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How To Thicken Frosting: Your Guide To Achieving Better Consistency

When you mention the word frosting on the top of baked treats, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For many, this would bring a picture of a sweet, consistent, and thick spread on the top. However, this is not always the case. There are some instances where it tends to be soggy and watery. Interested to know how you can avoid this?

Read this post and we’ll let you know how to thicken frosting. You do not need to have a pro baker. Through the basic tips and tricks mentioned below, your frosting will be thicker.

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

To make your frosting thicker, here are some of the things that you need to prepare:

  • Cornstarch
  • Milk
  • Grinder
  • Gelatin
  • Coconut
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Thicken Frosting

There is an abundance of ways to which it will be possible to make the frosting stiffer. Among others, let us first discuss how you can do this with the use of cornstarch, one of the most basic baking ingredients. This helps to improve clumping and stability, allowing the frosting to stand better and to not easily melt.

  • Combine cornstarch with one tablespoon of milk. The amount of cornstarch that you should use will depend on the sugar in your recipe. For every one cup of sugar, use ½ teaspoon of cornstarch.
  • Add it in the same bowl where you placed the finished frosting.
  • Beat the mixture, preferably with an electric grinder. Do this until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  • Once finished, you can now have it placed in a piping bag or apply directly on where you intend to use it. By this time, the frosting must be able to stand straight and appear firmer.

Another ingredient that you can add to your frosting to make it thicker is a heavy cream. This is how you can do it:

  • In a bowl that contains your frosting, add three to four tablespoons of heavy whipping cream.
  • Use an electric mixer or a manual grinder to blend the ingredients.
  • If it is still not as consistent as what you want it to be, add more heavy whipping cream. However, add it gradually, preferably one tablespoon at a time.
  • Aside from thickening the frosting, heavy whipping cream will also make it fluffy.

Gelatin can also be a promising solution in thickening frosting. Take note, however, that you should use only gelatin that is unflavored so that it won’t alter the taste of your frosting. Also, it should be colorless. Here’s how to thicken frosting with gelatin:

  • Fill a bowl with cold water and let the gelatin sit for about five minutes.
  • Put the bowl in the microwave and heat it until the granules fully dissolve.
  • Mix the gelatin with a bit of whipped cream. This will prevent clumping once it is added to the cold ingredient.
  • Now, you are ready to mix it with your frosting. Just pour the mixture on the top of the frosting and mix it well.

If you have a coconut-flavored frosting, you can add coconut to make it thicker. Here are the simple steps to do this:

  • Add shredded coconuts in your frosting. One tablespoon will be enough. Adding more can make the flavor overpowering.
  • After adding coconut, mix it well. If you need more, add another tablespoon. Add it gradually until you reach the desired level of thickness.

You can also consider using sugar if you want the icing to be thicker. However, you should do this with caution. Excessive sugar can make the frosting too sweet. If the cake is already sweet, this may not complement the flavor.

  • In a bowl with the frosting, add confectioners’ sugar. Start with one tablespoon and add more gradually only when it appears to be still not as thick as you want it to be.
  • Mix it well. You need to exert effort to make it stiffer. To make your job easier, use an electric grinder rather than doing it manually.

If you plan to have a chocolate or coffee-flavored frosting, using cocoa is a good idea. Naturally, it contains starch, which is the main reason why it can make your topping stiff.

  • Add one tablespoon of cocoa powder in your frosting. Be careful when adding cocoa as it can make the frosting taste bitter when you overdo it.
  • Mix it until you reach the desired consistency.

The things mentioned above are focused mainly on the solutions that will require additional ingredients. There are also other methods, which won’t require the addition of anything. Here are some of the examples:

  • Work in an area with the right level of humidity and heat. If it is hot outside, working in an area that is at least air conditioned. This will allow the frosting to be stiffer and will not easily melt.
  • Put it in the fridge. If it is only on the countertop, it will naturally melt. Once you are done with the frosting, refrigerate it immediately, especially if you do not plan to pipe anytime soon.
  • Mix with enough force. Sometimes, the problem with a thin frosting is that you did not mix it with the right pressure. This is why we recommend using an electric grinder. This will allow you to mix with greater consistency and hence the outcomes will more likely to end up thicker.

Pro Tips

Proper storage of your baked treats is important to avoid the frosting from being thin and soft. Make sure that it retains a cold temperature. Heat exposure makes the frosting appear soggy.

If you are using cornstarch, add it to the frosting only once it has cooled. If not, this will only lead into softer butter, which is just going to make thing worse.

When using cocoa powder as a frost thickener, it is best to choose the unsweetened variant. It has more starches, making it more capable of adding fluffiness to your frosting.

Follow a sensible sequence when adding the ingredients. If you think that you can add any ingredient at any given time, you are wrong. You need to follow what the recipe indicates. Generally, you will start with solid ingredients. Add liquid ingredients towards the end.

When you add ingredients, do it gradually. Test the consistency first. If it still lacks stiffness, this is the only time that you should add more ingredients. Using more than what is necessary will alter the flavor.


Cakes and other baked treats will not be visually appealing if they do not have a stiff frosting. With this, follow the tips that we have mentioned above on how to thicken frosting. These simple solutions will work like magic.

Did you enjoy reading this post? Is there anything else that you have tried in the past and proved to be effective? Do not hesitate to leave a comment below.

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