14 Clever Uses For Store-Bought Icing

When you pick up containers of icing from the store, you likely use it to make a loved one's birthday cake or to embellish festive cupcakes. This commercially made product is convenient because you don't need to worry about measuring ingredients or dirtying your kitchen like when you make it homemade. There is certainly nothing wrong with using this type of icing in ordinary ways, but there is a plethora of other functions for it that you'll absolutely love. The pre-made frosting is impressively versatile. It transforms into entirely new goodies when you mix it with other ingredients like cookies, lava cake, and fudge.

Furthermore, because of its makeup, you can manipulate its texture with hot and cold temperatures to use it in ways you wouldn't usually be able to. These ingenious hacks will have you wondering why you never branched out with it before. So, whether you have an itch for baking experimentation or just have extra icing on hand, be prepared to view store-bought icing in an entirely new light.

1. Make cake pops with it

There are numerous ways to make cake pops better than regular cake. Not all of the recipes include frosting inside of the cake pop but only on the exterior. There are machines available that bake the cake into spheres for you, which seems convenient from afar. However, this doesn't always produce the tastiest cake pops. Instead, use store-bought icing in the interior for the best outcome. There are two main reasons why this enhances the sweet treat. Firstly, it moistens the cake so that it isn't unpleasantly dry when you bite into it. Secondly, with the addition of icing, the dessert has more structure. This means it won't fall apart and it adheres to the stick much more easily.

The ideal icing-to-cake ratio is 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons for every 4 cups of smashed cake. Crumble the baked cake before you use your hands (preferably with gloves) to make a mixture that holds together when you squeeze it in your palm. Add more icing if it falls apart and fails to form into a ball when you squeeze it. For a sleeker appearance, use the same color frosting as the cake. But, if you don't mind a marbled look, go for it by all means. You'll likely cover it with more frosting or ganache for a more presentable look either way. 

2. Melt it and drizzle it on other desserts

One way to get creative with jarred icing is to turn it into a liquid. Did you know it's possible to microwave the frosting directly in the container? Take the seal off first and heat the frosting for short spurts of time. Depending on the microwave, it usually takes between 30 seconds and a minute to melt the icing fully. Start with 15-second intervals and stir it often. Once you have the warm frosting, it is the consistency of a dessert sauce. Drizzle it onto other sweet treats to make their presentation show-stopping.

For example, spoon it over ice cream to replace hot fudge. Alternatively, put it in a squeeze bottle and drape elegant lines over a slice of cheesecake. This hack is lovely because it works with virtually any icing flavor you have on hand. Other foods that taste delicious with melted icing include fresh berries and fruit, pies, brownies, bread pudding, and cobblers. Once you turn the icing into a glaze and pour it onto food, it slightly hardens, so it's essential to use it directly after you warm it.

3. Use it as a dessert dip

We are all familiar with savory dips, whether it is cheese dip for nachos or hummus for fresh veggies. But have you heard of dessert dip? Think of it like a chocolate fondue station, except you dip the food into a slightly thicker mixture. You can easily blend the store-bought frosting with whipped cream to lighten it up or pop it in your electric mixer to make it fluffier. Serve the dip in a classy ramekin and set up a board with an assortment of perfect-for-dipping foods. Some examples are apple slices, pretzels, marshmallows, and berries. Add mix-ins to the icing, like sprinkles, nuts, or chocolate chips which will give the dip some crunch.

If you want to dim the sweetness of the icing, whip it with cream cheese and serve it with graham crackers to make a cheesecake-flavored dip. And, of course, you can dip cookies into it to make your own Dunkaroos with the icing for a nostalgic treat. It's also terrific to use frosting as a dip when you plan to host a party and put together a dessert buffet or you simply want a decadent midnight snack.

4. Transform it into fudge

Who would've known it's achievable to make candy fudge from a can of icing? This a quick, two-ingredient recipe that's an entertaining lifesaver. You only need frosting and white chocolate chips for this recipe. There are numerous ways to melt white chocolate efficiently. the microwave is the quickest option. Once you liquify the white chocolate, mix it with the icing until they are thoroughly blended. Spread the mixture into a pan (the smaller the pan you use, the thicker it turns out). Now is the time to top it with any toppings you like, such as dried fruit, sprinkles, M&M's, or cookie crumbs.

Refrigerate the mixture until it solidifies. The middle takes longer to set than the edges, so give it adequate time and don't remove it from the refrigerator prematurely. Otherwise, it will be too gooey to cut. Once the fudge hardens, slice it into squares, and it is ready to serve. This is not only a scrumptious dessert but a fantastic one to throw together when you are in a rush and expecting company.

