25 Decadent Flavored Frostings to Elevate Boxed Cake Mix
While we can’t resist a homemade cake, on some days we just don’t have the time or patience to whip up a three-tiered layer cake. In a perfect world, all of our cakes would be made from scratch, but we’ll admit that there have been many forgotten school bake sales or church potlucks when boxed cake mix has come to the rescue at the last minute. Boxed cake mix is much more versatile than it may seem, and we’re here to show you how to pass that Duncan Hines off as homemade. Our #1 tip for upgrading your boxed cake mix? Fancy frosting.
Frosting is much simpler (and quicker) to make from scratch than cake batter. While your cake is baking, you can whip up a batch of one of these creative flavored icings to top it off. From holiday-party-ready Eggnog Buttercream to a Strawberry Frosting meant for summer potlucks, these fun frosting recipes will carry you through the seasons. With these decadent frosting and icing recipes, none of the guests will ever guess that the cake came from a box. And while you’re at it, upgrade your boxed cake mix with this simple hack from our Food Editor.
Salted Caramel Frosting
Recipe: Salted Caramel Frosting
Use this sweet-and-salty caramel frosting—made with three different types of sugar to achieve depth of flavor—to dress up a vanilla cake.
Whipped Chocolate Frosting
Recipe: Whipped Chocolate Frosting
Nobody can resist a swirl of decadent chocolate frosting. Use this frosting to top a chocolate cake or cupcakes for a double-chocolate punch.
Lemon-Orange Buttercream Frosting
This bright, citrus-packed frosting is worthy of a prime place on the dessert buffet.
Recipe: Strawberry Frosting
Loaded with fresh chopped strawberries, this frosting pairs beautifully with any fruity cake.
Recipe: Caramel Frosting
This caramel frosting can pair with vanilla, chocolate, or spice cake, making it the ultimate versatile choice for your baking year-round.
Recipe: Buttermilk Frosting
Southerners love to use buttermilk in everything, including in our frostings.
Recipe: Coconut Buttercream
Bring a bit of tropical flair to your cake with this double-action coconut buttercream, made with unsweetened coconut milk and coconut extract for extra flavor.
Recipe: Eggnog Buttercream
Spice cake and eggnog buttercream go together like peanut butter and jelly. Your holiday dessert spread never looked so pretty.
Coconut Ermine Frosting
Recipe: Coconut Ermine Frosting
Slightly lighter and easier to spread than your traditional buttercream, Coconut Ermine Frosting will be your new holiday go-to.
Brown Sugar-Cream Cheese Frosting
Brown sugar brings warmth to the classic cream cheese frosting, making it the perfect pairing for a carrot cake.
Peach Schnapps Frosting
Recipe: Peppermint Buttercream
Pretty pink peppermint buttercream? Sounds like the holiday frosting of our dreams.
Fudgy Coca Cola Cake Frosting
Recipe: Fudgy Coca Cola Cake Frosting
A fudgy chocolate frosting gets a hint of cherry spice with the addition of your family’s favorite soft drink.
Cherry Swirl Frosting
Recipe: Cherry Swirl Frosting
A two-toned swirl of white and pink frosting means that these cupcakes look as good as they taste.
Coca Cola Frosting
Recipe: Coca Cola Frosting
This cream cheese frosting is spiked with a few cups of cola to add tang and zing.
Lemon-Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe: Lemon-Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
Fresh lime and lemon juice combine with lemon zest to create a creamy frosting you’ll be using to top all your springtime cakes.
Strawberry-Sour Cream Buttercream
Strawberry and sour cream? Don’t knock it until you try it. This topping delivers just the right ratio of fruity sweetness to tang.
Pig Pickin’ Frosting
Recipe: Pig Pickin’ Frosting
This Pig Pickin’ Cake frosting involves frozen whipped topping, pineapple, and vanilla instant pudding—it’s probably the lightest, easiest frosting we could dream of.
Brown Butter-Pistachio Frosting
Recipe: Brown Butter-Pistachio Frosting
If you lean more towards savory than sweet, this creative frosting recipe is for you. Use it to top a decadent chocolate cake.
Recipe: Orange Buttercream
Pair this fruity orange buttercream with cranberry at Christmastime or strawberry in the summer—you simply can’t go wrong.
Browned Butter Frosting
Recipe: Browned Butter Frosting
Pair this Browned Butter Frosting with toasty, buttery pecans and you’ve hit a home-run.
Peanut Butter Frosting
Recipe: Peanut Butter Frosting
The dreamiest way to upgrade your chocolate cake? With a heavy dollop of Peanut Butter Frosting.
Recipe: Strawberry-Lemonade Frosting
With fresh strawberries and a hint of lemon juice, this frosting will transport you back to childhood lemonade stands.
Recipe: Caramel Frosting
Thicker, creamier, and heavier on the caramel than your average buttercream, this Caramel Frosting perfectly complements pound cake.