How To Thicken Buttercream Icing

How To Thicken Buttercream Icing

Last Updated on November 13, 2021

It is essential to be adaptable in customizing your buttercream icing. But, you need thick icing. So, how to thicken buttercream icing? Keep in mind that it is indeed challenging to make thick buttercream icing.

How To Thicken Buttercream Icing?

In learning how to stiffen the icing, you can thicken it in the fridge or add other ingredients. That is why when thickening in the fridge, make sure to chill your buttercream icing. And be sure to do so for approximately thirty minutes to an hour. Then, ensure to check every thirty minutes to observe if it reaches the aspired thickness.

Alternatively, you can put 0.5 teaspoons of cornstarch into a bowl of your buttercream icing. Likewise, you can use one tablespoon of softened butter instead of cornstarch. Or you can add one to two tablespoons of powdered sugar. With these, ensure to stir it using a whisk till the frosting begins to thicken.

Buttercream icing is too runny

First, nobody wants soggy and runny buttercream icing on their favorite cake. Moreover, it would help to put only a bit of thickening agents to your runny buttercream icing. Doing so will ensure your buttercream icing will not be over-thicken. As a consequence of putting in a lot of thickening agents, you will find it hard to thin it. That is why it is crucial to understand how to thicken icing properly.

Also, if your buttercream icing is too thick, you will find it difficult to spread it. Remember that it is necessary to spread buttercream icing on the cake’s top and sides smoothly. Likewise, it would be even harder to force it out of a piping nozzle. Because of this, it is best to start all over again on a new batch.

To do so, add one tablespoon of milk at a time to the buttercream icing. Make sure you keep putting milk till you attain the aspired consistency. Bear in mind that it will not change the icing’s flavor, despite what is in it.

Tips and tricks

First and foremost, flour only acts as a thickening agent. That is why it is best not to use it when creating warm frosting. The main reason is that it tastes unusual if you do not cook it well.

Always remember that each ingredient will be more suitable with a specific type of icing. Because of this, make sure that you pick the best one. In so doing, you will not alter the icing’s original flavor. For instance, gelatin and heavy cream match with cream cheese frosting or whipped cream frosting. In comparison, butter is ideal for buttercream icing.

Nevertheless, it would be best to cover the frosting bowl’s top before you refrigerate.

Buttercream Icing Compared To Other Types Of Icing

Buttercream icing

Essentially, buttercream is more spreadable and softer than most kinds of icing. Because of this, it is the favorable icing for flexibility and flavor. Plus, you can use it as a filling inside cakes. Besides, it can be an excellent coating for decoration.

Typically, you can create buttercream icing by creaming together butter and sugar. Likewise, you can even use other fats such as margarine or lard.

Also, please note that fat’s quality will alter the buttercream icing’s appearance, flavor, and consistency. In addition to that, it can even affect the temperature at which you whip the butter.

Moreover, you can add vanilla extract for a burst of flavor. Though, bear in mind that buttercream icing melts instantly in humid weather. Because of that, it would be best to store it in the fridge. Doing so will help it maintain its form.

Royal icing

Commonly, you can use royal icing to decorate and cover cakes like incredibly dense fruit cakes. Remember that royal icing is a runny and pure white paste that solidifies into a hard outer shell on drying.

In that regard, you can make it by beating together sugar, egg whites, lime juice, and icing. Plus, you will notice that royal icing appears to be matter and smooth when dry.

Alternatively, some bakers may use meringue power as opposed to egg whites. The reason being is the risk of salmonella when using raw egg whites in the recipe. Also, bakers usually utilize glycerine to prevent the icing from becoming too solid. Additionally, you can conveniently dye royal icing with many edible food colorings.

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Whipped cream

For the most part, if you are looking for light frosting, it is best to use whipped cream. Also, you can effortlessly make whipped cream by cold-whipping together sugar and heavy cream till fluffy and light. In addition to that, you can add more meringue powder for stability. Not only that but also try improving the flavor of the cake by putting more flavors to the whipped cream.

Cream cheese icing

Remember that cream cheese icing is ideal for red velvet cakes, especially carrot cakes and cupcakes. In addition to that, it can be an excellent filling for doughnuts. Nevertheless, it pairs well with any pastry. Talk about a cheesy and creamy dessert!

Furthermore, it comes together instantly by creaming together high-quality cream cheese and buttercream frosting. Although, it is indeed a little heavier than most cake icings. In addition to that, its flavor and texture are best when you create it with high-fat cream cheese.


To create meringue, you need to beat together cold water, granulated sugar, and egg whites. Bear in mind that this method of introducing air to the mixture provides it with a foamy consistency. Besides, the added sugar thickens the foam.

how to thicken icing

Moreover, you should know that meringue can be plain or flavored. Also, you can add your favorite nuts to it. Also, keep in mind that there are three famous meringue varieties. These include Italian, Swiss, and French.

For the most part, the main distinction between the three meringue kinds lies in beating the eggs. In addition to that, please take note that you can use uncooked meringue as your pastry toppings. Besides, it is best to bake till crisp. After that, you can eat them like cookies.

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