Cake Decorating Icing


    The secret to a true white icing is to use clear vanilla extract, available online and in specialty baking shops. This icing is great for cake decorating or for DIY wedding cakes. You can easily adjust its consistency. If you wish, use half margarine and half unsalted butter.

    413 people made this

    Serves: 20 

    • 500g icing sugar
    • 225g margarine
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract


    1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, margarine, water and vanilla. Beat on low speed to combine, then beat on medium speed for a full five minutes. It won't look like icing at first, but keep the mixer going for a full five minutes, and then you're done!


    If you're not using this for decorating, but just for icing the cake, thin the icing by adding 3 tablespoons of golden syrup or water to the icing.

    How to ice a cake video

    Watch our How to ice a cake video and see how to ice cakes with ease. You'll be icing perfect birthday and special occasion cakes in no time!

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    Reviews & ratings
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    Reviews in English (357)


    As a professional decorator, this icing is a great base. Most will think it too sweet and I agree but you can use 1/2 shortening (hi-ratio or Sweetex is best but crisco will work if that is all you can get) and 1/2 SALTED butter and add 1/4 tsp salt also (popcorn salt works best as the grains are smaller but regular table salt works fine if that is what you have), salt cuts the sweetness in icings!  -  23 Apr 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This frosting was amazing! I used it to repair a store-bought cake that my mother dropped. It turned out beautiful and tasted great. My husband was teasing me about eating the icing by the spoonful. I used all butter in mine. I suspect that anyone who had a problem with the frosting tasting like shortening probably had shortening that was going bad from age. I learned from experience that if shortening is old, the flavor overpowers anything it's cooked in. Yuck! Anyway, this is definitely my new favorite icing recipe!  -  03 Jun 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Very easy to make! My version is: I did 1/2 butter 1/2 shorting and only 3 cups of sugar. I also didn't fill the 1/2 cups all the way because I only had 20 cupcakes to frost. I also used 1 TB milk instead of water and added about 2 ts. concentrated defrosted canned OJ and orange marmalade (to taste-about 2 TB) to make an orange flavored frosting. You can even add a drop or 2 of orange food coloring! It turned out great!!!  -  05 Nov 2001  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)