How To Make Canned Chocolate Frosting Taste Homemade

What can you add to store-bought chocolate frosting to make it taste better? I can help with that! My easy hack for making canned chocolate frosting taste homemade will have your guests begging for the “recipe”! ;)

Canned Chocolate Frosting Hack

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Now, don’t get me wrong, my favorite type of frosting is homemade frosting. In fact, my 3rd cookbook was on this delicious topic – Frostings! There are times, however, where you might find yourself in a pinch and want a way to take your canned frosting up a notch! I got you!

Make Canned Chocolate Frosting Taste Homemade

One of the many reasons I love this ‘doctored chocolate frosting’ is that it makes the canned frosting easier to spread. Straight out of the can, the frosting tends to sort of goopy and sticky which sometimes makes it break or crumble the cake layers, for example.

You won’t have that problem with this hack, because it makes it fluffier, lighter and more whipped in texture, thus easier to spread than regular canned frosting. It tastes amazing!

Store bought canned frosting is also too sweet, in my opinion. I love that this canned chocolate frosting hack makes it more homemade in taste and increases the amount so it’s perfect for frosting a 2-layer 8 or 9″ cake or 24 cupcakes.

Make Store Bought Frosting Taste Better

Which canned chocolate frosting is best?

First things first, which brand of chocolate frosting should you use? The one in your pantry! This is a quick recipe hack, so no need to worry too much, use what you have. The different brands will change the flavor (for example, milk chocolate frosting vs dark chocolate frostings), but you’ve likely found yourself in a pinch and want to elevate what you already have, so don’t worry too much.

One note is that “whipped” varieties of frosting are usually too light and whipped to achieve the best tasting results, so go with a “regular” non-whipped, if possible, for this “cheater frosting” recipe.

Semi Homemade Chocolate Frosting with Canned Frosting

However, if you’re heading out to the store, I suggest using Betty Crocker Rich & Cream Chocolate or Duncan Hines Creamy Chocolate Frosting. These two varieties give the best chocolate taste, in my opinion! You can also grab a dark chocolate canned frosting if you spot that also, this will give it a richer, darker flavor that’s super delicious!

So let’s get right to the secrets to making canned chocolate frosting taste homemade…just a few pantry staples…

Ingredients Needed for Making Canned Chocolate Frosting Taste Better

  1. You’ll need your 16 ounce can of chocolate frosting. Which type is best? Read above for some of my suggestions on the most delicious variety, but any brand will work.
  2. Room temperature unsalted butter
  3. Powdered Sugar (also referred to as Confectioner’s Sugar)
  4. Pinch of Salt
  5. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  6. Vanilla Extract (go for the high-quality, pure vanilla extract here, it makes all the difference)
  7. Milk/Cream (only 1-2 tablespoons so use what you have on hand). You can use heavy whipping cream also.
Chocolate Frosting made with Store Bought Canned Frosting

How to Make Store Bought Chocolate Frosting Taste Better

Let’s get right into what the steps to make semi-homemade chocolate frosting. Ready?

First you’ll want to make sure you’re using room temperature butter. This will ensure the butter will cream together to the right texture. At least 1-2 hours on your counter prior to making the frosting is ideal.

I use unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt (to cut the sweetness of store bought canned frosting because canned frosting tastes too sweet to me), but you can use salted butter and omit the pinch of salt. This will alter the taste slightly but nothing too drastic.

Using an electric mixer or a hand mixer, cream the room temperature butter until smooth and then slowly add in the cocoa powder. Whip together until smooth. Does it matter what type of cocoa powder you use? Nope, just use unsweetened cocoa powder.

Add in the canned store-bought frosting and whip until incorporated. Add in powdered sugar, gradually, and mix until smooth. Add vanilla extract and milk. Beat for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until a fluffy, spreadable textured frosting is achieved.

If your frosting is too thick to spread, add more milk or cream by the tablespoon until desired consistency is reached. Is your frosting too wet or loose to spread? Add more powered sugar by the 1/4 cup-full until you have the perfect frosting consistency!

If you’re going to pipe flowers or other details with this frosting, you’ll want to be sure it’s pretty thick. I find this frosting ideal for spreading on cakes, cookies, bars and piping big swirls on cupcakes. I usually fill a piping bag with a large swirl tip for cupcakes, by the way! It’s not the best frosting for tiny, intricate piping, however.

Cheater Canned Frosting Hack

Want a rich, dark chocolate frosting?

You CAN kick it up another notch by adding one teaspoon of instant coffee powder to the frosting for a richness in taste.

Try this tip when using dark chocolate canned frosting and dark chocolate cocoa powder for a dark chocolate frosting that is out-of-this-world! Your guests will definitely think it’s fully homemade. We won’t tell!

