This icing can be made with different consistencies. A stiff consistency is best for flowers with upright petals and clowns. Medium consistency is best for borders and flowers with petals that lie flat. A thin consistency is best for crumb-coat, frosting the entire cake, writing, stems, and leaves.
This icing will keep for several weeks without ruining. It keeps best in the refrigerator but warm it room temperature before using again. It also freezes fine.
Note: It often takes a double recipe to frost and fully decorate one cake. With hand mixers, DO NOT DOUBLE RECIPE as they are not powerful enough to effectively mix the batch. Can be doubled with a larger counter-top style mixer.
1 cup solid vegetable shortening (no oil, lard/animal shortening)
3 1/2 Tablespoons liquid TOTAL -- either water or your choice of flavorings. A sample starting point that you can modify to you liking is
- 1 Tablespoon butter flavoring
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla flavoring
- 2 teaspoons almond flavoring
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons water
1 pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon Wilton Meringue Powder (This makes your frosting "crust" and dry properly so that the outside can be smoothed. It also helps the rose petals to stand up.)
1 pound of powdered sugar (4 cups unsifted or 4 1/2 cups sifted) -- Sifting your powder sugar helps to keep your tips from clogging up while decorating.
For making color -- add enough to the icing base to create the color you want. Using Wilton colors will prevent the icing from becoming too thin after coloring. If using liquid food colors, you need to account for the liquid so the icing doesn't become too thin.
For making a chocolate icing, add cocoa powder to taste -- estimate around 1/2 cup.
When making this icing, keep your mixer happy. If it "bogs down", smokes, or acts hot, do no hesitate to add water to the icing because it is too stiff!
- Mix dry ingredients (salt, sugar, and meringue powder).
- Blend shortening and liquid until mixed. Do not over-beat or use high mixing speed or you will have air bubbles in the icing.
- Add dry ingredients a little at a time. Stiff consistency icing should NOT be crumbly like cookie dough. It should be quite smooth as you pass a spatula through it. A spatula should be able to "stand alone" without flopping from side to side. If crumbly, add water 1 teaspoon at a time.
Add one teaspoonful of water to each cupful of stiff icing (or one more Tablespoon of water if you are thinning the full recipe). Mix until the ingredients are well blended.
Add two teaspoonfuls of water to each cup of stiff icing (or two additional Tablespoons of water for thinning the entire recipe). Mix until the ingredients are well blended.