Homemade Frosting photo

I Ask: What Is Your Favorite Frosting Recipe?

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I’m kinda mad that y’all didn’t tell me how easy it was to make my own frosting. 5-15 minutes depending on how much I screw up? Ridiculous.

Homemade Frosting photo
Gray yellow deliciousness

Putting aside my white frosting not ever being white, I’ve been very impressed. With myself. Also, with how good my homemade frosting tastes.

But I need some help finding the best recipe for sugar cookies versus cake versus well, I’d frost a carrot if I could. So far I’ve made my frosting with granular sugar, confectioner sugar, milk, half and half, shortening, butter, (not all at the same time), but I think that the best recipe is still out there wait for me to EAT. Oh and make.

Some asides: I don’t like chocolate (DUH) so let’s stick to white, butter cream, cream cheese and whatever else isn’t chocolate.  Also, I can’t put too much confectioner sugar or my teeth try to run out of my mouth and to my dentist’s office.  3 cups is enough for me.

So I ask: What is your favorite frosting recipe?

PS. Can you explain why my frosting is gray?

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

20 thoughts to “I Ask: What Is Your Favorite Frosting Recipe?”

  1. I’m no expert, but this is what I’ve discovered:

    Do you use skim milk or low fat? That could cause a grey tint. Also, the vanilla can tint, too. You can get clear vanilla at cake decorating places (or the cake decorating sections of major Arts & Crafts chain stores). You might also need too increase your sugar (sorry) as confectioner’s does thin out and look grey.

    Another trick I sometimes do is to use liquids other than milk if I’m going for a glaze. Confectioner’s sugar, bit of corn syrup, and cranberry juice gives a pink tint. Of course, it also tastes like cranberry a bit. I do this for “fancy pancakes” on rare occasions I 1) cook a hot breakfast and 2) my kids have earned a reward that equates to extra sugar for them.

    1. I have used low-fat (we don’t do skim in our home because GROSS) but I’ve also made the frosting with regular half and half too and still gray. I’m thinking it’s the vanilla.
      Other liquids is so interesting. Do I need the corn syrup whenever I use non-milk or non-cream?

      1. THe corn syrup gives the frosting a glossy sheen when dry, so it’s good for cookies that you are decorating all pretty-like. It’s not essential. I only use it when decorating Christmas sugar cookies. The rest of the time I can’t be bothered.

  2. Look up Royal Icing with egg whites. It’s nice and white and hardens well on sugar cookies. No real flavor tho. Do you use vanilla? I’ve made it with vanilla and it turnedd gray.

  3. for cookies I just throw together some milk, vanilla, powdered sugar, and…ummm i think maybe butter? I can’t remember. It’s easy though. And then I put food coloring in…but mine doesn’t turn gray. I think you have to use something over skim milk though. we use 2%

    cream cheese frosting is super easy too.

    both are sort of sweet for me, but good in small doses…like on cookies or cupcakes 🙂

  4. Your frosting looks yellow to me. I rarely make it but all I do is mix a bunch of confectioners sugar with some butter and a little milk or lemon juice and color if I want it. That is what we will do when we get around to making cookies, if we do. Follow the directions on the conf. sugar bag.

  5. I have the absolute bestest roll out sugar cookie recipe hands down. I got it from a Hungarian Friend…she had to translate it into English and I had to convert everything from grams into our convoluted American measuring system…but you do not have to refrigerate for an hour. And a hint on how to get your white frosting back…you need to use clear imitation vanilla instead of the real stuff. You don’t have to, but it is a way to keep the frosting white.

    Vanilla Cut Out Cookies

    2 3/4 Cups All purpose flour
    2 1/2 Sticks of Butter (or 1 1/4 cups)
    1 1/2 Cups Sugar
    1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
    4 Egg Yolks (reserve whites to baste cookies)

    Mix all ingredients together until forms a dough. Roll with flour and cut out with favorite cookie cutters. Baste with egg whites, sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles if desired. Bake 350F until golden brown.

    I like my cookies really soft, so I take them out when the bottom starts to turn brown but the tops are still a light light brown…

  6. I use the recipe on the box of the powdered sugar box:
    1 pound box of C&H Powdered Sugar
    1/4 milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 stick salted butter, softened

    Also, I use Wilton’s CLEAR Vanilla Extract, so my icing is pretty white!

  7. I recently found a recipe I love for cakes…

    3 cups confectioner’s sugar
    1 cup of butter (I prefer the salted or lighted salted butter)
    1/2 to 1 teaspoon of vanilla
    1 or 2 tablespoons of milk or whipping cream

    Mix the sugar and butter (using a stand up mixer works best because it can take several minutes for it mix well) then slowly add the vanilla and milk/cream. Start with 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk/cream. You can always add more liquid if it is too thick, but it is much more difficult to thicken it up once it gets too runny. Good luck!

    1. The butter can make a difference, too! Use the palest you can find, or you could also resort to using a white shortening, like crisco. Pure white is a hard color to obtain without “better living through chemistry”.

      1. That was a huge problem with my second batch because I used our granular sugar which is unprocessed so it’s not white at all. But this time I used confectioner sugar and shortening but not clear vanilla. I guess I thought it was so little that it couldn’t be the culprit.

  8. If you want a pure white frosting, you do need to use shortening and clear vanilla. But for a whiter frosting (read: not so gray) use half butter, half shortening.

    Cream Cheese Frosting
    1 8oz. package of Philly cream cheese, softened
    ¾ lb. of white confectioner sugar
    1 stick butter, softened
    Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add sugar. Mix. I do not like things super-sweet, so I tend to add the sugar a bit at time and taste.
    1 teaspoon vanilla

  9. Totally forgot to add the frosting: I stole mine from one of my favorite author’s Joanne Fluke…she never has failed me in regards to sweets.

    Cream Cheese Frosting
    1/4 cup softened butter (1/2 stick people)
    4 ounces softened cream cheese (half of an 8 oz. package)
    1/2 tsp clear vanilla extract
    2 cups confectioner’s sugar (powdered)

    Mix the softened butter with the softened cream cheese and the vanilla until smooth.
    Add the powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments until it is the proper spreading consistency…(you’ll prob. use most if not all the sugar)

  10. This won’t help your sugar-cookies (although if you really want white-white icing, you need white food coloring – yes, they make it http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E30B53A-475A-BAC0-5FBDEF5E8A8FCFF2&killnav=1), but back to the question, my all-time favorite cake/cupcake icing is my grandma’s 7 minute frosting.

    Seven Minute Frosting
    2 egg whites
    1 1/2 c sugar
    5 Tbs water
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp cream of tarter
    1 tsp vanilla

    Mix in a double boiler (I use a metal mixing bowl over a pan 1/3 full of boiling water). Beat with mixer until it stands in peaks (about 7 minutes). Makes enough to frost a cake or 24 cupcakes (with plenty left over)

    That’s it! To frost cupcakes, I plunk the tops in the frosting and kind of swirl it around to make sure it’s covered. Done. Also cute with sprinkles. This frosting is best refrigerated.

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