How To Make Frosting - 7 Must-Have Tools

July 17, 2013

In just TWO short months The Dollop Book of Frosting: Sweet and Savory Icings, Spreads, Meringues, and Ganaches for Dessert and Beyond will be sitting prominently on the shelves of bookstores everywhere! Hopefully the books don't sit too long though. Maybe they’ll be leaping off the shelves. That would be ideal. Can we make that happen? In the case that they’re leaping off the shelves and into your arms I'd like to make sure you’re prepared with the 7 essential frosting-making tools. I cover this topic more in depth in the book but I want to give you a head start on knowing the basics. Keep in mind, this is just to make the frosting. We'll go over the essential baking tools at a later date. How To Make Frosting - 7 Must-Have Tools
  1. Mixing Bowl Set. Stainless steel is your best bet here. You're also looking for bowls with rubber non-skid bottoms so that you can stir and whisk without the bowl flying across the counter or into your lap. As far as mixing bowls go, it doesn't get much better than this OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Stainless-Steel Mixing Bowl Set. The rubber base makes these unsuitable for double boiling but we'll delve into tools for that another day.
  2. Spatula. Sturdy, flexible but not flimsy, and one-piece construction so that the head doesn't pop off are the key features you're looking for in a spatula. This Orka All-Purpose Silicone Spoon Spatula, Black fits all of the requirements. I find the black color cool and funky in a simple way but it comes in other colors if black's not you're thing.
  3. KitchenAid Stand Mixer. If you don't have a stand mixer like this KitchenAid KSM150PSPT Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, Pistachio, shame on you. Just click on the link and LOOK AT ALL THE COLORS. It's a festival of choices! I bought my stand mixer 5 years ago when I first started baking and I am not kidding when I say that it has mixed frosting and batter for well over 150,000 cupcakes. These little metal mixing wonders hold up. It's an investment that's hardly worth blinking an eye at. If you don't buy one in the next couple months, I'll give you hell. (kidding) (kinda)
  4. Sifter or Sieve. Powdered sugar tends to be clumpy, especially if it's been exposed to air. To make the perfect frosting, it's necessary to sift out all of the clumps with a sifter or sieve. You can't go wrong with this Winco Stainless Steel Rim Sieve with Mesh, 10 inch Diameter -- 1 each. I like this style much better than the hand crank style because you can actually fit all of your powdered sugar in it. The narrow opening on the hand crank style is only conducive if you want half your sugar dusting the floor. But sugar on the floor does no one no good. Except for the dog maybe.
  5. Whisk: If you just opened a brand new bag of 10x powdered sugar and don't see the need to go through all the sifting since it's already smooth and lump-free as freshly fallen snow, I'd recommend you at the very least run a whisk through it. This Kuhn Rikon 10-Inch Silicone Tornado Whisk with Stainless Handle is so fun and unique that you'll be dying to use it anyway.
  6. Measuring Cups: Stainless steel is my go-to for measuring cup and utensil construction. It's a sturdy material, easy to clean, and aesthetically fits in with any kitchen surrounding. Most importantly, you want to choose a set with the cup sizes engraved rather than printed on the handles. The printed ink wears off over time and you'll find yourself standing over the counter debating whether the 1/2 cup is actually the 2/3 cup or vice versa. With the cup sizes engraved on the handles, you'll never second guess yourself. This RSVP 6-Piece Stainless Steel Nesting Measuring Cup Set meets all of the requirements and is absolutely and utterly FANTASTIC.
  7. Measuring Spoons: This Progressive International Stainless-Steel Magnetic Measuring Spoons, Set of 5 is awesome because the magnets hold the spoons together in your drawer instead of the rings that typically tie most measuring spoons together. Those rings can really drive you batty if you're in the midst of finding a spoon to measure your vanilla with one hand and whisking your powdered sugar with the other. This happens.
Now that you have your frosting tool supply list, you better get excited and ready to start making some frosting! My goal is to get you so confident that anytime someone asks you "how do I make frosting?" you'll feel pro enough to answer. In order to do that, we'll go over some frosting ingredient must-haves next time. For comments: What kind of frosting recipe are you most excited about? Chocolate? Peanut butter? Cream cheese? Mmmmm cream cheese...
photo credit: Matt Wittmeyer

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