Store-Bought Frosting Only Gets Better With A Cup Of Powdered Sugar

Despite your best intentions, sometimes there's not enough time to make everything from scratch, especially if you've taken on the task of creating an elaborate multi-tiered cake or dozens of cupcakes. Save yourself time and effort by cutting corners ever so slightly with store-bought frosting. Available in all sorts of flavors like classic vanilla and chocolate or the funkier coffee and strawberry, you're bound to find a frosting that suits your decorating needs. Yet, while you could use the store-bought ingredient straight out of the container, it might not produce the exact results you might have hoped for. Instead, give the frosting a boost with a bit of powdered sugar. 

Powdered sugar is basically granulated sugar that's been blitzed into a soft, superfine powder. Also known as confectioners' sugar, it makes an aesthetic final touch when dusted over desserts, but it has practical benefits as well. Dissolving quickly and seamlessly, the powdery sugar is often used to craft smooth icings, buttery mousses, and, of course, fluffy frostings. Beyond its ability to sweeten without leaving behind any gritty textures, powdered sugar has another benefit when it's worked into frosting: It acts as a thickener. Store-bought frosting doesn't always have the right consistency for coating cakes and piping on decorations. However, sifting in powdered sugar can thicken frosting so it stiffens and stays put, which means that you can pipe rosettes and swirls easily, without worrying that they'll droop or slide off the cake.

Whip the frosting before sifting in powdered sugar

Given that texture is one of the biggest downfalls of store-bought frosting, knowing how to turn a dense frosting into something fluffy is just as important as knowing how to stiffen one that's runny. As a result, we recommend emptying a can of frosting into a mixing bowl and whipping until creamy, prior to reaching for the powdered sugar. Incorporating air will produce a more luscious frosting that will look and feel like homemade frosting. 

Although the whipped frosting is ideal for spreading in between cake layers and using as a crumb coat, adding powdered sugar to the remaining frosting is wise if you plan to pipe on myriad whimsical decorations. Luckily, doctoring up the whipped, store-bought frosting is as straightforward as gradually mixing in powdered sugar, a single spoonful at a time until you've reached an optimal thickness. Then, get frosting!

However, if you also want to improve flavor, before mixing in powdered sugar, work in fruity jam, decadent cookie butter, citrus zest, caramel syrup, or a dash of instant coffee for complexity. Not only will these additions make for tastier frosting, but they'll also give piped decorations a pleasant pop of color. Just like that, store-bought frosting can become tastier, more velvety, and perfect for piping in a way that rivals even the best homemade frostings!