How to Fix Messed Up Icing on a Cake

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Cake, like every other dessert, should be delectable. But there is also a lot of pressure to make cakes seem nice. Some bakers produce works of art.

However, not everyone is a Pinterest inspiration source. Yes, our confectionery is exquisite, but frosting is a challenge for us. In truth, how can you repair sloppy cake icing?

There are several methods for repairing messed-up icing on a cake, whether you’re using fondant, buttercream, ganache, or cream cheese. Patch it, massage it, paint over it, or pipe in the cracks. Icing sugar may also be used to absorb moist patches.

It is important not to worry when decorating a cake goes wrong. Remember, if it tastes delicious, you’ve done well.

So take a deep breath and tap into your imagination to discover the perfect solution for your confectionery frosting. There are several strategies to salvage the situation and prevent it in the future.

Creativity: Fixing Messed Up Icing on a Cake

The first thing to do when cake decorating goes awry is to relax.

The second step is to tap into your own creativity. Then, either rebrand your concept for cake design or conceal the issue.

For example, for a Fourth of July celebration, my friends had a cake crumble and collapse, leaving three sides and a mound of cascading debris in the center. They didn’t live near a shop or delivery service, and they didn’t have any extra ingredients.

So they dribbled chocolate frosting over the crumbling rubble, inserted two little US flags at an angle, and scribbled with an icing pen: Remember the Alamo.

There wasnt a bite left when the party was done.

However, not every cake disaster is on such a grand scale. Sometimes the frosting is simply imperfect in one little area. If this is the case, consider what you have on hand that may be used to conceal the issue.

Quick and Easy Icing Fixes

Chocolate Buttons

Chocolate buttons may conceal a wide range of icing flaws. However, any edible decoration may be used: marshmallows, chocolate chips, sprinkles, even iced flowers if you are very skillful.

Coconut Shavings

Allow coconut shavings to fall over your cake. When you’re finished, no one will see anything you don’t want them to see.


Fill in gaps using a frosting pen in a contrasting color, as inspired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi. You are acknowledging your shortcomings and making them into art by doing so.

Fresh Flowers

Our acquaintance has a handicap that affects her fine motor abilities. As a result, she is unable to frost a cake. As a result, she often dusts her cakes with icing sugar (powder sugar) and tops them with lavender or flowers, then gives frosting or chocolate sauce on the side for visitors to dip.

Even frosted desserts look lovely with fresh flowers on top. Place them over the fault and your cake will be spectacular.

Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit elegantly put on a cake may conceal a slew of frosting blunders.


If no one is allergic, almonds may be a tasty method to disguise icing mistakes.


Hide the flaw with a ribbon or bow placed exactly so.

Spatula Iced Cake Design

If you can’t make the frosting or icing to run smoothly, add texture on purpose. One method, known as spatula iced cake design, adds ripples or spirals to the cake. This is simple to execute and will remove defects with artistic flare.

You may also create designs using the back of a spoon or a fork, such as basketweaves, ripples, waves, swirls, or lines.

Whip Cream

This stuff can hide anything.

A tutorial on spatula iced cake patterns may be found here:

5 Ways to Fix a Cake’s Cracked Fondant

A cake with cracked fondant may be saved in numerous ways.

1 – Buttercream

Fill in the crack with buttercream frosting in the same color as your fondant. The edges must be rubbed with your finger or a paintbrush.

2 – Cover it

things’s sometimes easier to simply cover things up. Suggestions may be found farther up in the article.

3 – Fondant Patch

Place a little piece of fondant of the same color over the imperfection. Then, using your finger, wipe away the margins of your patch with shortening or oil.

A little dusting of icing sugar over the patches can help absorb excess shortening or oil. The remainder may then be brushed away using a brush. (This method works best with pale fondant.)

Alternatively, cut out a decorative shape from fondant, such as a star, to cover the fissure.

4 – Massage

Some minor defects can easily massaged away. Apply a little amount of shortening on your finger and rub the mark into history.

5 – Pipe Fondant

Fondant may also be used to fill up fondant cracks. Mix fondant scraps with 3-5 drops of oil and an equal amount of droplets of water. Make a paste out of everything.

