Kid-friendly Outstanding Olive Oil Frosting Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Outstanding Olive Oil Frosting

Recipe: Outstanding Olive Oil Frosting

Outstanding Olive Oil Frosting

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Caterina Trimarchi/Shutterstock.com
prep time
8 minutes
cook time
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Outstanding Olive Oil Frosting

This beautiful, pale green olive oil glaze comes together super quickly! It’s great on cookies, cakes, and cupcakes. Plus, it’s a great recipe to have up your sleeve to accommodate vegan diets (or when you’ve run out of butter)!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • cake decorating :

    to apply frosting and other decorative foods to a cake to keep in moisture, add flavor and sweetness, and make it more attractive.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • sift :

    to pass a dry ingredient like flour or sugar through a sieve to make it lighter and more even in texture.

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Whisk
scale
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Ingredients

Outstanding Olive Oil Frosting

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T water
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • lemon zest (a tiny pinch to top each cupcake)

Instructions

Outstanding Olive Oil Frosting

1.
measure + combine

In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 pinch of salt.

2.
measure + sift

Measure 1 cup powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Whisk the powdered sugar a few times to sift out any lumps.

3.
whisk + pour

While you whisk the powdered sugar, add all the liquids from the first step. Whisk until a thick and creamy frosting is formed.

4.
decorate

Use this creamy, light green olive oil frosting to decorate cakes like our Salty “Amalfi” Lemon Olive Oil Cake (see recipe). Make sure whatever you are spooning this tasty frosting onto is completely cool or else it will start to melt right off the cupcake. Finish with a tiny pinch of lemon zest to make each cupcake extra fancy.

Surprise Ingredient: Olive Oil!

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Photo by masa44/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I'm Olive Oil!

"My name is Olive and I'm just one type of cooking oil or fat. However, I'm one of the very healthiest you can use! I come from olives, the fruit of the olive tree. Olive oil is often a pretty golden or light green color and has a unique flavor. You would be hard pressed (pressed, get it?) to find a better, tastier oil!"

  • Olive trees have been cultivated throughout the Mediterranean for thousands of years since the 8th millennium BCE (sometime between 8000-7001 BCE.) However, there is fossil evidence of wild olive trees originating millions of years ago and North Africans using the fruit as food and its oil for fuel around 100,000 years ago.
  • The Ancient Greeks and Romans used olive oil in their cuisines. Archaeological evidence shows that olive oil was made from olives in 6000 BCE. 
  • Olive oil has been a traded agricultural product since at least 2000 BCE.
  • The word "oil" came from a word that referred specifically to olive oil. It came from Middle English, from the Old French "olie," and from the Latin "oleum" (olive oil). The Latin word "olea" in the olive tree's Latin name is translated as either "'olive" or "oil."
  • Olive trees (Olea europaea) are long-lived evergreens with silvery green, leathery, narrow leaves and tiny, off-white flowers followed by fruit. 
  • An olive is a small, bitter oval fruit, green when unripe and black when ripe, used for food and its extracted oil. 
  • The fruit is too bitter to be eaten fresh. The phytochemical "oleuropein" causes the bitterness. To leach the oleuropein from the olives, they must be cured by treating the olives for a few days with lye, which is caustic, or for a few weeks or months with a brine solution before pickling or preserving them in their own oil. Most curing methods also include fermentation.
  • When extracting the oil from the olives, the whole fruit is ground into a paste and then pressed to separate the fruit's oil from its water content. After that, it goes through a filtering process unless sold as unfiltered olive oil, which looks a bit cloudy.
  • Cold pressing is an extraction method that does not use temperatures above 80 F. Olive oil processed by this method retains more of its nutrients and flavor. 
  • Olive oil grades are: Virgin, extracted by mechanical rather than chemical means; Lampante virgin, produced by mechanical means but needing further refinement to be edible—"Lampante'' comes from the Italian word "lampa," meaning "lamp," as it was once used for oil lamps—and can be refined or used for industrial purposes; Refined is olive oil processed to remove defects in taste, odor, or acidity; and Olive Pomace oil, extracted from the olive pulp after the first press with the use of solvents, and then refined and mixed with virgin olive oils. It must be labeled as Olive Pomace Oil.
  • International Olive Council (IOC) standards for quality from the highest to the lowest: Extra Virgin: cold-pressed and the purest oil with an excellent fruity taste and odor and a free acidity of 0.8 percent (amount of fatty acids in 100 grams of oil); Virgin: a reasonably good taste and smell with 2 percent free acidity; and Refined: oil that has been refined using charcoal and other chemicals to remove high acidity and defects affecting taste or smell. Refined olive oils might be labeled Pure or just Olive oil. 
  • The standards of the Agriculture Department of the United States, which is not part of the IOC, include Extra Virgin; Virgin; Refined; Olive Oil, a mixture of Virgin and Refined oils with a good to average taste; and Virgin Olive Oil Not Fit For Human Consumption Without Further Processing, a virgin oil with high acidity and poor flavor and odor. The IOC refers to this as Lampante oil. It cannot be sold and requires refining. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO, is used as an ingredient in salad dressings and raw or cold foods, as a dip for bread with garlic or balsamic vinegar, as a finishing condiment, and when cooking with smaller amounts of oil, like sautéing or shallow frying. However, because it is more expensive than virgin and refined olive oils, it is not generally used when more oil is required, such as in deep-fat frying.  
  • Extra virgin olive oil is considered a heart-healthy fat since it consists of primarily unsaturated fats, compared to saturated fats. It also contains polyphenols, antioxidants which help prevent cancer, and vitamins E and K.

