I am using (almost) the CupcakeJemma recipe for cream cheese frosting:

  • 150g soft unsalted butter
  • 240g cream cheese
  • 320g icing sugar (confectioner’s/powdered sugar)

The listed recipe says to use 960g sugar (admittedly this is an increased amount to make the cake in the video a stronger structure.)

Though I’m using much less sugar, my frosting is coming out much softer than I expected. What can I do to make is less runny/firmer (other than adding more sugar?

  • Where in the world are you? In my experience, cream cheese varies a lot between countries.
    – Stephie
    Commented May 7, 2022 at 17:51

1 Answer 1


There are 3 ways to approach this without changing the flavor of your frosting:

  1. Add cornstarch or arrowroot
  2. Add gelatin powder or sheets
  3. Add Xanthan or Guar gum

However, as you are adding far less sugar than the recipe says you may have to add a lot of these, and that will impact the structure. If you have gelatin I'd go for that first, then arrowroot if you have it or cornstarch if you don't. If you have gums and know how to use them they can work magic, but if you go overboard the result can be, well...gummy.

  • 1
    So the solid answer is just to use a hell of a lot of sugar, right? I have gelatin, but given that I usually use sheets and those need to be dissolved in warm water, I guess the water would have to be cooled and then combined with the frosting to work?
    – Matt W
    Commented May 7, 2022 at 18:46

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