How to make frosting less sweet: a step-by-step guide

For the preparation of most desserts, the delicious glaze is used. However, it is impossible to use it in large quantities because it has a rich, sweet taste. Therefore, a simple question arises, how to make frosting less sweet?

Components of the glaze

Before proceeding to the study of the question, of how to make frosting less sweet, you should determine the composition of the glaze. It is an ideal coating for desserts and has a thick, creamy texture. Tastes like sweet butter. Glaze may vary in taste.

The icing is made from sugar, and when cooled, it hardens or remains fluffy. In addition to sugar, egg whites, butter, cream-based cheese, and flavorings are added to the glaze. The icing can be made of chocolate or vanilla.

How to make frosting less sweet?

There are several ways to help make frosting less sweet.

If the glaze is butter, add salt

Salt is often added to reduce the sweetness. This method is in demand among experienced bakers and hobbyists. Thanks to salt, you can balance the amount of sugar that is added to the sweet buttercream frosting. At the cooking stage, add a pinch of salt to the icing sugar.

At the same time, the sweet taste will not deteriorate. However, it is more balanced. This option is suitable if you are preparing a classic vanilla extract or almond cream. You can also use salted butter.

If the cream is creamy – add acid

Quite often, icing is used for citrus cakes. To make it less sweet, add a little lemon juice. This makes the taste less sweet and more pleasant. For a regular serving of cream, 1 tsp of lemon juice is enough.

Do not add too much of this ingredient so that the consistency of the cream does not change. Otherwise, it becomes too soft, and it is more difficult to work with it. You can combine this method and add salt for the best results.

For 4 cups of icing sugar, add no more than 1/8 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. This achieves a balanced taste.

Adding cream cheese and butter

You can add some cream cheese to the buttercream frosting. On average, 1 pack of cream-based butter requires 4 ounces of cream cheese. Thanks to cream cheese and butter, the icing will not be so sweet.

Using cream cheese and butter, you can form a soft glaze that does not become crusty. Cream cheese and butter coat the dessert with a smooth mixture. At the same time, the taste turns out to be deep, with a slight sourness and creamy taste. Cream cheese and butter are the best solutions for balancing powdered sugar.

Adding fat

The main components of sweet buttercream frosting are sugar and cheese. If you have added too much sugar, then increase the amount of fat to normalize the situation. This dilutes the amount of sugar so that the frosting is not too sweet.

High-fat cream can be added. Thanks to this, you can increase the portion. It is important to ensure that the consistency of the dish does not change. After all, the cream is quite liquid, if you choose the wrong percentage of fat. Try to choose a cream with a high density.

The addition of fats and oils is allowed. Remember that the oil has an unusual taste. It is better to opt for shortening, which has a neutral taste. Add components little by little, and try the finished version. Do this until you get the desired result.

Adding flavors

To reduce the amount of sugar, you can use flavorings. This diverts attention from excessive sweetness. You can add various extracts as well as alcoholic drinks.

Dark chocolate is allowed. However, dark chocolate is the best solution if you are preparing glaze based on it. Dark chocolate has a slightly bitter taste, so it is the best solution to balance the sweetness.

Even at room temperature, the dark chocolate becomes hard and the buttercream frosting will be smooth. This does not change the fixation and structure of the chocolate buttercream frosting.

Alternatives with less sweetness

Today, several recipes are less sweet. You can prepare an oil cream based on several components, which will be discussed later.

Cream based on ermine cream

This is a fairly popular and ancient recipe for French glaze, which is made from flour, granulated sugar, butter, and milk. Cooking it is much more difficult when compared with the classic recipe. The basis of the texture is milk and flour. So, you don’t have to use a lot of sugar.

To prepare such a cream, follow these instructions:

  1. Put milk on the stove and add flour to it. Boil until boiling.
  2. Then add flavorings as desired.
  3. Cool the mass.
  4. Beat butter and sugar separately. The consistency should be light and airy.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of ermine to the glaze. Do this until you get the desired texture of the boiled milk frosting.

Swiss meringue buttercream

You can also make Swiss or Italian meringue buttercream frosting. It has a smooth texture; however, its sweetness is minimal. In both recipes, you need to add sugar, boiled egg whites, and butter. The difference between them is only in cooking technology.

To make Swiss meringue buttercream frosting, follow these instructions:

  1. Mix sugar with egg whites, and put in a water bath. Cook until sugar dissolves.
  2. Beat the mass to form peaks.

If you decide to cook butter meringue cream using Italian technology, follow these steps:

  1. Dilute sugar in a small amount of water, and boil the syrup.
  2. When it reaches 240℉, add the beaten egg whites.
  3. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.

When the buttercream frosting has cooled and reached room temperature, add a little butter to them, which must first be softened. Gradually add 1 tablespoon. Whisk until the mixture is homogeneous.

If you add egg whites, the meringue has a pleasant texture. It resembles a marshmallow. Due to the lack of icing sugar, the mixtures will be less sweet.