If additional drops are required, add them gently, no more than two at a time, until the paste is formed.

Fill a piping bag with fondant paste and pipe it into the crack, just as you would with buttercream. Blend using a finger or brush that has been briefly dipped in shortening or oil.

7 Ways to Avoid Cracked Fondant

Everyone, even skilled bakers, has cracked fondant. However, various fondant hacks might lessen the number of faults while decorating a cake.

1 – Be Brand Loyal

Once you’ve found the fondant that speaks to your baker’s soul, marry it. Don’t let low-cost fondant lure you astray.

Sometimes the store won’t offer your brand, which is unfortunate, and you’ll have to be courageous. Every brand has its eccentricities, and switching to a new one is as difficult as starting a new relationship, so be patient.

2 – Don’t Wait

When fondant is fresh, it is simplest to work with. So don’t put it on the cake after you’ve rolled it out.

3 – Humidifier

If you live in a dry area, turn on the humidifier in the same room where you are decorating the cake.

4 – Massage and Pop

Examine the fondant for rough spots and air bubbles before adding it on the cake.

Air bubbles may be punctured and rolled away using a sterile needle.

Rough areas may be massaged out with a clean finger and a tiny amount of shortening.

5 – Pre-Frost

Frost the cake with a thin layer of ganache, buttercream, or marzipan before adding the fondant. It should be somewhat equal but not perfectly so. Nobody will notice it without its fondant coat.

Smooth your fondant over the cake once it has been undercoated with buttercream or marzipan. This approach reduces the amount of cracks and air bubbles while keeping the cake and fondant moist. Furthermore, it adds a little hint of taste.

6 – Roll it Right

It is important not to roll out fondant too thin or too thick.

7 – Shortening

Add a dab of shortening to the effected regions if you notice your fondant is a little dry before rolling it out. Then, gradually add more until the required consistency is restored.

How to Avoid Lumpy Buttercream or Cream Cheese Frosting

When it comes to buttercream or cream cheese frosting, it isn’t necessarily your application abilities that are at fault. Because the icing is bumpy, it seems lumpy at times.

Temperature is the most common cause of bumpy frosting. You prefer room temperature butter or cream cheese over cold butter or cream cheese.

Simply let the cream cheese out until it has lost its cold.

Cut the butter into pieces and set aside until it is pliable but not melted.

Whip your butter or cream cheese for 1-3 minutes once it has reached room temperature, gently adding any other liquids such as vanilla or lemon.

Finally, sift in the sugar using a sieve, no more than a cup at a time.

How to Thicken Runny Frosting

Frosting may sometimes imitate syrup and become runny.

There are a few options for trying to solve it. The most common method involves gradually adding sifted icing sugar, often known as powdered sugar.

8 Ways to Thicken Runny Frosting Without Adding More Sugar

1 – Arrowroot Starch

Add half a teaspoon at a time, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened to the desired consistency.

2 – Butter

Incorporate about a spoonful of soft butter into the frosting. Making ensuring the butter is neither cold nor melted is critical to success.

3 – Cocoa Powder

Cocoa powder works well in chocolate icing. But, sure, add half a teaspoon at a time until the required consistency is reached.

4 – Cornstarch

Incorporate half a teaspoon cornstarch into the runny frosting. Before adding any more, make sure it’s fully mixed in.

5 – Flour

Heat the frosting in a saucepan over low heat. Continue to whisk as you gradually add 1 to 2 sifted teaspoons of flour, keeping the temperature low. Continue to whisk and add until it thickens.

Remove from heat as soon as the thickening starts. Allow the frosting to cool completely before spreading it on the cake.

6 – Gelatin

Make the unflavored gelatin. Set aside the gelatin to cool. When the frosting is totally cold, mix in two teaspoons of gelatin.

Allow the frosting to chill in the refrigerator for 8-10 minutes before putting it on your cake.

7 – Tapioca

Add half a teaspoon at a time, whisking until smooth.

8 – Whipping Cream

Add three to four tablespoons of whipping cream and whisk until combined. Check that the cream is extremely cool. Add the cream gradually so you can check the consistency and avoid overwhipping.

How to Avoid Crummy Frosting?

Frosted cakes are notorious for becoming stale. That is why they must be frosted twice, giving the crumb layer its name.

There are a few steps to double frosting a cake.

  1. Apply a thin layer of frosting to the cake. This is your crumb layer once again.
  1. Place the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm it. If your freezer is too tiny, place it in the fridge for 20 minutes to an hour instead.

The frosting should be firm enough that you can delicately touch it without it adhering to your finger.

  1. Apply the second coat of frosting once the crumb layer has firmed.

How to Salvage Ganache

Ganache may occasionally seem gritty or curdled. At all costs, avoid attempting to repair this by adding extra cream.

Instead, gradually reheat it by putting it in a dish of hot water. (It’s similar to a double boiler, but without the bottom water on the burner.) Wisk until the mixture is smooth.

If your ganache is still grumbling, try mixing in a splash of room temperature milk or a favorite liqueur until the desired consistency is achieved.

How to Not Ice a Cake?

The simplest solution is to avoid attempting to ice or frost the cake in the first place. As previously said, one lady loves to sprinkle icing sugar (powdered sugar) on the cake before decorating it with flowers.

Other ways to avoid icing or frosting a cake:

1 – Caramel or Chocolate Sauce

Make or purchase chocolate or caramel sauce and drizzle it over the cake until it covers the top and falls over the edges.

2 – Frost Only the Top

Stop worrying about the frosted sides and simply put the frosting in the layers. Then, frost the top, cover with fruit, and call it wonderful.

3 – Fruit

Instead of ice and flowers, try sugar and elegantly arranged fruit.

4 – Glaze

Drizzle glaze over the cake like you did with the caramel sauce. If desired, decorate with flowers or ribbons.

Alternatively, top the glaze with slivered almonds or coconut shavings.

5 – Syrup

Drizzle it over the cake, much like the glaze or syrup. After that, you may embellish it with a ribbon or flowers.

6 – Whip Cream

Whip cream is the baking equivalent of duct tape. If everything else fails, this will suffice.

Final Thoughts

There are several methods for repairing messed-up frosting on a cake. The most important components, though, are to avoid panic and to embrace your creativity.


How do you cover up icing mistakes?

Small imperfections or cracks may be repaired by dripping part of the icing used to cover the cake with water until it forms a paste. Make a piping bag with a no2 tube and fill it with icing. Allow to dry after squeezing a bit into the crack and smoothing over with a slightly moist flat brush.

How do you fix cold frosting?

Place the buttercream in a metal dish over a pot of boiling or warm water to soften. Allow the frosting bowl to sit over the water until it reaches room temperature, periodically swirling to ensure uniform heating. Add some transparent corn syrup to your buttercream to immediately soften it.

How do you fix sugar icing?

Allowing the buttercream to rest for a few hours or overnight is another tried and true approach. Then whip it again; this should help. Resting softens the sugar granules, which melt away when re-mixed. You may also add melted, cooled chocolate (white or dark chocolate) to the buttercream.

What happens if you overmix icing?

Icing over-mixing

Overmixing or mixing the icing on high can whip too much air into the recipe, resulting in a frosting that appears more like a crusty sponge than a smooth finish.

How long does it take for icing to settle?

How long does the frosting take to dry? Flood consistency royal icing takes at least 6 hours to cure fully, but I usually let the foundation layer of icing to dry overnight to be safe.

Can frosting be saved?

Most frostings may be kept in the refrigerator or freezer. Frosting may be stored in the refrigerator for three to four weeks and in the freezer for two to three months. Homemade frosting may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week and in the freezer for up to a month.

Does putting icing in the fridge harden it?

Relax and wait. Allow your frosting to remain in the refrigerator, wrapped with saran wrap, for 2 hours to harden up.

Is it OK to heat up frosting?

Yes, frosting can be microwaved. Heat the required quantity of frosting in a microwave-safe dish for optimal results. The frosting should not be microwaved in its original container.

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