For years I tried to make icing that didn’t melt off cakes and cupcakes. I enrolled in a cake decorating class at a local store, and learned the Wilton method for icing. And I finally make a decent looking cake! Here’s the recipe with a few revisions of my own.
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 tsp. extract flavour of choice (go for a clear extract so it doesn’t discolour your icing)
- 1 Tbsp. Wilton Meringue Powder
- 4 cups icing sugar
- 3-4 Tbsp. water or milk (depending on how stiff you want your icing)
- Colour of choice (if any)
In large bowl, cream shortening with either the paddle attachment on a standup mixer, or with a handheld mixer. Add flavouring and meringue powder. Add the sugar one cup at a time, alternating with 1 Tbsp. of milk or water. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth until you are ready to use the icing.
To colour the icing, I usually use the Wilton colour gels. You literally need just the tip of a toothpick’s worth of the colour gel, dipped into the prepared icing and well mixed, to colour the batch your desired colour.
If you want to pipe your icing, use a tip of your choice, a good icing bag, and use a spatula to sort of paint the sides of the icing bag with heaps of the icing. You want to do this down towards the tip of the bag so as to avoid air bubbles.
Icing can be refrigerated and stored for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. Always whip icing before using.