So first things first, you need to draw out what your going to do. Decorating or designing a cake with multiple colors of icing in different patterns is a whole lot different than slapping icing on a cake. You need to draw out what the cake or cupcakes will look like and what colors you will need. We will refer to this later in the post.
So to be honest, mostly all I use is...*shifts eyes around sneakily*
A box mix for the cupcakes! Terrible I know, but hey I am mostly a decorator not a chef lol
But here is a helpful tip for baking on a budget, I buy these cupcake boxes that make 12 cupcakes, and guess how much they are? 1$! You can buy them anywhere, wal-mart, target, dollar tree. They are smaller boxes than regular mix but they work great! I usually buy two, one chocolate and one vanilla and that makes 24 cupcakes, perfect for a cupcake cake!
Now for the icing, I do actually mix up my own. If you have ever tried to make a nice looking cake but used store bought little tubs of icing, you know it for some reason doesn't work out so well. Well heres the thing, decorating icing has to be alot thicker than that super creamy silky stuff that you buy. Which is why you should just whip up your own batch! It's alot easier than it sounds! And it tastes great too! Not to mention it just sounds cool to say you made your own icing ;)
Okay so here is the recipe I normally use.
- 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
- 2 tablespoons milk