History of Icing and Frosting!

Photo by Arina P Habich/Shutterstock.com
  • Icing has been used to cover cakes since the 17th century. One of the first icings was made of eggs, rosewater, and sugar. After the cake was covered, it was put back in the oven to harden the icing.
  • The terms icing and frosting are sometimes interchangeable; however, many experts differentiate between icing and frosting, with icing being thinner and pourable and frosting thicker, creamier, and fluffier. Frosting can be spread with a spatula or piped with a pastry bag.
  • A basic icing is a glaze made of powdered sugar and a liquid, like milk, water, or lemon juice. It is poured on cakes, cookies, or pastries or used to decorate them, as with royal icing. 
  • A frosting's base may be butter, cream, cream cheese, eggs, or whipped cream. Buttercream frosting is one of the most popular coverings and fillings for cakes. There are seven varieties of buttercream: American, French, German, Italian, Korean, Russian, and Swiss. The most common, American, Swiss, and Italian, are described below.
  • American buttercream is the easiest to make and good for beginners or when there is a short amount of time. It is made by whipping softened butter, powdered sugar, milk or cream, and vanilla extract or other flavorings until smooth and fluffy. Additional milk or cream is added to adjust the consistency. It is the sweetest buttercream and the one most commonly used for piping decorations on a cake.
  • Swiss buttercream uses a meringue and is appropriate for intermediate bakers. Professional pastry chefs often use it. To make Swiss meringue, egg whites and sugar are heated together over a double boiler. Then, butter and flavorings are added while the meringue is beaten. The result is a soft, silky frosting.
  • Italian buttercream is also made with a meringue and is suitable for more advanced bakers. This version starts with making an Italian meringue by adding a stream of hot sugar syrup to the egg whites while they are whipped, resulting in a light and stable frosting.

Let's Learn About Italy!

Photo by Marina Andrejchenko/Shutterstock.com
  • Italy became a unified country in 1861, only 150 years ago. It is sometimes called "bel paese" or "beautiful country."  
  • Italians invented the piano and the thermometer! 
  • In ancient Roman mythology, two twin brothers named Romulus and Remus founded Rome, Italy's capital city. The myth says the twins were abandoned and then discovered by a she-wolf before being found and raised by a shepherd and his wife. Eventually (and after many exciting adventures), they found themselves at the location of Palatine Hill, where Romulus built "Roma." The Italian wolf became Italy's unofficial national animal. 
  • In the 1930s and 40s, Mussolini, Italy's prime minister, and dictator tried to eliminate all foreign words from the Italian language. How did he do that? He just changed them! For example, in soccer, "goal" became "meta." Disney character names changed, too: Donald Duck became "Paperino;" Mickey Mouse became "Topolino;" and Goofy became "Pippo." Although they're not banned anymore, these words and names have stuck. So now if you go to the Italian Disneyland, called Gardaland Park, you will see Topolino and Pippo! 
  • About 60 million people call Italy home, and it is 116,350 square miles, slightly larger than the US state of Arizona. If you compare that to the United Kingdom, 67 million people live there, and it is about 94,350 square miles. So, the UK is smaller than Italy but has a bigger population! 
  • The Italian flag is green, white, and red. These colors represent hope, faith, and charity.
  • The average Italian eats close to 55 pounds of pasta annually. If you think about how light pasta is, that is a considerable amount! There are more than 500 different types of pasta eaten in Italy today. 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Italy?

  • Kids begin school at 6 years old. They grow up speaking Italian, but they learn English in school, so many become bilingual in Italian and English.
  • The most popular sport for kids is football (soccer). The Italian word for soccer is "calcio," the same word they use for "kick." A favorite of younger kids is "Rody, the bouncing horse," a plastic horse that a small child can hop onto and bounce around the room. Rody was invented in Italy in 1984.  
  • The family ("la famiglia") is a central characteristic of Italian life. Children have great respect for their older relatives. It is traditional to name the first male child after the grandfather and the first female child after the grandmother.
  • If kids live close to school, they can go home and have lunch with their families! Lunch at school might be pasta, meat with vegetables, a sandwich, or a salad with lots of ingredients. Families typically eat dinner later (7 to 8 pm), so kids end up staying up later, too!
  • Between lunch and dinner, kids often enjoy "merenda," which is an afternoon snack that translates to "something that is deserved." It is really a mini-meal that can include both savory and sweet foods. Examples of savory foods are a salami or mortadella sandwich, a slice of rustic bread rubbed with a cut, raw tomato, or "pizza bianca" (white pizza without tomato sauce). Types of sweet foods eaten during merenda are "gelato" (a lower-fat type of ice cream), any kind of cake, or biscotti dipped in warm milk.

That's Berry Funny

If you combine olive oil, basil, pinenuts, and Parmesan, you get pesto. What do you get when you mix olive oil, spinach, and sweet pea?

You get the classic cartoon: Popeye!

The Yolk's On You

Mother: "Where's the olive oil?"

Son: "I drank it."

Mother: "You drank an entire bottle of olive oil?"

Son: "Yes, olive it."

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