4 Best Ways to Make Icing Thick (Updated 2024)

How to make icing thick

Want to learn how to make your icing thicker? Stick around as we provide some great baking tips.

Icing is different from frosting, as the latter is thicker and fluffier. The thinner version is icing, which is usually used for glazing or decorating pastries.

Cakes and cupcakes are decorated with icing, which is a sweet component that adds flavor and richness. Moreover, icing also helps improve the cake’s appearance, putting together small decorative pieces.

Sometimes, in making icing, you can easily tell that its consistency and thickness aren’t perfect.

To make icing thick, there are a number of things to do. In this article, we’re going to explore the best ways to get the right consistency of icing to make the perfect batch of desserts.

Avoid Runny Icing

Runny Icing

Baking may seem so easy, but it’s hard work. There are a lot of things that can happen to ruin the taste, texture, and overall appearance of your pastries or desserts.

When decorating a cake or cupcake, the icing must have a slightly thicker consistency to create petal, royal, and glaze designs.

Nobody likes runny icing as it can ruin the appearance of your cake or cupcakes.

A baker’s nightmare consists of watery icing that doesn’t create any flair. Hence, it’s best to add more sugar to fix the problem.

How to Make Icing Thick

Thick Icing

The best trick to thicken icing is to add powdered sugar. This is a dry ingredient that adds volume to icing. Be sure to mix thoroughly, and add the powdered sugar slowly, to make a fine icing.

If your concern is to avoid adding sugar, as the mixture is already sweet, you can try adding thickening agents from your kitchen. Use cornstarch, gelatin, cream cheese, cocoa powder, heavy cream, or butter to thicken the mixture.

The last resort is putting the icing in the refrigerator for a few hours. Be sure to tightly cover the top of the mixing bowl before popping it inside the fridge. Otherwise, the icing can develop hardened skin, bad for decorating desserts.

  1. Add Meringue Powder

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Aside from confectioners’ sugar, butter, and cornstarch, you can thicken the mixture by adding meringue powder.

Add between a dash and a tablespoon, then add a little bit of sugar. This technique helps to keep the icing from getting too sweet.

In making the icing, it’s crucial to combine the ingredients gradually and not overdo the wet and dry ingredients. Follow the recipe, use the right amount of ingredients, and slowly mix to get the desired texture.

Meringue powder takes the place of raw egg whites, which are used in traditional icing recipes. This creates a stable and sturdy mixture that quickly hardens on top of a cake or cupcake. When you use meringue powder, do not add raw egg whites as the powder is already enough.

  1. Add Heavy Whipping Cream

Heavy Whipping Cream

To add fluffiness to the icing, whipping cream can help while avoiding runny icing. There are several kinds of whipping cream on the market, but what you need is a heavy variety. This serves as a thickening agent for the icing.

Add 3 to 4 teaspoons of cream into the bowl, then whisk using a mixer. Check the consistency and if still quite runny, add more whipping cream now teaspoon at a time.

The desired texture will be light, yet frothy, so keep on checking.

  1. Add Flour


Another ingredient to use when thickening icing is a dash of flour. Take note that this is only applicable when making warm icing, as it tastes weird when not cooked properly.

What you need to do is add 1 or 2 teaspoons of flour into the mixture and slowly stir over low heat.

It’s your choice whether to add powdered sugar to maintain the sweetness of the icing. The moment the icing starts to thicken, remove it from the pot, and let it cool before placing it in an icing bag.

Remember to taste the icing first before removing it from heat. If the taste is sweet, and the thickness is achieved, then take it off of the heat. If the consistency is still runny, then try adding more flour and a little bit of sugar.

  1. Add Butter


For non-bakers, note that butter is an awesome thickening agent. If the consistency is runny, then add one teaspoon of butter at a time and mix well.

Allow butter to soften slightly before adding it to the icing bag. This is tricky because if you over mix, the consistency becomes slightly runny.

Afterward, refrigerate for a few minutes up to 2 hours maximum.

Bottom Line

Making icing requires hard work, as you need to consider the taste and texture.

Follow the techniques mentioned above to thicken icing for cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts. Happy eating!


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  1. Click on each link above to view the pin and recipe.
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how to make frosting thicker


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