How to Decorate a Cake With Store Bought Frosting

Are you wondering how to decorate a cake with store bought frosting? Store bought frosting is a convenient and popular option for cake decorating, especially for those who may not have the time or skills to make homemade frosting.

In this article, we will explore the various techniques and tips for creating stunning cake decorations using store bought frosting. From selecting the right frosting to adding the final touches, this comprehensive guide will help you achieve professional-looking results with minimal effort.

When it comes to choosing the right store bought frosting for your cake, there are several options available, each with its own unique features and flavors. Understanding how to select the best one for your specific needs can make a big difference in the outcome of your cake decorating endeavors.

Additionally, preparing the cake before applying the frosting is crucial for achieving a smooth and polished look. This includes leveling the cake layers and applying a crumb coat to ensure an even surface for decorating.

Once you have prepared your cake, it’s time to get creative with piping and patterning using store bought frosting. We will discuss various techniques for creating beautiful designs and patterns on your cake that are sure to impress your guests. Furthermore, we will explore methods for adding color to store bought frosting, allowing you to achieve custom shades that match your desired theme or aesthetic.

Lastly, we will cover ideas for incorporating sprinkles, edible pearls, and other decorative elements to enhance the overall look of your cake. Keep reading our step-by-step guide as we delve into every aspect of decorating a cake with store bought frosting from start to finish.

Choosing the Right Frosting

When it comes to decorating a cake with store bought frosting, it’s important to select the right type of frosting for your specific needs. There are several options available in the market, and choosing the best one can make a significant difference in the outcome of your cake decoration. Here are some types of store bought frosting to consider:

  • Buttercream Frosting: This type of frosting is rich and creamy, making it ideal for creating smooth finishes and intricate designs on cakes.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: Known for its tangy flavor, cream cheese frosting is perfect for decorating carrot cakes, red velvet cakes, and other desserts that pair well with its unique taste.
  • Whipped Frosting: Light and airy, whipped frosting is great for adding a fluffy texture to your cake decorations. It’s also easy to spread and work with when creating different design elements.

When selecting the best store bought frosting for your cake, consider factors such as flavor compatibility, ease of use for decorating purposes, and the desired finish or texture.

It’s crucial to ensure that the store bought frosting you choose complements the flavors of your cake. For instance, if you’re decorating a chocolate cake, a rich buttercream or fudgy frosting may be an excellent choice to enhance the overall taste experience.

Additionally, consider how easy it is to work with the frosting when creating decorations such as piping or intricate patterns. Lastly, think about whether you want a glossy finish or a matte appearance for your cake decoration – this will help you determine which type of store bought frosting will best suit your needs.

Preparing the Cake

When using store bought frosting to decorate a cake, proper preparation of the cake is crucial to ensure a smooth and professional-looking finish. This section will provide valuable tips for prepping the cake before decorating with store bought frosting, including leveling the cake and applying a crumb coat.

Leveling the Cake

Before applying store bought frosting to your cake, it’s important to ensure that the surface is even and level. Using a serrated knife or a cake leveler, carefully trim off any domed or uneven tops from the layers of the cake. This will create a flat, stable base for frosting application and prevent any lopsidedness in the finished product.

Applying a Crumb Coat

To achieve a clean and polished look when using store bought frosting, it’s recommended to apply a crumb coat to the cake before adding the final layer of frosting. A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting that seals in any loose crumbs on the surface of the cake, creating a smooth foundation for additional frosting layers.

Simply spread a thin layer of store bought frosting over the entire cake, ensuring that all areas are covered. Once this initial layer has set, you can then proceed with adding more frosting and decorating as desired.

Taking the time to properly prep your cake before decorating with store bought frosting will result in a professional-looking finish that will impress your guests and make your creation truly stand out. By leveling the cake and applying a crumb coat, you’ll create an ideal canvas for showcasing your decorative skills with store bought frosting.

Piping and Patterning

When it comes to decorating a cake with store bought frosting, one of the most popular techniques is using piping to create beautiful designs and patterns. Piping allows you to add intricate details and customize the appearance of your cake, whether you’re going for a simple, elegant design or something more intricate and detailed.

Choosing the Right Piping Tip

Before you start piping your store bought frosting onto the cake, it’s important to choose the right piping tip for the design you have in mind. Different piping tips result in different shapes and textures, so consider the effect you want to achieve. For example, a round tip is great for creating smooth lines and dots, while a star tip can produce textured swirls and rosettes.

Techniques for Piping

There are several common piping techniques that can be used with store bought frosting to create beautiful designs on a cake. One of the simplest techniques is outlining and filling, where you use a round tip to create an outline of your design and then fill it in with frosting. Another popular technique is rosette piping, which involves creating small swirls on the surface of the cake to give it an elegant, decorative look.

Creating Patterns

In addition to traditional piping techniques, you can also use store bought frosting to create patterns on the cake. For example, you can use a comb or scraper tool to create textured patterns in the frosting or try your hand at creating intricate lace designs by using stencils. These methods allow for endless creativity and customization when decorating with store bought frosting.

By mastering these techniques for using store bought frosting to create beautiful piping designs and patterns on a cake, you can elevate your cake decorating skills and impress your friends and family with stunning confections for any occasion.

