Decorative Recipes

Here are some basic recipes you can use for your cooking or baking or simply snacking. Enjoy!

- cream cheese frosting

- candied orange peel

- buttercream frosting

- decorative icing

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting goes really well with vegetable-based cakes. Heavier than whipped cream, it makes the cake delightfully rich.

    1. Click here for my recipe (minus the nuts, if you wish)

    2. Click here for another recipe

Buttercream Frosting

I was inspired by my friend's buttercream recipe and decided to make one.

Ingredients (Covers 1 cake):

0.5 cup softened butter (not melted), 1.5 cups powdered sugar, 1 tbs vanilla extract and 1-2 tsps milk. Salt to taste

Optional: 1 drop of food coloring at a time until desired color is archived.


In a medium bowl, whip butter for 1 min. Add 0.5 cup sugar at a time while mixing at LOW speed until fully incorporated. Blend in salt, vanilla extract and food coloring for 3 mins or until stiff peaks are archived.

Candied Orange Peel

Also adapted from The Gourmet Cookie Book.

Ingredients (Yields 80 strips):

4 navel oranges, 1.5 cups sugar and 0.75 cup water

Preparation Time: 5.5 hrs


Cut peel, including white pith, from oranges with a sharp knife. Cut peel lengthwise into 0.25 inch strips. Reserve fruit for other use. Cover peel with cold water in 3-qt saucepan and bring it to a slow boil over medium heat. Boil for 1 min, then drain. Repeat boiling and draining two more times to remove bitterness. Oil a large rack and set over a tray. Bring sugar and water to a boil in heavy skillet, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Add peel and boil, stirring until most of the syrup is absorbed and pith is translucent. This takes about 20 to 25 mins. The candied peel can be kept for up to 1 week. Snack by itself or tossed in granulated sugar. Or use in florentines cookies.

Decorative Icing

Adapted from The Gourmet Cookie Book.

Ingredients (Yields 3 cups):

1 lb confectioners' sugar, 4 tsp powdered egg whites (not reconstituted, ie Just Whites), 1/3 cup water. 1 tbs fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp vanilla and 2 drops liquid food color


Beat together all ingredients except blue food color in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until just combined, about 1 min. Increase speed to high and continue to beat until icing holds still peaks, about 3 mins in a stand mixer or 10 with a handheld. Beat food coloring until well blended. Now it is ready for decorating cakes and cookies.