Tired Of Runny Frosting? This Simple Tip Is The Key

When it comes to frosting, consistency is key. Nothing is more frustrating when decorating a cake than frosting that it too runny. Maybe your butter was too soft or you added too much milk, or maybe it's just hot in the kitchen, which are common reasons for frosting that is too thin, shares Hummingbird Bakery. So what can you do to fix it? Cornstarch is the solution, according to LeafTV.

You might not associate cornstarch with frosting, but Bon Appétit reports it's actually added to most powdered sugar you'll find in the store. A staple in many frosting recipes, cornstarch helps to prevent clumping in the sweetener, but the ingredient isn't only prized for it's anti-caking abilities. Cornstarch is also commonly used to thicken sauces, fruit pies, and stews. While it works best as a thickener when heated, The Spruce Eats explains cornstarch will absorb some moisture even if you don't bake or cook it in your recipe. The additive can help stabilize buttercream frosting in the heat and humidity — and no one wants a dripping cake at a summer outdoor party.

Adding the cornstarch

If your finished frosting is too runny, per LeafTV, you can combine cornstarch with one or two tablespoons of milk before adding it to the frosting to thicken the whole thing up. The amount you should use depends on the amount of sugar in the recipe, as you don't want to actually be able to taste the cornstarch. The outlet recommends you start with a half of a teaspoon for every cup of sugar, adding up to one teaspoon per cup if needed. If you know your frosting will be on the thin side before you make it, you can skip the milk and sift the cornstarch directly into the sugar before you mix it up.

Cooking the cornstarch first is also an option. This method helps to avoid the cornstarch affecting the flavor, texture, and appearance of the frosting. Before heating, dissolve the cornstarch in liquid, and be sure to let it cool before adding it to your frosting.

If you're out of cornstarch, Taste of Home says you can add more powdered sugar when frosting is too thin, but using cornstarch will achieve similar results without making it too sweet, so we recommend this method above all else.