How To Make Icing for Cakes


For our birthdays, Amma used to make a sponge cake with plain icing…or sometimes sprinkled with hundreds and thousands beads. My sister S however was not always as fortunate as the rest of us since her birthday fell within the Purtassi (fasting period)-this was a time when we did not eat meat or eggs, this meant no cake or an eggless cake.


© 2011 l

Before I  get started with Amma’s Icing Recipe…I would like to wish my sister S – a Happy Birthday!

‘A ministering angel shall my sister beShakespeare

Apart from birthdays Amma also occasionally made iced queen cakes-long before cupcakes became fashionable. Amma’s icing sugar recipe usually contained margarine,icing sugar and vanilla essence.

Over the years, I have found that butter is a much better substitute for margarine, apart from the taste, the texture of  margarine when hardened is much less effective than butter. The addition of lemon juice or milk also adds to a softer texture which enables better piping and decorating possibilities.

To make Butter cream icing like Amma used to make it you will need:

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • Quarter cup butter or margarine (at room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  1. To make perfect icing sugar the butter should be at room temperature. I use a fork to soften the butter before adding the icing sugar.
Icing Sugar Recipe

2. Sift the icing sugar. Amma used to use a piece of net tied around the dish. Although I do have a  sieve I prefer Amma’s method, it reminds me of her ingenuity.

    3. Mix the butter and icing sugar
    4. Add milk. Mix until a smooth creamy texture forms

    Icing Sugar Recipe

      5. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before use.

        © 2011 l

        How To Make Chocolate Butter Cream Icing

        • To make chocolate icing simply add 4 tablespoons cocoa powder to the above recipe. You may need to add another teaspoon of milk to make the cocoa icing more pliable.

        How To Make Flavored Icing

        • To make flavor icing you can add different essence or lemon juice. If you add one teaspoon of flavoring then reduce the quantity of milk to one teaspoon.


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