3 Easy Ways on How to Make Store Bought Frosting Better

Have you heard of the saying, you eat with your eyes first?

Let’s be real here. Food that are aesthetically pleasing to our eyes will surely have a spot in our grocery basket – especially when it comes to desserts and pastries. Cakes, cupcakes, and cookies will not look as appetizing without colorful icing and decoration.

Frosting is one of the most popular and most used icings in decorating cakes and cupcakes. Where can we get frosting?

You can make your own from scratch or just opt for store bought ones. There are a lot of brands that offer kinds of frosting.

Although, most commercially available frosting are white, runny, and too sweet. If you’re a beginner at baking, here’s how to make store bought frosting better.


How To Make Store Bought Frosting Better?

Before anything else, I would just like to make it clear that there is nothing wrong with using store bought frosting directly onto your baked goods – unless it’s expired.

On a more technical note, there are three different things you need to consider if you want to use pre-made frosting: consistency, color, and flavor.

Just like what I said earlier, most store bought frosting have a runny consistency and are too sweet. If you want to improve its consistency, give it different colors, or enhance its flavor, then you better read along.


Improving The Consistency

If your frosting is too runny, it won’t hold its shape once you pipe it on top of a cake or cupcake. Here’s how you can improve its consistency:

What You Will Need:

  • 16 oz. store bought frosting, or as much as you need∙
  • Powdered sugar (also called confectioner’s sugar)∙
  • Water∙
  • Large mixing bowl∙
  • A set of teaspoons∙
  • Electric hand mixer

What To Do:

  • 1. Scoop out enough amount of the frosting and put it in the mixing bowl. Now, depending on how runny the frosting is, we have to carefully and gradually add powdered sugar in it.
  • 2. I would suggest that you start with half a teaspoon. Mix it all for about half a minute using an electric hand mixer. If you don’t have one, you can just use a manual one or a wire whisk, just keep in mind that it might take more effort and time to meet the consistency you want. Keep adding powdered sugar until it thickens. Use the back of a spatula to test the consistency.
  • 3. In case you add too much powdered sugar and frosting became too stiff, just add a tiny amount of water. You can also start with ¼ to ½ teaspoon, then mix.

Adding Color

Now, if you want to make your cakes and cupcakes colorful, then here’s how you can add color to your frosting.

What You Will Need:

  • 16 oz. store bought frosting, or as much as you need∙
  • Liquid food dye, various colors that you need∙
  • Disposable spoons∙
  • Plastic cups or bowls

What To Do:

  • 1. First of all, I recommend you to use plastic cups and spoons for this because food dyes are messy and can stain.
  • 2. Divide the frosting into the cups. Add 2-3 drops of food dye into each cup. Stir until the color is uniformly distributed.
  • 3. You may add a few more drops if you want the color to be a bit more vibrant and intense.

Note: Always check the specifications on the bottle or box of the food dye before incorporating into your frosting mixture.


Enhancing The Taste

Frosting is made of sugar, mostly, so expect that your store-bought ones are really sweet.

Good thing, you can enhance its taste by adding different flavors, in case you are not fond of overly sugary cakes and cupcakes.Here’s how:

What You Will Need:

  • 16 oz. store bought frosting, or as much as you need∙
  • 8-10 oz. cream cheese∙
  • Pure vanilla extract∙
  • Teaspoon∙
  • Mixing bow∙
  • Electric hand mixer

What To Do:

  • 1. Beforehand, leave the cream cheese on your counter top for 10-30 minutes or until it softens.
  • 2. Pour the frosting into the mixing bowl and add a couple scoops of the softened cream cheese.
  • 3. Add 2-3 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. This will help tone down the sweetness a little bit and add aroma.
  • 4. Whisk the frosting mixture using an electric hand mixer until fluffy.

Other Flavors You Can Try

Feeling a bit fancier? Here are some other flavors you can try:

Tootie Fruity

Kids love sweet fruity taste especially when it comes to cupcakes. Here are some stuff you may want to add to enhance the flavor and thickness of store bought frosting:∙ 

  • Raspberry jam
  • Orange marmalade
  • Lemon zest
  • Strawberry jam
  • Apricot jelly


Chocolate chips plus chopped or crush nuts will not only enhance the flavor of your frosting but also give it the perfect crunch and texture.

Natural extracts

To tame down the sweetness of store bought frosting, you may add a few drops of these natural extracts:∙ 

  • Vanilla extract
  • Lemon extract
  • Coconut extract
  • Coffee extract
  • Peppermint extract

Peanut butter-y

If you do not have powdered sugar, you can use peanut butter instead, to thicken the consistency of your frosting. I usually start at ¼ cup, but you can add up to about ½ cup for full flavor.

Additional Tips And Tricks

  • 1. Want to double the amount of frosting you have? All you need to do is whip it for a couple of seconds using your electric hand mixer. It incorporates air into the frosting that’s why it expands.
  • 2. If you are opting for a more runny consistency, pour some of the frosting into a heat-proof bowl and heat it up in the microwave for 30-60 seconds in 15-second intervals. This technique is called glazing and you can use it to glaze doughnuts or cake pops.
  • 3. Do not be afraid to experiment, especially on flavor. You do you.

Final Thoughts….

Store bought frostings are great because they are convenient to use and readily available. Although, if you need it for cake or cupcake decorations, you might have to enhance its consistency, flavor, and color.

No worries, though. I promise it is super easy to do.I hope that you learn something from this and if ever you use any of these techniques, leave photos, comments, and suggestions down below. I would love to hear from you.

Sophia Gardner

I'm Sophia, food blogger, dog lover, homemade cooking and travel passion. I really hope you enjoy my blog, i'll do my best to share great recipes, healthy living tips and just general 'food' thoughts!

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