Store-bought frostings are quick, convenient, and allow you to make a decadent cake with little effort. And strawberry is one of the more popular flavors of frosting out there. But canned frosting often leaves something to be desired in terms of quality. So, the question remains: how to make store-bought strawberry frosting better?
You can improve any store-bought strawberry frosting by adding vanilla extract, a touch of salt, or cream cheese. You can whip the frosting to make it fluffier or thicken it by mixing powdered sugar. Additionally, you can add candied fruit or roasted nuts for a crunchy texture.
In this article, we are going to discuss some simple ways you can improve any canned strawberry frosting. Hopefully, by the end, your store-bought frosting will taste much closer to homemade frostings.
How to Improve Store-Bought Strawberry Frosting?
Improving any canned product will require some time and effort. And the best thing about store-bought frosting is how convenient it can be. But if you have time on your hand and really want to recreate that homemade feeling, then try some of the following ideas at once and see which combination you prefer.
Whip the Frosting
Store-bought frosting can be either too thick or too thin for your liking. You really do not have any control over that. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways you can get consistency closer to your preference.
If the frosting you bought is too heavy or dense, you can whip it to make it lighter and fluffier. When you whip the cream, air becomes trapped inside the fat. The incorporation of air inflates the frosting and makes it fluffy.
The great thing about this method is that it is very simple. All you need is a large bowl, a hand-mixer or whisk, and some frosting. And this takes relatively little time to accomplish. Of course, we recommend you use a hand or stand-mixer when whipping large amounts of frosting. You can do it by hand but it will be very physically draining.
Add a Splash of Vanilla Extract
When eating something, you are relying on your sense of smell almost as much as your taste buds to determine the quality of the food. And that is where essential extracts like vanilla come into play.
Just 1 tablespoon of extract for one tub of frosting will be enough. Alternatively, you can add pure almond or pure peppermint extract. Peppermint and strawberry is an especially intriguing combination that you should try at least once.
Add a Pinch of Salt
If the store-bought product is too sweet for your palate, try adding a pinch of salt for a more rounded flavor profile. But be careful of how much you put in. Add ⅛ of a tsp of salt and mix thoroughly. Taste to see if the balance is correct. If not, add in another ⅛ tsp of salt.
Make It Creamier with Cream Cheese
Cream cheese serves sort of the same function as heavy cream. It makes the frosting taste richer and creamier. This is a terrific method for recreating your childhood favorite buttercream frosting.
Cream cheese inherently has a tartness to it. The store-bought frosting is often found guilty of being overly sweet. So, this tart taste can cut through the sweetness of the frosting and make the overall taste more balanced. It is the perfect combination to decorate a carrot cake.
Give the Frosting a Crunchy Texture
The classic frosting we imagine is a smooth and homogeneous filling that elevates any pastry and cupcake. But you can easily play with the texture of the frosting for a fresh and unique feel.
Nuts are a great way of adding some crunch to the texture. Walnut, peanut, almond, cashew, etc. are all terrific choices in this regard. You can roast the nuts beforehand to give them even more bite and keep them crunchy for longer.
Similarly, you can change the texture of the frosting by incorporating shredded coconut. For every tub of frosting, add ½ cup to 1 cup of toasted coconut flakes. This will give the texture some nice crunch while also providing a sweet coconutty taste.
Chocolate is another excellent alternative, especially for chocolate lovers. You can do this with chocolate chips or by cutting a Kit Kat or Hershey bar into bite-sized pieces and incorporating them into the frosting.
Put in Candied Fruit
Canned strawberry frosting can often taste artificial and hollow. So, if you want to get that true fruity flavor, try incorporating candied fruits into the mix. These fruits are a great way of not only improving the taste but also giving some bite to the future of the frosting.
Fold in Heavy Cream
Here is an alternate way of making your frosting thicker and creamier. Heavy cream is a dairy product with at least 36% fat, which is enough to make a stable whipped cream. So, you can get a creamier product and still be able to whip it if you so choose. Simply add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream at a time.
Whip in Some Butter
When people think of homemade frosting, they are likely imagining any sort of buttercream frosting. And you can recreate that feeling with the help of softened butter. Gently whip in a few tablespoons of butter for each tub of frosting and you are good to go.
Want Thicker Frosting? Use Powdered Sugar
Now, let’s look at the reverse scenario where the frosting is too thin. Powdered sugar or icing sugar is a great thickening agent for desserts. It absorbs excess moisture in the mixture allowing for a thicker and richer feel.
Add the sugar a little bit at a time and whisk thoroughly until all of it is dissolved; so, let’s say 1 tsp at a time. Adding in too much at once may make your frosting too heavy and grainy, which is not the texture you want in strawberry frosting.
Give it Some Acidity
Real strawberries have some tang to go along with their sweetness. But this gets lost in most canned frosting and the product is only sweet. But you can bring that acidity to the frosting with the help of citrus fruits.
Add lemon juice or lemon zest to your frosting. You can do the same thing with orange. The acidity will tame a lot of the sweetness to give you a more palatable taste.
Use Freeze-Dried Fruit Powder
With freeze-dried fruit powder, you can alter the taste and the color of your frosting simultaneously. Play with different flavor combinations to see which one strikes the right balance for you. This is ideal for making a cake for a kid’s party.
Which Strawberry Frosting Is the Best?
If you are looking for a premium canned strawberry frosting, then Pillsbury is probably the best choice. It manages to capture the magic of homemade frosting, or at least, as much as any store-bought frosting can.
Alternatively, you can try Duncan Hines’ frosting for a quick and easy solution. Betty Crocker’s is another worthy mention.
Can You Add Fresh Strawberries to Store-Bought Frosting?
You can incorporate fresh strawberries into store-bought frosting by squeezing out their juice and mixing it in. Alternatively, you can puree the strawberries or cut the strawberries into very small pieces and then gently fold them into the cream.
Large chunks of strawberries will not work in this case. Because you would not be able to freely spread the frosting on the cake.
How Do You Make Store-Bought Frosting Taste Homemade?
The homemade frosting has a rich, creamy, sweet but not overbearingly sweet quality to it that most store-bought variety fails to replicate wholly or partially. But with a few tricks you can make the store-bought version taste a bit closer to the homemade one:
- Whip the frosting to make it soft and fluffy, just like homemade frosting.
- Whip in a few tbsp of butter to recreate buttercream frosting.
- Add a tablespoon of vanilla extract.
- Fold in heavy whipping cream or some cream cheese.
- Add dried fruit powder for a more fruity taste.
- Give the frosting some crunch with toasted nuts or coconut flakes, chocolate chips, etc.
To conclude, no cake is complete without frosting. And with the help of some baking tricks, you can enjoy the convenience of store-bought frosting without compromising on the taste.