Making chocolate cake and frosting per recipe below from Hershey's recipe. The frosting we made is a bit too liquidy to put on the cake, more like icing. is there a way (or even hack) to make it thicker, short of adding a cup of powdered sugar to cut the ratio of the liquid ingredients?

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.

Add small amount of additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

  • Is it still warm? Let it cool a bit?
    – Stephie
    May 10, 2015 at 14:58
  • 1
    Is it solid enough, once set, that you could just apply multiple layers on top of another? May 10, 2015 at 15:18

2 Answers 2


Cream Cheese.

Whip in as much as you need to...

It won't be perfect Le Cordon Bleu, but it will be pretty good.

Bon Appetit

  • 1
    My 10 y/o went with this FTW, and Mother's Day was saved.
    – prototype
    May 11, 2015 at 15:33

As with most things, when adding ingredients to correct a problem, do a small test batch and slowly incorporate the ingredients until your desired consistency is achieved. After you've found a ratio that satisfies you, then mix up the whole batch.

Here are my favorite add-ins for frosting thickness:

Dairy Alternatives:

Goat Cheese

Strained sour cream /creme fraiche (strain for 12+ hours; save the whey and use it for making biscuits later!)

Strained super-thick greek yogurt (same note as above)

Cream Cheese (Jolenealaska already suggested, see above)

Powdered milk

Powdered whey protein


Dry Pudding Mix

Non-Dairy Alternatives:

Non-dairy Dry Pudding Mix

Peanut Butter/Almond Butter/Sunflower Seed Butter/ etc

  • these obviously may change the flavor profile if utilized, especially peanut


Strained coconut cream - use a nut milk bag to strain/press out liquid...this can be a pain

Powdered plant protein powders(hemp/soy/pea/bean)

  • when using these, be aware that many of them impart a beany/grassy flavor if used in quantity...just depending on what you select

Black Beans

  • I use about 1 T of canned beans without added salt when I do this...but I also run it through my Vitamix, so this solution may not be for you unless you have a powerful food processor/blender

Xanthan/Guar/Locust bean/Methylcellulose/Gelatin

  • Use these sparingly, on the order of a few grams...these can be difficult to find if you are not in an area with specialty food markets (like Whole Foods/Trader Joe's)
  • I think this will live long as the definitive answer! Thanks so much
    – prototype
    May 11, 2015 at 15:33

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