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The Silkiest Icing You'll Ever Eat

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
4/25/2011 2:10 PM   :  45 comments   :  21,494 Views

Before you read any farther, let me start by writing this: Icing is by no means healthy. It is not nutritious, and it is not a food any of us should eat on a regular basis. It's sugar and butter, and not much more.

That said, boy is it delicious when I eat it on special occasions. For the boys' birthdays, holidays, and for bake sales at school, I make this icing. It's not a true buttercream, which includes eggs and a sugar syrup, but this one is easy and silky smooth.

If you're going to eat cake with icing, eat the real deal. Boxed cake mixes have come a long way, but canned frosting is full of trans fats, and artificial ingredients. They can't hold a candle to homemade versions.

What's the secret to great icing?

I learned from a wedding cake decorator years ago that the best way to make icing is in a food processor. Mixers incorporate too much air. By using the food processor your icing will be silky smooth. (You can use a mixer, but it won't be as smooth.)

Those who know me well will say that I am not a snob--except for when it comes to icing. I want the real stuff! To me cakes are ruined with fake whippy icings made with shortening.



Ever wonder why grocery store cakes use whippy icings? Cost! It is a lot cheaper to prepare whippy icings using emulsified shortenings than butter, but the taste is incomparable. Shortening-based icings will leave a greasy film in your mouth. Yuck!

For natural colored icing, use pureed and strained berries.

Get the recipe for my Silky Smooth White Icing.

This recipe makes 2 cups, which yields 32 one-tablespoon servings. That generous dollop of icing will set you back about 80 calories and just 3 g fat.

Are you a cake or an icing person? What's your favorite kind of cake? What about icing? Do you make your own?


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Comments

  • 45
    can you still decorate cakes with this frosting?? - 4/5/2012   11:28:00 AM
  • 44
    I choose the cake. Icing is usually too sweet and I just automatically scoop it off. - 12/14/2011   8:54:59 PM
  • BLUEYUKON
    43
    I love icing and always want the end outside piece, the more icing the better
    I have baked and decorated cakes for 35 years and made many different icings
    I will try this one, sounds so good, a little ata atime - 5/2/2011   3:45:50 PM
  • 42
    My co-worker made a cake last week. Some kind of orange cake. I worked out in the morning, sampled the cake and decided it was totally worth the extra workout. So I had a big slice and paid for it later in spin class. Did I say it was worth the workout? A year ago I used to say that cake was food group and had almost everyday, at least now it's a treat that I have very seldom. - 4/29/2011   9:12:10 PM
  • 41
    I love a carrot cake, and sure do love the cream cheese icing, I'm nuts about a creamy icing. If I have cake, I just have a sliver..calories, you know. lol. - 4/28/2011   5:48:23 PM
  • 40
    This is almost identical to my Mother's recipe, although she always used a mixer. I keep a cup of this in the freezer and when I'm craving something sweet, I spread a tablespoon on a graham cracker!
    I always make cakes from scratch. My favorite is an applesauce spice cake packed with raisins and walnuts. - 4/27/2011   8:51:55 PM
  • SWEETMELISSA711
    39
    I love the icing too so when I make a cake, I usually use a box cake and instead of the ingredients listed on the box, I use diet soda. If it is a dark cake, i.e. chocolate, I use diet coke. If it is a light colored cake, i.e. spice (my favorite), I use diet sprite. Tastes the same and still moist as ever and saves the oil and egg calories so I can have the frosting on top. Yummy! - 4/27/2011   4:21:54 PM
  • 38
    I love cake and icing, but I always make homemade. Sometimes I'll cheat and use a boxed cake mix, but only if I'm going to doctor it somehow. I know lots of people who love the "whippy" icing from the supermarket, and I just don't understand - no icing is good for you, so if you're going to allow yourself the indulgence, why not make it with the best of ingredients? - 4/26/2011   8:15:15 PM
  • 37
    I just looked at the recipe. It's identical to the one my mother taught me 50 years ago, but we didn't have a food processor then. We would use the mixer and put it on a very low speed.

