Frosting and Icing Recipes for Holiday Baking

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These recipes for buttercream frosting and royal icing are great for decorating home-baked goods this holiday season. Homemade buttercream frosting tastes so much better than store-bought stuff; and royal icing is indispensable for decorating—it dries hard and is especially good to use on cookies. These recipes are fast and easy!

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/franny-anne]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/franny-anne

Homemade Buttercream Frosting

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 cups

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

1/4 cup milk

  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter and vanilla on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

  2. Gradually add half the sugar, beating well.

  3. Beat in the milk and then add the remaining sugar. Continue beating until the frosting is smooth and creamy and reaches the desired consistency.

The most versatile of the lot, buttercream frosting is sure to be an essential component of your frosting repertoire. It spreads and pipes wonderfully, and because of its lustrous, white appearance, you can tint it to exactly the color you want.

Royal Icing

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 cups

4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

3/4 cup pasteurized egg whites

1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice

  1. In a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, egg whites, and lemon juice.

  2. Beat the mixture with a stand or a hand-mixer until the icing holds its shape and isn't runny. If it's too thin for piping, add more sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and continue mixing until it reaches the desired consistency.

Use this icing for drawing, filling in, and accenting designs and forms on cakes. It also works well for decorating cookies.

To tint the icing several different colors, pour the icing into separate bowls and then add and adjust coloring gels with a toothpick or by squeezing a few drops of color at a time into the icing.


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