How to Improve Store-Bought Frosting

by Aya Pauli

    Simple and sweet is about as special as store-bought frosting gets. These frostings are convenient for topping desserts, but the taste is far from gourmet. You can improve that flavor. From fruity jams to flavored extracts, everything you need is likely already in your kitchen. The key is to add a little of the extra ingredient at a time, tasting the frosting as you go, so you don't ruin the taste or texture.

    Adding a hint of background flavor is all many frostings need to go from dull to daring. The easiest way to add a hint of flavor to anything is to use an extract. Mix a few drops of vanilla extract into any store-bought frosting to give it richer flavor. Add a woodsy taste to chocolate or vanilla frosting with a few drops of coconut, almond or hazelnut extract. Stir rum extract into coconut frosting to give it an adult flavor or try cotton candy extract in strawberry frosting for an extra-sweet taste.

    Jams, jellies and marmalades have just the right consistency to keep your frosting thick, so you can add up to an equal part jam for every part frosting without things getting too thin. Combine strawberry jam and cream cheese frosting for a classic flavor. Create an indulgent topping with a mixture of orange marmalade and chocolate frosting. Go for a sophisticated sweet with apricot jelly stirred into caramel frosting.

    Bring an earthy taste and crunchy texture into your store-bought frosting with finely chopped nuts. While using whole nuts is tasty, the large pieces are too big and heavy to work in frosting. Stir chopped walnuts into maple frosting for a woodsy flavor. Give caramel frosting a traditional pralines taste by mixing in chopped pecans. Combine shredded coconut and chopped macadamia nuts with vanilla or chocolate frosting for a tropical twist.

    Syrups are a quick way to add flavor to frosting, but it's easy to add too much and end up with a sticky mess. Make milk chocolate frosting with a drizzle of dark chocolate syrup mixed into cream cheese frosting. Stir maple syrup into vanilla frosting to give it an extra-sweet flavor. Combine strawberry syrup and lemon frosting for a refreshing berry taste.

    Like nuts, candies add crunch to store-bought frosting. Mix crushed chocolate-coated malt balls with milk chocolate frosting to give it an extra dose of chocolate flavor. Combine rainbow sprinkles with lemon frosting for a cheerful topping. Add a rich background flavor to cherry frosting with finely chopped, chocolate-covered coconut bars.

    About the Author

    A writer since 2000, Aya Pauli has covered a variety of topics including food, fashion, beauty, health, parenting, education, decor and crafts. Her award-winning recipes have been published in food magazines such as "Taste of Home," and she is also the author of a salad cookbook. Pauli's craft projects appear in major manufacturer websites, including Dow Styrofoam. She also holds a CDA in early childhood education and works as a preschool teacher in Wyoming.

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