Can this frosting be saved? How to Improve Canned Frosting

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook has fielded some serious phone calls in her time, but never quite as urgent as this one. The hotline rang, and our reader in need was trying to frost a fabulous crafty cake and fast. The problem: like many of us, she has no time to waste and wanted a practical but celebratory birthday cake. However, the canned frosting tasted like, well, canned. Can this frosting be saved?

Punt! This frosting scored with the crowd!

Punt! This frosting scored with the crowd!

To be fair, The Practical Cook subscribes to a mantra laid out by The Cake Mix Doctor: bake it from a box, but frost it with homemade. So after that gentle scold and an understanding sigh, here were the suggestions to salvage the chocolate frosting, choose any or some, depending on the consistency you need:

1. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

2. Add a few tablespoons of SIFTED powdered sugar. Do not cut this corner, or you’ll spend more time trying to chase down lumps than you’d care to imagine.

3. Add a tablespoon of strong brewed coffee. Since this Gentle Reader keeps coffee practically in an I.V. drip, I felt certain she’d have some on hand.

4. Add a tablespoon of cocoa powder.

5. Melt some chocolate chips and stir them in.

Gratuitous Scotch Chocolate Cake Pecan-Side View

Gratuitous Scotch Chocolate Cake Pecan-Side View

You see in the end, you should simply make your own frosting. Here’s a simple pour-down chocolate frosting recipe, straight from my own birthday collection, courtesy of the ultimate froster, The Practical Cook’s Mom.

However, to be fair, this frosting was saved. It adhered to the cake, pleased the crowd, and didn’t taste like can. Big congrats to my friend @ContattoGroup, and thanks for the question and the photo.

Do you make your own frosting? Confess here, I won’t tell. Post a comment below.

For your cooking emergencies, contact practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Up next, a little oasis. Restaurant Review: Red Lotus

2 Comments

Filed under Can this supper be saved?, Punt!

2 responses to “Can this frosting be saved? How to Improve Canned Frosting

  1. Canned frosting is usually best left alone, but your “saves” are good ideas.
    I’ve been making a version of my mom’s icing for years. It’s too simple.
    1/2 box of confectioner’s sugar, 1 stick butter or margarine, 1 to 2 tsp. vanilla….cream butter, adding sugar a bit at a time. Add vanilla, continue to beat until well blended and icing forms stiff peaks.
    NOTE: these measurements are “more or less” measures….as in all handed down recipes, there’s a lot of improvisation going on. For chocolate, add powdered coca mix – start with about 1/4 cup, you may have to increase the amount of butter, but mix it first and see.
    You can add lots of different things to this basic icing; orange or lemon zest, any number of spices, I’ve even added a little strawberry jam.
    It’s quick, easy and adaptable.

    • The Practical Cook

      This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing the recipe guidelines with us. Looking forward to giving it a try. Because I need very little prompting to make a cake. :)

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