Crusting Buttercream Icing
Good-tasting and creamy with a smooth texture. Ideal for icing cakes, making borders and flowers like roses, sweet peas, and drop flowers. Buttercream is not recommended for making thin-petalled flowers, flowers made on lily nails or flowers made on florist wire. This type of icing is excellent for using the paper towel method of smoothing.
about 1.3 quarts
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups solid vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons clear vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon imitation almond extract
2 pounds sifted confectioners' (powdered) sugar
1/3 cup water*
Cream butter, shortening and extracts. Gradually add confectioners' sugar and water. Mix thoroughly on medium speed (hand mixer), or low speed (stand mixer) until smooth and creamy. Do not over mix or mix on high speed.
If you want a very smooth, iced cake, let the cake sit for 15 minutes after icing. Then smooth with the non-printed side of a Viva paper towel--Viva towels do not have a pattern. The icing will take the patterns of printed paper towels. Bounty paper towels have a diamond pattern which can be transferred to the icing.
Icing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 weeks. Iced cake can be stored at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
Flowers remain soft enough to be cut with a knife.
If you want a whiter icing, use butter without dyes which can be found at the Natural food stores or food supply stores.
If you live where it is humid, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons meringue powder to stabilize.
** Use 1/4 cup water for stiff consistency when using icing to make flowers or other decoration requiring stiff consistency.