Tag Archives: gel food coloring for icing

Bakery Style Buttercream Icing

As promised, I’m back to share this bakery-style (cough, Publix, cough) buttercream icing recipe.  I can assure you, it earned rave reviews last weekend at Jim’s Birthday Party!

Black Magic Cake with Bakery Buttercream Icing  | Oysters & Pearls

I shared the recipe for the Black Magic Cake yesterday, and it went really great with this buttercream icing… but I’m pretty sure this icing would go well with just about anything.  Including a spoon.  Or a sneaky finger.

Bakery Buttercream Icing (barely tweaked from ifood.tv)


– 1/2 pound unsalted butter (two sticks)
– 2 cups vegetable shortening
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 2 teaspoons butter flavoring
– 2 teaspoons almond extract
– 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
– 1 tablespoon meringue powder
– 2 pounds confectioners/powdered sugar


In a large mixing bowl, whisk or sift powdered sugar until all clumps are broken up completely.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and the shortening until smooth.

While continuing to beat the mixture, add in the almond and vanilla extract, butter flavor, and meringue powder, and continue to beat until incorporated.

Add the sugar in a tiny bit at a time and beat well after each addition until incorporated.  Once you add the final bit of sugar, turn the mixer off, scrape the sides of the bowl well, and then beat again until everything is smooth.

Cover everything with it.

Now I have to warn you: this is NOT a healthy snack.  This is for occasional use to decorate cakes.  I was a little leery of butter flavor and meringue powder, but I’m a big proponent of the “everything in moderation, including moderation” rule.

Exhibit A: Crisco shortening + butter.

Crisco & Butter for Buttercream Icing | Oysters & Pearls

Turn into this.

Crisco & Butter, Creamed for Buttercream Icing | Oysters & Pearls

Which with the addition of confectioner’s sugar, turns into this magical goodness:

Bakery-Style Buttercream Icing | Oysters & Pearls

It. is. so. good.

That’s it!  Ice anything and everything with it, or eat it with a spoon.  Up to you.

I also thought I’d share a tip I learned at the cake decorating class I took.  To color icing, the best way is to use gel colors.  But they come in little tubes with no easy way to add them to the icing, and they’re very powerful, so you don’t want to add too much.  It can break down your icing if you’re not careful.  Now, I’m not sure this is the best example, because red icing is the hardest to work with, but naturally that’s what I chose.

Using Gel Food Coloring to Color Icing | Oysters & Pearls

Place some icing into a separate bowl, and use a toothpick to dip into the food coloring and then run it across the surface of the icing.  I know it doesn’t look like much, but it colored all of that icing.  Just mix it up and scoop it into a piping bag.  To load your piping bag, drop your desired piping tip down into the bag and cut off enough of the bag tip to tightly fit around the piping tip.  Fold the top of the bag down around your hand, and then scoop the icing in until the bag is about halfway full.  Twist the top of the bag until the icing squeezes down to the tip and the bag is taut around the icing.  Go to town!

Piping Bag | Oysters & Pearls

You can find all sorts of icing tutorials on Pinterest and via Google, so I won’t go into that today.  Most especially because I’m still a beginner and am not fit to teach, but here’s a good spot to find a lot of videos teaching lots of cake baking techniques: {click here}

Now, speaking of celebrating, I’m off to Charleston, South Carolina for the long weekend to celebrate my friend Sara’s bachelorette party!  I’m so excited to be reunited with our group of college girlfriends, see Sara’s high school friends again, and to get to know Sara’s optometry school friends.  It’s going to be a helluva of a weekend!  I’ll be recovering on Monday/Labor Day, but I’ll be back on Tuesday with the long-awaited pepper sauce and hot sauce recipes I’ve been keeping from y’all.  If you can’t wait until then, you can always keep up with me through my weekend adventures on my favorite social media, Instagram. :)

Happy Labor Day Weekend, everybody!