Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

I was originally going to use this post to talk about how to stack a cake, but I was so nervous about getting this cake done in time for the party that I forgot to take pictures as I went along!

Some of you have already heard of my "cake disaster" ☺ with this one. I accidentally picked up an older cake mix at the store. When I took the cake out of the pan, it started to fall apart. It wasn’t until after it was in pieces that I looked at the “Best by” date and realized this cake was past its prime by several months.

After a quick dash across the street to my local Target, I bought another cake mix and tried again. This one was definitely fresher than the last. I still had a few problems with some of the cake falling apart when I went to torte it, but I managed to salvage the cake in the end. I think I may have been trying to torte the cake a bit too soon because I was running so short on time.

Anyway, here’s the recipe for Chocolate Buttercream Icing.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening (e.g. Crisco)
1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
brown icing color (optional)

In a mixer, cream vanilla extract, shortening, butter, and water. Gradually add powdered sugar. Mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been thoroughly blended. Add cocoa powder a bit at a time. Keep mixing until smooth and creamy.

If you want the icing to look darker, add some brown icing color. I used an entire container of Wilton brown icing color to get the shade of brown in the photo to the right! The cocoa powder doesn’t make the icing very dark at all. It’s a very soft brown, and I wanted something that looked like chocolate!


  1. The last birthday cake I made was almost a disaster, too...but it wasn't the cake's fault. It was the person-who-read-the-directions-wrong's fault! :)

  2. This is absolutely lovely! Glad to hear you were able to recover from the "disaster." :)

  3. It looked and tasted delicious!


  4. Thanks for the wonderful cake Amy! It was Delish'! Sorry to hear about the initial problems. It probably was my choice of white cake over yellow cake. Your friend, Brenda

  5. Brenda, it was my pleasure to make your birthday cake! And I'm sure it had nothing to do with your choice of cake flavors--it had everything to do with my inability to check expiration dates. :)