This icing recipe is #1! It's quick and easy to make, bright white for cake decorating, and you can easily change it's consistency! This is the most important icing recipe you'll ever have. It's so basic, it makes the hassle of cake decorating so much easier! If you wish, use half shortening and half unsalted butter.

Recipe Summary

Servings:
20
Yield:
4 to 5 cups
Advertisement

Ingredients

20
Original recipe yields 20 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large bowl, combine sugar, shortening, water and vanilla. Beat on low speed to combine, then beat on medium speed for a full five minutes. It won't look like Icing at first, but keep the mixer going for a full five minutes, and then you're done!

    Advertisement
  • Note: If you're not using this for decorating, but just for icing the cake, thin the icing by adding 3 tbs. of corn syrup, or water to the icing.

Nutrition Facts

184 calories; proteing; carbohydrates 23.9g 8% DV; fat 10.3g 16% DV; cholesterolmg; sodium 0.3mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (364)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
04/24/2006
As a professional decorator, this icing is a great base. Most will think it too sweet and I agree but you can use 1/2 shortening (hi-ratio or Sweetex is best but crisco will work if that is all you can get) and 1/2 SALTED butter and add 1/4 tsp salt also (popcorn salt works best as the grains are smaller but regular table salt works fine if that is what you have), salt cuts the sweetness in icings! Read More
(672)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
02/18/2007
This icing is terrible! it has NO taste but the taste of icing sugar and is not even creamy! will not make again. Read More
(55)
430 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 241
  • 4 star values: 98
  • 3 star values: 33
  • 2 star values: 20
  • 1 star values: 38
Rating: 4 stars
04/24/2006
As a professional decorator, this icing is a great base. Most will think it too sweet and I agree but you can use 1/2 shortening (hi-ratio or Sweetex is best but crisco will work if that is all you can get) and 1/2 SALTED butter and add 1/4 tsp salt also (popcorn salt works best as the grains are smaller but regular table salt works fine if that is what you have), salt cuts the sweetness in icings! Read More
(672)
Rating: 5 stars
06/03/2007
This frosting was amazing! I used it to repair a store-bought cake that my mother dropped. It turned out beautiful and tasted great. My husband was teasing me about eating the icing by the spoonful. I used all butter in mine. I suspect that anyone who had a problem with the frosting tasting like shortening probably had shortening that was going bad from age. I learned from experience that if shortening is old the flavor overpowers anything it's cooked in. Yuck! Anyway this is definitely my new favorite icing recipe! Read More
(250)
Rating: 4 stars
02/01/2003
Very easy to make! My version is: I did 1/2 butter 1/2 shorting and only 3 cups of sugar. I also didn't fill the 1/2 cups all the way because I only had 20 cupcakes to frost. I also used 1 TB milk instead of water and added about 2 ts. concentrated defrosted canned OJ and orange marmalade (to taste-about 2 TB) to make an orange flavored frosting. You can even add a drop or 2 of orange food coloring! It turned out great!!! Read More
(239)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
05/26/2007
I am not usually a fan of white frosting (DULL!) but I had to make some so I used this recipe. Except my Crisco was expired and I didnt have unsalted butter so I used two sticks of regular butter, 3 Cups of powdered sugar and a little extra milk and vanilla. OMG, it is SOO good. I dont know why everything calls for shortening in frosting recipes but the all butter alternative was WONDERFUL. Read More
(154)
Rating: 5 stars
04/18/2003
This is the recipe that we used when I took a cake decorating class. For the whitest icing make sure that you used CLEAR flavorings. (available at the wilton section at your store). The almond extract 1/2 tsp and butter flavoring 1/2 tsp is a nice addition to the vanilla. Make sure you chill it well if you are doing flowers. Read More
(90)
Rating: 5 stars
07/25/2003
I have been searching for a great icing recipe and this one is awesome! I made it twice with half crisco/half butter and it turned out well. The third time I used ALL butter; I prefer butter over crisco. If you don't need it to be bright white this works just as well and gives it a nice buttery taste! Read More
(82)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
04/26/2007
This is a great recipe. To make it healthier I use Spectrum Organic all veget. shortening which has no trans fat and is made with palm oil and has lots of the good polyunsat. and monounsat.fats. Read More
(80)
Rating: 1 stars
02/18/2007
This icing is terrible! it has NO taste but the taste of icing sugar and is not even creamy! will not make again. Read More
(55)
Rating: 5 stars
11/08/2003
I needed an icing to go with the Swedish Nut Cake I made (also from this site) and I choose this one. I didn't have the cream cheese and so I wasn't able to make the proper frosting. Definitely the wrong TYPE of icing for the cake I made but the taste was amazing. I sometimes get cravings for birthday cakes just for the icing. Now I can make my own at home. I used regular vanilla instead of the clear and it came out bright white!! I didn't have to beat mine anywhere near five minutes more like 2. I did add 2 more TBLS. of water so that may have been why. Thanks Meghan...this is so good! Read More
(47)