What Are the Best Tips for Making Fluffy Frosting?

Brandon May

A fluffy frosting for cakes or cupcakes can be made with a wide variety of different ingredients, yet the base ingredients like butter and sugar usually remain the same. An electric beater is extremely helpful in beating air into frosting, helping to create a lighter frosting with more volume. Using peanut butter alongside the basic ingredients can make an interesting frosting for brownies or cupcakes, and using egg whites can result in a frosting that is light, airy and fluffy. Powdered sugar and melted chocolate, along with butter or shortening, can create a creamy, fluffy chocolate frosting.

A frosted cupcake.
A frosted cupcake.

Basic frosting ingredients like butter, shortening and powdered sugar are commonly used to make a light and airy fluffy frosting and are often beaten with an electric mixer. By beating these ingredients together constantly, air will move into the mixture to create a frosting that has a higher and fluffier volume. Additional ingredients, like peanut butter, can be added to create a more complex fluffy frosting suitable for brownies, cakes and cupcakes. Since peanut butter can be quite sticky while beating, it is important to incorporate another lighter fat like butter or shortening, which will also add needed moisture.

Fluffy frosting may be used to decorate a children's birthday cake.
Fluffy frosting may be used to decorate a children's birthday cake.

Typically, it is important to use double the amount of powdered sugar than butter or shortening, as powdered sugar is helpful for volume as well as sweetness. Regular granulated sugar is more useful in frostings that are cooked, as it is important for this sugar to be dissolved to help eliminate its grainy texture in the frosting. A cooked fluffy frosting using granulated sugar will often use one or two egg whites, beaten until the frosting is light and fluffy and doubled or tripled in volume. An egg white frosting is commonly referred to as a meringue frosting, which is light, fluffy and airy.

Marshmallow cream is an ingredient addition that can be helpful in creating a fluffy, thick frosting, suitable for cakes and cupcakes. Due to the thick texture of marshmallow cream, it is important to add a little moisture to the frosting during beating, like shortening or very soft butter. Powdered sugar is often added slowly during beating, yet it is needed in much lower amounts due to the sweetness and volume of the marshmallow cream. With this type of fluffy frosting, it is also important to use an electric beater on high speed for one to two minutes to incorporate more air into its thick texture.

Fluffy frosting may be added to donuts for people looking for something a little sweeter.
Fluffy frosting may be added to donuts for people looking for something a little sweeter.

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Discussion Comments


Getting just the right mixture of powdered sugar into your fluffy frosting is tricky. Too much can make it overpoweringly sweet, but too little can result in thin, flat frosting.

If I can tell that my frosting will not fluff up before getting too sweet, I will add a little marshmallow cream to it. It’s not quite as sweet as pure powdered sugar, but it really helps out with the fluff.

I don’t like actual marshmallow cream frosting, but just a little marshmallow cream added to regular frosting can go a long way in helping me achieve the right consistency. It doesn’t really affect the flavor very much.


@orangey03 - You should try using a funnel. This is the only way I was ever able to separate egg whites from yolks.

Since the yolk is thicker than the white, it will sit on top of the funnel hole, while the white will slide easily on through into your mixing bowl. Just dump them both into the funnel together as soon as you crack the egg, but be sure to fish out any pieces of shell that might make their way into the mix.

I like adding egg whites to chocolate frosting to make mousse. Though most people eat mousse on its own, I like to frost my brownies and cakes with it. It is so fluffy and delectable, because your tongue just cuts right through it on the way to the cake.


My mother makes a wonderfully fluffy meringue frosting. She uses it to top her chocolate pies and lemon pies, and it is delightfully airy.

I know that egg whites are the secret to making this type of frosting. However, I have never been able to figure out how to separate the white from the yolk. Every time I have tried, both of them end up flopping into the bowl together, despite my best efforts to segregate them.

Can anyone tell me how to separate them efficiently? I would love to be able to make meringue frosting like my mother’s, because it really makes the pie what it is.


I make an easy fluffy frosting that only requires four ingredients. Powdered sugar makes up the majority of the recipe, and it is accompanied by butter, vanilla, and just enough milk to make it the right consistency.

Probably the most important thing I do to this frosting to make it fluff up is using an electric mixer. I continue to beat it even after everything has been blended together, because it keeps growing in volume.

What starts out as half a bowlful of frosting turns into three-quarters of a bowlful. I can frost more cupcakes if I beat it longer.

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