Powdered Sugar Frosting

Powdered sugar frosting is a beautiful yet simple frosting, ideal for children to decorate. My children love to top cupcakes with this frosting so that they can decorate them thoroughly with sparkles, chocolate flakes or little candies, like smarties. Smarties look particularly pretty.

You can make coloured icing using either colourings or pureed fruit like raspberries or blackberries. The colour of the raspberry icing in particular is really very pretty. You only need a very small amount of fruit to get a great colour. For a small quantity like this, just a few frozen raspberries would do the trick.

You can let the fruit defrost, and then push it through a sieve. Use the liquid that you get from the fruit in place of the water to make the frosting. This picture shows powdered sugar frosting made with mango, raspberry and blackberry. The raspberry is the lighter pink. We mashed up the mango to make a puree, but didn't feel the need to put it through the sieve since it has no pips.

When you use the fruit puree, it will delicately flavour the icing. You can also think of using either orange or lemon juice in place of the water to make different flavours of icing. It's really very versatile.

Powdered sugar is known as icing sugar in England or sometimes as confectioners sugar in America.

Powdered Sugar Frosting

Level: Easy
Makes: Enough for 12 small cupcakes

80g (8 tablespoons) icing sugar

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and very slowly add the water or fruit puree/juice, stirring between each addition. You really don't need very much water at all. Add it just half a teaspoon at a time (or even less) to avoid putting too much in.

Stop as soon as the icing become spreadable. If it becomes too runny, you can add more icing sugar. If it is too runny, it will not stick to the top of the cake, but will run straight off the sides. If it is too thick, you won't be able to spread it at all.

Ideally, you want to put a spoonful on top of the cupcake and spread it around with the back of a teaspoon and it will settle to a smooth finish without running off the sides. If a little dribbles down, that is fine - it just looks pretty.

Serve with

We use powdered sugar frosting on various different cupcakes.

If you flavour it with lemon, it is lovely on lemon cupcakes. In this case, you can even add a little of the finely grated zest to the icing for more flavour and decoration. It is shown here on our lemon layer cake. To cover a large cake like this, and allow it to drizzle down the sides, you would need 115g (3/4 cup) of icing sugar with about 4 teaspoons of lemon juice, plus some zest to decorate.

If you liked this powdered sugar frosting, you might also like our fluffy frosting.