This recipe is similar to the filling in good old fashioned twinkies and the original filling type for Whoopie Pies(or Gobs) before the invention of Marshmallow Fluff. To tweak this recipe for flavor: add 1 cup of real butter to the existing ingredients, the shortening must be the Crisco brand or it really doesn't have quite the same flavor/texture,(using butter flavored crisco instead of butter AND Crisco doesn't seem to work). Change the white sugar to powdered sugar and double it to 2 cups, it won't be overly sweet. The powdered sugar also has cornstarch in it that will help to thicken the mixture. The flour can be cut back to 2 Tbsp because of the powdered sugar effects. Double the vanilla to 2 tsp, use clear vanilla if you would like a really white frosting. A faster way than to "cook"(Ermine or boiled milk frosting method): have all ingredients at room temperature. Using a stand mixer (helpful as the mixing process can be long)keep mixing until frosting comes together. (a hand mixer can be used, just have to stand there mixing and mixing for quite some time). The mixture starts off as a runny, globby mess, and the longer it is mixed, it magically comes together into a fluffy white frosting. Depending on the size of the cake, all of the recipe ingredients could be cut in half. One reviewer made an excellent observation, this frosting IS stable at room temperature.
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This recipe is similar to the filling in good old fashioned twinkies and the original filling...