As all of you start preparing for Christmas, cookies, cakes and holiday treats become common in every kitchen, and what makes most of these foods really attractive is the icing or frosting that goes on these cakes and cookies to deck them up! I'm not so much of a Frosting person, as I find it really sweet, but festive times call for festive efforts, and I give myself some leeway to dabble with some frosting recipes, trying to create artwork on my holiday desserts! So, to add more color and sweet flavor to your holiday cooking, I thought I'd share with you some Basic Frosting recipes that can be easily modified to suit your style!
Pictured above is one of my first fully-frosted cakes that I decorated in my cake-decorating class. As you can see, it is pretty primitive - it uses Buttercream Frosting in different consistencies. This works best for cakes, along with Chocolate frosting. The Cream cheese frosting is greta for cheese-cakes, cupcakes or smaller desserts, while the Royal icing is preferred for decorating cookies. And now, off to the Frosting Recipes!
(recipe source - Wilton; Yield - 3 cups)
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
Chocolate Frosting (Eggless)
(recipe source - Epicurious; Yield - 2 cups)
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a work bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter. Sift the sugar and cocoa powder together and gradually add to the butter, beating well after each addition. Add the cream and vanilla and beat until well blended and fluffy.
Cream Cheese Frosting
(recipe source - Kraft Foods; Yield - 2-1/2 cups)
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups (about 16 oz.) powdered sugar, sifted
Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sugar gradually, beating until well blended after each addition. Adjust sugar quantity to your liking, and beat until light and fluffy.
(recipe source - Joy of Baking; Yield - 3 cups)
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups (330 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth. The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.
Note: This is the best icing for decorating cookies
Vegan Chocolate Frosting
(recipe source - About.com; Yield - 2 cups)
2 cups organic powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) dairy-free soy margarine, softened
1/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk or soymilk
3/4 cup unsweetened pure cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
In a medium-large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, cream the powdered sugar with the soy margarine until mixture is thick but well combined. Add the almond milk, cocoa powder and vanilla, and continue to mix until smooth.
These basic frosting recipes can be modified to suit your style and flavor - most of them can be adapted to incorporate your choice of flavor by adding a teaspoonful of essence - coconut, orange, mint, almond are a few nice suggestions, but you can customize these recipes as you choose. Add a tinge of food coloring to make colored frosting, and celebrate the festive holiday season in style! For more tips, here's an article on How to Frost a Cake in 5 Easy Steps!
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