    As far as cake or frosting? I love frosting - really good frosting that is. I prefer brownies (unfrosted) over cakes, but I'm not sure about whether I prefer brownies or frosting. I'll have to ponder that one.
    - 4/26/2011   5:44:50 PM
  • 36
    My favorite cake is chocolate beet, using dark cocoa & part white whole wheat flour. The beets make it so moist that it doesn't need any frosting.

    I do make frosting very occasionally--NEVER buy it. In most cases I prefer cream cheese frosting--yum! - 4/26/2011   2:35:16 PM
  • 35
    yum - EVERYTHING in moderation of course! - 4/26/2011   1:54:01 PM
  • RUNESHADOW
    34
    I was so glad to read this blog. I thought the idea was moderation, not deprivation, although I have not been on SP very long. But I don't have a food processor and wish I could find more recipes anywhere on the web that give alternate means of preparation when a food processor is not available.

    That said, I am an icing person, only eat a wee bit of cake (or preferably, a cupcake) to go with the icing! - 4/26/2011   1:08:36 PM
  • SBATES63
    33
    I love good frosting and I love good cake. When I am at home I do the salad dressing trick when I am feeling virtuous. I take a piece of plain cake and put a tablespoon or so of icing on the plate. I take a bit of the icing with the cake for each bite. - 4/26/2011   12:35:22 PM
  • 32
    I've been known to scrape icing off a cake, and just eat the cake. Although I do love cream cheese frosting! - 4/26/2011   12:20:27 PM
  • 31
    I love cake and especially icing. Although I haven't eaten a really good baked good since I had to go gluten-free. There just aren't any that have the soft, doughy, chewy texture I love! - 4/26/2011   10:08:48 AM
  • 30
    I am a professional cake decorator who has eaten too much delicious cake and icing in my days. I don't really have an interest in eating any of it anymore :) - 4/26/2011   10:08:08 AM
  • 29
    Cake is the one dessert I can (usually) pass up easily. However, if and when I do eat cake, it has to have GREAT icing! This recipe looks like it would fit the bill. I also don't bake much, but I will save this to try when I do! - 4/26/2011   10:01:56 AM
  • 28
    I am an icing person, all the way! I don't eat it much, but if I eat it, I want it to be the real deal. I can't wait to try this recipe. Maybe it'll ease the temptation of the local cupcake boutiques! - 4/26/2011   9:56:47 AM
  • 2DIETORNOT2DIET
    27
    always make home made frosting do not have a food processor will have to stick with my hand mixer - 4/26/2011   9:37:08 AM
  • WINEDINETRAVEL
    26
    I'm not really all that fond of cake - it's a dessert I can easily pass up. But when I do have cake, a fantastic icing is a necessity. This recipe is the one that had always been used in my family. - 4/26/2011   9:32:06 AM
  • JANISLOVESPIE
    25
    My husband jokingly refers to icing as "filet of cake." Nonetheless, we're both cake people. Actually, we're both *pie* people, but that's another story! - 4/26/2011   6:56:08 AM
  • 24
    I am an icing person, but also a snob, I will use a cake mix, but generally pass on the canned icing to me it just isn't worth the extra calories. I will try the food processor the next time I make icing. Many thought cake and icing was not the best choice on a diet website, but a small piece of cake and icing can be worked into your daily calorie count. I leave room for dessert. It keeps me from feeling deprived. - 4/26/2011   6:54:03 AM
  • 23
    I am a fanatic about my homemade birthday cakes. This is the same recipe I've always used, but I've made it with my waring mixer. My daughter's birthday is in 3 days, and I can't wait to try it in the food processor. Thanks for the recipe! - 4/26/2011   5:39:00 AM
  • 22
    Although I know I'll try it at some point, this seems like a very awkward discussion to be having on SparkPeople. Sorry, don't mean to be a party pooper but with all the great advice I've absorbed via SP, I'm confused about the purpose of this blog. - 4/26/2011   5:24:00 AM
  • 21
    I don't like my icing too sweet and I make great icing. The favorite is cream cheese which is more cream cheese than sugar. Delicious! - 4/25/2011   10:09:09 PM
  • 20
    JUST GIVE ME THE ICING! DON'T CARE ONE WHIT ABOUT CAKE, UNLESS IT'S CHOCOLATE!! LOL - 4/25/2011   9:24:59 PM
  • 19
    Im a cake and and icing person, but i agree 100% - those whippy frosting things are good for nothing but the trash - 4/25/2011   9:09:54 PM
  • 18
    I scrape the icing off especially on wedding cakes...never have liked it, too sweet for me. - 4/25/2011   8:42:14 PM
  • 17
    I'm not an icing person--if I have some, I want just a little bit of icing; usually that means scraping it off. When I do have it, it's always from scratch. The recipe sounds delicious; I'll definitely give it a try. - 4/25/2011   8:27:44 PM
  • 16
    I'll try this icing on the next special cake day. Thanks! - 4/25/2011   7:40:41 PM
  • 15
    This is a great alternative to Wilton's buttercream fat-in-a-can!!
    Thanks for a new, oh-so-novice, cake decorator. :-) - 4/25/2011   6:27:13 PM
  • 14
    Oh, I'm known to enjoy having a little cake to go with my icing, LOL !

