Bakery Style Icing

If healthy eating is your thing, then you should step away from this post right now.  Don’t read any further, just walk away.

If sweet icings on cakes aren’t your thing, yet again, I urge you to just walk away.

If you like bakery style white cakes with a light yet sugary sweet frosting, and you’re open-minded about how to get that taste and texture, stick around.

This is bakery style frosting after all, and just like the Bakery Style White Cake, this recipe calls for high ratio shortening (look for store brand shortenings containing some—not a lot, just a little—trans-fats).  As an anti-shortening girl, I originally made this recipe with butter only and it was never ever quite right.   Then I tried in vain to make this frosting using trans-fat free shortening, and every single time I made it that way the frosting was utterly inedible and had to be thrown out.  Oh, heck.  I’ll be completely straight with you– it was flat-out nasty.  As in take a bite, make a face, and spit it in your napkin nasty. Following a tip given to me that was reiterated on numerous professional cake-baking message boards, I made one last attempt out of sheer desperation and swapped to a mixture of high ratio shortening and butter.  That switch turned out to be the key.  I don’t know why, and I don’t want to know why, but it was.  This recipe produces a frosting that is nearly identical to what you’ll get from a bakery cake.  It also works beautiful for decorating, which, sadly, my favorite cream cheese icing does not.


Bakery Style Icing

Adapted from Wilton’s recipe for buttercream icing


1 cup high ratio (read trans-fat is in here) vegetable shortening

1 cup butter, softened

2 tsp. vanilla extract

6 tsp. heavy cream

7-8 cups sifted powdered sugar

½ tub (8 oz. of a 16 oz. tub) premade vanilla frosting (Duncan Hines or Wilton’s Decorator’s Icing) (optional)


Cream shortening & butter together, and then mix in vanilla and cream.  Carefully mix in powdered sugar a half cup at a time.  Once everything is fully combined, then mix in the premade frosting.  You don’t necessarily need the premade frosting, but it works a little better when you do.

Yield: 5-6 cups approximately at a medium to stiff consistency; add more water or cream to get a thinner consistency.  I prefer to add heavy cream.

This is more than enough to frost and fill a 2-layer 9-inch round cake or 24 cupcakes with some left over for decorations. The recipe can be easily halved to produce 2-1/2 cups frosting.

Color as desired with gel food coloring.




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