Baking & Desserts

How to make icing

By: / Recipes by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Author: Canadian Living

Baking & Desserts

How to make icing

By: / Recipes by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
Creamy Butter Icing by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
(Originally published in the July 2007 issue of Canadian Living magazine, as part of this Celebration Cakes story.)

This icing is perfect for decorating any kind of cake because it tints well and spreads and pipes smoothly. You can vary the flavour with almond, maple, rum, coconut or peppermint extract.

Yield: Makes 4 cups of icing


1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened
5 cups (1.25 L) icing sugar
3/4 cup (150 mL) whipping cream
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla


In bowl, beat butter until light; gradually beat in sugar and cream, making 3 additions of sugar and 2 of cream. Beat in vanilla. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days; beat to use.) 

Nutritional information: per 1 tbsp (15 mL): about 66 cal, 0 g pro, 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 8 g carb, 0 g fibre, 12 mg chol, 30 mg sodium. % RDI: 4% vit A .

How to ice a cake: 
• Before icing a cake, professional bakers trim off edges if they are too dark. Bakers also level off top of a cake if it is not flat. This can make the difference in the final appearance of an iced cake.

• To ice a cake and keep the plate clean, place cake on flat cake plate. Cut strips of waxed paper about 3 inches (8 cm) wide; slide strips partway under edge of cake so cake plate is framed.

• To prevent crumbs in the icing, cover the cake with a thin layer of icing. Refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes. Spread remaining icing over top. Gently pull waxed paper strips out from under cake after icing.

• Cover iced cake with cake dome. Or stick toothpicks in inconspicuous spots into top of cake; drape plastic wrap loosely over toothpicks, making sure wrap doesn’t rest on icing.

Page 1 of 2 - see more icing recipes on page 2 >>

Be sure to check the yield of the recipes below to make sure you have enough to ice your cake or cupcakes.

Cocoa Icing

A chocolatey, buttery icing - delicious on anything!

Fluffy Icing
This light-textured, not-too-sweet icing is ideal for the rainbow cake or to match a featherlight angel food cake. Freeze any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks and use to frost cupcakes.

Piping Icing
Ideal for piping small flowers or other decorations onto your special cakes or cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Icing
No one can resist this cream cheese icing recipe. Scrumptious on cupcakes or cakes.

Coconut Pecan Icing

This recipe makes enough for an 8-inch (2 L) square pan of brownies, but you'll want to tuck it away to use on cakes and cupcakes, too.

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Baking & Desserts

How to make icing