Frosting (also known as icing) can be made in a variety of ways, depending on the texture, flavor and style you're after. You can make frosting out of powdered sugar, butter, chocolate, or whatever flavors you love, and you don't have to be a master chef to make this delicious and sweet treat.
Powdered Sugar Frosting
- Pour one cup of powdered sugar in a medium/small bowl.
- Add 1-3 tablespoons of milk, water or orange juice. You can also use heavy cream. Keep in mind that the more liquid you add, the thinner your frosting will be.
- Stir with a spoon.
- Test the consistency. Make sure it is not too runny or too thick. If it is too thick, add only a little more milk. If it is too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar.
- Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes to thicken.
- Add flavoring. You can add lemon juice, vanilla extract, almond extract or any other flavor you like. You can also add food coloring, if desired.
- Spread the frosting on the cake. Let the cake cool thoroughly first.
- Beat 6 tablespoons (90g) of softened butter in a small bowl using an electric mixer. Beat until it's light and fluffy.
- Beat in 3/4 cup (160g) of sifted powdered sugar (icing sugar) and 1 tablespoon of milk or water in two batches.
- Spread it. Once combined, it is ready for spreading on the cake.
- Place 3 ounces (80g) of coarsely chopped dark eating chocolate or a tablespoon of cocoa powder with 1/4 cup (60g) of sour cream in a heatproof glass bowl.
- Put the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. If you have a double-boiler, you can use that instead.
- Stir mixture together until smooth.
- Spread over the pastry when the frosting has melted to a smooth consistency.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat 6 tablespoons (90g) of cream cheese with 6 tablespoons (90g) of softened butter in a small bowl. Use an electric mixer to make it easier.
- Beat until the two ingredients are as white as possible.
- Gradually beat in 4/3 cup (160g) sifting powdered sugar (icing sugar).
- Stir 5/4 cup (220g) superfine sugar (caster sugar) with 1/3 cup (80ml) of water in a small saucepan over heat without boiling. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Bring to the boil for 5 minutes. Don't stir or cover. When the syrup reaches 116ºC on a candy thermometer or the syrup appears thick but not colored, it's done.
- Remove this mixture from the heat. Leave aside to allow the bubbles to die down.
- Beat 2 egg whites in a small bowl until soft peaks form.
- Keeping the mixer going, pour the hot syrup in gradually in a thin stream. Then beat on high for about 10 minutes or until the mixture turns thick and cool.
- Apply as required.
- Stir 3 1/2 tablespoons (50g) butter, 1/4 cup (55g) superfine sugar (caster sugar) and 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Do not boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Sift 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar (icing sugar) and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder into a heatproof bowl.
- Gradually pour in the hot butter mixture, stirring as you pour.
- Cover the bowl. Place in the refrigerator and chill until it turns thick.
- For spreading on the cake, beat with a wooden spoon until the frosting becomes spreadable.
- You'll need 2 cups of whipping cream, 1 bag of mini marshmallows, 1 cup of sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
- Place the cream, marshmallows, sugar, and salt in a large, deep saucepan.
- Heat over medium-low heat. Stir frequently, until the marshmallows melt completely.
- Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla, if you're using it.
- Pour the icing into the bowl of the stand mixer or another mixing bowl. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, preferably overnight.
- Remove the icing from the refrigerator. Beat it at high speed, using your stand mixer or an electric hand mixer; it's a challenge to beat thoroughly enough by hand, so it's best to use a machine. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure you're incorporating all of the chilled icing.
- Beat until the icing is smooth and glossy. This will probably take less than a minute. The icing will thin out and become almost sauce-like. Once it's smooth, set the icing aside to rest at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes; it'll stiffen as it sits, bringing it to spreadable consistency.
- Spread or pipe the icing atop cupcakes. Or, use it to fill a round layer cake, or ice a 9" x 13" sheet cake.
- If you put some frosting in a sturdy plastic bag and cut off a little bit of the corner, you can draw designs or personalize your cake.
- Make sure the cake is fully cooled before trying to put on icing, or it will melt.
- Powdered sugar may be labeled "confectioner's sugar" or "icing sugar". It's the same stuff. It should be a fine white powder, not little white crystals. Granulated sugar (the kind that looks like tiny crystals) will not work very well for frosting because it is not smooth.
- Cinnamon, lemon juice, crushed peppermint sticks or mints, crushed cookies, or just about anything else can make your frosting even more tasty and original.
- Experiment with your frosting. Put it on whatever dessert you want and see if it's worth making again.
- You can look at designs and try to recreate them on your own cake.
- This frosting is also fun for cookies, after they are baked.
- You can add food coloring to change the color.
- Don't eat too much frosting or you could make yourself sick.
- Try adding a little cornstarch into the powdered sugar.
- Don't heat up the frosting too much - you can burn the milk and ruin the whole thing.
- If you don't like using raw egg whites in a frosting, look for the pasteurized kind.
Things You'll Need
- Electric beater
- Spreading implements
- Ingredients as outlined above
- How to Bake a Cake
- How to Make Edible Sugar Crystals
- How to Make Hard Chocolate for Ice Cream Topping
- How to Make a Chocolate Cake
- How to Make Chocolate Frosting
- How to Frost a Cake
- Make Pignoli Cookies
- Make a Rose With Cake Icing
- Make Frosted Cake Plates
- Make Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Make Golden Rum Cake
Sources and Citations
- Confirmation of some methods via AWW, Baking, (2008), ISBN 978-186396789-1.
- Conversions between metric and imperial baking measurements