I do not like bakery cakes or their frosting. (Gasp)
Shocking, I know, but I grew up never eating store bought cake, not even sampling bakery cakes, or pre-made frosting. Now that I have, I know I wasn’t missing anything.
The few times I attempted to use store-bought frosting for decorating cakes, the results were disastrous. It’s not stiff enough to hold it’s shape, and the addition of any food coloring makes it runny.
With four boys who request custom cakes for their birthdays, this obviously, was just not going to work. That, and I couldn’t stomach paying outrageous amounts of money to a bakery when I was sure that with a little practice, trial, and error I could duplicate their designs.
My Grandma and Mom, made beautiful cakes that always tasted just as good, if not better, than they looked and the frosting was always rich and creamy.
So when I made the decision to give my boys the same kind of catered cake experiences I had grown up with, I just knew I had to have my Mom’s recipe to make it happen.
The recipe for my family’s cake decorating frosting is simple and easy to whip up.
It’s even easier to adjust for stiffness so you can customize and create a simple or elaborate cake or cupcake design that will hold firmly in place, but still taste smooth and sugary when cut.
TIPS & TRICKS For Making The Best Buttercream Frosting
- If you’re not interested in a plain white frosting for your cake, add a couple of drops of food coloring until your desired color is reached, and then frost.
- If the food coloring makes the frosting too runny, like when you have to add a lot (examples being for true red or true black)- add a little powdered sugar just until it firms back up.
- If chocolate frosting is more to your taste then simply add cocoa powder, 1 tbsp at a time, until it tastes chocolate-y enough for you.
A Few Other Pointers For Working With Homemade Buttercream
- If your frosting is too stiff, and you’re trying to frost any parts of a cake that have been cut or aren’t browned by the outside of the baking pan, it will pull up pieces of cake and make a mess.
- Also, don’t wipe! For a neat look that won’t ruin the cake, gently wipe frosting back and forth until frosted. To achieve a smooth, finished look, smooth over with a HOT knife. Dip the knife in hot water to keep it hot and free of any icing clumps. Otherwise, get your bake-on and frost.
- There will be mistakes made along the way, but the results are well worth it!
Practice makes perfect, and nothing beats your child’s smile when they see you’ve managed to create something from their imagination, or yours, just for them.
Just for fun, and hopefully some inspiration, below the recipe card are a few of the various cakes I’ve made for my boys over the years.
If you’ve tried this CAKE DECORATING FROSTING, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Cake Decorating Frosting
- 3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cup of shortening
- 4-5 tbsp milk or half and half for a richer frosting
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract optional
- In a stand mixer, add all ingredients.
- Mix on low speed until evenly combined. Do not whip!
- If the frosting is still chunky add milk, 1 tbsp at a time until it’s mixed smooth.
- Alternately, if the frosting is too runny, add more confectioners sugar until mixed to desired stiffness.