For me, frosting is one of those don’t-even-need-a-recipe recipe. Depending on how much icing I need, I just keep adding icing sugar and milk until I get the amount and consistency that I want. This poses a problem for actually putting into writing how I make my icing. Even though I did write a recipe for my buttercream icing below, you can change the measurements based on your needs.
Normally I like to color my icing but this time I kept it white for my friend’s engagement party. The inspirational sprinkles were light pink and orange (I mean, how cute are they?!); and white seemed like the perfect, simple combination. If you are looking for a white cupcake recipe to go with this icing, check out my adaptation of Martha’s recipe.
Before I took Michael’s cake decorating courses (yes, it’s a thing) I didn’t even know you could make pure white icing. Butter and vanilla have color so icing always had to be tinted with a different color. The trick is to use vegetable shortening instead of butter and clear vanilla instead of regular (brown) vanilla. The shortening can be found at the grocery store and the vanilla is sold at Michaels. Using these ingredients also make your colored frosting a better, more clear color.
1 cup Crisco vegetable shortening
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp clear vanilla
4 tbsp milk
1. Use an electric beater or a spoon and mix with 2 cups of icing sugar. Add vanilla extract and 2 tbsp of milk.
2. Continue mixing in icing sugar and milk, alternating and mixing between each addition to get the consistency you are looking for. I usually go for a medium-thick consistency so that when I pipe the icing on the peaks remain solid.
My favourite alternate icing ingredients:
Chocolate – add ½ cup coco powder and use chocolate milk instead of white milk.
Peanut Butter – replace ½ cup butter with ½ cup peanut butter.