It's no secret that I have, shall we say, limited skills when it comes to any type of decorating with icing. You can imagine how tickled I was when my cups for the Super Bowl potluck at work turned out. I have to confess, I wasn't necessarily following either team in this year's big game. Seattle's colors were chosen for the frosting simply because I wanted to sprinkle Skittles on the cups after discovering Skittles were associated with the Seahawks (why, I still don't know). They turned out pretty well, didn't they?
For these cups, I used a box mix. My preference in box mixes is Duncan Hines, especially the white mix.
I frosted the cups with a buttercream recipe I've been using for years. I know there are many buttercream frosting recipes available and I've tried several variations, but this is my favorite. It's a very simple recipe.
One tip when making this recipe: be sure the powdered (confectioners) sugar is soft and fluffy. You'll have better results, if the sugar hasn't hardened.
My Favorite Buttercream Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening (I prefer Crisco)
1 tsp. vanilla (I use a butter/vanilla flavoring)
3 - 4 tbsp. milk
1 lb. powdered (confectioners) sugar
Cream the butter and shortening; add the vanilla. Next, add all of the sugar and 3 tbsp. of milk. Begin by mixing on low (about 30 seconds to one minute) and, as the ingredients become incorporated, turn mixer up to a medium speed. If needed, add more milk - one teaspoon at a time - until buttercream reaches the desired consistency. At this point, you can tint the buttercream to the desired color using food coloring dyes, pastes or gels.
If you are icing a , you'll want a less stiff consistency so the buttercream is easier to spread. If you will be piping a design, then you'll want the buttercream to be a stiffer consistency. I used a medium consistency for the cup design, but - because I couldn't locate my 1M tip - I used a smaller star tip.
To swirl two colors of the buttercream frosting like I did on these cups, just follow the directions found at this LINK. This technique is very forgiving for producing a two-toned effect and you'll also find some great decorating ideas, too.