Do you use store-brought frosting for your homemade cupcakes? While many serious bakers prefer to make their own frosting from scratch, I usually just buy frosting from the supermarket so I can concentrate on baking the cupcakes instead.
However, most store-brought frosting lacks the right consistency and flavor that I want. To address this, I looked for ways to improve not just the flavor, but also the texture and color of this otherwise bland cupcake add-on.
It’s very easy to learn how to make store-brought frosting better. In this simple tutorial, I will teach you three simple ways to improve your frosting, so that your cupcakes will look and taste more scrumptious than before.
Things You Need
- 16 ounces store-brought frosting
Buttercream is the standard frosting flavor, but you can also find chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla flavors in some supermarkets. I personally just go for buttercream, but you can pick other variants, depending on your taste.
For better consistency:
- Powdered sugar
For enhanced taste:
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- Flavor extracts
You can also add chopped nuts to improve the texture of your frosting. My favorite add-on is almonds, but I find that macadamia and walnuts are good choices, too.
For improved color:
- Liquid food coloring (preferably all natural)
- Mixing bowl
- Electric mixer or hand mixer
- Measuring cups and spoons
To improve consistency:
Step 1: Pour ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
Pour your store-brought frosting in a large bowl and add 1 teaspoon of powdered sugar. I recommend using powdered sugar because coarse sugar is harder to dissolve, and may cause your frosting to have an uneven texture.
Using the hand or electric mixer, mix the ingredients for 30 seconds or until the consistency becomes thick. If you do not have a mixer, you can also use a spatula to manually mix the frosting and sugar. Simply fold the sugar into the frosting repeatedly until well blended.
Step 2: Check consistency.
After 30 seconds, you can now check the consistency of your frosting. To do this, simply dip the spatula into the mixture and let it stand.
If the spatula does not fall to its side, it means that the frosting has reached the right consistency. If it falls, just add another ½ teaspoon of sugar and mix again for about 30 seconds.
If the frosting becomes too thick for your liking, you can add ½ teaspoon of water into the mix to thin it out.
To improve taste:
Step 1: Mix the frosting and cream cheese.
Pour the frosting into a bowl and mix gently with a spatula to smoothen its consistency.
Remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. Once it becomes soft enough, add it into the bowl and mix well with the hand or electric mixer. Add a pinch of sugar to sweeten, according to your taste.
Step 2: Add your flavor of choice into the mix.
Aside from cream cheese, there are other flavors you can use to enhance the flavor of your frosting. One of my favorites is hazelnut extract, because it gives my frosting an earthy flavor that is perfect for fruit-flavored and chocolate cupcakes.
If you want a sweeter blend, strawberry or cotton candy extract is the way to go. Orange or lemon extract gives frosting a tangy flavor, and vanilla extract leaves your frosting extra rich and fragrant.
You can also toss in a handful of chopped nuts into the mix if you want a crunchier texture. Just make sure that the nuts are chopped evenly so that you don’t end up with random chunks of nuts in between bites.
To improve colors:
Step 1: Pour the frosting in a bowl.
Remove the store-brought frosting from its packaging and transfer it into a bowl. Using a spatula, gently stir the frosting for 20 to 30 seconds to create a smoother consistency. This will make it easier to blend the food coloring later on.
Step 2: Add the food coloring into the frosting.
Add 1 to 3 drops of liquid food coloring into the bowl and mix well with a spatula. You can also combine different colors to produce the specific color you want.
I only use natural food coloring for my frosting because many artificial brands contain harmful ingredients that is bad for your health. Try looking for a brand made from pure fruit or vegetable juices, like Watkins Assorted Food Coloring.
If you want to experiment with all-natural powdered food coloring, Fancy Flavours & Edible Art has tested 6 different powders on a batch of buttercream frosting. These include spirulina, matcha, turmeric, acai, beetroot, and blueberry.
While I prefer using liquid food coloring because the powdered form is a little harder to mix, I like that the powdered food coloring gives the frosting a unique, coarser appearance.
Watch the full video below:
You don’t have to settle for bland-tasting frosting for your cupcakes. Just follow the simple guidelines I shared, and you’re sure to whip up a batch of great frosting that you can use for all your baked creations.
Did this tutorial help? Do you have other tips on how to improve store-brought frosting? Write them down in the comments’ section. I’d love to hear from you! And don’t forget to share this article with your friends. Have fun to whip up that frosting!
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