Last Updated on November 28, 2020
Do you enjoy desserts spread with a lovely frosting? If you do, then you need to learn how to thicken the frosting effectively. Nobody likes runny frosting on their favorite cakes, and it is going to be a nightmare to find a batch of light frosting whether you are a professional baker or just a home baker. After all, a cake without the final embellishment at the top is not even a cake.
No one can truly enjoy frosting without its dense, spreadable, and smooth consistency. For icing that will not remain solid at the end, the cake will not appear as amazing. As a result, the runny frosting will make the cake look spiritless and sticky. Fortunately, there are various tips and approaches to tackle this problem, based specifically on your individual needs.
What is the Difference Between Icing and Frosting?
The thick and fluffy icing on the outside of the cake is usually cake frosting. It has a texture that is smooth and feels much like butter. To make it more attractive, you should apply color to this coating. It is dense, opaque, and gooey, and it is super soft to touch. Icing, on the other hand, is a thin and sugary spread of glaze that hardens on cooling. In comparison to frosting, when dried out, the icing is more settled and fixed.
What You Will Need to Thicken Homemade Frosting
Ingredients for Buttercream Frosting
- 250g buttercream frosting
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- ½ cocoa powder
Ingredients for Heavy Whipping Cream Frosting
- 250g Heavy whipping cream frosting
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar or granulated sugar
Ingredients for Swiss Meringue Frosting
- 250g Swiss Meringue Frosting
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
Step by Step Instructions on How to Thicken Frosting
Refrigerating your Buttercream
Make your usual buttercream and place it in a large mixing bowl.
Chill your buttercream for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. It should bring the temperature down. Making buttercream in a hot kitchen would cause it to melt, so I suggest to chill it in a refrigerator or chiller to lighten up the frosting.
Please take out your frosting from the refrigerator and use a mixer to beat it on high speed for 5 minutes.
Usage of Thickeners
If the refrigerating method is not working, then add a tablespoon of powdered sugar to your frosting. Slowly add another tablespoon of powdered sugar until desired consistency.
Adding too much-powdered sugar is too sweet for you? Aside from adding sugar, you can add ½ teaspoon of cornstarch instead. Add another ½ teaspoon until desired consistency.
Add ½ teaspoon of cocoa powder if you are making a chocolate buttercream. Repeat until you reach your desired consistency.
Step by Step Instructions to Thicken Heavy Whipping Cream Frosting
Refrigerating your frosting
Make sure that your cream is super cold before whipping to make it rise. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes and then check if it is thick enough.
If not, then beat with a mixer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Usage of Thickeners
Just like the buttercream, the method with the heavy whipping cream is likely the same. Add a teaspoon of powdered sugar gradually until desired consistency.
Cornstarch is also useful for a runny whipping cream frosting. Add ½ teaspoon of cornstarch while beating it at high speed. Repeat until you reach your desired consistency.
Step by Step Instructions to Thicken Swiss Meringue Buttercream
The butter you are going to use for making a swiss meringue buttercream must be at room temperature. Having softened butter will make the buttercream soupy, and having too cold butter will make it curdled.
Refrigerate your frosting for about 20 minutes until the edges harden.
Take it out from the refrigerator and use a mixer to beat it on high for 5 minutes.
Tips and Trick on How to Make Frosting Thicker
Measure all the liquids carefully since it is very difficult to deal with runny frosting. It takes time for the frosting to come together, so do not under-beat the mixture. It should do the trick for at least three minutes. Stand mixers will also do a better job than electric hand mixers, mainly because you can turn them on and leave them to mix without getting tired. Until allowing your butter to hit room temperature, slice it into around 1cm cubes, making it so much easier to blend smoothly. When decorating with frosting and making a mistake, do not be afraid to brush the frosting back into the bowl and try again.
Zarah is an experienced pastry chef whose creations have delighted countless customers. With a passion for baking, Zarah has developed a unique style that combines classic techniques with modern flavors. Her desserts are consistently crafted with the finest ingredients, and her attention to detail is evident in the stunning and delectable results. Zarah has a wealth of experience in the pastry kitchen, and loves to share her knowledge with others. Whether it is teaching a class or creating a custom cake for a special occasion, Zarah is committed to making sure every customer is satisfied.