The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Icing Question

Eli's picture

Icing Question

I went to pick up icing for a cake I have to make next week. Anyone here have any experience with Decorator's Icing? I made a small batch tonight but mine wasn't as smooth as what I buy in buckets. I am curious as to whether I whipped it enough or over whipped.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


LindyD's picture

Not sure what decorator's icing is. I've made Royal icing using a recipe by Alton Brown. It worked out quite well and tasted good.

Am guessing they're the same thing.


GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture

Are you looking for a simple icing or one that requires cooking?  I use a variation of a buttercream.  You can make it chocolate, vanilla, or whatever strikes your fancy.  For instance, this weekend I iced cupcakes with the following:

4 cups confectioners sugar

1 stick unsalted butter (room temp)

2 Tablespoons cool, strong coffee

2 Tablespoons lite sour cream (regular would work would milk)

1/2 teaspoon orange flavoring

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate

3 Tablespoons cocoa

1/4 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon

Place room-temp butter into mixer and beat for two minutes, gradually add the confectioners sugar, cocoa, melted chocolate, sour cream, coffee, vanilla, orange flavoring and cinnamon until all items are creamed.  From this point, continue beating for five minutes at medium speed.  This will allow your frosting to become quite fluffy and delightfully blended.  (NOTE:  if you need to add additional liquid to achieve a desired consistency do it in small increments of a teaspoon at a time.  I'd suggest using water, but an additional bit of sour cream/or coffee is fine too).

Yumarama's picture

I'll recommend you make up a batch of IMBC - best darn icing ever. Not excessively sweet either and smooth as butter. Because it has a full pound of it.

Print out the following:
Recipe from Martha Stewart.
Step by Step illustrated instructions (7th entry down) in PDF format from (my cake site)

It has just five ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites (190g)
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or whatever flavour you want)

Well, six ingredients, you also want 2/3 cup water.

This makes 4.5 cups., more than enough to cover a basic 2 layer 8" cake and decorations. 

A lot of cake decorators just get a carton of the egg whites from the grocery store and use that instead of fresh eggs since it's a lot easier, the carton stuff's been pasteurized and there's no fuss with what to do with 5 yolks. Do NOT use salted butter, it really makes it taste, well... not right.

Follow the instructions in the PDF and you'll get it perfect. First time may feel a little clumsy as you're reading and doing but once you've done it 2 or 3 times, it's a breeze.

Good luck. And try not to eat all the leftovers.


Eli's picture

First, Thank you! I was making Decorator's Icing which is similar to Buttercreme but it stands up better than the buttercreme at room temp (here in the south a necessity)

My recipe

2 Cups Crisco

8 Cups confectioner's sugar

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 tsp Almond

3/4 cup milk

Whip crisco and sugar then add sugar. It should have become really creamy and gone on smoothly without spatula marks. Not the case. I have time so I will try all three of the recipes above. I have a particular client and he is also a good one so I want him to be happy.

Thanks again,


Eli's picture

Fantastic website! I don't do many cakes but I have a few every couple of  months. I am going to try the IMBC. Great detail and instructions...Thanks again!