Chocolate Frosting made with Store Bought Canned Frosting

Almost Homemade Chocolate Frosting

The easiest frosting hack! Take canned chocolate frosting up a notch with this cheater, semi-homemade delicious and easy chocolate frosting "recipe" for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, etc!
Prep Time 10 minutes


  • electric mixer
  • rubber spatula
  • measuring bowls
  • measuring spoons


  • 1 (16 ounce) can of chocolate frosting - (any brand, I prefer Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines, just don't use "whipped" variety)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter - room temperature (1 cup = 2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon milk or cream - (more or less to desired consistency)


  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer or hand mixer to cream the room temperature butter until smooth.
  • Slowly add unsweetened cocoa powder and mix well. Stop your mixer periodically and use a rubber spatula to scrape the side of the bowl and bottom of the bowl to Incorporate throughout!
  • Add container of chocolate frosting and mix until smooth.
  • Beat In the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk and continue beating for 30 seconds to 1 minute on medium speed until thick and fluffy.
  • Add more powdered sugar or more milk to reach desired texture and consistency.
  • Spread on cakes, cookies, bars or fill In a large piping bag to pipe on cupcakes.


For an almost homemade dark chocolate frosting, use a can of dark chocolate frosting, dark chocolate cocoa powder and add a teaspoon of instant coffee powder to your frosting! 


Calories: 243kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 1gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 4mgPotassium: 61mgFiber: 1gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 473IUCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

This almost homemade chocolate buttercream frosting is the easiest way to take your canned chocolate frosting to the next level! It has a much richer flavor, easier to spread consistency and will absolutely have your friends and family thinking it’s homemade chocolate frosting. We won’t tell!

I also use a similar hack for vanilla buttercream frosting, so let me know if you want me to post that “recipe” too!

Want more of my favorite frosting recipes? Check out these:

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  1. Since you’re adding the ingredients of frosting to canned frosting, what is the advantage of this?

    1. Courtney Whitmore says:

      Hi Shelley! Thanks for stopping by! Some bakers prefer full-on homemade frosting and sometimes others may have a canned frosting in the pantry that they want to kick up a notch to taste more homemade. It can give a little bit of a different flavor than a pure homemade cocoa-powder chocolate frosting. If you love pure homemade, then that’s great! I love it too!

  2. Mary Evans says:

    Beautiful table setting. Love the green and white. So very elegant like most of the items you post. Bless you, M

  3. Deysy Armbrust says:

    We did it only with 1 cup of powdered sugar and we were glad we did. I could not imagine it with 2.5 cups. It was already sweet enough. It was perfect and received compliments for it.

  4. LaTanya Anderson-Gamble says:

    I tried this cheater frosting and it’s so good on yellow cake. I would love to try the vanilla cheater version. Has it been posted

  5. This was delicious! When I was faced with making another batch of cupcakes I decided to go the semi-homemade route all the way around. I doctored up yellow cake mix I had on hand and paired it with this. I did take another suggestion and only use 1 cup of the powdered sugar, which was perfect! Thank you! <3

  6. I made this with my 5 & 8yr old gbbs. We made 24 cupcakes with all the goodies in a chocolate box mix.. milk, extra eggs, butter, sour cream, coffee and chocolate pudding mix.. yeah.. moist and like it came out of a bakery! So then we found this to upscale our creamy chocolate icing and GIRL! My 8yr old g-son doesnt like alot of icing he says its too sweet but he LOVED this icing.. so creamy, so light! I mean I hate to stop at 5☆’s! This was a hit out of the ball park! Today was grandparents day and it was so wonderful to spend it making my sweet babies (grandbabies -gbbs)even sweeter with icing on the nose and chin and somehow arms n clothes and pert near ever appliance and counter top and chair in my kitchen! 😂🤣❤ so yes maam.. this is the best canned homemade frosting Ive made.. well its the first time Ive ever made this BUT im not sure I will ever do it differently now! I really loved the fact that none of our cake peeled off and mixed in with the frosting. AND.. last thang.. i forgot the milk but was able to pipe it out so good! It turned out perfect and my g-son enjoyed all that was on his cupcake!
    Thank you so much for sharing your goodie. I followed it to a T.. lol.. minus the Tbsp of milk🙈. Definitely a five star in my world with my little humans! 🙏🏻❤

  7. How well does this frosting pipe and hold shape? I’m working on some cupcakes for a birthday party and would love for them to hold shape and not sag or melt.

  8. This definitely made the frosting taste homemade! Mission accomplished. After doing it I think that it was just as much work as making homemade frosting but I’m glad to have added this tool to my toolkit. Especially as a regular craver of cake late at night.

    If you follow the recipe as written, the volume of the frosting increases soooo much. This would be great if you realize you don’t have quite enough for your cupcakes. Once finished I had over doubled the can of frosting. I think if you don’t need that much it will taste just as good with 1-1/2 cups of powdered sugar. And if you want it less sweet that would help. I followed the recipe and added a decent amount of salt and used dark chocolate cocoa which made it less sweet but it was still amazing.

    I definitely will do this again. Thank you!

  9. I don’t have unsweetened butter. Can I use sweetened butter instead?

  10. Marianna C Felice says:

    Hi, I am making this for my sons birthday. Once the cake is frosted with this frosting, does it need to be refrigerated?

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