    Funny, I was craving wedding/birthday cake yesterday (my treat day), but there was none to be found, and the single servings in the grocery store are just a yucky waste of my calorie budget.

    Thanks for the recipe! - 4/25/2011   6:07:26 PM
  • 13
    I'm trying to cook a lot more and eat out less. I will definitely try this recipe next time I bake a cake. :-) - 4/25/2011   6:02:13 PM
  • NJ_HOU
    12
    Thanks good to know I and my family are not alone in the world appreciating the flavor of homemade. - 4/25/2011   5:28:40 PM
  • 11
    Great info for a non-cook like me. I'll have to give this a try! - 4/25/2011   4:59:22 PM
  • 10
    I LOVE bakery cakes! But I just want a single THIN layer of icing, no shells, no flowers, no bulbous balloons (BLACK or otherwise). And, I'm looking forward to getting one this weekend!! - 4/25/2011   4:58:49 PM
  • 9
    Funny, I USED to be all about the frosting....but the longer i"m on a healthier living journey, the less I enjoy the sugary overload of most frosting. And I make cakes in my spare time! So this is a good thing! Less taste-testing. We won't talk about the cookies & cream filling. Oy! - 4/25/2011   4:58:27 PM
  • 8
    Thanks for sharing! - 4/25/2011   4:56:32 PM
  • 7
    Can hardly wait to try this. I always bake cakes and frosting from "scratch." This sound wonderful! Thanks especially for sharing the tip about making the frosting in the food processor! - 4/25/2011   4:32:05 PM
  • 6
    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I don't make cakes often but when I do I make REAL cakes and REAL icings from scratch! I don't suppose you have a cream cheese icing recipe? :) - 4/25/2011   4:30:10 PM
  • 5
    I love a good moist CAKE. I love cream cheese frosting and also swiss meringue buttercream. Others are just too sweet. I've spent years perfecting cake and frosting recipes. - 4/25/2011   4:22:26 PM
  • REBECKY44
    4
    ICING!! I love ICING!! - 4/25/2011   3:23:36 PM
  • PICKANYNAME
    3
    I like cake WITH LOTS of icing. My favorite kind of cake ..... hmmmm, that's tough to pick! Wedding cake (almond flavored) or regular white birthday cake ..... or chocolate ..... red velvet. OKAY, I JUST LIKE ALL "CAKE" .... with exception of the dried Christmas jelly dried "fruit cakes." To me that's not really a "cake." - 4/25/2011   3:16:10 PM
  • TIPPINMYHAT
    2
    Thank you! I have been looking for a recipe that has the flavor and texture we want, without all of the chemicals! - 4/25/2011   2:57:02 PM
  • TEXASDAISY1
    1
    The recipe sounds great. Butter makes everything delicious, in moderation of course :) - 4/25/2011   2:48:05 PM

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