How to Measure Icing for Cake Decorating

Written by fred decker
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How to Measure Icing for Cake Decorating
Knowing how much icing to use can be difficult for amateurs. (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

Professional bakers and cake decorators start each project with a pretty clear understanding of what they will need to complete it. For home bakers, who do not decorate nearly as many cakes, it can be a little more challenging. One of the big questions, when decorating a cake, is how much icing to make or buy. Fortunately, there are several sources on- and off- line to provide that information.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Prepared icing, commercial or homemade
  • Flexible spatula
  • Large measuring cup
  • Bowl (optional)
  • Plastic film wrap

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  1. 1

    Consult a recipe book or an online source, such as the Wilton website, to determine the appropriate amount of icing for your cake. The quantities listed are always approximate, and will vary according to the cake's surface area and the thickness of icing between the layers.

  2. 2

    Scoop icing into your largest measuring cup with a flexible spatula, using the spatula to force the icing down and squeeze out any pockets of air. When the cup is full, use your spatula to turn the icing out into a small bowl.

  3. 3

    Repeat, until you have measured out an appropriate quantity of icing. If the cake is to be heavily decorated, allow an extra 1/2 cup to 1 cup of icing to account for this. If your measuring cup is large enough to hold the entire amount of icing needed, you will not need a separate bowl for the icing.

  4. 4

    Decorate your cake as desired, dividing the icing between the filling and the outer layer. Cover the icing with plastic film wrap when it is not in use, so it will not dry out and become difficult to work with.

Tips and warnings

  • A medium-textured icing is best for general-purpose use. Thin the icing with a bit of milk or cream if you will be writing on the cake with it, or thicken the icing with icing sugar for piping flowers and other similar decorations.

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