Cake Decorating – Class 1 Icing

Cake Decorating 101 – Making the Icing

Making Icing is KEY to making a good cake. If you don’t have the right icing you might as well not even try!! So, today I will show you how to make a great homemade cake decorating icing. Tomorrow I will show you what to do with your icing, and how to decorate a cake with it. I will display some more basic cake decorating things at a later date, but tomorrow will be a full cake.

To Start: Here is the recipe I use, from Wilton’s. Over the years I have kind of perfected mine by adding in some extra flavorings that I like, but you will have to work with this on your own to see what works for you.

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 tsp clear vanilla extract

4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)

2 tablespoons milk

Here we go!!! 🙂 Best of luck!!

03-IMG_2346So, to start with you need to cream your shortening and butter. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP!!! If you mess this up, your icing will most likely be ruined.

I usually start by creaming the butter (*real butter NOT margarine), and then I add the shortening in. Basically, you are just mixing it to pieces until it is smooth and creamy.

If you have any lumps it is most likely because your butter wasn’t soft enough. I usually let mine sit on my counter top for about an hour to get to room temp.


This is what your icing should look like when the butter and shortening are creamed together correctly.






When your butter and shortening are creamed correctly, add in your powdered sugar, ONE cup at a time.



 I usually add a cup, mix it a little, add the next, mix it a little… you get the picture. Then, once it’s all added in I will work on getting it mixed well


Your icing will get VERY thick at this point.

Here is what mine looks like when I am doing this step. —>





Next, you’re going to add your vanilla and your milk, and mix again. Here is what your end product will look like.  *This is also where you will add any extra flavorings.


If you want your icing thicker (mostly for decorating), add extra powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time until it gets to your desired thickness.

Same with thinning it. If you want it thin, add milk a tablespoon at a time until it is as thin as you would like. Thin icing is mostly used for writing and for making your crumb coat (more about all that tomorrow).


Okay, well, that’s the icing. Tomorrow I will post step-by-step directions for how to ice a cake (this cake will be a Diary of a Whimpy Kid cake).

Leave your comments here telling me how your icing worked out. Any questions? 


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