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Semi-Homemade ButterCream Recipe

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How To Make Storebought Frosting Taste Better Or How to Hack Your Canned Frosting. If you’ve got a can of frosting to use up and you want it to taste BETTER, Pipe Better (yes you can PIPE canned frosting!) and go farther, then this SEMI-HOMEMADE BUTTERCREAM Recipe is for you.

close-up of cupcakes and canned frosting made to taste better.

You’re going to love how easy it is to work with the semi-homemade buttercream. You make one can of frosting go so much further. Especially when you pipe it! And the flavor? SO MUCH BETTER!

Can I Pipe Canned Frosting?

You can get a little piping done with regular canned frosting but it’s SO thick it just doesn’t pipe that well. But with this canned frosting hack you absolutely can pipe with it, and please do!!

Adding butter and whipping it so long and hard makes this semi-homemade buttercream (add it to these Viennese Whirls!) perfect for piping. I mean look at it!

Cupcakes and sprinkles.

Other Ways to Hack Canned Frosting

If making Semi-Homemade Buttercream is not what you’re looking for then try these OTHER ideas to make storebought frosting taste better:

  • Add Peanut Butter to Chocolate for an interesting change-up, put in the bowl of a mixer, and whip it together, add a splash of cream, and whip again to make it more spreadable
  • Try whipping it in a stand mixer with the whisk to attain light and fluffy texture (hint it will also go farther!)
  • Try adding a different flavor to give it a boost, even just a shot of vanilla will help it out, other ideas for flavors are maple, almond, mint, orange, lemon
  • Microwave it and pour it on a cake, it will firm up as it cools, this one works well with a cake being served in a pan, OR be ready for it to trickle down the sides of your cake!
  • Powdered Freeze Dried Fruit can give you color and flavor just stir it in until you like the flavor and/or the color
  • add a little cold coffee to chocolate to thin it down and give it some depth
  • Stir in a pinch of salt sometimes it just needs a bit to help it taste better
Semi-Homemade Buttercream on homemade cupcakes.

What do I need to make this buttercream? Not much!

Tools and Ingredients for Semi-Homemade Buttercream:

  • Stand Mixer
  • Can of Frosting
  • Soft Butter (read below for my tip on how to quickly soften butter!)
  • Vanilla Flavoring
  • Cream
  • *Optional* Gel Food Coloring don’t use the store-bought food coloring it can be too runny and ruin recipes, save it for dying eggs

How to Quickly Soften Butter

What if you want to get started on a recipe, any recipe, and you forget to take the butter out of the fridge. This is me 99% of the time! So you know I’m going to share with you how quickly soften butter.

You need boiling water and a pint jar for each stick of butter you want to soften.

Carefully pour the water into the jar, let it sit for a minute or two. Pour the water out of the jar and quickly invert it over the stick of butter, let it rest for 5 minutes.

The butter should be soft at this point. BUT if you want it soft enough to whip, then you may need to repeat this process one more time. While it’s softening you can use that time to get your workspace set up for work.

How to use This Semi-Homemade Buttercream Recipe

Once you make canned frosting taste better it’s time to use it! Pipe with it! Use it on cupcakes for nice tall peaks and then top with sprinkles like my DIY sprinkles

OR frost cookies with it! Like these amazing red velvet sugar cookies. Or better yet the quick and easy sugar cookie bars!

Can I refrigerate this Frosting?

Once you’ve mixed this up and beaten it in the mixer you can use it right away. It will firm up in the fridge so if you want it firm pop it in and chill it for about 15 minutes or so.

If you leave it for several hours it will get hard and you’ll need to let it warm back up. It’s ok if you do that but trying to get it soft enough without OVER softening is tricky business.

Pin for Semi-Homemade Buttercream.
Yield: 2 cups

Semi-Homemade ButterCream Recipe

Semi-Homemade ButterCream Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 can of vanilla or buttercream frosting
  • 2 sticks of soft butter (see post for directions on softening hard butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or other flavor of choice
  • 2 TBSP cream 
  • pinch of salt


  1. put the frosting and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer
  2. beat on high 2-3 minutes
  3. add flavoring and heavy cream
  4. whip on high 5 minutes
  5. you can add gel color to the frosting before you whip it the second time
  6. be sure to stop and scrape down the bowl so you incorporate the color completely if you use it

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laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

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