You May Want To Think Twice Before Adding Fresh Fruit To Buttercream Frosting

While cake is a delicious dessert, the frosting on top is often the star of the show. And though homemade cakes are undoubtedly fresher than store-bought, home chefs may opt for canned frosting to make the process a little easier. But store-bought doesn't have to be boring, and there are a variety of ways you can spruce yours up. Have you ever thought of adding flavored syrups to make your frosting taste like coffee or pumpkin spice?

Southern Living recommends adding ingredients to enhance certain elements, like cream cheese for richness or whipped cream for fluffiness, or stirring in crunchy mix-ins like nuts, chocolate chips, or sprinkles. The limit does not exist! There is, however, one restriction you'll want to keep in mind. When working with smooth, creamy frostings like buttercream, adding the wrong ingredient can ruin the texture -– for example, granulated sugar can make for a grainy homemade version. And fresh fruit, while it contains plenty of flavor on its own, is one additive that may irreversibly harm the texture of your beloved cake topping.

Fruit makes frosting more runny than creamy

Fruit can be a tempting mix-in to consider. How delicious is strawberry, lemon, or raspberry buttercream frosting? But before you throw in a handful of berries, consider the effects they will have on the texture. According to My Recipes, adding in fresh fruits makes frosting too watery –- which is not what we want, as anyone who has enjoyed its smooth consistency knows. Serious Eats notes that the other frosting ingredients can't properly soak up all the water from the fruit. Not only does this ruin the texture, but the flavor of the fruit can even get lost amongst thicker ingredients like butter.

So what are you supposed to do if you want a fruity frosting? Luckily, you have a few options. One of the easiest ways is to add freeze-dried fruit, Serious Eats states, because you'll get all that fruity flavor without any of the water or added sugar. If you're determined to add fruit, Just So Tasty recommends boiling it down to a thick puree (so it's almost a paste) and cooling it completely before beating it into the other ingredients. If you love citrus, Insider suggests stirring some lemon, lime, or orange zest into your frosting to give it a liquid-free boost of flavor.

If you're more set on fresh fruits than you are on buttercream frosting, you can always turn to desserts where fruits work best — including berry cobblers, watermelon pops, bananas foster, and more.