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Wedding Cake Frosting

 

Ready to tackle making a wedding cake for yourself or a loved one? It can be a challenge but we say go for it! Here are some tips for frosting that special wedding cake.

 

Because of its importance to the wedding itself, the decision to tackle making a wedding cake is a huge one. However, for those with the talent to do so, you can save hundreds of dollars by doing it yourself. The selection of frostings can be the key to the success of your wedding cake.


Butter cream frostings are delicious and can also be used to make flowers and other trim on the cake. They are also easily colored or tinted, as desired. However, butter cream frosting should not be used if the cake is going to be sitting out in a warm area such as an outdoor reception. After all, butter cream consists of butter and/or shortening and you know what happens to those items when left out – they soften at best – they melt at worst!!

 

Shortening holds up a little better than butter and may be an option if you are concerned about melting but still want to use a butter cream frosting. Using shortening also results in a whiter frosting – butter will give a yellow hint. Just remember to be cognizant of the temperature conditions if you choose butter cream as your delicious option. Below are some quick wedding cake frosting recipes. Depending on the size of your wedding cake, these recipes may need to be doubled or tripled.

 

 

Wedding Cake Frosting #1:


2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. milk*
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. shortening

 

Beat all ingredients until light and fluffy.
*If using milk refrigeration is required. You may substitute water for the milk.

 

 

Wedding Cake Frosting #2:


2 cups shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup water
8 cups sifted confectioner's sugar

 

Mix shortening, water, vanilla, almond extract, and half of the powdered sugar using an electric mixer for 5-10 minutes. (Timing is very important.) Add remaining confectioner's sugar and beat just enough to mix in. Add additional water for desired consistency.

 

 

Wedding Cake Frosting #3:


1 cup butter
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk*
2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract
8 cups confectioners' sugar

 

Cream the butter and shortening together until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
*If using milk refrigeration is required. You may substitute water for the milk.

 

Fondant is a picture perfect icing which gives a satiny smooth surface to cakes – really gorgeous on a wedding cake. The problem with fondant is taste. It is not as good as other frostings and some don't like the taste at all. It is possible, however to use butter cream frosting beneath the fondant to give it a good flavor.

 

 

Rolled Fondant Recipe:


1 (.25 ounce) package unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup glucose syrup
1 tablespoon glycerin
2 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

 

Combine gelatin and cold water; let stand until thick. Place gelatin mixture in top of double boiler and heat until dissolved. Add glucose and glycerin, mix well. Stir in shortening and just before completely melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Mixture should cool until lukewarm. Place 4 cups confectioner's sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and using a wooden spoon, stir in the lukewarm gelatin mixture. Mix in sugar and add more a little at a time, until stickiness disappears. Knead in remaining sugar. Knead until the fondant is smooth, pliable and does not stick to your hands. If fondant is too soft, add more sugar; if too stiff, add water (a drop at a time). Use fondant immediately or store in airtight container in refrigerator. When ready to use, bring to room temperature and knead again until soft.


Marzipan is a favorite yet more expensive choice among bakers as it tastes good and can be made to look like fondant icing. Marzipan contains sugar, eggs and crushed almonds making it a delicious topping.

 

 

Uncooked Marzipan Frosting:


(16 oz) sifted confectioner's sugar
1 lb. ground almonds
2 egg whites*
1/2 tsp vanilla flavoring
1 tsp. lemon juice


Sift the confectioner's sugar in a bowl with the ground almonds. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to make a stiff paste. Knead until smooth.
*As a substitute to raw eggs it is possible to use a little water mixed with brandy to bind the paste.

 

 

Cooked marzipan frosting:


8 oz granulated sugar
6 oz ground almonds
1 1/2 oz confectioner's sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 egg white, lightly whisked
5 tbsp water
1\2 tsp vanilla extract

 

Combine granulated sugar and water in a heavy saucepan and cook on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add cream of tarter and bring to a boil until the sugar reaches 240 degrees F (soft ball stage). Remove from heat and beat the mixture until it turns cloudy, then add ground almonds and vanilla extract. Add the egg white and return to a low heat and stir for a couple of minutes. Pour the confectioners sugar over the mixture and work it in (using a butter knife or small spatula). Cover the mixture with plastic wrap until cooled. Once cooled knead the mixture until smooth.

 

Royal icing is inexpensive to make but gets very hard. This could create problems cutting the cake and is not recommended for use to frost the cake. However, it is a good alternate icing for making decorations for your wedding cake. They won't be as soft and easy to eat, but they are durable and can ease your worries about melting. Below is a recipe for royal icing.

 

 

Royal Icing:


3 egg whites, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Food coloring (optional/as desired)

 

Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature before beginning.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the egg whites, powdered sugar, and cream of tartar. Using the whisk attachment beat on low speed until combined. You can use a hand mixer if you desire, but it will likely take longer for the icing to reach the right consistency. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Restart the mixer and beat the mixture on medium speed until very thick, shiny, stiff and white. This should take about 7-10 minutes. Check the texture to ensure that it is suitable for your needs.

 

If you require a stiffer icing, add a little more powdered sugar at this point. If you want to dye your icing just one color, you can add a few drops of food coloring into the bowl and mix it for a few seconds until the coloring is evenly distributed. If you want to make several different colors, divide the icing into several different bowls and stir in the food coloring by hand.

 

Royal icing dries to a very hard consistency and it will begin setting as soon as it is made. To prevent the icing from getting hard before you use it, thoroughly wet a paper towel and place it over the top of the icing in the bowl. It is very important to keep the icing covered!

 

Likewise, if you are using a pastry bag and piping tips with the icing, twist the back end of the bag tightly, and wrap a wet paper towel around the tip when not in use so the icing will not dry in the tip. Depending on the temperature, humidity, and amount of icing used, royal icing should harden within 15-60 minutes of application. Do not refrigerate products with hardened royal icing, as the icing can become soft and sticky.