Reducing the sweetness of powdered sugar frosting

Salt or acid can be added to the icing of powdered sugar. This makes the frosting less sweet. In this case, the texture will not resemble sugar. To make a less sweet frosting, prepare the following ingredients:

  • cream-based butter – 330 g;
  • salt – half a teaspoon;
  • powdered sugar – 495 g;
  • Greek yogurt – 45 g;
  • vanilla extract – 1.5 teaspoons.


To prepare the mixture, you need to follow these instructions:

  1. Combine the butter with salt, and beat. You should get a fluffy and airy mass.
  2. Add a little sugar, and do not forget to stir.
  3. Pour in the yogurt and vanilla extract. Don’t stop whipping everything.

Remember that the texture of the glaze depends on the intensity of the whipping. The longer you do this, the lighter and airier the mass will turn out. You can increase the amount of salt and yogurt to make the frosting less sweet.

Reducing the sweetness of chocolate icing

Yes, chocolate icing is delicious. It can be so sweet that it is impossible to consume it.

However, this is not a reason to be upset because you have the opportunity to fix everything. The easiest way to correct the situation is if you increase the cocoa content.

Thanks to such actions, the taste turns out to be deeper, and the sweetness is reduced. The addition of sour cream also helps to make the glaze less sweet.

Believe me, this method is no less tasty. You can increase the concentration of bitterness to balance the sweetness with a mixture of melted chocolate and heavy cream.

With this method, the chocolate is more flavorful and the sweetness is reduced. It is important to pay attention to what kind of chocolate you use. The finished mixture can be unsweetened, sweet, or semi-sweet.

Try to give chocolate, which is used for baking. At the same time, remember to add a small amount of sugar.

Other methods to get less sweet frosting can be used; however, it is not recommended to combine them with chocolate.

When making chocolate icing, you can opt for recipes that combine cream cheese with chocolate.

The texture with cream cheese and chocolate is more creamy with minimal sweetness. The icing has a pleasant chocolate flavor without feeling overdone.

Variants of sugar for making the glaze

Quite often, housewives try to determine which types of sugar are ideal for making the glaze. In most cases, it makes sense to use confectioners’ sugar. It has the consistency of sand with fine particles. To prevent sugar from sticking together, a minimum amount of starch is added to it.

Classical powdered sugar has a snow-white tint. To prevent the texture from sticking together, starch from corn is added. If you choose organic powdered sugar, tapioca is added to it. This option has a more caramel flavor.

With the help of icing sugar, it is quite simple and quick to prepare the icing. However, the downside is that the taste of castor sugar can be more intense. But starch contributes to the appearance of a metallic aftertaste. To neutralize the taste and have less sweet cream, you can melt some butter.

Then combine it with powdered sugar, and add salt and milk. Mixing is carried out in a bowl made of stainless steel. This helps to remove the metallic taste. Salt helps get rid of unbearable sweetness.

Shop frost flavor improvements

Quite often, housewives want to avoid making homemade frosting for a long time, so they opt for purchased options. However, they do not always have a balanced taste. Therefore, you have to work to make the glaze more delicious.

You can warm up the goods, and add a little salt and vanilla to the mass. This gets rid of excessive sweetness. However, there may still be an unusual aftertaste that is characteristic of processed foods. You can add whipped cream to store-bought icing, which has a thick consistency.

Thanks to this, the mixture acquires a pleasant taste, and light and lush texture. It imitates the glaze prepared at home. Whipped cream can add sweetness. Therefore, as an alternative, you can use cream cheese. First, it needs to be slightly warmed up to room temperature, and only then added to the glaze.

To improve the taste of store-bought glaze, you can whip it yourself. For this, a regular mixer is suitable. Thanks to such actions, the glaze expands and acquires a light and fluffy texture. It is appropriate to add a pinch of salt and a small amount of vanilla extract.

Some housewives add freeze-dried fruit powders. They fill the glaze with aroma and pigment. Start by adding about ¼ cup and whisk constantly. Focus on your preferences for taste, shade, and texture.

You can dilute the icing from the store with milk or water. The milk intensifies the flavor of the frosting while reducing the sweetness. To achieve an airy consistency, you can add a spoonful of castor sugar, and beat everything thoroughly.

However, this method increases the sweetness. Therefore, you constantly need to try the mass and focus on your preferences.


In the process of reducing the sweetness of the glaze, many questions can be faced. The answers to them will be presented below.

How do you unsweeten vanilla frosting?

You can increase the salt content. It helps reduce the sweetness. However, you should not add too much salt so that the icing does not become salty and unusable. First, add just a pinch, and try. If everything tastes good, then no more should be added.

How do you make frosting not taste like powdered sugar?

To achieve this effect, add 1/8 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to 4 cups of powdered sugar.
This allows you to get the perfect buttercream frosting consistency, which will advantageously emphasize the taste of the dessert. It is appropriate to combine sweet buttercream frosting with cream cheese frosting to normalize the taste.


As you can see, there are several ways to reduce the sweetness of dessert icing. You need to focus on what the glaze is based on. Read How to start a cupcake business