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How To Thicken Frosting

Within modern baking and confectionery, frosting is a popular ingredient that is used both commercially and in the home.

However, one problem with store bought frosting is that it can often be thinner than that which is homemade. 

How To Thicken Frosting

But what exactly can be done to thicken frosting ready for use, and what are the benefits? 

What Is Frosting? 

Otherwise known as icing, frosting is a sweetened, creamy glaze made from a combination of sugar and liquid, which is commonly used in the making of iced cakes, baked goods, and all manner of other sweet products. 

Made from sugar, milk, water, butter, egg whites, cream cheese, and any number of flavorings, it is a common ingredient used within cake making, and is largely responsible for adding moisture and sweetness to cakes and baked goods. 

How To Thicken Frosting At Home? 

However, if you have either made or purchased frosting, and the product seems too thin for use, then you will need to thicken it somehow at home.

Fear not though, as this is more than simple to achieve, and there are numerous things you could do to make this happen. 

Continue To Stir

One problem with frosting is that it can be under stirred, especially if it is homemade.

This can be an easy thing to fix, and you can soon thicken up the frosting by continuing to stir the frosting vigorously until it reaches the desired thickness and consistency. 

While this is not always successful – depending on the extent of the problem – it is usually the best, sure fire way of saving frosting that has been made correctly. 

Refrigerate The Frosting

One reason for the apparent thinness of your frosting could be the fact that it is too warm. Frosting is generally composed of various oils and fats, and as such they are subject to changes under heat. 

By placing the frosting in the refrigerator, and maybe giving it a stir before hand, you can help to ensure the integrity and thickness of the frosting ready for use. 

Cook For Longer

If you are making homemade, stove top frosting, and the mixture still seems too runny, then you should try cooking it for longer. 

This can be a fine line between getting the right heat, and burning the frosting, however when done right you can correct the unsightly runniness of the frosting, and make it thick and malleable ready for piping. 

Use Dry Thickening Agents

Of course, there are also various dry thickening agents you can use to correct a runny frosting recipe. 

One example is powdered sugar – something that is already commonly used within baking, and which can be useful for absorbing some of the moisture without affecting the taste too much. 

Another option is meringue powder – another form of powdered sugar, that can also serve the same useful purpose. 

You could also use tapioca, cornstarch, or arrowroot starch – all of which are great natural thickening agents that are widely used within baking and the production of baked goods. 

You could also use cocoa powder – something that works well if you are making chocolate flavored frosting.

This serves the same purpose of absorbing some of the excess fluid, and then you can give the frosting a good whisk to bring back some of the body and thickness to it. 

How To Thicken Frosting

Use Moist Thickening Agents

You also have the option to use moist thickening agents. This can be useful in cases where the dry kind just won’t do, and there are certain advantages involved. 

One common ingredient within frosting is cream cheese – something that can both enhance the flavor, and generally give more body to the frosting as a whole. 

You could also incorporate more butter into the recipe to thicken the mixture and absorb some of the fluid. 

You could also use heavy cream or marshmallow fluff – both of which have different benefits, but serve the same purpose. 

How To Prevent Runny Frosting

Of course, there are also many ways to prevent your frosting from turning runny in the first place – and after all, they say prevention is better than the cure!

Pay Attention

Firstly, you need to make sure that you are paying attention, and that you are following the ingredients closely, and to the letter. 

Carelessness is one of the most common forms of failure within baking, and as such, paying attention, and being careful are the best ways to counteract this. 

Mix Liquid Last

Another method to keep it thick is to mix the liquid ingredients last. This means that it will remain thicker, and also be easier to whip once it is finally combined together. 

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to thicken frosting at home. 

It is certainly true that frosting is a popular and widely used ingredient – and one that has much to offer in the way of flavor, and texture.

However, as this article shows, it is much better to make your own thicker frosting at home. 

So if you are looking to thicken your frosting ready for baking, then be sure to follow these simple steps. Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we know a little more about frosting, and the best ways to thicken it at home ready for baking, it is now time for us to answer some frequently asked questions that you might be interested in. 

Is Frosting Hard To Thicken? 

No! As this article shows, frosting is relatively simple to thicken at home, and before long you will have frosting that is suitable for whatever recipe you want to use it for.

Is Frosting Healthy? 

Unfortunately, due to the sugar content, most forms of frosting are not considered healthy. However, they can be enjoyed in small doses as part of a balanced and nutritious diet without consequence.

Anna Ingham
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