How Do I Make Frosting?

Decorating By JanessaJo Updated 24 Jan 2010 , 3:47pm by KathysCC

JanessaJo Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 10:32pm
post #1 of 14

I'm making cakes for my daughter and nieces birthday party this weekend. I've never made frosting before and wanted to get some things I am unsure of straightened out.

-When you use shortening, does that mean crisco? Cause I've read since it has no trans fat it doesn't work right.

-I am using very bright colors so any suggestions on the best recipe for doing this, or anything to stay away from so my color comes out right?

-anything in general a rookie needs to know, so i dont royally screw this up, lol.

any advice is appreciated!

13 replies
JGMB Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 10:41pm
post #2 of 14

I like to use the Buttercream Dream recipe found here on Cake Central. It's easy to make and people rave over it. Yes, shortening could be Crisco, but I've switched to the store brand that still has trans fats in it. It seems to make the frosting less prone to cracking.

As for smoothing, I prefer the Viva method (instructions here on CC also).

Good luck with your cakes and please post photos!

prterrell Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 10:43pm
post #3 of 14

Yes, shortening = Crisco. Some store brand shortenings still contain transfast.

HOWEVER, it is not necessary to use shortening to make decorator's frosting. All you really need is butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a little milk.

As for the colors, make sure you are using gel paste colors NOT the liquid food dye sold in the grocery store. You can purchase Wilton brand colors at craft stores, such as Michael's and Hobby Lobby, and at Wal-mart. Don't be scared of adding color. The directions always say to just dip a toothpick into the color and use that tiny amount. Unless you are coloring a minute amount of frosting or only want pale colors, this isn't vary practical. Instead, dip a (clean) butter knife into the gel and get out about an 1/8 of a teaspoon in order to color approx 2-3 cups of frosting. If that isn't bright or deep enough, add a bit more until the color you want is achievd.

HTH!

JanessaJo Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 10:49pm
post #4 of 14

so it doesn't have to have trans fat? i heard if it doesnt, the frosting will melt

Tellis12 Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 10:56pm
post #5 of 14

It doesn't "have" to have trans fats. I've never had my icing melt because I didn't use something with transfats. If you use an entirely butter based icing it won't hold up as well in heat. that doesn't mean you can't do all butter though.

I normally use store brand vegetable shortening but recently I used some crisco and had really good results.

My biggest tip for newbies is to cream your icing on low! And use a paddle if you have one, instead of wire beaters. Good luck and remember to have fun! That's what caking is all about!

JanessaJo Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 11:05pm
post #6 of 14

thanks for the responses! now i just need to find a great recipe and hope it turns out ok!

Tellis12, i decorated a cake with all butter icing that my friends mom made and will NEVER do it again. Halfway through decorating the cake, everything started to melt, the decorations lost all shape, it was so bad, lol.

cownsj Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 11:24pm
post #7 of 14

I've been using Crisco, and did try the Walmart brand a while ago, but didn't like the flavor as much. Maybe I was just used to using the Crisco. Then yesterday while I was in Walmart I went to pick up a can. I noticed that the only can of the Walmart "Good Value" brand they had on the shelf had lard in it (animal fat). Crisco was the only brand on the shelf that was all vegetable.

prterrell Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 11:29pm
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanessaJo

so it doesn't have to have trans fat? i heard if it doesnt, the frosting will melt




What? icon_confused.gif No, the frosting won't melt. There has been resported some problems with color not taking as well. Supposedly the addition of emulsifiers (via meringue powder) help with this problem.

That being said, just skip the shortening all-together and use all butter. It will taste MUCH better and NOT coat your mouth in that greasy film that shortening leaves.

JanessaJo Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 11:47pm
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by prterrell


That being said, just skip the shortening all-together and use all butter. It will taste MUCH better and NOT coat your mouth in that greasy film that shortening leaves.




I don't like all butter. I tried once and taste like I was eating butter out of the tub and melted when I decorated with it. My friends mom made it so I dont know what she used, but it was so yucky!

I'm looking up recipes on here. Theres a rick's buttercreme that has good reviews and that butterdream has good reviews too, not sure which one to use. Personally I love whipped icing, but I know a lot of people that don't. Guess I need to just pick one, do it, and see what happens =)

kellertur Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 11:50pm
post #10 of 14

Not all shortenings are created equally... I use a trans-fat FREE /non-hydrogenated shortening (resturant grade) that is fantastic! The mouthfeel is super smooth and has great stability. NO greasy-feel, just great icing. On super humid days I add a bit of cornstarch to my recipe and it holds up nicely.

Personally, and this is just me, I don't use any product that (knowingly) contributes to clogged arteries. Again, just me... The problem with labeling something just "trans-fat free" is that they neglect to mention it's the hydrogenated or partially hydrogenation that is also dangerous. I avoid both... and have had no complaints from the pickiest of customers. icon_smile.gif

Use what works best for you... everyone has their own experience/opinion on the matter. Good luck to you!!

djs328 Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 11:59pm
post #11 of 14

A lot of people on here use Indydebi's Buttercream and RAVE over it if you want a shortening based buttercream. I personally do about 2/3 butter, 1/3 shortening. I like the flavor of the butter, and I don't need to add butter flavoring.
As for colors, the only 2 to really try to avoid in large (dark) quantities are red and black, as far as I know...They both make the icing taste horrible.
If you have access to a cake supply store, Americolor gel colors are wonderful. If not, definitely use the Wilton paste, not liquid food dye from the grocery store. icon_smile.gif
Good luck! Be sure to post pics when you're done!! icon_smile.gif

prterrell Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 5:44am
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanessaJo

I don't like all butter. I tried once and taste like I was eating butter out of the tub and melted when I decorated with it. My friends mom made it so I dont know what she used, but it was so yucky!




Butter doesn't come in a tub icon_confused.gif (well the spreadable Land-o-Lakes stuff does, but that's not pure butter). Are you sure they didn't use margarine?

Honeslty, I don't see how powdered sugar based frosting could EVER taste like a stick of butter unless there was like 1 cup of sugar to 1 lb of bu

tter. icon_cool.gif But, hey, if you like the taste of hydrogenated vegetable oil over butter, then use what you like. thumbs_up.gif Me, I'm sticking to my IMBC! icon_biggrin.gif

JanessaJo Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 2:48pm
post #13 of 14

I don't know what she used, it was just yucky. I don't like the crisco tasting stuff either. Guess it's trial and error for me. I'm gonna pick a recipe and go get the stuff to make it today and see what happens!

KathysCC Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 3:47pm
post #14 of 14

A mistake that I've seen lots of people make is using too much coloring in their icing. Remember that icing colors dry darker than they look in the bowl so don't over color just because you want a bright color. To test the color, smear a little of your colored icing on the back of a white plate and let it sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour. It will give you an idea of how the final color will look. Usually the color doesn't get to it's final shade until you let the cake sit overnight. Hope this helps you out.

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