Tag Archives: Icing

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Sugar cookie recipe by Martha Stewart. Queen Royal Icing mixture. Happy birthday Jennifer!

I’m pretty happy with the way these turned out, it was my first time using royal icing to decorate cookies. I need a little more practice with piping but I can see decorated sugar cookies popping up on various occasions in the future.  The cookies’  flavour is quite plain so I might try a chocolate version next time.

Tips on using royal icing from those in the know:

From Marriage to Motherhood


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Rainbow Cake

I did it! And with no major disasters, upsets, re-dos or tears. Thank goodness. I’ve been looking for an excuse to attempt a rainbow cake for a while. My nanna’s 78th birthday was the perfect occasion – mainly because she loves anything and everything I make. I used Whisk Kid‘s recipe and instructions; go to her blog to watch her make the cake on the Martha Stewart show. I baked the cakes yesterday afternoon and made the first batch of icing last night. Then, I stacked the layers and did a crumb coating of icing and let the cake sit overnight.  Most recipes suggest only gel colouring will do for this cake; however, I used liquid food colour and the results look vivid enough to me. I have ordered a full set of gel colours from Little Betsy Baker’s stocktake, sale so I will use them for my next rainbow cake. The only container big enough to hold the cake and stand was my cupcake courier, with the trays removed.

This morning, I made the second batch of icing and finished the cake. (The recipe specifies the quantities for each batch). The icing is Swiss meringue buttercream. This is the first time I’ve made it. It is a combination of sugar, egg whites, butter and vanilla. The recipe wasn’t too tricky and the first batch was perfect. There was enough to spread generous amounts between each cake layer and for the crumb coating. Batch number two was smaller and enough to cover the cake. This batch was a little problematic and I was afraid it wasn’t going to turn out properly, as the mixture took a while to come together in the mixer. Eventually, though, the icing turned out fine as the trusty Kitchenaid did her stuff. I would not have been able to make the icing without it. The second batch of icing has more of a yellow colour than the first. I’m not sure why yet. I’ll definitely make this type of icing again. I need to invest in some decorating tools and a larger cake plate but I managed with what I had.

And yes, Nanna loved it.

Click here for the recipe, instructions and video from Whisk Kid

Click here to see another awesome rainbow cake from Sweetapolita


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Icing and Frosting

These are my two basic frosting/icing recipes. I don’t usually measure the ingredients but here is a basic method:

Cream Cheese Frosting

 About 400g cream cheese, softened
 4 cups sifted icing sugar mixture
1 cup (about 230g) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and butter on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

 Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla, raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using. May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.

 Buttercream Frosting

 250g butter, softened
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 Icing sugar mixture

 Beat butter with electric mixer until soft and whipped.
 Add vanilla.
 Add sifted icing sugar mixture 1 cup at a time and mix until well combined. Keep adding icing sugar until you get the consistency and taste you like. If it gets a little dry add some milk.


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Koala Cupcakes

Seven poor little un-iced white chocolate mud cupcakes sitting in a container feeling unpretty. What to do? Turn them in to koalas of course! The directions are in the current issue of New Idea magazine, but the basics are grey buttercream frosting, coconut, marshmallows, black jelly beans and brown mini M&Ms.


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Birthday Cupcakes

White chocolate mud cupcakes with buttercream frosting.


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Vanilla Ice cream and Chocolate Mud Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

Update: And the winner is…


Q: What do you do with a chocolate mud cupcake that is just a little too crumbly?

A: Mix it with vanilla ice cream, top with peppermint buttercream frosting and enter it into December’s Cupcake Hero contest!

Cupcake Hero is a monthly cupcake baking competition, with a different key ingredient each month. Read about December’s theme here.

I decided to enter this month, however my poor chocolate mudcakes where just too crumbly for me to be happy. So I whipped out some vanilla ice cream and Voila! Chocolate and ice cream and peppermint and buttercream, er, cupcakes!

1. Take cool cupcakes and crumble into pieces. Mix the pieces with soft (but not too soft) vanilla ice cream.

2. Spoon ice cream mix into ramekins or small bowls.


 3. Make buttercream frosting with a dash of peppermint essence and a tiny dash of green food colouring.

4. Pipe frosting onto the top of your “cupcake” and eat with a spoon!


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Wilton No. 2110 (1M) Open Star Decorating Tip

Santa also brought a new tip for my piping bag. The No. 2110 (1M) is the attachment you need to create great big swirls of icing to pile on top of your cupcakes. It usually requires a large coupler (the plastic part to attach the tip to the bag), however, you could probably get away with not using one — just slide the tip into your bag. Here is a good explanation of how to make swirls with your No. 2110.