5. Use it as a crêpe filling

Canned frosting makes a delightful French crêpe filling to serve at your next brunch gathering or for family breakfast. Many frosting flavors pair wonderfully with fresh fruit like bananas, blueberries, apples, strawberries, and even cherries. If fruity flavors aren't your thing, use chocolate and match it with peanut butter or cinnamon. Before you fold or roll the crêpe, use a spoon to spread a thin layer of icing over the entirety of it. If the icing is a bit stiff and difficult to apply, mix it in the container first to loosen it. Follow up by sprinkling on additional fillings to give it more substance.

Another option is to fill the crêpe with something else, like lemon curd or whipped cream, and then use the jarred icing as a garnish. The crêpe, accompanied by the icing, tastes outstanding when you add something crunchy into the mix. Granola or chopped nuts are perfect contenders for this scenario.

6. Add flour to it and bake it to make cookies

The fact that you can make cookies out of frosting might blow your mind. Since it already contains fat and sugar, you only need to add a few extra ingredients for this to work. There are a couple of main methods to accomplish this. Firstly, make a two-serving microwave cookie in a mug. One clever TikTok user, @juleecooks, posted a video that shows how to do this by combining 5 tablespoons of frosting, ½ cup of flour, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and 1 egg yolk. Additionally, add a dash of baking soda for leavening purposes. Mix the ingredients until thoroughly blended, then press the dough into a cookie shape (or form it into two cookies) and microwave it for 45 seconds. Allow time for the cookie to cool and set before you dig into it.

In addition, another route to take is to use the oven. Add approximately ½ cup of flour and 1 egg for every cup of icing. Mix in additional flour if the consistency seems too runny to form into dough balls. According to a Reddit thread, this three-ingredient mixture bakes into delicious unleavened cookies. Next, bake the cookies at 325 to 375 degrees until they become slightly brown on the edges.  

7. Use it as a coffee sweetener

Here is another way to use store-bought icing that you might've never heard of. Use the microwave to soften it before you mix it into your morning cup of joe. Or, if your coffee is hot enough, you can simply drop a small dollop straight into it and let the coffee do the work. Buttercream contains many of the same elements as commercial creamers, like fat, sugar, and vanilla. Therefore, it perfectly doubles as a sweetener. Whether you run out of creamer or want to try something unconventional, this trick provides satisfying results. Use classic vanilla frosting for the simplest taste, or experiment with other flavors. There is an array of ready-made icings that complement the flavor of the coffee.

A few examples of ideal flavors would be salted caramel, peppermint, and plain buttercream. When you add a small amount of chocolate frosting, you instantly create a makeshift mocha. Whichever the case, add a spoonful and then taste-test the coffee to determine if its flavor is up to par or needs more. It would be a bummer to load it up with too much from the get-go and have a sickly-sweet coffee. Less is more here — the taste of the icing is best when it's subtle and still allows the flavor of the coffee to shine.

8. Practice piping with it

Practice makes perfect, especially when you garnish baked goods. If you want to decorate cookies like a professional or learn how to decorate a cake, use pre-made icing to work on your piping skills. Grab a piece of parchment paper and pipe directly onto the parchment, which allows you to scoop the icing right back up and use it over and over. Assemble frosting flowers or design a faux cake border or use it to write out phrases such as "Happy Birthday" or "Congratulations."

No worries if you don't have a cloth or disposable piping bag. Make an improvised version of one by cutting off a corner of a Ziploc bag and placing the frosting into the bag. From here, use it as you would a pastry bag. Some special piping tips even fit into the Ziploc if you wedge it into the corner carefully. Otherwise, if you just use the cut edge, it comes out as it would with a round-shaped baking tip.

9. Use it as edible glue for sweet treats

If you have ever built a gingerbread house, you likely used some icing or glaze to seal the cookie pieces together. Canned icing acts as the optimal edible glue, and you should take advantage of this when you creatively decorate cupcakes and other goodies. For example, place a dot of icing onto whimsical desserts that use candy eyes or other fun decorations. That way, when you stick the candy on, it solidly adheres and doesn't fall off moments later.

Another instance where icing comes in handy is when you assemble layered or tiered cakes. Before you set the first layer onto the cake board, smear some frosting onto the board itself. Then, place the cake on top. This only takes a few seconds of your time, yet it is a simple step that is essential to safely transport a frosted cake. The same technique also applies when you craft plated desserts. Simply put a glob of icing on the plate before you place the brownie, cheesecake, or other sweet treats onto it, and the baked good doesn't topple over when you go to serve it.

