This Decorator Icing tastes just like the birthday cakes of our childhood. It can be used to frost cakes and also thickened for piping and decorating.
With only 5 ingredients that you probably have in your pantry, you can create a beautiful, festive cake for any occasion.
I started decorating cakes years ago when my son was small. Since I didn't want to pay for a bakery cake I had to learn to make them fun for him!
This icing goes together quickly and is easy to work with, because you control the thickness.
How to Make Decorator Buttercream Icing
You can use either a stand mixer or a hand mixer. For many years I only used a hand mixer. The stand mixer is nice because it leaves your hands free to do other things.
But for sure you should use an electric mixer. I imagine someone really strong with a lot of stamina could whip this up by hand, but I've never tried it!
Put the shortening into your mixing bowl and cream it on high speed until light and fluffy. Then add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing each time.
As you add the powdered sugar you'll want to start the mixer out on low then speed it up as you go. Otherwise, you'll have clouds of sugar around your head! This will become very stiff, but not to worry.
Once the sugar and shortening are incorporated, beat in the vanilla and salt. Then start adding the milk one Tablespoon at a time.
If you are using this icing just for decorations, then don't thin it too much. The frosting should hold a stiff peak to make sturdy flowers and leaves.
If you are frosting your whole cake with this, then you'll want it creamier, so that it spreads nicely.
How to Color Icing for Decorating
Icing is fun because you can basically put ANY decoration on a cake or cupcakes.
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The best type of food coloring to use for your decorating frosting is gel food coloring because it won't affect the texture of the icing.
If you use a liquid food coloring and need a deep color, you'll end up using a lot and it will thin the frosting too much.
Buttercream Decorator Icing
- Electric Mixer
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted or whisked to break up any big lumps
- 1 cup solid shortening, Crisco or Butter, softened (If you use butter, your frosting will taste delicious, but it will not be pure white)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, clear vanilla is best, if you can find it. Brown vanilla will tint the icing ever so slightly.
- Pinch of Salt
- 4-6 Tablespoons milk, any kind, I've even used cream in a pinch.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, on high speed, cream your shortening or butter until well softened.
- Add the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time and continue to beat. Frosting will be thick, but don't worry.
- Add vanilla and salt and beat until incorporated.
- Add milk one Tablespoon at a time until frosting is the desired consistency.
- If the frosting becomes too thin, add more confectioner's sugar. If it is too thick, add more milk.
- Use as desired.