Adding Icing to a Cupcake

Canned frosting is a huge time saver for home cooks. It's relatively inexpensive and has a great consistency for icing cakes. However, canned frosting doesn't quite measure up to the homemade stuff on a few fronts. There are a few tips and tricks you can use to make store-bought canned frosting all your own.


Changing the color of canned frosting is one of the simplest updates you can make. Separate the frosting and make a few different colors for a batch of cupcakes. Empty a can of white frosting into a bowl. Add about three drops of food coloring per can of frosting. If your prefer a deeper color, add more food coloring one drop at a time.


Depending on the variety, canned frosting tends to be a bit on the thinner side. This is fine for simple icing, but you'll need a thicker frosting if you intend to decorate with it. Transfer the frosting to a mixing bowl and add a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Mix the frosting thoroughly until all the sugar is combined. If the icing still isn't thick enough, continue to add powdered sugar 1/2 tbsp. at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.


If you're making a large cake, one can of frosting may not be enough. You can increase the volume of the frosting while making it fluffier and easier to spread. Empty the frosting into a large mixing bowl. Beat the frosting with an electric mixer for several minutes. As you whip the frosting, more air is incorporated into it, thus increasing the volume. You can also add 1/2 cup of whipped topping to the frosting while you're beating it to add even more volume.


While canned frosting is convenient, it often leaves a lot to be desired in the flavor department. Add a few ingredients to boost the flavor. Whip an 8 oz. package of room temperature cream cheese into any flavor frosting for an instant improvement. Mix a few tablespoons of coffee or chocolate syrup into chocolate frosting. Lemon zest or lemon juice gives plain icings a citrusy kick. Vanilla extract or almond extract add a lot of flavor, as well.