I've made cupcakes and egg-shaped cakes for my doll and clown (bleh) cakes that we're going to be decorating in class tomorrow.
I've also made up TWO batches of buttercream icing. Surprisingly, as much as I've baked in my life I have yet to make buttercream icing. I was a little nervous going into it because I'd be using my icing in class and I have an obligation to myself to be better than the other kids... But, it was easy easy and it actually tastes better than the free icing they gave us out in class.
I just used the Wilton recipe that came on the back of the pan wrapping that I used for those egg-shapes.
The thick but creamy texture of this flavorful icing makes it ideal for decorating. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Icing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Rewhip before using. Yield: 3 cups.
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon Wilton Clear Vanilla Extract
4 cups (1 lb.) sifted confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Cream butter and shortening with an electric mixer.
Add vanilla. (So yeah... didn't have any clear vanilla so I left it out. I figured there's enough sugar in there anyways that you won't be able to tell and I'm not really gonna eat it anyway. I didn't want to risk it not turning out white.)
Gradually add sugar one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. (And just in case you're dumb like me... start it out slow or else you're going to get sugar everywhere. Yes, I did this, duh Ashley.)
Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
On my second batch I didn't add the milk at the end and ended up with a slightly stiffer frosting that was still tasty and will probably work better for the piping bag work.
Good luck! :D