Frosting and Toppings Tips

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Do you have a recipe for Seven Minute Icing?

Seven Minute Icing

Seven Minute Icing

This icing is an easier version of Boiled White Icing. Use a hand mixer if you have one, to beat the frosting over the simmering water.

2 egg whites
1-1/2 cups sugar
5 Tbsp. cold water
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1-1/2 tsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla

Place these ingredients except vanilla in a double boiler over rapidly boiling water. Beat them constantly with a hand mixer or wire whisk for seven minutes, until the icing thickens. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Continue beating the icing until it reaches spreading consistency.

Do you have a recipe for Italian Meringue Buttercream?

Italian Meringue Buttercream

1 1/4 cups sugar
5 large egg whites
pinch cream of tartar
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil. Continue boiling until syrup reaches 238° on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage).

Meanwhile, place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Beat on high speed until stiff but not dry; do not overbeat.

With mixer running, add syrup to whites in a stream, beating on high speed until no longer steaming, about 3 minutes. Add butter bit by bit, beating until spreadable, 3 to 5 minutes; beat in vanilla. If icing curdles, don't panic! Just keep beating until smooth.

Do you have an easy glaze recipe?

Easy Glaze for Cookies and Cakes

For an easy and tasty glaze, mix 2 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar with 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Add juice gradually until you reach the desired consistency.

I don´t have a frosting bag, what else can I use?

Makeshift Frosting Bag

If you do not have a frosting bag handy, make one using a plastic storage bag with one corner snipped off. Only snip a small piece off for thin lines.

I love the glossy look of cakes from a bakery. How do they do that?

Smooth, Glossy Frosting

To make the frosting on your cake glossy, dip a long spatula into hot water and use to lightly smooth the frosting. The hot water will slightly melt the frosting and give it a glossy coat. Be sure to not use too much water or the frosting will run.

What is a stabilizer in cooked frostings?


When making cooked frostings, a good way to tell if a recipe will work is to look for a stabilizer. These ingredients keep the frosting smooth and prevent premature hardening. They include lemon juice, vinegar, cream of tartar or light corn syrup.

How much frosting should I use in between cake fillings?

Fillling Amount

I firmly believe that the amount of filling recipes say to put in between cake layers is just not enough. Some recipes actually say to use 1/2 cup of the frosting - which will just barely coat the cake surface! Make more frosting than you need, and use at least 1 cup for a filling. The cake will be wonderful.

Do you have a recipe for chocolate ganache?

Ganache Glaze

Ganache Glaze

1 pound good quality semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp. corn syrup

Process chocolate in a food processor, or chop with chef's knife until fine.

In heavy saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Watch carefully - it boils over very quickly! Pour the hot cream into a large mixing bowl. Let cool about 3 minutes. Sprinkle chopped chocolate over the entire surface. Start stirring in the middle, blending the melted chocolate and cream together. Stir steadily until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the corn syrup.

How can I keep chocolate frosting smooth?

Chocolate Frosting

When you make chocolate frosting with cocoa, mix the cocoa with a small amount of melted butter to make a paste. This will prevent the cocoa from making lumps in the frosting.

How do I color sugar for decorating?

Tinting Sugar

To tint granulated sugar, put a tiny amount of paste or liquid food color in a plastic zipper bag. Add the sugar you wish to tint, close tightly, and shake until completely combined.

What is an easy way to decorate a cake?

Easy Decorating

Use a stencil or even a paper cutout doily to quickly decorate cakes and cookies. Simply put stencil on baked goods and sift powdered sugar or cocoa powder over. Carefully remove stencil and you'll have a beautiful design.

What is a good frosting for kids?

Decorate cookies with egg paint

Here's a fun way to let the kids "paint" their own cookies. Make cookie paint by mixing food coloring with egg yolks. Let the kids paint pictures on the cookies before baking. After baking, the colors will come out bright and glossy. Don't let the children eat any of the egg yolk paint.

How do I get powdered sugar to stick to cookies?

Confectionary Sugar

To get confectioner's sugar to stick to cookies or cakes, sprinkle the sugar on the baked goods while they are still warm.

How do I sprinkle sugar on top of cookies?

Sprinkling Sugar

When you need to sprinkle sugar on top of cookies or cakes, put the sugar in a salt shaker. The sugar will be evenly distributed over the product.

What can I use for a cake filling?

Easy Fruit Filling

For a quick fruit filling, puree a fruit preserve until it is smooth and spread between cake layers. This is a great way to use that homemade strawberry jam!

What can I use for a glaze?


Need a quick glaze for cakes, cookies or other desserts? Simply spread with melted jam or preserves.

Does seven minute icing really take seven minutes to make?

Seven Minute Icing

Seven Minute Icing will probably take longer than seven minutes to form. Using a hand mixer to beat the frosting will speed up the process.

How do I know when the syrup for cooked frostings is ready?

Cooking The Syrup

To check if the syrup for cooked frostings is at the right stage, use this tip. When the syrup is dropped from a spoon, it will form thick threads. A very thin, hairlike thread will form around the thick threads, and curl up. When this happens, the syrup is ready.

