Generally speaking, most frosting is made with super-fine powdered or confectioner's sugar. But it is possible to make a delicious glaze or creamy frosting with ordinary granulated cane sugar. You have a few options that range in complexity and prep time — choose the recipe that best matches the ingredients you have on hand and the type of dessert you're decorating.
Whip up an easy, no-bake icing. With an electric mixer whip 2 egg whites, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 cup sugar until you have stiff peaks. Be sure to sample some of the icing while mixing it to see if it is sweet enough; if not, add more sugar gradually.
Use a double boiler to make a more complex frosting. Combine 2 egg whites, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar, 5 tablespoons water and a dash of salt in a double boiler. Beat the mixture with electric beater for about 5 minutes or until the frosting forms stiff peaks. Remove the bowl from the heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Vanilla extract will evaporate away so be sure to add it after you remove the mixture from the stove.
Add milk and flour to the mix to make a thick, rich frosting. Put 2 cups milk and 10 tablespoons flour in a medium-sized pot. Set the burner to medium and cook the milk and flour until it achieves a slow boil; stir the mixture constantly until it achieves the consistency of pudding or custard. Remove the mixture from the heat and chill it. Combine 2 3/4 cups sugar, 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar, 2 cups shortening and 2 teaspoons 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 1 cup cream cheese to the sugar-and-shortening mix for a slightly different flavor.