For Wilton products in Sydney, try The Essential Ingredient in Crows Nest, Peters of Kensington in Kensington or eBay. Unfortunately, Wilton’s online store does not ship internationally.


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Wilton Icing Colors

Santa came early to Katie’s Kitchen, bringing with him some Wilton Icing Colors. They are small jars of colour paste, for colouring icing and fondant. A small amount of the paste will create a more vibrant and deeper coloured icing than supermarket-bought liquid food colouring. I find the paste is convenient when making coloured fondant, as you need only a small amount of paste, which means less colour ends up on your hands. For some tips on colouring icing click here and here.

The red and green fondant balls on the left (in the picture below) were coloured using Wilton Icing Colors “Red Red” and “Kelly Green”. The red balls on the right were coloured with a large amount of Queen Pillar Box Red Food Colouring. The Wilton colour is warmer than the pinkish tones of the Queen food colouring.


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Coffee Cake

I found this coffee cake recipe in my late mum’s cookbook, so I have no idea where it originally comes from. I made it a few years ago, in loaf tins, with chocolate icing. I personally don’t like coffee flavour so I haven’t tasted this one. Coffee drinkers seemed to approve!



Today, I used a different version of the same recipe; it was given to me by Liz, who was a good friend of my mum. My mum gave her recipe to Liz sometime back in the 1980s, when we were next-door neightbours. Liz has modified the recipe slightly over the years. Back in March, before I got married, my cousin/bridesmaid held a kitchen tea for me. Each guest was asked to bring a recipe to add to my collection. Liz gave me this coffee cake recipe, along with the cake tins, serving plate, instant coffee and Cadbury flake to make it. I’m sorry Liz had to leave the kitchen tea early and didn’t get to see my open her gift. There were tears!
My husband/taste tester says the cake is light and moist. Today, I did not ice the top — only between the two layers — and served it warm, with vanilla ice cream.




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Christmas Cookies

This recipe is from Coles’ free Christmas magazine. The magazine is available in Coles supermarkets and also on the Coles website.


The cookies are very plain, allowing you to decorate them as you please. The recipe can be used to make  cookies of any shape; it’s also a good one for kids to make and enjoy. Next time, I will use Donna Hay for cookies instead of this recipe. The Donna Hay’s mixture is more like shortbread and sweeter tasting. I will use it for another batch of Christmas cookies closer to Christmas day.

I do not own a food processor, so I used my electric beaters. They will work as long as the butter is soft.

Be careful with the cooking time on these. You don’t want them golden brown on top, only underneath. I found 8-10 minutes was enough time, but this will depend on the size and thickness of your cookies. Cook small cookies on a separate tray to large ones, so each can be cooked for the appropriate time.

The topping on my cookies is melted chocolate and icing. Melt chocolate and drizzle over the top of cookies any way you like. Or dip the cookies in icing (icing sugar mixed with food colouring and a tablespoon or two of hot water) and then decorate with sprinkles, M&Ms or cachous. The icing needs to be thick, so add the food colouring to the icing sugar before adding water. Then add the water gradually, while stirring.

Christmas Tree Cookies
Adapted from: Coles’ Christmas magazine

2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup icing sugar mixture, sifted
200g butter, chopped
2 tablespoons cold water

2 cups pure icing sugar
Food colouring
Hot water
Decorations eg: sprinkles, cachous

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 160 degrees Celsius for a fan-forced oven. Line baking trays with baking powder.

Place flour, icing mixture and butter into a food processor. Process in short bursts until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add 2 tablespoons cold water and process until mixture forms small, moist clumps. Turn out onto non-stick baking paper or a floured surface and gather the dough into a ball.

Roll out mixture until 1cm thick. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.

Place onto trays, bake for 8-12 minutes, until cookies are golden brown underneath but still pale on top. Cool in wire rack.

Sift pure icing sugar into a bowl. Add food colouring and stir. Add up to 2 1/2 tablespoons of hot water and stir until smooth. Icing should be thick enough to cling to cookies.

Decorate cookies by dipping them into icing and sprinkling decorations on top. Leave to set.

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