Why should I use stabilizers in my cooked frostings?

More On Stabilizers

As you beat your cooked frosting while adding the syrup, the volume will increase. When the syrup is completely added, sprinkle in a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar, a pinch of cream of tartar, or a teaspoon of light corn syrup. These stabilizers will keep the icing from becoming gritty as it cools.

What is a quick and easy way to decorate a cake?

Quick Cake Decorating Idea

For a quick finish on a cake, place a doily or a stencil on top and dust with powdered sugar. This looks spectacular on chocolate and other dark cakes.

I don´t have a piping bag, what else can I use?

Quick Piping Jobs

For small piping jobs, when you don't want to dig out the pastry bags, use a small zipper top plastic bag. Fill with icing, remove excess air, seal the top and snip off a tiny bit of one corner. You're now ready to pipe away!

How can I keep my cake filling from oozing out?

Filling Layer Cakes

When you are using a filling other than frosting, it will stay in between the cake layers better if you form a ring of frosting just inside the edge of the bottom layer. Then fill in this space with the filling, and continue layering and frosting the cake.

What is a good party cookie?

Cookie Pizza

A fun cookie project for kids is "Cookie Pizzas". Make large round sugar cookies, then let the kids top their own "pizzas" with various toppings: chocolate chips, tinted coconut, nuts, jelly beans or other candies.

How can I fix the consistency of my buttercream frosting?

Buttercream Consistency

If you make buttercream according to the classic sugar syrup recipe, you may have trouble with the consistency. If the buttercream is too runny, place the bowl in an ice water bath and beat until stiffened. If it's too hard, with a curdled look, wrap a hot, wet towel around the bowl and beat again until smooth.

Is there a neat way to fill a pastry bag with frosting?

Filling Pastry Bags

To easily fill a pastry bag, fold back the top edge about 3", then fill with frosting. Pull the top edge back up and fold over to the frosting level.

I need a filling for a cake that isn´t too sweet.

Roasted Walnut Butter Filling

Roasted Walnut Butter Filling

1 pound walnuts, chopped
3 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. butter
pinch salt

Spread walnuts on a large baking sheet and roast until lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes. Watch them very carefully. Remove from oven and stir in 3 Tbsp. butter and the salt while the walnuts are hot. Let stand until no longer hot to the touch. Process the walnuts with the 4 Tbsp. butter in a food processor with quick on/off pulses until the nuts are just short of a butter. Use to fill cakes. This comes from Marcel Desaulniers, chef of the Trellis Restaurant in Colonial Williamsburg.

Can I wash my pastry tips in the dishwasher?

Care Of Decorating Equipment

Take good care of the tips that come with your pastry bag and decorating kits. Don't wash them in the dishwasher, and place them back in their containers after cleaning. If you dent them, they just won't work as well.

How long do I have to wait before frosting my cake?

Frosting Cakes

When frosting a cake, make sure that the cake is completely cool. Otherwise the heat from the cake will melt the frosting and the layers will slip.

How do I keep crumbs from getting into my frosting?

Decorating Cakes

When you are frosting a layer cake, take some frosting and thin slightly. Use this thinner frosting to put a thin layer on the top and sides of the cake. When the frosting hardens, use the regular consistency frosting to finish the cake. This prevents crumbs from showing through or mixing in the frosting.

Do you have a recipe for boiled white icing?

Boiled White Icing

Boiled White Icing

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 egg whites
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar or a few drops of lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring sugar and water to a boil in heavy saucepan. Cover and cook for 3 minutes, until the steam has washed down any crystals on the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook to 238 degrees on a candy thermometer. The syrup, when dropped from a spoon, will spin a very thin thread on the end of a thicker thread.

Then, whip egg whites and salt until frothy. Add the syrup in a thin stream, beating constantly. When these ingredients are all combined, add the cream or tartar OR lemon juice, then beat in the vanilla.

How can I thin buttercream frosting?

Buttercream Frosting Too Thick?

If your buttercream frosting is too thick to spread, use a little milk to thin it or warm up in the microwave for a few seconds.

Which is better - paste or liquid food coloring?

Frosting Colors

For rich vibrant food colors, use paste rather than liquid colors. Only add a very small amount at first - you'll be surprised at how quickly the color becomes intense.

How can I make the smoothest buttercream frosting?

Buttercream Frosting

For the smoothest buttercream frosting, add a tablespoon of warm (not hot) water during the middle of beating. This will help dissolve the sugar and make a very creamy frosting.

How do I color coconut?

Tinting Coconut

To color coconut throw some in a bag with a few drops of diluted food coloring or very diluted coloring paste and shake until the coconut is evenly colored.

How do I tint coconut?

Tinted Coconut

To tint coconut, dilute a tiny amount of paste or liquid food color with a few drops of water, place coconut and color mixture in a large heavy plastic food storage bag, close tightly and mix and shake until completely combined.

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Guru Spotlight
Barbara Gibson