How To Make Frosting

Decorated chocolate cupcakes
Making frosting at home is easy, and it usually tastes much better than the store-bought kind. You can have more control over the ingredients and taste if you make it yourself. There are many different kinds of frosting you can make, and it's easy to make even for beginning bakers, although there are more complicated frosting recipes out there. Just follow the directions below and everyone will be impressed with your own homemade frosting!

Step 1


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup confectioners (also known as powdered) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (optional, for chocolate flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon flavoring extract (optional, for flavor)


  • Electric mixer
  • Bowl
  • Spatula

Step 2

Mixing the frosting. Place the shortening, vanilla, and milk in a large enough bowl to hold the finished frosting. Then, beat the mixture at medium speed for about two minutes, until it turns creamy.

Step 3

Add the rest of the ingredients. Add sugar, meringue powder, and salt, as well as the flavoring if you have decided to use some. Again, mix at medium speed. Never mix frosting at high speed, because too much air will get mixed in and the texture will not be smooth. As you mix, scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure the frosting is mixed evenly. You can add a teaspoon of water or milk if it is getting too thick, or more sugar if it is too runny. Mix until it is evenly blended. Continue mixing a minute or two longer, until it is creamy. Do not over-mix, but be sure that your frosting has achieved a creamy texture before you stop mixing.

Step 4

Using the frosting. Spread the frosting onto the cake with a knife, or pipe it on using a frosting bag. You can even use a sturdy plastic bag with the tip of the corner cut off to draw fun designs on your cake, cupcakes, or cookies. Once you're done using the frosting, try topping it with sprinkles, which should stick right to the surface of the frosting. If it is too thick to be easily spread, you can add a little more milk until it achieves the right consistency. It can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week, but it will start to change consistency. If you plan to store it for a longer period, keep it in the freezer. Just thaw it out and it will be ready to use. Consider making a large batch of frosting to last through your next few baking projects.

Once you have the basic recipe down, you can experiment with different colors and flavors. Besides cocoa powder, you can also add any of the flavoring extracts available at your grocery store, cinnamon, or a teaspoon of lemon juice. For colored frosting, simply add a few drops of food coloring. Why bake a cake and then cover it in store-bought frosting, when it's so easy to make delicious frosting yourself?


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