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How to thicken cream cheese frosting without powdered sugar?

Nothing beats the decadence of a wonderful slice of cake, particularly when topped with handmade buttercream icing. But sometimes, that thick and creamy frosting can be hard to come by.

Slowly incorporating powdered sugar is the finest and simplest technique to thicken frosting. But, there are other additional options to attempt, such as adding butter, shortening, cream cheese, whipped cream, flour, cornstarch, and other ingredients.

How To Thicken Homemade Frosting

Option 1: Add Powdered Sugar

Adding powdered sugar is the quickest and simplest technique to thicken frosting. To avoid lumps in your frosting, make sure the confectioners’ sugar is sifted.

Next, while stirring or beating the frosting, gradually add the sugar. Start with 1/2 tablespoon and keep going until the thickness is how you want it.

If your frosting becomes excessively sugary, a sprinkle of salt might help balance it out.

If you use too much powdered sugar, the frosting will become excessively thick. Just add a little quantity of milk or cream to thin it down.

Option 2: Add Butter or Shortening

Softened butter is another classic trick to thicken frosting. Soft, but not liquefied, butter will readily mix into your frosting.

Use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer. This allows the butter to spread evenly, resulting in a rich and fluffy frosting. Add 1-2 teaspoons at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

Do you dislike butter? Check out 8 ways to make frosting without butter.

Option 3: Add Whipping Cream

To thicken icing for chilled sweets, use this procedure. Beat in up to 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream, adding just a splash or so at a time, to make a rich and creamy frosting.

Option 4: Add Cream Cheese

Adding cream cheese, like adding butter, helps to thicken frosting without dramatically sweetening it. Rich cream cheese does, however, add a delicious tangy taste.

Use softened full fat cream cheese for the simplest mixing and the greatest flavor. Whip in 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese at a time until the frosting gets thick to your liking.

Option 5: Add Meringue Powder

Meringue powder is a tried-and-true method for making frosting thick and fluffy. For every 8 ounces of frosting, add 1 tablespoon of meringue powder. If the frosting needs extra sweetness, add a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Option 6: Add Flour

To thicken frosting without adding taste or sweetness, mix in one spoonful of flour at a time. I recommend that you sift the flour before it is added so there are no clumps in the frosting.

Option 7: Add Cornstarch

Cornstarch is another flavorless thickener. Sift and mix in 1/4 cup of cornstarch to the frosting.

You can also sift together 1/4 cup of cornstarch plus a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar. This will result in a thick, creamy frosting with a deep sweetness.

Option 8: Add Gelatin

To activate gelatin, blend it with water; the result is a thick and pleasantly gooey frosting.

Mix 1 tablespoon gelatin and 1 tablespoon cold water, then add into the frosting. For the frosting to really thicken up you should let it set in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before using.

Option 9: Add Marshmallow Fluff

To make a fluffy and lighter icing, mix equal amounts marshmallow fluff and frosting.

If that ratio seems excessive, a 1/4 cup or two of creme can thicken the frosting and offer a delicious marshmallow taste. A dash of salt can help to balance the sweetness too.

How To thicken Frosting: Tips & Tricks

  • Frosting softens in warm temperatures. You might just need to put your warm frosting in the refrigerator to thicken back up.
  • It’s conceivable that the frosting ingredients need extra time to combine. This is particularly true when the icing is whipped cream. If you believe this is the case, continue mixing until the runny frosting thickens.

How To Thicken Frosting FAQs

What do I do if my frosting is too runny?

To thicken runny frosting, just add powdered sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, or any of the other excellent alternatives mentioned above!

 What do you thicken frosting without powdered sugar?

There are various simple techniques to thicken frosting without adding sugar or additional sweetness. Try flour, cornstarch, meringue powder, gelatin or cocoa powder for unsweet thickeners.

How do you stiffen store bought icing?

Place canned frosting in a large mixing bowl and whisk in your choice thickening agent with a hand mixer. Place the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes to help stiffen the frosting even more. Learn how to improve the flavor of canned frosting.

There are several methods for preparing thick and fluffy cream cheese frosting, buttercream frosting, or chocolate icing. In this article, we covered ten easy ways to thicken homemade frosting, so follow these tips to create the perfect topping for your next dessert!

Prep Time 5 minutes

Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream


  1. Add the softened butter to a large mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed using an electric mixer. The butter will be paler in color and creamier.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing after each addition. Scrape down the edges of the bowl as required with a spatula to properly incorporate the powdered sugar.
  3. The mixture will be thick after the butter and powdered sugar have been combined.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream or milk at a time until the appropriate consistency is obtained.
  5. If the frosting is overly sweet, add a sprinkle of salt and mix thoroughly.


Add 2 drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly to get colorful frosting. Add additional drops as needed until you achieve your desired color.

This frosting may be flavored with other extracts and flavorings, such as mint, almond, lemon, or orange. Start with a small amount of extract and work your way up until you achieve a flavor you like.

Amp up the flaveflavo

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

Amount Per Serving:
224 calories 10g total fat 7g Saturated Fat 0g trans fat 3g Saturated Fat 28mg cholesterol Sodium content: 76mg 33g carbohydrate 0g fiber Sugar: 33g Protein: 0g

Related Questions

  • How can I thicken cream cheese frosting?

    How do you thicken cream cheese frosting? Refrigerating cream cheese frosting for 5-10 minutes is the best method to thicken it. The frosting will stiffen up as the butter cools. You may also use meringue powder to thicken and stabilize the icing.

  • How can I thicken my frosting without powder?

    If you’re creating heated frosting on the stovetop, consider thickening a runny frosting with a little flour. Sprinkle 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp (5 ml to 15 ml) of flour into the frosting and stir over low heat on the stove until it begins to thicken.

  • Why is my cream cheese frosting so runny?

    HOW COME MY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING IS RUNNY? This may happen if you use a low-quality cream cheese with a greater water content, or if you use tub cream cheese instead of brick cream cheese. Be sure you acquire the greatest quality, full-fat block cream cheese you can find.

  • What can I use instead of powdered sugar in frosting?

    It is possible to simply use granulated sugar in a slightly smaller amount, though you’ll have to accept that the texture may not be ideal, especially for icing or other recipes that are supposed to be super smooth. Just replace 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1 cup of granulated sugar and continue as instructed