Friday, February 19, 2010

Sweet and Simple Buttercream Icing

If you're interested in cake decorating, you will need a reliable buttercream icing. Not to mention the fact that homemade icing tastes better than store bought icing, any day! The following is my standard buttercream recipe that I use all the time. I normally double this recipe, as it allows plenty of icing to cover an 8-inch round cake, and have enough left over to decorate with. Sweet and simple!

Buttercream Icing
(yeilds: 3 cups)
This recipe creates a stiff consistency icing.

1 cup solid white vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla flavor or extract (you can also use butter flavor, or almond)
2 tablespoons water (you can also substitute with extract for more flavor)
1 lbs pure cane confectioners sugar (aprox. 4 cups)
1 tablespoon meringue powder (available a baking or decorating stores. I get mine at Michael's Arts 'n Crafts)

1) Sift sugar two to four times.
2) In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, cream shortening, flavoring, and water.
3) Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed.
4) Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
5) Continue to mix three to five more minutes, until creamy.

Icing Consistency:
Stiff Consistency (what the above recipe makes) is good for decorations that need to hold a particular shape such as roses or flowers.
Medium Consistency (add one tablespoon of water for each cup of icing) is great for borders and figures such as figure piping, flowers that lie flat, shells, rosettes, etc.
Thin Consistency (add two tablespoons of water for each cup of icing) is for fine details like writing, vines, leaves, and icing the whole cake itself.


  1. i make mine similar to this too, but tell me, what does the meringue powder do?

  2. I'm going to try this on a wedding cake I'm doing soon. Would you suggest the medium consistency?