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Easy Tips to Make Store Bought Frosting Better

Have you ever found yourself in a time crunch or on a tight budget, only to rely on a trusty can of store-bought frosting to save the day? You’re not alone. This has happened to me many times.

can of frosting and frosted donuts

Some people have lots of time to make everything from scratch, which is great. But not everyone has that luxury. I know that I certainly don’t. Canned frosting is a lifesaver when you need a quick and easy solution to top your cakes and cupcakes. 

However, while it may do the job, there’s a secret to taking that frosting to the next level and giving it a homemade frosting taste that will have your taste buds dancing. In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to make store-bought frosting better using some simple tricks and basic ingredients.

I have an example of a recipe in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Either scroll down or click on the jump-to-recipe button beneath the title. That will take you directly to the very top of the recipe card.

The Easiest Things to Enhance Store-Bought Frosting

can of frosting

I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to upgrade canned frosting is by adding a few drops of flavoring. Vanilla extract is a classic choice, but you can get creative and experiment with different flavors. Whether it’s a pinch of salt for a subtle contrast or a teaspoon of instant coffee powder for a mocha twist, these simple additions can make a world of difference. 

Start with just a few drops and taste the frosting as you go, adjusting until you achieve the desired flavor. That’s the best way to avoid overdoing anything you add. Try adding a light layer of frosting laced with caramel sauce to these chocolate caramel cookies. You won’t believe how delicious they’ll be! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

The Homemade Frosting Magic

I like to use a hand mixer, but a stand mixer works just as well. These kitchen tools can help you whip your frosting into a smoother, fluffier, and richer consistency that mimics homemade frosting. Begin by transferring the canned frosting to a large mixing bowl. Add a tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar to sweeten it up, and a pinch of salt to balance the flavors.

For a truly decadent twist, consider adding chocolate chips or unsweetened cocoa powder for a rich chocolate frosting taste. A tablespoon of unsalted butter will also give your frosting a velvety texture that’s hard to resist. Also try various flavorings, such as vanilla, peppermint, or orange extract. Test them out, one at a time, on a small amount of canned frosting.

Blend everything together with your mixer until the frosting reaches the right consistency. This will make your frosting not only taste better but also make it easier to work with if you’re planning to pipe it onto your cakes.

Bringing Color to Life

While the store-bought frosting comes in various colors, sometimes I like to create unique shades to match a special occasion or add vibrant colors to my desserts. The easiest way to do this is by using liquid food coloring. Simply add a few drops of your preferred color to the frosting and mix until it’s evenly distributed. 

bowl of orange frosting

Be cautious not to overdo it, as a little goes a long way, and you can always add more if needed. Seriously, you only need a few drops of food coloring to get the desired results.

Smooth and Rich Cream Cheese Frosting

If you’re a cream cheese lover like me, then add a few extra tablespoons of softened cream cheese to canned cream cheese frosting. Just a little bit adds a richer flavor that will taste just as good as homemade. 

can of cream cheese frosting

It’s such a delicious frosting that I have to restrain myself from eating it before I frost a cake. But it’s okay to lick the side of the bowl after you’re finished. If you like pumpkin cheesecake, try topping these delicious pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting. They’re so delicious you won’t be able to stop. I certainly can’t.

Whipped Cream Topping for a Lighter Touch

For a lighter and fluffier frosting, why not try a whipped cream topping like Cool Whip? To achieve this, combine your canned frosting with equal parts of heavy whipping cream in a large bowl. 

Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the mixture until it reaches a light and airy consistency. This is a fantastic way to turn your frosting into a velvety and airy topping, perfect for lighter desserts like lemon bread or as an ice cream drizzle.

Natural Ingredients for a Healthier Twist

For those who prefer natural ingredients and want to avoid palm oil or other additives in store-bought frosting, there’s an easy hack. You can make a homemade buttercream frosting using a can of frosting as the base. 

Start by letting a package of room temperature butter sit out until it’s soft. Then, beat the butter with the canned frosting until you achieve a creamy and luxurious texture. This homemade icing is not only healthier but also boasts a deliciously homemade taste.

Creating Unique Flavors for Every Occasion

The best part of enhancing store-bought frosting is the ability to customize it to your taste. You can mix and match flavors, colors, and textures to create a frosting that suits your specific needs. 

can of chocolate frosting

Whether you’re a fan of chocolate cake with a peanut butter twist or you want to recreate the taste of your favorite candy, the possibilities are endless. Or if you like a chocolate and peppermint combination, make a minty frosting. Then top this yummy chocolate cake for a decadent delight!

I’m a serious peach lover. So I like to make this delicious peach dump cake and add peach preserves to the frosting, either mixed in or on top.

Slice of peach cake beside the baking pan

This amazing pound cake from Julia’s Simply Southern is delicious all by itself. But it’s absolutely wonderful with lemon flavored cream cheese frosting!

Next time you make cake mix donuts, get creative with your frosting. My favorite is combining chocolate frosting with finely ground instant coffee. Mmm! So good!

Plate of frosted cake mix donuts

A Little Secret from TikTok Users

If you’re looking for inspiration and more unique flavors, TikTok users have been sharing their store-bought frosting hacks for a while now. 

Some have added crushed brown sugar for a delightful caramel flavor, while others have incorporated different extracts like almond, mint, or coconut for a tropical touch. These creative ideas can take your frosting from basic to extraordinary in no time.

Best Results for Making Store Bought Frosting Better

In conclusion, store-bought frosting doesn’t have to remain a basic, last-minute solution. With a few simple additions and the right ingredients, you can transform it into a homemade delight that tastes even better than you’d expect. 

can of frosting with frosted cookies and cupcakes

Whether you’re in a time crunch, on a budget, or just looking to experiment with different flavors, these tricks can elevate your frosting game and make your desserts the star of any special occasion. So, the next time you grab a tub of store-bought frosting from the grocery store, remember that a little creativity can go a long way in making your sweet treats truly memorable.

Yield: 12 servings

How to Make Store Bought Frosting Better

bowl of orange frosting

Add flavor to store bought frosting and make it better.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 can of cream cheese frosting (16 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 drops yellow food coloring
  • 1 drop red food coloring


  1. Scoop the frosting into a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Add the orange extract, yellow food coloring, and red food coloring.
  3. Mix well until you get the perfect orange color.


Taste the frosting to make sure you have the strength of orange flavoring you like. If not, add just a few drops at a time to make it perfect.

You can do the same thing with other colors and flavors.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 7Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 3mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 0g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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