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Old 04-20-2011, 12:01 PM   #1
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A good stiff icing

Ok, so I have been playing around with different cupcake flavors and icings. I am ashamed to admit that this is my first time making my own icing. I had always bought store bought. But NEVER again! I made my first butter cream icing last night and YUM! Flavor wise it turned out perfect. However, even though I followed the directions to the T, I am having issues with the stiffness of the butter cream. It starts out nice and firm but when I put it on my cupcakes it just falls right down(the cupcakes are completely cooled). I even tried putting it in the fridge overnight and it was good and firm but again I put it on the cupcake and OOZE. It didn't hold up at all. It just slowly runs down.

I used a zip lock bag and snipped the end to pipe it on. Hey, I am an amateur.

This is the look I am going for...(the green icing cupcake)



But the icing just won't stay firm and up like that. It just slowly falls down around the cupcake and on to the paper.

Please help! If you could suggest a nice firm icing recipe and any techniques for helping the icing keep it's shape like in the picture I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you.

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Old 04-20-2011, 12:27 PM   #2
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There are other people here who will know more about this than me. However, if you post your recipe, it will help us figure it out.

Sounds to me like not enough confectioner's sugar.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:44 PM   #3
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Welcome tschaff!

I have been decorating cakes for many years now and this is the buttercream recipe I use:

1/2 cup softened butter (not in the microwave and not margerine)
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp milk

Cream the shortening and butter and add the vanilla. Start adding the sugar a little at a time until stiff. Slowly add the milk until you get a firm but fluffy consistency, using less or more until it is how you want it.

A good test if you don't want to fill your "piping bag" is to take a little on a spoon and place it on a plate or waxed paper, mounding it up. It if falls, it is too thin. However, you don't want it too thick as this will not make a smooth pipe and it will be dull when it dries.

Finally, if you are using liquid food colouring as opposed to gel or paste, do it before the milk because it will dilute the frosting a little. You can always add a little more sugar, but you don't want to add too much to change the flavour.

Hope that helps!
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:46 PM   #4
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Sorry, should have included that. Here it is, and I used about 7 cups of sugar.


Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Makes enough frosting for about 2 dozen cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, room temperature
6-8 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 cup of milk
1.5 tsp vanilla extract

1. In an electric mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment or if you don't have an electric mixing bowl use a large bowl and an electric mixer, mix the butter until smooth and creamy (a few minutes).
2. Add 4 cups of the sugar, the milk and vanilla and on low speed mix until combined.
3.Add two more cups of sugar and on low speed mix until light and fluffy. If you need to, add the remaining two cups of powdered sugar.

Tips: When mixing together the buttercream frosting ingredients, be aware that powdered sugar is very light and will get into the air. You will know this is happening because when you breathe in you will feel and taste a sweetness in your breath. To avoid this, place a clean dish towel over the mixing bowl.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:51 PM   #5
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Okay, I see your problem - 1/2 milk is WAY too much. My recipe calls for the same amount of butter/shortening (and if you don't want pure white you can use all butter but you don't taste the shortening in this and it also helps to stiffen it). However, yours calls for more sugar, which makes it sweeter and a ton more milk which will make it sloppy. You can use your recipe, just add the milk a tbsp at a time until it is smooth but sturdy.

Also, it can depend on temperature in the room, your hands on the piping bag (I have to wear gloves), etc. However, if you refrigerated it and it is still thin, it is the milk.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:54 PM   #6
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Wow! Thank you so much for the help LP!!! This was my first time ever making frosting and I used what I thought was a reputable recipe blog so I had no idea how much of anything to use. lol I will try your advice and hope for the best!! :) Can you recommend any good piping tools?? I haven't bought them yet because there are just so many and I am so overwhelmed.

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Originally Posted by LPBeier View Post
Okay, I see your problem - 1/2 milk is WAY too much. My recipe calls for the same amount of butter/shortening (and if you don't want pure white you can use all butter but you don't taste the shortening in this and it also helps to stiffen it). However, yours calls for more sugar, which makes it sweeter and a ton more milk which will make it sloppy. You can use your recipe, just add the milk a tbsp at a time until it is smooth but sturdy.

Also, it can depend on temperature in the room, your hands on the piping bag (I have to wear gloves), etc. However, if you refrigerated it and it is still thin, it is the milk.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:16 PM   #7
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I just knew our LP could help you, and it made me smile to know that she did!!
Welcome to Discuss Cooking, and stick around, you'll love it here.
Good people, good food, and great fun.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:58 PM   #8
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Aww, Kayla, you are making me blush. But you know I live for helping people with cake!

Tschaff, if you are starting out with cupcakes, this is the set you should get first: Wilton 12pce cupcake set. You can get it online at their site (in the link), at Michael's stores, other site on the web who sell decorating supplies, or any store in your area that carries Wilton. I buy all different brands but this kit from Wilton will be great for you. It has 8 piping bags, 3 tips and a filler tip which allows you so put a filling into the cupcake. I do have some cloth bags for big jobs, but for regular piping, I use disposable plastic.

One thing I would suggest getting is a coupler. This holds the tip into the bag and also allows you to change tips using the same colour!

I will PM you some other items and feel free to ask any questions....here or in a PM. Writing it here is a good thing because I am not the only one with decorating expertise and also it helps others.

I hope you will post pictures when you are done!
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:49 PM   #9
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Consider the humidity as well as the temp. in your home when making the frosting.

I have to agree that I will never (at least not very often....except in a major pinch ) buy canned frosting, either! I made my own birthday cake using my first ever buttercream and it was so good. I'm making it again for a cake for Easter.
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPBeier View Post
Aww, Kayla, you are making me blush. But you know I live for helping people with cake!

Tschaff, if you are starting out with cupcakes, this is the set you should get first: Wilton 12pce cupcake set. You can get it online at their site (in the link), at Michael's stores, other site on the web who sell decorating supplies, or any store in your area that carries Wilton. I buy all different brands but this kit from Wilton will be great for you. It has 8 piping bags, 3 tips and a filler tip which allows you so put a filling into the cupcake. I do have some cloth bags for big jobs, but for regular piping, I use disposable plastic.

One thing I would suggest getting is a coupler. This holds the tip into the bag and also allows you to change tips using the same colour!

I will PM you some other items and feel free to ask any questions....here or in a PM. Writing it here is a good thing because I am not the only one with decorating expertise and also it helps others.

I hope you will post pictures when you are done!
LP, cade is coming tomorrow to backeand then frost cookies.I need and idea for a firm solid frost ing recipe for him to use. Will be adding food color for pasrel colors. HELP us.
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