" / dry or does it stay soft?