How to Make Icing Stiff Enough to Stand Up Tall on Cupcakes

By Jaimie Zinski

Achieving the correct consistency for frosting is tricky, especially for an amateur attempting to make the delicious treat from scratch. Royal icing is the standard used by bakers to create a product stiff enough to stand up on cupcakes and other confections. It can take years of practice to perfect a royal icing recipe, which isn't much help when you immediately need cupcakes for a birthday party or bake sale. Stiffen store-bought icing with an ingredient that won't alter its taste, giving you the consistency you require.

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Create inexpensive, stiff frosting at home.

Step 1

Pour the store-bought frosting into a plastic or glass mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape off the frosting container's sides.

Step 2

Add 1 tablespoon powdered sugar to the frosting. Work the powdered, or confectioners', sugar into the frosting until it is completely incorporated.

Step 3

Place a spoonful of the frosting onto a piece of waxed paper. Attempt to create a peak with the frosting using a knife or off-set spatula. If the frosting hasn't reached the desired consistency, place the test amount back into the bowl.

Step 4

Continue to add more powdered sugar by 1/2 tablespoon, testing the frosting in the same matter after each addition until the desired consistency is reached.