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Old 02-19-2011, 10:12 PM   #1
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Question Homemade frosting/icing...why so hard??

I was about to paint some cupcakes on this box I have and they looked really good, so I decided that I wanted to make some cupcakes! I am very new to the cooking lifestyle, since I have not owned an oven most of my adult life
I have never baked cupcakes before. I made sure I had all of the ingredients for both the cakes and the frosting or icing...not sure which it's called? I did. So I made the cupcakes first, so they could cool. Easy, done in 20 minutes. I made a recipe for frosting from an online recipe. I had to get a "substitute" recipe since I had no confectioner/powdered sugar. The first recipe I made didn't work, I couldn't get the milk and flour to form a paste, I figured the recipe had to be wrong. I dumped the ingredients. I moved onto another one, didn't work, it was like soup, dumped ingredients. I made another one, it was a little better but still soupy and I figured maybe it needed to cool, so I put it in the fridge, waited an hour and...still soupy, I'm holding out hope that it will get thicker through the night so I have not dumped it yet. I'm wondering what I'm missing here? I hate to just wimp out and go buy frosting but now I have 15 frostless cupcakes and a sad hubby and child!! Thank you in advance for any help or suggestions.


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Old 02-19-2011, 10:21 PM   #2
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Can you post the recipe you used? Its easier for us to troubleshoot if we can see the recipe. Welcome!

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Old 02-19-2011, 10:44 PM   #3
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Oh, so sorry...here it is
(This is the 3rd recipe...the one in the fridge)
2 tblsp. flour
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cups butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

In saucepan, add a small amount of milk to flour then stir to make a smooth paste. Add remaining milk. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens. Cool.
Cream butter using medium speed of electric mixer. Gradually add sugar and salt, beat well, add cooled milk mixture. Beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla.

Everything seemed okay until I mixed the two main things, it never got light and fluffy, it's just soupy.
Is there another way to do this but making my own powdered sugar? I don't even know where to start again, I'm discouraged...
Thank you
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:53 AM   #4
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MyNyssa, I suspect you didn't let the white sauce part of the recipe cool enough before mixing in the butter part, so the butter melted and lost its air bubbles. I haven't tried your recipe here, though. My go to recipe for frosting without powdered sugar is old fashioned 7 minute. As long as you work OVER, not touching the boiling water, it is pretty fool proof, which helps me a lot. Try this:
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1/3 cup water
* 2 egg whites
* 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Put all but the vanilla in the top of a double boiler – or a metal bowl that will sit nicely ABOVE the water. Beat for about a minute, then place over boiling water and beat until fluffy – about 7 minutes. Mix in vanilla and frost cup cakes.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:54 AM   #5
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I hate to just wimp out and go buy frosting but now I have 15 frostless cupcakes and a sad hubby and child!!
You don't need to buy canned frosting, but after having 3 frosting failures, I don't understand why you don't just buy some powdered sugar? I hardly ever bake, but even I can make a simple frosting out of powdered sugar, soft butter and a little milk. It doesn't have to be such a big deal.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:41 AM   #6
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Don't be discouraged MyNyssa. You can make your own powdered sugar in a blender or food processor. It only takes a few minutes to turn granulated sugar into powdered sugar. Here's an easy recipe for buttercream frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and vanilla till light in color. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:17 PM   #7
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So all I have to do is put the same amount of white granulated sugar in a blender or coffee grinder (that's all I have) and blend it? How do I know when it's done? Is it the same amount or do I blend more or less? This would have been so great to know last night! Thank you all for your help. Mama, please let me know. Thank you
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:26 PM   #8
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I have also made powdered sugar. You need to blend it on high (just taste it, you will know when enough is enough). I usually measure after I blend (I am not sure if that is what you should do, just what I do). I bet the cupcakes will be great. Cocoa will thicken things up a bit if you are wanting chocolate.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:26 PM   #9
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Powdered (AKA confectioner's) sugar has cornstarch in it as well sugar. You can get superfine sugar by blending sugar; depending on the coffee grinder you might be able to that way also, but not confectioner's sugar. You may not need the cornstarch component for a buttercream, but you definitely do for recipes that involve a cooked application with powdered sugar.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:38 PM   #10
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I've never tried to make powdered sugar, but wouldn't using a coffee grinder give it the taste of coffee from previously using it to grind beans?

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