Did you wonder how the cakes, cookies, and pastries end up looking so attractive in different designs and colors? How these desserts have dainty decorations that are edible and sugary sweet? It is all in the sugar-based icing and spreading it over the treats.
With the latest wave of homemade cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and muffins, store-bought icing comes in handy to top off your fresh from the oven dessert.
8 Best Store-Bought Icings For Piping
You will encounter many icing brands in groceries, baking shops, and online. But there are a few brands that stand out with their quality for you to consider.
Here are my eight best products.
Satin Ice Buttercream Icing Mix
Weight: 2 lbs.
Package: Tub (Pack of 1)
Satin Buttercream Icing Mix is easy and quick to make in less than two minutes.
Just add butter, shortening, margarine, and water to make your instant smooth icing. You have your ready-to-use pure white icing for piping, boarding, flower work, crumb coat, and filling.
The ingredients say it is both vegan and dairy-free, which assures me I can serve this to guests who are lactose-intolerant and only take plant-based ingredients.
I mix vegan butter or shortening with the icing, and it becomes a winner when I feed my vegan brother.
I tried this icing mix for cupcakes and was surprised to see it maintained its consistency even if I used cream instead of water.
I wanted to decorate the cookies but realized I should’ve whipped it first with a beater to make it fluffy and spread smoothly.
When I used it for my eclair filling, it tasted and looked like a Twinkie cream which my kids loved.
- Satin Ice Buttercream Icing is super easy to use and only needs butter and water for instant icing or filling.
- It is a vegan-friendly product and safe for lactose-intolerant people.
- It maintains its smooth and fluffy consistency whether you add butter, margarine, or shortening.
Ann Clark Cookie Cutters Royal Icing
Weight: 14 ounces (397 grams)
Package: Tub (Pack of 1)
Ann Clark Cookie Cutters is icing for cookie frosting and decorating. With an added dose of confectioners’ sugar, it thickens to the right consistency for easy piping before it settles to harden on the surface.
It works well with cakes, cinnamon rolls, and other pastry desserts as a buttercream frosting.
I did not think it would be that easy to outline or pipe a cookie, but this product delivered its promise and dried to a smooth finish.
When I added a tablespoon of confectioners sugar, it was ready to layer the sponge cake I recently took out of the oven.
I added some coloring to different batches and made flowers and leaves that hardened and were ready to use while stored in the freezer.
The tub is enough for a cooking batch of 12-15 cookies. When you add some confectioners’ sugar to the icing mix, it will thicken and ready for cake detailing.
But you can also add hot water sparingly to thin out for flood icing. The flavor does not need a vanilla extract, and you can add coloring for different shades.
- The tub quantity is enough for a batch of 12-15 cookies but best to use this quantity computation to manage your cookie frosting expectations.
- Adjust the amount of confectioners sugar according to the thickness for decorating, but you can always thin it up with a little hot water.
- The product will last for six months at room temperature, but best to keep it in a cool space like the pantry or cupboard.
Miss Jones Baking Organic Frosting, Vegan Friendly
Weight: 11.29 oz.
Package: Tub Can (Pack of 3)
Miss Jones Baking Organic Frosting is ready to use vanilla frosting that has both creamy and fluffy texture.
It is Organic and Non-GMO and made with Coconut Oil. It is proudly vegan-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free.
I used this straight out of the tub for my cinnamon rolls, and the frosting was silky, smooth, and spreadable. It was a relief that I could use a vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free product for a gathering that may have one or two people sensitive to allergies.
The frosting worked perfectly for my two-layer red velvet cake with its nice smooth finish.
I bought this product because of the by-line of making things from scratch for better-tasting results. True enough, when I stirred up, the tub had a creamy and smooth texture ready to use.
If you find the frosting to be firm or a bit hard, you can pop it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds and stir through.
- Miss Jones Organic Frosting is a dream product for a vegan and people sensitive to allergens as it is dairy-free, gluten-free- soy-free, and nut-free.
- It does not taste like chemical-made icing and has silky and smooth frosting.
- It can harden up, but a little heating from the microwave for 5-10 seconds with a quick whip will do the job.
Duncan Hines Creamy Buttercream Frosting
Weight: 16 oz.
Package: Can (pack of 1)
Duncan Hines Creamy Buttercream Frosting is a brand you see in the baking section of the grocery aisle.
