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Basic Icing

Posted by Denise on February 18, 2012

basic icing on cake

Basic Icing is a really easy and tasty finish for cakes and other baked goods.


Our post today is for a basic icing recipe that you can use for a wide range of baked goods. It is a good, basic frosting for covering and decorating cakes, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, or anything else you want to use it on. This is my go-to frosting recipe because it is so easy to make, spreads well, can be used to decorate with, and it tastes great.

You can make it thinner and very spreadable to get a pretty finish on a cake. You can also add some powdered sugar to it to make it slightly thicker to use in a pastry bag with different decorating tips to make pretty designs and embellishments. It is very versatile.



Basic Icing


Makes enough to cover an average sized cake 


 basic icing ingredients






cup of solid vegetable shortening


cups of powdered sugar


teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

¼- ½

cup milk


pinch of salt, optional





1.   Place shortening and powdered sugar in mixing bowl and turn mixer on low. Do not turn mixer on higher than low or you will be showered with a cloud of powdered sugar.


2.    Once the two ingredients are mixed somewhat, add the extract, salt, if using, and ¼ cup of milk. Turn the mixer to a medium setting and mix well. Using a spatula, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl, all of the way to the bottom. Turn mixer on again until all ingredients are mixed well and icing is smooth. If the icing is too stiff, add more milk one tablespoon at a time until it is of a spreadable texture. If the icing is too wet, add more powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time until it is the desired consistency.



                   mixing icing in bowl



3.    Add food coloring if desired to get the color you want. Divide the icing into separate bowls before adding the food coloring if you want more than one color. Once divided, you can make the icing in each bowl whatever color you want. Make sure you make enough of one color to ice the main body of the cake or     cookies you plan to frost.







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