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How to thicken cream cheese frosting without powdered sugar?

There’s nothing quite like the indulgent feeling of a delicious piece of cake, especially when it’s topped with homemade buttercream frosting. Yet, thick and creamy frosting might be difficult to find at times.

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.

Keep on reading for ten tips for how to thicken frosting that will help you achieve the perfect consistency every time. Good luck with your baking!

How To Thicken Homemade Frosting: 10 Ways

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

Another tried-and-true method for thickening frosting is to use softened butter. Soft, but not melted butter will incorporate easily 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

Similar to butter, adding cream cheese helps to thicken frosting without making it significantly sweeter. Thick cream cheese, on the other hand, adds a delightful acidic flavor.

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.

Need a good recipe for cream cheese frosting? 10 Delectable Cinnamon Roll Icing Recipes (With and Without Cream Cheese).

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

Another flavorless thickener is cornstarch. 1/4 cup cornstarch, sifted, should be added 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 10: Add Marshmallow Fluff

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

If that ratio sounds a bit too much, even a 1/4 cup or so of creme will help to thicken the frosting and add a yummy marshmallow flavor. A pinch of salt might also help to balance out the sweetness.

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 several easy ways to make frosting thicker without adding any sugar or extra sweetness. Unsweet thickeners include flour, cornstarch, meringue powder, gelatin, and cocoa powder.

 How do you stiffen store bought icing?

Transfer canned frosting to a large bowl, and use a hand mixer to beat in your preferred thickening agent. 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. Add the powdered sugar gradually, mixing after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed to fully incorporate all of 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 Cholesterol: 28mg Sodium content: 76mg 33g carbohydrate 0g fiber 33g of sugar 0g protein