Frosting that pipes smoothly into designs is basic to successful cake decorating.
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened but not melted
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, softened but not melted
3 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, cream butter and shortening, beating until fluffy. Beat in sugar alternately with cream and vanilla, until slightly stiff. For creative flair, add a few drops of food coloring.