It is a familiar brand that we have all tasted at some point or the other. It is no surprise that this buttercream frosting is a smooth topping for a cupcake or cake frosting.
I decided to get a can of this brand to check if the sweetness level is tolerable or too much.
The taste is far from homemade and tastes like a chemically made buttercream frosting even if it says new great taste. The texture is smooth and spreadable frosting, so that is a good advantage for this brand.
Use the product at over 80°F room temperature as cold frosting will harden and difficult to spread. One can is enough to cover an 8 -inch or 9-inch cake layer or up to 36 cupcakes.
When spreading the frosting over your baked goods, you will overlook the taste and appreciate how the cake looks with the frosting.
- The indicated label says great new taste does not fulfill its promise as it tastes like chemically-sweetened icing.
- Spreading texture makes the cakes and cupcakes look silky smooth.
- This product is not for people who are sensitive to allergens, so it is best to use it with caution.
Celebakes by CK Products White Royal Icing Mix
Weight: 16 oz.
Package: Bag (Pack of 2)
Celebakes Royal Icing Mix needs a little water using medium speed in the mixer. It is perfect to use for gingerbread houses, three-dimensional figures, or cookies.
The result is a hardened icing that evens out in smoothness. One bag will make about 1 ½ cups of icing to decorate 24-30 cookies.
I experimented with making the icing using different ratios. If I want a picture icing, I add a tablespoon of water to ½ cup of the icing and set medium in the mixer.
If I wanted a stiffer icing, I add a tablespoon of confectioners sugar and put it in the mixer until the can stand on its own.
The Celebakes Royal Icing Mix has meringue powder, sugar, cornstarch, gum arabic, and egg. Once you spread the icing, it will harden in 30 minutes, then store your stacked cookies for 12 hours.
Take note that the shelf life of icing is 18 months stored at room temperature or in a dry place.
- Celebakes Royal Mix is simple and easy to use by adding water and mixing it in a medium setting.
- It is not suited for vegans or people sensitive to allergies because it contains cornstarch and eggs.
- The meringue mix tastes good without the chemical taste and earned me many compliments for the cake I brought to a potluck.
XO Baking Gourmet Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Mix
Weight: 14 oz.
Package: Carton Box (pack of 1)
XO Baking Gourmet Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Mix is vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and peanut-free.
It is a certified Kosher and non-GMO product ensuring that the ingredients are all-natural. It falls on the higher-priced market because of its gourmet label.
When I used XO Baking Gourmet Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Mix for the vegan cake I made for my brother, I knew it would be a hit.
It was a special request that I agreed to do because the carrot cake paired well with this frosting. It spread nicely and maintained its smoothness, and the taste did not have the chemical taste but homemade goodness.
This product stands out because of the many categories that keep it safe from people sensitive to allergens like gluten and peanuts.
It is a reliable product for vegans who are very selective over the food they buy. It can be used with vegan alternatives and still maintain its texture and taste good.
- XO Baking Gourmet Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is vegan-friendly, Kosher certified, and non-GMO certified.
- It is safe for people who are allergic to gluten and peanuts.
- It is easy to use and tastes good with vegan alternative ingredients.
Wilton Buttercream Icing Mix
Weight: 14 oz.
Package: Carton Box (Pack of 3)
Wilton is one of long-time history in confectionery art and dessert decorations. You can be confident with its products of premium quality, as expected from an established baking institution.
Its Wilton Buttercream Icing Mix has a creamy texture with a homemade taste that makes it a favorite among bakers.
I bought this product with full confidence that it would produce high-quality icing. It is easy to use with thickness variations depending on how stiff or how spreadable the texture should be.
You can also use this to make shapes or letter messages for piping. The taste is not overpoweringly sweet, and the icing came out light and fluffy.
A carton box can frost about 12 cupcakes and 40 mini cupcakes. The contents can layer a cake, but not for multi-layered cakes. The good thing about it is easy to make than doing buttercream from scratch.
- Wilton Buttercream Icing Mix is easy to use for a cake layer frosting or decorate with piping.
- It has a light and fluffy texture that allows easy spreading on a cookie or cake surface.
- The box is limited to a smaller icing quantity and enough to frost 12 cupcakes and 40 mini cupcakes.
Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting
Weight: 12 oz.
Package: Tub (Pack of 2)
The Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting is a favorite among housemakers because of its easy use and easy storage.
It is made with Cornstarch, Palm Oil, and different preservatives to ensure the leftover product keeps its freshness and lasts 30 days in the fridge after use. A tub can frost 24-32 cupcakes or a 2-layered 9-inch cake.
