What kind of frosting doesn't need to be refrigerated?

  • I'm looking for a frosting that I can leave on the counter (under a cover of some kind) for a few days. What kind of frosting (for a cake or cupcakes) would stand up to this?

    Update: Ideally, I would like this to be something that I could make from scratch.

    I like this question. Most frostings are made with things that one would think microbes would love to eat, but are routinely left out at room temperature. Is this acceptable because the sugar concentration is so high they can't eat it?

  • Joe

    Joe Correct answer

    10 years ago

    Whipped vegetable shortening with powdered sugar. I can make it up a week in advance, probably even longer, and keep it in an airtight container in a cool place. And it has the advantage that it's pure white (if you use imitation vanilla extract, or lemon extract), so you can get vibrant colors on whatever you're decorating.

    If you make too much, you can then make flowers and let them dry out, then store those for a year or more.

    Here's the recipe I use, that I got from Jane who taught two of the cake decorating classes I took:

    4 lb powdered sugar
    1 TB cream of tartar
    1 1/4 c. of white shortening (crisco ... the sticks are easy to measure)
    a pinch of salt
    1 TB extract of your choice
    3/4 to 1c. of water (maybe more depending on humidity)

    Put all ingredients except the water into a mixer. Add 3/4 c. water, and slowly add more to make the consistancy of your choice. Mix on low speed 'til mixed, then on #6 or 8 for 6 to 7 minutes. Consistency should be "creamy" -- like cream cheese when soft. Stiff icing should be creamy also.

    If it's just for a few days, I'd use butter over the shortening as butter is definitely not going to go bad in that time frame and it will taste a zillion times better than crisco.

    @Allison : I've been surprised at how many people comment on how good the icing is, even when I'm using imitation clear extract so I can match colors. I guess too many people are used to the stuff in a can at the grocery store. But it *does* have the advantage that it's a little more tolerant of heat than butter.

    I guess it depends on the palate of the tasters and what they're used to... afterall plenty of people like "Cool Whip" even though I think it's revolting and don't understand how anyone could accept it as a substitute for real whipped cream! :) My experience is that at "room temperature", butter icing is fine, but if you plan to have your cake in a warmer environment or direct sunlight, melty icing might indeed be an issue.

    @Allison : it's like American fast food -- if you put enough fat and sugar in it, people will like it ... I don't know if it's a physiological thing (you're naturally inclined to like those flavors, as they're useful for survival), or what. As for the Cool Whip -- there's some of us who can't do dairy, so I admit, I even had some the other day when whipped cream (admittedly, from a can) was an alternative.

    If anyone is working in commercial qualtities, there are shortenings purpose made for cakes and icings that work great. One that comes to mind is *Sweetex*, but there are others. I've never found these specialty shortenings in retail.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM