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How to Make Canned Frosting Better Without More Palm Oil

How to Make Canned Frosting Better Without More Palm Oil

There are ways to improve canned frosting to make it better. Here we explain frosting add-ins without palm oil. It’s natural to wonder how to make canned frosting better and ways to improve canned frosting. Why? Because store-bought frosting contains chemicals and palm oil. While it’s convenient, it doesn’t taste as good as homemade. 

Below are ways to make canned frosting better without using more palm oil. Next time, make frosting from scratch with this easy frosting recipe that takes five minutes. Here are palm oil free frosting add-ins. 

How to Make Canned Frosting Better 

Use these ways to improve canned frosting without adding palm oil. We discuss each below.

  • Honey
  • Cream cheese
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Real chocolate shavings and chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter
  • Cocoa powder, 100% cacao powder
  • Milk and confectioners sugar
  • Candy
  • Candy sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Nuts
  • Coconut
  • Fruit, flowers, herbs
  • One thing to try is whipping it which will add more air to it.


It’s easy to mix in honey to vanilla frosting. You’ll be adding a natural ingredient that’s naturally sweet. It will add texture, richness and flavor. Choose local honey from a farmers market, specialty grocer, or street vendor.

Cream cheese

Adding cream cheese to canned frosting will make it less sweet and chemical-tasting. It will also make it fluffier and richer. Mix in an 8 oz package of cream cheese to canned frosting or add to taste. You can add it to vanilla or chocolate frosting.

To make cream cheese frosting from scratch, all you need is cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract.

Maple syrup

Choose 100% pure maple syrup if you want to make maple frosting. If it doesn’t say “pure” on the label, put it back; it will contain artificial flavors, preservatives, and chemicals. Some brands include palm oil derivatives such as Mono- & Diglycerides.

Adding pure maple syrup to vanilla frosting will tint the frosting as well as give it a rich taste. Add as much or as little as you wish.

If you want to make maple frosting, you can add in brown sugar as well as pure maple syrup and cream cheese. Maple frosting is delicious on cinnamon rolls, on breakfast foods, and for brunch desserts. 

You can also substitute agave syrup one-to-one in recipes that call for maple syrup.

Pure vanilla extract

Another frosting tip is to add a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to canned frosting to cut down on the sweetness and to add more richness.

Choose pure vanilla extract. Do not use imitation vanilla extract or imitation vanilla flavor. These products typically contain Propylene Glycol which is typically made from palm oil. Using pure extracts are a way to make desserts without palm oil. You can add pure almond extract, pure peppermint extract, and others.


Add butter to canned frosting. Butter is palm oil free as long as it’s real butter. If you want to cut down on sweetness, use regular butter and not sweet cream butter. Choosing salted butter will also cut down on the sweetness in store-bought frosting. Choose grass-fed butter when possible.


Adding a pinch of salt to canned frosting is one of the easiest ways to improve canned frosting. Salt will help reduce some of the chemical taste and sweetness.

Chocolate shavings and chocolate chips

Be sure when you add chocolate or chocolate chips to frosting that it’s palm oil free. You can add chocolate on top of the frosting as decoration or mix within the frosting to add texture and flavor.

Before you buy chocolate, read labels. Many contain palm oil, palm kernel oil, Mono- and Diglycerides, and Tocopherols. These are all typically made from palm oil.

Also, be sure you aren’t buying “chocolate flavored” or “chocolately.” The product should be called “chocolate” and not “chocolate candy.” Look for cocoa butter on labels.

White chocolate and almond bark most always contain palm oil.

Peanut butter

Adding peanut butter is another way how to make canned frosting better. Choose creamy over crunchy if you plan to pipe the frosting. Be sure to buy palm oil free peanut butter. It should contain only peanuts and salt. Mono- & Diglycerides in peanut butter are typically made from palm oil. Many brands advertise as “no stir” which means they contain palm oil. 

You can also choose almond butter, sunflower butter, and others. Read labels.

make canned frosting better

Use cocoa powder to make canned chocolate frosting taste homemade or to turn vanilla frosting into chocolate.

Cacao powder / cocoa powder

Add 100% cacao powder to make canned vanilla frosting into chocolate. It’s naturally unsweetened which will cut down on the sweetness common in many canned frosting brands.

It’s easy to use cacao powder to make chocolate cake and homemade chocolate frosting if you want to give it a go the next time. You can also use a higher quality cocoa powder which will give it an even richer chocolate taste. I like using Navitas Organics Unsweetened Organic Cacao Powder which I buy at Sprouts. I also love Volupta Organic, Fair Trade Cacao Powder. I buy it at Costco which makes it very cost-effective. 

Milk and confectioners sugar

If you want to know how to make canned chocolate frosting taste homemade, add confectioners sugar with a tablespoon of whole milk. Another option is to use coconut milk. (I buy O Organics Coconut Milk in cans.) You will add richness, flavor, and depth to the frosting. You can also add cocoa powder for color and to cut down on sweetness.

Confectioners sugar is palm oil free. Choose whole milk without Vitamin A Palmitate to ensure it’s palm free as well. 


It’s easy to add candy to frosting as a topping for decoration and color or mixed in the frosting for texture. However, many candies contain palm oil. Be sure to read labels; don’t assume it’s palm oil free. Learn how to find palm oil free candy

how to make canned frosting better

Sanding sugar is easy to add to frosting and is typically palm oil free.

Candy sugar, sanding sugar

Adding candy sugar to vanilla frosting will add vibrant colors. You can mix it in or shake it on top of cakes and cupcakes for decoration.

While most of the cake toppers and frosting add-ins in the bakers’ decorating section contain palm oil, candy sugar is typically palm oil free. 

Artificially-flavored ingredients are palm oil free. Companies jump at the chance to say their products are natural. Remember, palm oil is natural. 

Choose candy sugar — also called sparkling sugar or sanding sugar — with Sugar and Carnauba Wax. Confectioners Glaze is also palm oil free. 

Some decorating sugars are also called Sprinkles. If it’s dyed sugar, it’s likely palm oil free. However, traditional sprinkles or jimmies, contain palm oil.


Adding a teaspoon of cinnamon to canned vanilla frosting gives it a homemade taste. You can mix in honey or pecans as well for a unique flavor and to make canned frosting taste better. Red Ape Cinnamon brand cinnamon is certified Palm Oil Free.

Chopped nuts

Add chopped pecans, walnuts, sliced almonds, or any nuts on top of frosting as decoration for cakes. You can also add nuts to frosting for texture and flavor. It’s an easy way to improve canned frosting.

Shredded coconut

Be sure to buy shredded coconut without Propylene Glycol which is usually made with with palm oil. You can often find it in bags of unsweetened coconut. Adding coconut to canned frosting will give it a rich taste. You can add as much or as little as you want so it’s not overwhelming. 

frosting add-ons

Add rosemary and fruit to frosting for decoration

Fruit, flowers, herbs

Making strawberry buttercream frosting is easy. Use strawberries to make pink frosting without food coloring. It will be naturally pink, taste like strawberries, and be bakery-worthy.

Mix in blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries to your frosting to make it taste better and homemade. You can also use the juice from beets.

Using real fruit will also add color without dyes. Add flowers or sprigs of rosemary to top cakes for decoration. Like honey, these are natural ingredients.

Whip the frosting

Whipping canned frosting is one of the ways to improve canned frosting. When you whip it, you’ll be adding air to it.

Instead of adding to it with additional ingredients, whip canned frosting to make it taste better and homemade.

Frosting Add Ins that Contain Palm Oil

These are cake decorating and frosting tips home bakers use to make canned frosting better. Please know, they typically contain palm oil. 

  • Food dyes, food coloring
  • Sprinkles, jimmies
  • Candy décor toppings in jars
  • Icing pouch, icing tube
  • Gel food colors
  • Whipped cream, whipped topping

Food dyes and food coloring

Use natural color from beets, blueberries, and raspberries if you want pink or red frosting.

Food dyes and food coloring contain palm oil derivatives in the form of Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, and Polysorbate 80. All of these ingredients are common in food dyes. 

Even food dyes that say “no artificial dyes” or “made with 100% natural vegetable juices” typically contain palm oil derivatives

Sprinkles and jimmies

Yes, they are festive and fun! However, avoid adding sprinkles and jimmies to canned frosting in order to reduce palm oil use.

Instead, use sanding sugars and candy sugar which are palm oil free as well as festive and colorful.

Rainbow sprinkles, rainbow jimmies, holiday sprinkles, and single-color sprinkles contain Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, and Glycerin.

Candy décor toppings 

You will find these containers and jars in the baking section. They are toppings for cakes, cupcakes and ice cream. They contain palm oil.

You will also find them as Icing Decorations on a sheet. They will be themed for birthdays or holidays, such as Halloween. 

The idea is you set them on top of the frosting as an edible decoration to dress up your store-bought or homemade desserts. They are festive but will add more chemicals as well as palm oil to your dessert. Ingredients to avoid include: Palm Oil, Magnesium Stearate, Palm Kernel Oil, Glycerin.

Also, nonpareils will sometimes contain Glycerin from palm oil.

Icing pouch, icing tube

Like with canned frosting, any premade icing pouch, icing tubes, or filled pastry bags you find in stores will contain several palm oil ingredients. They will include:

  • Palm Oil
  • Shortening (Palm Oil)
  • Mono- & Diglycerides
  • Polysorbate 60
  • Mixed Tocopherols
  • Ascorbyl Palmitate

Adding store-bought icing to canned frosting increases palm oil consumption. Instead, make your own frosting, put it in a pastry bag, and use it to pipe your cupcakes and cake.

Gel food colors

Adding gel food colors to canned frosting is not a way to make canned frosting taste better. You will be adding more ingredients and that many more chemicals. Gel food colors contain palm oil derivatives, including Propylene Glycol and Glycerin.

Whipped cream, whipped topping

When people want to know how to make canned frosting better, they often add whipped cream. Adding it will make frosting lighter and fluffier.

However, when you make whipped cream frosting or add whipping cream to frosting means you are adding palm oil. Look on whipped cream cans, and you will see Mono- & Diglycerides listed. This is a palm oil derivative.

In addition, in frozen whipped toppings in tubs, such as Cool Whip, you will see: Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Palm Kernel Oil), Polysorbate 60, and Sorbitan Monostearate. 

Avoid adding whipped cream and frozen whipped toppings to frosting to minimize palm oil consumption.


What can I add to vanilla frosting?

Starting with vanilla frosting as a base means you can add anything to it to change the flavor. If you want to make it mint, add pure peppermint extract. If you want to make maple frosting, add pure maple syrup. Blend fruit such as blueberries for a natural sweetener and dye. You can add 100% cacao powder to make vanilla frosting into chocolate frosting. 

What can I add to store-bought frosting?

There are many things you can add to store-bought frosting. Keep in mind, canned frosting contains a lot more ingredients and chemicals than when you make it from scratch.

When you want to add something to store-bought frosting, keep it simple. Use real ingredients. The last thing you want is even more chemicals and ingredients. Add pure extract, confectioners sugar or powdered sugar, 100% cacao powder, real honey, etc.

How do you add flavor to frosting?

Before you learn how to add flavor to frosting you need to decide what flavor you want. Or decide if you want to make it sweeter or less sweet.

After that, you can add honey, cinnamon, peanut butter, chocolate, pure vanilla extract, powdered sugar, real butter, organic cane sugar, cocoa powder, and more. Use this palm oil free products list. Adding ingredients that are real — as in pure maple syrup — without added ingredients will add flavor to frosting.

How can I make canned frosting taste better?

Store-bought frosting in cans contains palm oil plus many other chemicals. When you make your own, it requires four ingredients: real butter, confectioners sugar, pure vanilla extract, teaspoon of milk. That’s it. To make canned frosting taste better, add in these four ingredients. 

To make chocolate frosting, add cacao power as well. 

Instead of buying a can of frosting to enhance, make your own. It will contain far less chemicals, use real ingredients, and be full of flavor.

Why make your own frosting when you can buy it?

Consumers want convenience. However, it comes at a cost. Canned frosting is filled with chemicals and palm oil ingredients. Even canned organic frosting contains palm oil. Rather than adding to store-bought frosting to make it better, make your own. It will taste better too.

You may want to improve canned frosting because it tastes like processed food and chemicals. Or perhaps you want to know how to make canned frosting taste homemade.

Use these additions to canned frosting to use less palm oil in your desserts. Decorate your cakes and cupcakes in a way that doesn’t add palm oil. Learn more about ingredients in canned frosting