We Found the Best Store-Bought Frosting
In a rush? Our Test Kitchen found the best store-bought frosting to top your last-minute bakes.
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We Want the Best Store-Bought Frosting
We’ve all been in this pickle before: It’s after dinner, you’re winding down for the night and you suddenly remember you volunteered to make cupcakes for the bake sale or to bring in a treat for a coworker’s birthday.
So what’s the best store-bought frosting to top these last-minute bakes? Our Test Kitchen found out!
Our Store-Bought Frosting Taste Test
To find the best store-bought frosting for your baking emergencies, our team wrangled as many options as possible. For this taste test, our team sampled 10 different kinds of vanilla frosting—including cans from big names and smaller, all-natural brands.
Each was sampled and scored according to these categories:
- Appearance: Canned frosting should be creamy and pale, not greasy- or chalky-looking.
- Texture: The texture of canned frosting should be super smooth. Gritty frostings won’t pass this test.
- Flavor: Our pros know not to expect the same level of flavor from a lush French buttercream as a premade frosting. However, canned icing should still be a treat to savor when dolloped on top of a cupcake.
Best Nearly-Homemade Store-Bought Frosting
Great Value Vanilla Frosting
“I’d say this is closer to homemade than the others,” says Shannon Norris in the Test Kitchen.
“Overall, it’s buttery and creamy with subtle vanilla notes,” says Mark Neufang in the Test Kitchen (a cake pro!). “This one is good!”
If you want to upgrade one of our best store-bought frosting picks, check out these ways to improve canned frosting.
Best Bright White Frosting
Betty Crocker Whipped Vanilla Frosting
We have tricks on how to make buttercream white when you’re stirring up a batch from scratch; but if you want pure white icing right from the can, our Test Kitchen suggests Betty Crocker Whipped Vanilla Frosting. For certain recipes, bright white icing is important for serious decorators.
According to our Test Kitchen’s Ellie Crowley, this whipped option from Betty Crocker has a “nice, bright white color” as well as a “lovely spreadable consistency.”
This option isn’t quite as sweet as your typical canned icing, which our testers considered to be a major plus. The vanilla flavoring here is mild, so add a dash of your favorite vanilla extract if you want more flavor.
Best Bakery-Style Frosting
Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Vanilla Frosting
This brand delivers this flavor in a big way, per Shannon: “It’s very similar to a grocery store bakery frosting: basic with subtle vanilla flavor and pure sugar!”
Beyond this signature flavor, this Pillsbury frosting works well for decorating cakes and more. “Super spreadable,” says Sarah Fischer in the Test Kitchen. “You can make really good swirls with this one.”
Best Store-Bought Frosting for Kids (and Nostalgic Adults)
Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Vanilla Frosting
For many, including our Test Kitchen pros, store-bought frosting is very nostalgic. The one brand that has our team thinking of bake sales and birthday parties gone by is Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Vanilla Frosting.
Mark expresses the feelings of many testers: “It’s very sweet, buttery and vanilla-forward; it makes me a little nostalgic!”
Peel back the foil on a can of this Betty Crocker formula and you’ll find a rich frosting with an easy-to-spread consistency. There’s a strong vanilla flavor in this frosting, though it’s a bit artificial—but that’s all part of the childhood experience! Add to the nostalgia by putting this frosting on top of a confetti cake.
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