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Topic: Adding meringue powder to tub icing/frosting - good idea?
kj_connections 04/04/2009 12:33 PM
How can I make tub icing (Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker) more stiff so that when I am icing cupcakes, the swirls hold their shape? Someone told me I could add icing sugar, but the tub icing is already too sweet. Someone else mentioned I could try adding meringue powder. How much should I experiment with (teaspoon or tablespoon)? Will it work? Will it affect any food dye that I add to my icing?

(I know I could easily make my own buttercream icing, but when tub icing is on sale for $1, I can't help but be lazy and just buy premade frosting )
hpjmom 04/04/2009 2:32 PM
I don't think meringue powder will work for this. Meringue powder helps prevent bleeding of colors. What you need in that icing is more dry ingredients & you'd have to add a lot of meringue powder to stiffen it. Perhaps you could add a little salt to cut the sweetness? I've never tried it--it's just a thought.
Jeanne G 04/04/2009 3:01 PM
No, meringue powder isn't what you need.

What you really need, of course, is to make your own buttercream. The canned stuff may be fine for frosting cakes (if you like it), but it is not a decorator frosting. (Wilton's canned frosting is a decorator frosting.)

I have decorated shaped cakes entirely with canned frosting, just to see if it can be done. It can. I didn't thicken it with anything. It softened quickly in my hands, so I kept a backup bag in the fridge and traded off.

Even at $1, I think making your own is still more economical and definitely better for decorating ... but the cans are sure quick, aren't they?
Jeanne G 04/04/2009 3:03 PM
BTW, you posted this in the Weddings forum. Are you intending you use canned frosting for a wedding cake? That would take a LOT of cans, for most wedding cake sizes!
kj_connections 04/04/2009 4:30 PM
Thanks for your replies. Yup, I plan on making cupcakes however, and not too many so I probably will need 5-6 cans only

So are you saying Wilton's canned frosting is not the same as the Duncan Hines/Betty Crocker ones? Do you have a link to the Wilton's canned frosting so I know what it looks like? They aren't as cheap as the DH/BC ones so I'd probably either make my own or just stick with the $1 ones
Jeanne G 04/04/2009 6:43 PM The white comes in a larger tub, too.

For cupcakes, the grocery store frosting may be fine, without any thickening. Have you tried it for the kinds of decorating you want to do? For a buck, you can afford to experiment!
jbill 05/20/2009 12:02 AM
Hi HPJMOM, I was reading on the forum some topics and came across your answer on one about stiffening icing. The lady asked if merginue would help and you said no that was used to help bleeding on icing. I have to do a cake decorated with black and have been worried about the bleeding of black onto the white. How much merginue powder would you suggest to add to the frosting so avoid the bleeding.

Thanks, Joanne
M and L Cakes 05/20/2009 10:21 AM
Would corn starch work?
M and L Cakes 05/20/2009 10:26 AM
Sorry, didn't notice date on this. But still a good question?
Jeanne G 05/20/2009 10:42 AM
Joanne, about a tablespoon of meringue powder per every pound (4 cups) of powdered sugar seems to be good amount to prevent bleeding. Oddly enough (it seemed odd to me anyway), it is most important to put it in the white (or whatever your background color is) -- apparently it is not so much that the color "bleeds" out but that the white "wicks" it out. So it is the white that needs it most. Good plan to have it in the colored, too.

M and L Cakes, would corn starch work for what? Preventing color bleed? No. Stiffening canned frosting? I don't know, but why would that be preferable to powdered sugar?

I think the best approach is to use canned frosting as-is. If you need a different consistency, make your own or buy Wilton's ready made. Grocery store canned frosting is just not decorator frosting.
M and L Cakes 05/20/2009 10:57 AM
Jeanne G, Powered sugar is sugar and corn starch, I thought it might stiffen without making it sweeter. Just a thought.