Adding Color

When it comes to decorating a cake with store bought frosting, adding color can really enhance the final look. There are several methods for coloring store bought frosting to achieve vibrant and custom shades for decorating your cake. Here are some techniques to consider:

  • Food Coloring: One of the easiest ways to add color to store bought frosting is by using liquid or gel food coloring. Start with a small amount and gradually add more until you achieve your desired hue.
  • Natural Ingredients: Consider using natural ingredients such as matcha powder for green, beetroot powder for red, or cocoa powder for brown. These options provide a natural and unique way to color your frosting.
  • Frosting Mix-Ins: Another fun way to add color is by mixing in different ingredients such as sprinkles, edible glitter, or colored sugar. This not only adds color but also texture to your frosting.
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By utilizing these methods, you can create a visually stunning cake that looks as good as it tastes.

Remember that when working with store bought frosting and color, it’s important to start with a small amount of coloring and gradually add more if needed. This will prevent the frosting from becoming too dark or intense, allowing you to achieve the perfect shade for your cake decoration needs. Additionally, be sure to mix the color thoroughly to ensure an even distribution throughout the frosting.

Whether you’re going for a pastel palette or bold and vibrant colors, experimenting with different coloring techniques can help you achieve the ideal look for your cake decorating project. Flexibility in adding color allows you to customize your design based on theme or personal preference, resulting in a beautifully decorated cake that will impress any crowd.

Decorating With Sprinkles and Edible Decorations

Decorating a cake with store bought frosting offers a convenient and time-saving way to create beautiful desserts. One of the most fun and creative aspects of decorating a cake is incorporating sprinkles, edible pearls, and other decorations to enhance the overall look of the dessert. Sprinkles come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, allowing for endless possibilities when it comes to decorating a cake.

When using store bought frosting, it’s important to keep in mind the texture and consistency of the frosting to ensure that the sprinkles and edible decorations adhere properly. To achieve the best results, it’s recommended to apply the sprinkles or edible decorations immediately after spreading the frosting on the cake before it sets. This will help the decorations stick better and prevent them from sliding off.

In addition to traditional sprinkles, other popular edible decorations include edible pearls, sugar flowers, chocolate shavings, and even fresh fruit. These elements can add sophistication and visual interest to any cake. Whether you’re creating a whimsical birthday cake or an elegant wedding cake, incorporating these decorations can help elevate your creation.

Decorating ElementDescription
SprinklesCome in various shapes, colors, and sizes; adds fun and vibrant touch to cakes
Edible PearlsAdd sophistication and elegance; available in different sizes and colors
Sugar FlowersCreate a visually stunning appearance; come in different floral designs
Chocolate ShavingsAdds richness and flavor; ideal for chocolate-flavored cakes; creates attractive texture


Despite the convenience of using store bought frosting for cake decorating, there are some common issues that may arise when working with it. One common problem is the frosting being too stiff or too runny, which can make it difficult to work with. To address this issue, you can adjust the consistency of the frosting by adding small amounts of milk or powdered sugar until you achieve the desired texture.

Another issue that may occur when using store bought frosting is air bubbles forming in the frosting during piping. This can create an uneven and unappealing look on the cake. To prevent this, you can gently tap the piping bag on a flat surface to release any air bubbles before decorating the cake.

Additionally, sometimes store bought frosting may not adhere well to the cake, leading to decorations sliding off or not staying in place. To solve this problem, you can lightly moisten the surface of the cake with a small amount of simple syrup or water before applying the frosting. This will help the frosting adhere better and stay in place as you decorate the cake.

Common IssueSolution
Frosting too stiff or runnyAdjust consistency by adding small amounts of milk or powdered sugar
Air bubbles forming during pipingGently tap piping bag to release air bubbles before decorating
Frosting not adhering well to cakeLightly moisten cake surface with simple syrup or water before applying frosting

Final Touches

In conclusion, decorating a cake with store bought frosting can be a convenient and enjoyable process, especially when armed with the right techniques and tips. From selecting the best frosting for your cake to adding the final touches, this guide has covered every step necessary to create a beautifully decorated cake using store bought frosting.

By following the recommendations for preparing the cake, mastering piping and patterning techniques, incorporating vibrant colors, and enhancing with edible decorations, anyone can achieve professional-looking results. Furthermore, the troubleshooting section provides valuable insight into addressing potential challenges that may arise during the decorating process.

Ultimately, utilizing store bought frosting for cake decoration offers a time-saving alternative without compromising on aesthetics. With creativity and attention to detail, anyone can transform a simple cake into a stunning centerpiece for any occasion. By following this comprehensive guide, even novice bakers can achieve impressive results and delight friends and family with their beautifully decorated creations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Store Bought Icing to Decorate a Cake?

Yes, you can definitely use store-bought icing to decorate a cake. Store-bought icing is convenient and comes in a variety of flavors and colors, making it a popular choice for home bakers looking to decorate their cakes easily and quickly.

How Do You Make Store Bought Frosting Stiffer for Decorating?

There are a few ways to make store-bought frosting stiffer for decorating. One method is to gradually add confectioners’ sugar to the frosting until it reaches the desired consistency. Another way is to mix in a small amount of cornstarch or meringue powder to help stiffen the frosting.

How Do You Upgrade Store Bought Cake Frosting?

There are several ways to upgrade store-bought cake frosting. One option is to whip the frosting with an electric mixer to incorporate air and create a lighter, fluffier texture.

Adding flavorings such as vanilla extract, citrus zest, or espresso powder can also enhance the taste of store-bought frosting. Additionally, incorporating mix-ins like chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or dried fruit can add texture and visual interest to the frosting.

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