Last fall, I took a cake decorating class. They actually called frosting made with shortening "buttercream." Call me crazy, but don't you think if it's called buttercream it should contain butter? Anyway, they used this fabulous Wilton Meringue Powder for stability. It is especially needed in frosting where you are using actual "butter." You can buy it at Michael's Craft Store. I don't give an exact liquid amount in frosting recipes because humidity can affect how much you need. I recommend adding some liquid initially and then adding more, small amounts at a time to get it to the right spreading consistency. You will get really good at this with practice, I promise!
Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup canola oil
1) Preheat oven to 350’. You will need pans for 18 cupcakes. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners and spray papers with cooking spray. In medium size mixing bowl, mix flour through salt.
2) In small bowl, mash bananas very well, add oil and eggs.
3) Make a well in dry ingredients and all at once dump wet into dry. Mix until just blended and fill each prepared cup 2/3 full. Bake 15-18 minutes. Toothpick should come out clean.
4) Cool completely.
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons meringue powder
¼ cup Hershey’s cocoa, or your favorite cocoa powder
¼ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk + more
1) In a medium size mixing bowl, beat softened butter with an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar, meringue powder, cocoa, vanilla, and milk. Turn on mixer to the lowest speed and gently move around the bowl. If too thick add milk, a teaspoon at a time to get it to the best spreading consistency. Be careful not to add too much, it will run off your cupcakes. Stop between additions and test a bit with a knife. (good time to taste too)
2) Frost cupcakes. Store in airtight container if you have any left!