Decorate Cupcake

Usually, powdered or confectioner's sugar is a key ingredient in homemade frosting. But it is possible to make a delectable glaze or creamy frosting with ordinary granulated cane sugar. You have a few options—choose the recipe that best matches the ingredients you have on hand and the type of dessert you're decorating.

Easy, No-Bake Icing

With an electric mixer, whip egg whites, vanilla extract and sugar until stiff peaks form. Sample the icing while mixing it to see if it's sweet enough; add more sugar gradually, if needed.

Complex Frosting

Combine egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, water and salt in a double boiler. Beat the mixture with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Remove the bowl from the heat and add vanilla extract. (Vanilla extract will evaporate, so be sure to add it after you remove the mixture from the heat.)

Thick, Rich Frosting

Put milk and flour in a medium-sized pot over medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Stir the mixture constantly until it has the consistency of pudding or custard. Remove the mixture from the heat and chill it.

Combine sugar, cream of tartar, shortening and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the cooled flour-and-milk mixture and mix well. You may also add cream cheese to the sugar-and-shortening mix for a slightly different flavor.


If you don't have a double boiler, add 1 to 2 inches of water into a large saucepan and place it on the stove. Place a large glass or ceramic bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.

Try adding melted chocolate, cocoa powder or coffee to any of these recipes for a different flavor.