This frosting has a thick consistency that is easy to work with--you can contour it or add texture to it. Also, you can patch it if it becomes marred while you're arranging a cake. The recipe makes enough frosting to cover the tops and sides of two 8-inch or 9-inch square or round cake layers. For a single-layer 9 x 13-inch cake, make just half the recipe.
Shortening has a simpler taste then butter, with a melting point of 106'F. Butter melts somewhere between 88 and 98'F, depending on the amount of fat in the brand. You can see that if you need to serve a pure buttercream-decorated cake on a hot day, you could have melted decorations and a less than desirable cake. Shortening yields a soft but durable frosting that can be molded with your hands.
Makes about 3 cups
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract, orange extract, or almond extract
- 1 pound (1 box) confectioners' sugar, sifted (4 1/2 cups)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons milk Equipment
- Electric mixer
- With a mixer on medium speed, beat together the shortening, vanilla extract, and lemon extract in a medium bowl for 30 seconds.
- Slowly add half the confectioner's sugar, beating well. Beat in 2 tablespoons of the milk. Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar and enough of the remaining milk until the icing reaches a spreadable consistency. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days
Excerpted from Cakes for Kids by Matthew Mead © 2008 Chronicle Books