A Professional Baker Shares 5 Ways To Take Your Canned Frosting To The Next Level

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There's no doubt that homemade frosting is the perfect finishing touch to any cake or bake. But when time is tight, or just to make things that much easier, store-bought makes a hugely convenient substitute. There are many ways to upgrade canned frosting, from the way you apply it to adding extra ingredients. For the absolute best techniques to take it to the next level, Food Republic asked a professional baker for some top tips.

Expert Jessie Sheehan — who is a recipe developer, baker, podcast host, and cookbook author of "Snackable Bakes: 100 Easy-Peasy Recipes for Exceptionally Scrumptious Sweets and Treats" and forthcoming "Salty, Cheesy, Herby, Crispy Snackable Bakes: 100 Easy-Peasy, Savory Recipes for 24/7 Deliciousness" – is no stranger to using canned frosting to make the job of cake decorating simpler. And she knows just how to get the most out of the pantry staple whether by elevating the texture or boosting the flavor.

From making the frosting richer with cream cheese to adding marshmallow creme for a stunningly sweet and smooth result, Sheehan has shared her secrets exclusively with Food Republic. Here are her tricks for frosting cakes like a pro, with minimal effort and maximum reward.

Enrich canned frosting with cream cheese

If you want to make your canned frosting taste richer, with a luxuriously smooth velvety consistency, then professional baker Jessie Sheehan's advice is simple: "Add a package of cream cheese." As an added bonus, the tangy ingredient also helps to reduce the overpowering and cloying sweetness you can sometimes get with store-bought frosting. A regular eight-ounce pack of cream cheese is the perfect amount to beat into a single standard tub of frosting.

The dairy product will be much easier to whip in when it's softened slightly, so make sure it's at room temperature rather than fridge-cold before you start. You could even try using a flavored cream cheese if you want to give it an extra boost.

Add air to canned frosting for a fluffier result

If you want your frosting to be light and airy rather than thick and dense, then beating or whipping it is the crucial step you're ignoring with canned frosting. It will make it easier to apply and, as an added advantage, incorporating air actually increases the amount of product you get, too. In fact, whipping it for a couple of minutes can double the amount.

"Place the frosting in a stand mixer or use a hand mixer to put some air into the frosting and make it more fluffy," Jessie Sheehan advises. It's a simple extra step, but one that will transform the texture of any sweet frosting. Plus, one can will go so much further after it's been whipped.

Add peanut butter for sweet-savory depth

If you find canned frosting too sweet and want to add extra richness and depth of flavor, then Jessie Sheehan has an easy hack: "Add peanut butter for PB frosting." A quarter of a cup of peanut butter is all you need for a standard 16-ounce tub of frosting.

Simply beat the two ingredients together in a bowl until they're fully combined before frosting your cake or cupcakes. While sweet vanilla flavor frosting works well with the slightly salty nut butter, you could try chocolate flavor if you prefer, or strawberry for a PBJ feel. Want to bring some texture to your frosting? Choose chunky peanut butter instead.

Combine canned frosting with Nutella

If you love the sweet, nutty, chocolatey taste of the thick, gooey spread Nutella (which has been around much longer than you'd think), then try adding some to your frosting for a decadent treat, our baking expert suggests. You only need to use a third of a cup to make a standard tub of frosting much tastier — as well as give it a lovely, rich color.

Just use a whisk to beat the two ingredients together in a bowl. And if you want even more cacao flavor, try using chocolate-flavored frosting instead of regular vanilla.

Make marshmallow frosting the easy way

Want to ramp up the sweet vanilla notes in canned frosting? Do you want that airy texture and subtle flavor of marshmallow fluff? You could always go the traditional route and add some vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, but you won't get that lighter-than-air mouthfeel. But pro-baker Sheehan has another suggestion to take it to the next level: "Add marshmallow creme for marshmallow frosting."

Adding half a cup of creme to a regular tub of frosting will not only enhance the flavor of the frosting but will also help to give it an extra-smooth consistency, too. To enhance the flavor even further, add a pinch of salt as you beat the fluff into the frosting.