Cake Decorating Icing - The Three Most Popular Recipes

When it comes to cake decorating, icing is your secret weapon. Not only can you cover up many baking boo...boos, but you just can't decorate a cake without icing. It's the glue that holds everything together and the sweet stuff that makes it all taste so good. Three of the most commonly used types of icing are butter cream, royal icing, and fondant. Here is a quick look at the three different kinds of cake decorating icing and their uses.

The Basic Ingredients
All cake icing is basically created from a combination of sugar, butter, egg whites, and flavoring. Here is a quick and easy recipe for simple cake icing.
Butter Cream
Butter cream icing is probably the most commonly used form of icing used in cake decorating. Butter cream icing is creamy, light and easy to work with. It is usually used as the base layer of frosting on a cake or what is called a crumb coat. It is easy to make butter cream thick or thin by adding more or less of your wet ingredients. Simply add coco powder or orange extract to the recipe below and you'll have an easy to make home-made butter cream recipe that can be used for any occasion.
Butter Cream Recipe:
6 cups powdered sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup very soft butter
3 tsp vanilla extract
Just mix together the above ingredients and add food coloring & flavorings of your choice. Will cover two 9x11 cakes.
Royal Icing
Another popular icing used in cake decorating is royal icing. Royal icing is usually made with meringue powder and has a very sweet taste. It is much different from butter cream icing because it dries faster and has a firm texture. It is great for doing intricate lace work, piping flower designs. It is great for holding parts together. A gingerbread house is a perfect example of a great use of royal icing.
Royal Icing Recipe:
4 tablespoons of meringue powder
5 cups of confectioners' sugar
7 tablespoons of warm water
Mix all ingredients for about 10 minutes with a hand-held mixer on high-speed, or until icing starts to form peaks. Add more or less water for your desired consistency.
If you ever watch any of those cake decorating shows on television than you are familiar with the use of fondant. Fondant has the consistency of molding clay and is commonly used to make figurines and is easily shaped into fun characters. Fondant can also be used to cover and entire cake when it is rolled out flat with a rolling-pin. It is soft and pliable and provides a great and stable base for your cake decorations. I recently used fondant to make some sesame street characters for my grandson's second birthday party and he went wild. Now you can actually buy fondant that is pre made or you can make it your self and just add food coloring to get the colors you want.
Fondant Recipe:
2 Tbsp of unflavored gelatin 
1/2 cup of cold water 
2 tsp of almond extract 
1 cup of light corn syrup 
2 Tbsp of glycerin 
4 lbs confectioners' sugar 
1 tsp of vegetable shortening
Add the gelatin to cold water in a bowl and let it stand until soft, put in microwave for 30 seconds and add almond extract. Next, mix corn syrup and glycerin until smooth & clear. In a large bowl add the sugar, make a hole in the center and add liquid mixture, stir with a spoon until sticky. On a smooth work surface sprinkled with confectioners' sugar kneed the fondant until it becomes smooth and pliable. Rub the shortening onto thumbs and kneed into fondant.
Well there you have it. The three most popular types of cake decorating icing I sincerely hope these tips were helpful and wish you all the best in your cake decorating adventures.
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