The Secret in the Frosting

I don’t like surprises. I’m sure that says something about my propensity to be a control freak. I prefer to think it’s because I love the anticipation. To me, that’s half the fun. 

But a secret? Oh, yes! I love a good secret. Like this one about how to make whipped cream frosting that actually holds up, tastes fresh and looks gorgeous for a couple of days. You want to know the secret, too, don’t you. I didn’t pinky promise to not tell, so just keep reading and you’ll find it in today’s first great reader tip.

Cake with icing and cherries

photo credit:

SECRET INGREDIENT. Using real whipping cream to ice a cake can be a hassle when it runs and separates. The way to stop this is to blend one teaspoon of dry instant vanilla pudding mix per one cup of cream before whipping, then whip it to a firm consistency and add sugar to taste. This mixture can be piped or spread on any cake and sets up to last for days in the fridge.

My family favorite is to use two round white cake layers. Pipe or spread a ring of cream on the edge of the bottom layer then spoon cherry pie filling in the center. The ring of cream helps the filling to stay in the center of the cake. Top with the second layer. Put a ring of cream rosettes or small spoons of cream closely together around the top edge and use more cherry filling to fill the top center. The sides can be piped or spread with the cream.  This can also be made a day ahead and looks just as beautiful. Kerri

CREATIVE PANCAKES. After decades of flipping pancakes at the stove while my family enjoyed them at the table, I decided to bake them. I pour the batter into a lightly oiled jellyroll pan and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes. I cut them in squares for adults and use animal shaped cookie cutters for my granddaughters. Now all of us sit down together to enjoy breakfast. I’ve been liberated! Helen

SPACE SAVING TRICK. Living in a very small home, we have to take advantage of every inch of space. When stacking towels for the linen closet, I place the fold one way one time and the opposite way the next. This allows more towels to be stacked in a smaller space. Unless you’re a fanatic about all the folds facing the same way, this really works! (Actually works with any items that are folded.) Adrian

CHEAP DYE. White isn’t a good color on me, so whenever I find a deal on a white blouse or T-shirt I dye it. One day I discovered I was out of packaged dye so I decided to get creative. I looked through my Kool-Aid and took out the red flavors. I put the Kool-Aid and two shirts in my washer in hot water. Now I have two new pale pink shirts that only cost less than a buck to dye.  Hilda

EXTRA SPINS. A clothes dryer uses a lot of electricity, so before I take my clothes out of the washer I spin them an extra two to three times. I’m amazed at how much more water comes out of the clothes. The clothes dry faster and I save money. Ted

Question: What’s the best tip you’ve learned of recently? Please share …

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3 replies
  1. Cyndi Shelby Manka
    Cyndi Shelby Manka says:

    My co workers wife made us a cake. The frosting was amazing. I asked him to find out the recipe. This is what she did. Instant pudding in whip cream!!! Love all the tips here. I’ll add some too.

  2. Luisa
    Luisa says:

    Here’s another pancake trick to prevent cooking alone while everyne else eats. I make pancakes and freeze them in short stacks in freezer bags. When I want pancakes, I take them out of the bag, put them on a plate, and pop them in the microwave until they’re hot. I started doing this to have pancakes for myself on work mornings, and found out how convenient it could be for groups when I used this plan for a lot of houseguests one weekend.

  3. DianaB
    DianaB says:

    Ooh, I really like the whipped cream frosting trick AND the pancake trick. I am always still making pancakes when everyone else is finished eating. I am definitely going to try that one. No law/rule says pancakes have to be round :))


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