Apr 23, 2011

The Perfect Frosting

I have gotten tons of questions over the years regarding how I can get my frosting so darn smooth and creamy looking. I wrote a blog entry quite awhile back about the use of liquid clays to create pliable polymer clay frostings, icing, slime, blood, etc... but I thought that I would go more in depth about frosting in this entry.

Simply put, frosting is just a mixture of three different mediums - raw polymer clay, liquid clay, and oil paint. This will give you the most fluffy and opaque result, ideal for brightly coloured icings and frostings. And this is what we will create.

First - the raw polymer clay. In this case, super soft clays definitely come in handy. Personally, I need to work with a firm clay to get the shapes I am looking for without being too soft (I use Premo), but in this case, having a package of Sculpey III or Fimo Soft is the best. Because we are going to be mixing liquid clay with the raw clay, you need the raw polymer clay to be as soft as possible. Knead it in your warm hands for a few minutes to really get the clay soft and gooey - almost like chewed chewing gum.

Next, you will want to break the clay into tiny pieces. The more small, the better - it makes it much easier to mix with the liquid clay. Break it into small thin pieces on your workspace of choice - the best possible options would be a little container for mixing your icing, or on a porcelain/glass/marble tile. I use my marble workslab - I'm not sure if it is real marble or not, it could be glass or granite, but any of those are good.

To the raw clay, add a generous squirt of liquid clay. For this purpose, TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey) is the best choice. It is definitely a lot more cheaper than the Fimo version of liquid clay (Fimo Decorating Gel) and comes in much bigger bottles. You can find HUGE bottles of TLS at Polymer Clay Express for a decent price. Using the back of a spoon, or the handle itself, mash the raw clay into the liquid clay, stirring, mixing, and otherwise doing anything you can to get it evenly distributed.

This is the point where many people get discouraged. Sometimes it can take a LONG time to mix frostings, especially when you are doing it in large quanities like I do. If you are finding it really hard on your wrists, it generally means that you need to add more TLS. By the end of the mixing, you should have a very thick frosting. To further bring out the colours of your frosting, add a matching colour of oil paint. Just a tiny dab. So if you were making pink frosting, you would use a tiny bit of raw pink polymer clay, liquid clay, and a dab of pink oil paint. This will increase the opacity of the frosting. You can buy oil paints in sets of small "sample" tubes for rather cheaply - and they will last you for YEARS if this is all you are using them for.

In regards to proportions, it's really hard to say how much you will need to make frosting. Just keep in mind, start with a very small amount of raw clay (under the size of a small grape) because the more raw clay you start with, the more frosting you are going to have at the end... because it will take A LOT of liquid clay to make that raw clay into frosting. Try starting with just a few pea sized amounts of raw clay at first. If you decide that you need a lot more frosting than what you come out with, add more raw clay to the frosting and keep adding liquid clay to the mixing process until you get as much as you need.

To spread the frosting, try using a toothpick (for tiny cupcakes) or a popsicle stick for larger cupcakes. Spread it onto the cupcake, putting on a nice big dollup in the center of the cupcake and spreading it towards the edges. At this point, you may add any toppings you like or perhaps a cherry. Bake for atleast 20 minutes. If the cupcake underneath the frosting isn't baked yet, it won't hurt the frosting to put it in for the full baking time that is required to bake the rest of the polymer clay.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Go ahead and make a comment!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for this tip. I will definitely try this as I am interested in trying new ways to make cupcakes. ...Although it would be helpful to see a video of how it's done, exactly.

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  2. Can you colour the white icing with acrylic paint? I can never get a good chocolate icing...

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  3. @ Anonymous,

    I definitely don't recommend that. Since Acrylic Paint is water based, it'll steam when heated in the oven to release the water inside... you could TRY it just to see what happens, but it'll probably result in a lot of air bubbles trapped in the icing or bursted bubbles, which would look pretty odd.

    But if you try, let me know your results!

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