I know many of you probably fear bakery cakes like I do. Some of you may not have the time or money to take a class. While I can't really teach you technique (see some books below for that), I can share with you the products I found to be safe and the icing recipe that our teacher had us use. It works great if you really want to be creative.
Buttercream Icing (taken from Wilton's Course 1: Discover Cake Decorating-see below)
1 cup white vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon flavor (Wilton's are not safe but McCormick's are - I used clear vanilla)
2 tablespoons water
1 lb. pure cane confectioners' sugar (approx. 4 cups)
1 tablespoon meringue powder (I used Wilton's based on this thread.)
Cream shortening, flavoring and water. Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been throughly mixed together. Blend an additional minute or so until creamy.
Makes 3 cups
**This recipe makes a stiff frosting for things like roses. For a medium consistency for things like stars and borders, add one teaspoon of water (or more) per cup o frosting. For a thin consistency for writing, vines and leaves, add two teaspoons of water per cup.**
If you are the creative type that doesn't feel like you have two left thumbs anytime you try to let your creative juices flow, the class might not be entirely necessary. Here is the book I used. It was great and offers great tips to help you really look like a pro.
Here are some other resources you can use to teach yourself at home:
I'm addicted to ebay again since I started Christmas shopping on it this past weekend. So, here is a few things they have to offer:
Tomorrow I will talk about more items that are safe and unsafe in regards to cake decorating. I will also post a couple of pictures of some of the cakes that I have made!