How To Thicken Frosting in 5 Simple Ways
I am up for baking cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday. I have made frosting for some birthday cakes before, but this time I want it to be a bit fancier. My little one loves cupcakes with swirling colorful frosting on top. Hence, I need to make a denser frosting to make it easy for me to think of a design.
Do you know how to thicken frosting? I have five simple ways to do it and solve the problem of runny or soggy frosting. I bet you are now thinking on how to make cupcakes fun for the kids, and the kids at heart!
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Five Simple Ways to Thicken Frosting
You do not need to be an expert in decorating cupcakes to do the frosting. How was your first try of making these sweet and yummy delights? Mine was a little soggy at first, but as I learned the tricks on how to make it firm, there is no limit on what I would like to create. As soon as I have managed to perfect my frostings consistency, making it is indeed a piece of cake!
1. Thicken your frosting with cornstarch
As my kids would say, “Cupcakes aren’t real without frosting!” Therefore, I tried hard to come up with a smooth, thick, and spreadable kind of icing (another term for frosting). Do you know that powdered sugar often used for frosting already has cornstarch with it? When your frosting is too thin, you can thicken it with the use of additional cornstarch.
What you will need:
Two teaspoons of cornstarch is a good start. As long as you mix it gradually to your frosting, it will be fine. However, the amount of cornstarch will depend on how much frosting you made. If you made plenty, two spoons of cornstarch might not be enough.
Make sure to add cornstarch slowly, ½ tsp. at a time, until you reach the frosting consistency, you desire.
Read more: How to choose the best wooden spoon
2. Thicken your frosting with sugar
A cake with a runny frosting is never appealing. In fact, it is lifeless. Cake decorators can suggest different ways to fix it. Adding sugar to thicken a naughty frosting is one of them. I usually do this either with a mixer or just a bowl and spatula.
What you will need:
3. Thicken your frosting with heavy cream
Since frosting is already sweet, adding sugar may be effective to thicken the frosting. However, for the health conscious who controls sugar intake for kids, and for those that are at risk of high sugar level, they look for other alternatives. Therefore, I suggest using heavy whipping cream instead.
What you will need:
Using a whisk is much easier for me though (for a small amount of frosting), and I believe that it is more effective considering that I can closely monitor the consistency than using a mixer. Just beat by hand, until it is thicker than before. Do you know that the heavy whipping cream will not only thicken the frosting but also makes it lighter, softer, and fluffier?
4. Thicken your frosting with gelatin
Do you know that gelatin is a thickening agent? You can find it inside marshmallows and jelly sweets you buy at the stores. They are usually in packs with different flavors and may come instant or needs boiling. I suggest using the clear (or plain) gelatin so that it will not affect the color of your frosting.
If you have not tried making gelatins, here is a video showing you how.
Using instant gelatin (the type that only needs cold water) is a lot easier. You can mix a small amount with cold water bit by bit, and gradually mix it with the frosting. This way, you can see the change of the consistency closely. I advise doing this quick before the rest of your gelatin solidify.
5. Thicken your frosting with shredded coconut
Take note that this method is only applicable if your frosting is coconut flavor. Otherwise, the coconut taste and aroma will conflict with your existing flavor.
Here is a video about how to make cooked flour frosting:
The different types of frosting:
You have learned different ways on how to thicken the frosting. At least, next time you make your frosting runny, there is no need to worry. The frosting is fine to be thin when all you have to do is glazing.
Nevertheless, cakes and cupcakes are more tempting when looking colorful and fancy. That is why thick frosting is necessary. Therefore, the consistency of your frosting will depend on the type of frosting you mean to make. The weather and the ingredients are the common reasons why frosting comes out runny.
Here are the different types of frosting that you may make for every occasion.
Some points to remember:
My Final Thoughts
It is true that your cupcakes or cakes are not interesting no matter how delicious it may be if there is no frosting. Learning how to make frosting is necessary for a perfect food presentation too. Do you know now how to thicken your frosting? Depending on the type of frosting you are making, the different ways that I have suggested are effective.
Just make sure to use the right method for the right type of frosting. Follow precisely the instructions when making your frosting to prevent it from being runny. Even though you already know how to fix it, in doing so, you will save effort, time, and ingredients. So, how about that?
Are you ready for your cupcake party?
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