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Monday, September 19, 2011

The Icing on the Cake

Over the years I've noticed that when it comes to cake there are two kinds of people: Cake People and Frosting People (Yes, I realize there is a third type that doesn't like cake at all, or even dessert for that matter, but frankly I just don't get you.) Personally, I am a cake person. I will eat the icing, but often leave most of it on the plate. Especially when said icing is too sweet. Super sugary icing can ruin a cake. This is often the problem with store-bought cakes and can frosting. I'm all for using box cake mix, but when you go to frost it leave the can on the shelf and make your own! It's so simple. Here are a couple of icing recipes with a few helpful tips:

Basic White Icing
*This recipe will frost an entire 2 layer 8 inch round cake. 

1 lb butter (or 4 sticks)
1 lb shortening (same as one small can of Crisco)
2 lb bag of powdered sugar

1. Put room temperature butter in mixer and whip on high until pale in color. (If you don't have a stand mixer you can do this with a hand mixer, it will just take a little longer.)
2. Scrape down sides.
3. Add shortening and whip to combine.
4. Scrape down sides.
5. Turn mixer to its lowest setting and very slowly add powdered sugar.
6. Mix on low until smooth and slightly shiny. This could take up to 15 minutes, your patience will be rewarded.

Tips:
 -If you can find it, use European style butter. It contains less water than American butter, so your icing will have a stiffer consistency which is better for decorating.
-Use gel or powder food coloring as it will not change the consistency of your icing. It is also more potent so you can use less.
-Extra icing should be stored in air-tight containers in the refrigerator. When you need to use it again, simply place it back in the mixer and whip for a few seconds.

Cream Cheese Icing

8 oz cream cheese
2 sticks or 1 cup of butter
2 cups powdered sugar

1. Add room temperature butter and cream cheese to mixer and whip on high.
2. Scrape down sides.
3. Slowly add powdered sugar.
4. Mix until well blended.

Tips:
 -It is unnecessary to use European butter for this recipe.
-Cream Cheese Icing will not absorb food coloring the same as the Basic White Icing. Keep this in mind when using it to decorate.

Variations:
-Use strawberry cream cheese for a great flavor addition to an ordinary box cake.
-Fold in homemade whipped cream or Cool Whip for a lighter texture.

2 comments:

Auntie Em said...

YUM. I am definitely a frosting person. I always eat cake from the bottom up and save the frosting for last! Cute layout, by the way!

Lisa said...

Thanks! :)