10. Assemble sandwich cookies with the frosting

Oreos and whoopie pies typically reign supreme when it comes to sandwich cookies, and these are sweet treats you can recreate when you have pre-made icing in your cupboard. Nevertheless, they aren't the only kinds to make. All sorts of cookies, homemade or not, are irresistible when you place a layer of frosting between them. Namely, oatmeal, sugar, chocolate chip, and peanut butter cookies are some examples. Or make something like pumpkin spice chocolate chip sandwich cookies, which incorporate cream cheese icing and baking spices. How crafty you want to get when merging different flavors is your choice.

To make the sandwich cookies, ensure that freshly baked cookies are cool before you begin. If you frost them too soon, the filling will melt. Use a spoon or offset spatula to spread frosting onto one cookie. Next, use another cookie that best matches the size of the first cookie and lightly press it onto the frosting. Adhere it enough, so it is fixed, but not so tightly that the filling bleeds out the sides.

11. Create lava cakes with it

Traditional chocolate lava cakes can be intimidating to make for beginner bakers. If you over-bake them, a lack of molten chocolate runs out, but you risk consuming raw food if you underbake them. Fortunately, with ready-made icing, those concerns aren't an issue. The frosting functions as molten lava, which makes it a simple recipe as all you need to do is bake the cake as you normally would. Once you prepare the cake batter and pour it into the pan, open your container of icing. Next, use a cookie scoop or a spoon to place dollops over the top of the uncooked batter. There is no need to mix it in.

You might wonder how this works since molten lava is typically in the middle of the cake and not on top of it. However, it seeps down into the center when the cake is in the oven. One TikTok user, @megs_salois, shared a post where she used this technique with a microwave cake, which worked just as brilliantly. She topped her cake with three large scoops of icing and microwaved it for 11 minutes. Whichever method you use, you will see how the icing oozes out of the cake flawlessly when you slice into it.

12. Add it to milkshakes

We've discussed how packaged icing works wonders for coffee, but how about adding it to a cold drink? After all, nothing says delectable like a milkshake with confetti frosting. When you make your milkshake, gather a few scoops of ice cream and some milk, or use half-and-half if you prefer it extra creamy. Three to five tablespoons of icing should be plenty, but feel free to add more if you prefer a super sweet treat. 

Explore unique flavor combinations by adding icing that is a different flavor from the ice cream base. For instance, use chocolate ice cream with strawberry frosting or vanilla ice cream with lemon frosting. As another option, utilize the cream cheese-flavored kind and sprinkle Oreo pieces into the milkshake for a comforting and tasty experience. As you can see, the sky is the limit here, and you don't want to miss out on something as marvelous as this.

13. Swirl it atop cheesecake batter

Next time you make a cheesecake, use canned icing for decorative purposes. It is a standout option for when you want to produce gorgeous swirls atop the baked custard. To do so, you'll want to use either chocolate or another noticeable color, something that will stand out against the light shade of the cheesecake. Add a small amount of flour to the frosting to give it a thicker consistency. The frosting becomes a gooey mess without the flour when you introduce it to the hot oven. If you are unsure how much flour to add, just keep in mind that you want the consistency to be spreadable, but it shouldn't be as thick as cookie dough.

Place tiny dots of icing in various places on the batter, then take a knife or toothpick and run it through with swirling motions. An easy way to create a breathtaking design is to draw figure-eight symbols when you move the toothpick through it. Pop the cheesecake in the oven as usual, and it comes out with a charming presentation that catches everyone's eye.

14. Make flavored cream cheese for bagels

Maybe you love fruity frostings like strawberry or lemon. One of the ways to majorly upgrade plain cream cheese is to whip it with a portion of that icing. This practice makes the cream cheese go from simple to superb in minutes. People often mix jam into it to make it fruity, which is quite similar. The frosting is thick enough to not significantly change the cream cheese's consistency or make it runny. Moreover, when you whip it with an electric mixer, the overall texture of the mixture becomes airier and fluffy.

Of course, it doesn't have to be just fruity flavors that you use, but other flavors might turn your bagel into more of a dessert. If you favor the sweetness, chocolate and vanilla taste heavenly when matched with the cream cheese. It all comes down to how sugary you want the spread to be, but luckily, you have control over that by gauging how much icing you incorporate into it.