How to Thicken Frosting
Frosting transforms your normal, every-day cake, into an extraordinary one in a matter of moments. It’s usually thick, sweet, creamy and delicious and can truly give your baking goods that professional air you’ve been dreaming of. While some bakers prefer thick and decadent frosting, others prefer a runnier consistency that falls gently over their sweet treats. Nonetheless, a thicker consistency if often preferred and it’s a good idea to know how to thicken your frosting before you’re in the thick of it during your cake making. The following ingredients can easily save an all-too-runny frosting situation in no time!
Remember: Different Frostings Have Different Consistencies
While all frostings are delicious, no two frostings are the same. Different types of frostings will have varying densities and consistencies. For example, a cream cheese frosting (which is one of our personal favs when it comes to tastiness!) is going to be a lot smoother and softer than its buttercream counterpart. At the heart of most frosting, whatever flavor it may be, is powdered sugar. So, here is our first tip on thickening your frosting: Add powdered sugar!
Add More Powdered Sugar to Your Frosting MIX
This is a quick and easy way to fix an all-too-runny frosting. Simply pop your frosting back into your mixer and add in your sugar gradually (a tablespoon at a time). Just keep doing this until it reaches the desired consistency. Slow pulses are best and should be done after you add the sugar each time. If you don’t have an electronic mixer, then simply follow this step with your mixing bowl and mixing spoon. Just mix every time you add a spoon of sugar.
Add in Some Corn Starch to That Runny Frosting
Another way to easily thicken your icing is to add in some cornstarch. This is a great option if you don’t want to add in any more sugar to your mix. Simply grind two teaspoons of corn-starch until it resembles a powder-like consistency and gradually add it into your runny icing (half a teaspoon at a time). Be sure to mix the icing every time you add in the corn-starch powder and repeat until it reaches the preferred consistency. If you need to add more corn-starch, then simply repeat the grinding process. Just be sure to add it in slowly to avoid over-thickening your icing.
Add in Some Heavy Cream (Yum Yum Yum)
Another great option for those who want to limit their sugar intake is to add heavy cream into your frosting. You can add up to 4 tablespoons of heavy cream if needed and it’s best to add them one tablespoon at a time so that you can easily gauge the consistency of the frosting. You can do it in a mixer, but a conventional whisk usually works wonders. As well as making your frosting thicker, cream can add fluffiness and softness to your icing and give it a light texture. This is a great option for reduced sugar frostings and will add a decadent edge to your baked goods.
Use Some Gelatine If You Want to Avoid Too Much Sugar
If the thought of adding extra sugar or cream doesn’t appeal to you, you might want to add in some gelatine. This acts as a ‘thickening agent’ and often comes in an array of colors. Depending on the color of your frosting, you might want to go for a clear gelatine.
First, you need to make the gelatine. Add 4 tablespoons of gelatine, with 1 liter of water, and 300 grams of sugar. Pop the liter of water on the pot and cook at a medium heat, adding in the sugar. While the sugar is dissolving, pop your gelatine in a smaller bowl with half a cup of water. Once the sugar has dissolved add in the gelatine and water mix and turn off the heat. Keep stirring it till it reaches the desired consistency and add to your frosting mix. Then pop the frosting (with the gelatine) into the fridge and allow it to cool. This will thicken your homemade frosting brilliantly.
For Cream Cheese Icing That Has Become Too Runny
If you’re making a cream cheese icing (one of the tastiest frostings in our opinion!) then thickening it up is a pretty easy feat. It is easy to over-beat your cream cheese and this can lead to it becoming runny. It might be a good idea to make it in a food processor and only pulse it for about a minute, however, if you have already made it and it’s too runny you can just pop it in the fridge for about an hour and this should do the trick. You can also add some meringue powder to the mix, or some sugar or cornstarch as per the above suggestions.
As a rule of thumb, try to add in any liquid flavorings at the end of making your frosting, as the excess liquid can make your frosting runny. Also, try to use alternative means to flavor your frosting. For example, if you’re making a lemon frosting add in lemon zest instead of lemon juice. This will give your frosting a delicious burst of flavor, without compromising the consistency.
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