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How to Make Frosting for a Cake

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Fact: No one will eat that amazing cake you just made unless you frost it with some gooey deliciousness.


Everyone knows that frosting is the best part of a cake, so let's not even beat around the bush, people. It's sugar with some butter and flavoring thrown in, making it pretty much one of the best edibles around.

Better yet, it comes in many varieties to suit your mood, whether you're feeling like a light glaze or a rich chocolate buttercream.


A basic icing

To whip up the simplest kind of frosting, you need nothing more than 2 cups of confectioner's sugar, 2 tablespoons of whole milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Just mix these three ingredients together, adding milk or sugar to get the desired consistency, and spread it on anything from cookies to Angel Food Cake.

Butter makes it better

Want something a little richer? Well, 6 tablespoons of butter oughta do it, right? Just double the amounts of confectioner's sugar, milk and vanilla listed below, and cream the room-temperature butter in with half of the sugar before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Got chocolate on the brain? Just melt two squares of baker's chocolate in the microwave, let it cool and add to your buttercream. You could even go cray-cray and spread it on this Banana-Nut Cake.

Glazed over

If you're making a dense, flavorful cake (like this Double Apple Spice Cake), you might not need a thick layer of frosting, but rather a light glaze to enhance its moist goodness. In which case, all you need to do is add another tablespoon of milk to the recipe for simple frosting, and you're good to go!

It doesn't have to stop here

A bowl of rich vanilla frosting is kind of like a blank canvas. Just think, you could add any type of extract - like mint, lemon, almond or cinnamon - to make a flavored version. You may also want to toss in some citrus zest, sliced almonds, grated coconut, cocoa powder, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips or other small candies to bring your icing to the next level.

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