I tried this brand and made sure to keep stock when I need it for last-minute baking emergencies. It is creamy and silky without texture make it easy to spread through cookies, muffins, pancakes, and cakes.
The sweetness is just the right amount without any hint of chemical or artificial taste.
This product is not organic or allergen-free since it is made with cornstarch and a combination of fats to keep its creamy texture.
Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting is probably the closest commercially-made frosting to homemade buttercream, which explains why many mothers have this in their pantry.
The one big plus is the opened tub maintains its taste and texture. It keeps the same quality within 30 days of opening the tub.
- Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Frosting is value for money at a very affordable price.
- Shelf life after opening the tub is good for another 30 days and maintains the same result as if it were just recently opened.
- The ingredients are not exactly healthy as there are many fat combinations to keep the creamy texture.
How To Choose Icing (Buying Guide)
Before you pick an icing off the shelf or click the button when you order online, you should know a few facts about store-bought icing brands for proper guidance.
Icing is made of powdered sugar and mixed with liquid, either water, milk, or juice. There are ingredients like butter, cream cheese, egg whites, or flavorings mixed into the icing to add flavor. The purpose is to decorate or coat your baked items.
Six Kinds of Icing
As mentioned, icing has different flavors that make desserts have another taste dimension. There are different kinds of icing for you to decide what you want for your desserts.
- Buttercream is softer and spreadable by creaming together sugar and fats such as butter, lard, or margarine.
- Whipped Cream or Chantilly cream whipped together with heavy cream and sugar until fluffy.
- Royal Icing is like a white fluid paste that solidifies into a hard shell.
- Cream Cheese Frosting is mixing buttercream with high-fat cream cheese put together.
- Meringue is beating together egg whites, cold water, and granulated sugar until it has a foamy consistency.
- Fondant is a kind of heavy frosting made of water, gelatine, glycerine, icing or castor sugar, and shortening. It is often stretchable and covers the top portion of the cake.
Difference Between Icing and Frosting
The difference between frosting and icing can be confusing since both go into the same cake or dessert. But there are differences worth knowing so you can buy the product you need for your homemade desserts.
|Used for Decorating a Cake.||Used for outside and inner layers of cake.|
|Writing or Decor on the cake.||Holds candies and decors in the cake.|
|The texture hardens after spreading into the desert.||The texture stays creamy after spreading into the desert.|
|Shiny Color||Opaque Color|
|Made of Powdered Sugar and Liquid Base||Made of Buttercream or Cream Cheese Base|
|Sugary Sweet||Butter-flavored sweet taste|
|Thinner & Glaze Consistency||Thicker and Richer Consistency|
|Glossier and Smooth||Fluffy and Textured|
Store-Bought Icing Hacks
Here are some suggestions to upgrading your buttercream icing by either making the icing fluffy or adding flavor, texture, and color into that pack of store-bought icing.
Making icing fluffy is easy by mixing a can of frosting with the same ratio can of defrosted whipped cream topping.
Stir in the frosting and whipped cream with a hand mixer until combined. When done with the mixer, keep the fluffy icing in the refrigerator. This will prevent the icing from melting at room temperature.
Upgrade the Flavor, Texture, and Color of Icing
There are many ways to make your icing take a different flavor, texture, or color. Here are some icing hacks that you can try with your store-bought icing.
- Add extracts such as peanut butter, fruit, and extra vanilla extract.
- Turn your Icing into unique flavors like salted caramel, warm cinnamon, toasted coconut, etc.
- Use Cake and Icing Flavor Kits like coffee, caramel, mocha, etc.
- Add Some Color by using food coloring mixed into your icing mix.
- Add texture to your Icing like fruit preserves, candies, nuts, sprinkles, etc.
Desserts stand out by the icing on a cake, cookie, muffin, or any other pastry. It not difficult to make a homemade buttercream frosting, but with store-bought icing brands readily available, you can choose what suits you best.
The vegans and those with sensitivity to allergens should buy Satin Ice, XO Baking Gourmet, and Miss Jones. For the specialized icing, you can buy Ann Clark, Celebakes, and Wilton.
Lastly, Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker are commercially available brands that are as good as the expensive ones.
Buy according to your need, and remember these icings are stored in a cool and dry place for ready use. Your desserts become attractive when you add that little detail of icing into your freshly baked goods.