Canned frosting offers convenience over making your own frosting from scratch, but it can be thick and difficult to spread smooth. If you're short on time but want your dessert to look impressive, you can turn the canned icing into a glaze that you can drizzle over cakes, cupcakes and cookies. Butter or shortening and powdered sugar are the main ingredients in frosting, so you can melt the fat and dissolve the sugar to make a thinner glaze that hardens as it cools.
Scoop the frosting into a saucepan with a heavy bottom. You can use a double boiler, if desired.
Heat the frosting over low to medium-low heat. Stir the frosting constantly to help distribute the heat. The frosting should be thin and easy to drizzle when hot.
Scoop frosting onto a teaspoon, hold it over the pan and allow the frosting to fall off the spoon to test the consistency. It should fall off the spoon easily instead of clinging. Continue stirring and heating the frosting until you achieve the desired consistency.
Scoop the frosting into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 10 seconds on high.
Stir the frosting well, scraping the sides of the bowl, until well incorporated.
Microwave for another 10 seconds, stirring afterwards. Repeat this process until you achieve the desired consistency.
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- Only thin the frosting enough to easily drizzle over your desserts. If it becomes too thin, it will soak into the cake and dissolve quickly. It must be thick enough that it won't easily drain into the pores of the cake or cookies.
- The total length of time needed in the microwave depends largely on its wattage, but could take as much as 45 seconds. Short, 10-second intervals help avoid thinning the frosting too much.
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.