17 Unique Ways To Use Leftover Frosting

You've finished frosting your cake, but there's still a healthy portion of frosting left over in the bowl. It's an all too common scenario, but it doesn't have to mean wastage. Rather than relegating your leftover frosting to the back of the fridge or scraping it into the bin, you can repurpose it in many different ways. This sweet cake topping is, in fact, a delicious tool that can play a part in a host of recipes that extend far beyond the world of baked goods. 

From simple snacks to decadent indulgences, these ideas will inspire you to think outside the cake pan and make the most of every dollop of frosting. From pancakes to oatmeal, and cocktails to coffee, you'll be amazed at the unlikely recipes that can benefit from the delicious sweetness of frosting. Say goodbye to wasted cake topping as we explore 17 inventive ways to breathe new life into your leftover frosting.

1. As a dip for fruit

Rather than letting your leftover frosting sit sadly in the fridge, instead, use it to give your fruit platter a serious upgrade. Scoop a dollop of frosting into your favorite dip bowl, and get stuck in with slices of apple, strawberries, grapes, or whatever fruit you have on hand. The creamy sweetness of the frosting is an amazing paring for the crisp juiciness of the fruit, creating a pretty epic snack. For an extra touch of sophistication, or if you're serving this to guests, try serving the fruit on skewers or cocktail sticks and arranging everything around the frosting bowl on a wooden board. 

Classic vanilla buttercream frosting will work wonderfully here, but other flavors like chocolate, caramel, or strawberry can be equally delicious options. You could even give the frosting a quick whip-up with some cream cheese to make it extra decadent and creamy.

2. Make cookie sandwiches

Why settle for plain cookies when you can transform them with leftover frosting? It's easy to turn your favorite cookies into indulgent sandwich treats by simply spreading a generous layer of frosting between two cookies and squishing them together. 

You can experiment with different flavors — both for the cookies and frosting — with endless mouth-watering combinations. For the ultimate chocolatey combo, try a rich chocolate buttercream icing, sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies. You could even fold some chocolate chips through the frosting for extra bite and flavor. Or, perhaps you'd prefer some soft and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies, paired with a lightly spiced cinnamon frosting. 

If you're starting with a base of classic vanilla frosting but want a different flavor filling for your new cookie sandwich creation, it's quick and easy to customize. Simply add your desired flavorings, such as lemon zest, cocoa powder, or caramel sauce, and give it another whip in the mixer.

3. Turn it into cookies

While frosting makes an incredible cookie sandwich, did you know you can also use it to make homemade cookies from scratch? All you need is your leftover frosting and a handful of other pantry staples, and you can repurpose it into a unique sweet treat. Depending on the type of frosting you use, the cookies will have a different flavor, so this is a versatile recipe with plenty of room to experiment.

To make these frosting cookies, start by adding the ingredients to a bowl. You'll need 1⁄2 a cup of frosting, one cup of all-purpose flour, one large egg, and an optional ¼ teaspoon of both baking soda and salt. Then, it's a simple case of mixing everything up. You could also add some chocolate chips if desired — about ⅓ cup is great. Scoop the cookie dough onto a baking sheet, and they're ready to go in the oven. The result is a batch of sweet, tasty cookies with a slightly cakey texture. 

4. Make a creative cocktail rim

Leftover frosting can also be used to up your cocktail game. With its sweetness and sticky texture, it's the perfect tool for creating a beautifully decorative and delicious rim on your cocktail glasses.

Start by spreading an even layer of leftover frosting onto a small plate. Then, dip the rim of your cocktail glass straight down into the frosting, ensuring an even coating around the glass. You want the frosting to coat about ¼ inch down from the top of the glass. Then, you can then dip the frosted rim into sprinkles, desiccated coconut, crushed cookies, cocoa powder, or freeze-dried strawberry powder. 

The possibilities are endless here, with so many ways to add texture and visual appeal. You could also easily substitute the honey for frosting in our coconut martini recipe, or switch up the chocolate syrup for leftover chocolate frosting in a decadent mudslide cocktail.

5. Blend it into a milkshake

Another way to make the most of your frosting is to use it to whip up the ultimate milkshake. Whether you're craving a classic chocolate shake, a fruity strawberry delight, or a sweet caramel-infused treat, adding frosting can transform your milkshake into an indulgent dessert experience.

To make a frosting-infused milkshake, simply add your choice of ice cream and milk to a blender. Then, add some leftover frosting. Start with about two tablespoons, blitzing everything until it is smooth and creamy. Adjust to taste by adding more frosting if needed. Strawberry frosting would be an amazing addition to a chocolate drizzle strawberry milkshake. Or how about a dollop of vanilla frosting to amp up the sweetness in a gingerbread milkshake?

For an extra aesthetic touch, you could even adorn your glass with sprinkles using the frosting cocktail rim method above. Top your milkshake with whipped cream, sprinkles, or a drizzle of your favorite syrup to complete your creation. These treats are an amazing way to impress your guests and use up your leftovers.

6. Make cake truffles

For something a little more fun and unique than a standard cake, try transforming your leftover frosting into irresistible cake truffles. These bite-sized balls of deliciousness are easy to make and super customizable too. They're the perfect snack to indulge your sweet tooth and a great one to make for parties, gatherings, or gifting to friends and family.

It's a simple case of adding equal parts crumbled cake and frosting to a bowl and mixing until well combined. You can use leftover cake scraps if you've already baked one, or opt for a quick and easy box mix. Then, scoop out the mixture, roll it into balls with your hands, and place them on a baking sheet. Pop this in the freezer for about 10 minutes until the truffles have firmed up, before dipping them in your coating of choice. Melted white, milk, or dark chocolate are all great choices. Once this outer chocolate layer has hardened (you can put them in the fridge to speed this up), they're ready to serve. 

7. Make a buttercream board

You might be familiar with cheese boards and charcuterie boards, but how about something a little sweeter? Turn your leftover buttercream frosting into an eye-catching and delicious creation by building your own buttercream board. This innovative idea takes leftover frosting beyond its usual role as a cake topping and transforms it into a beautifully presented dip for a variety of sweet goodies.

First, find your favorite wooden chopping board or large, flat serving platter. Grab a piping bag fitted with a large decorative nozzle and fill it with your leftover frosting. Star, flower, or round nozzles (or even a combination of all three) are great options. Then, it's time to get creative. Decorate the center of the board with the frosting in whichever patterns take your fancy. A simple swirling motion can be wonderfully effective, or you could go all out with edible flowers or even a themed board. Think giant snowman for Christmas or a cute buttercream rabbit for Easter. 

Top the frosting with sprinkles, chocolate shavings, or any other toppings you desire, then arrange your dippable goodies all around the buttercream. Oreos, pretzels, fruit, and crackers will all pair fantastically with the frosting.

8. Drizzle it over pancakes or waffles

You don't have to stop at syrup when it comes to topping your pancakes and waffles. Frosting can be a wonderful option to bring sweetness and creaminess to your breakfast stack.

For the perfect frosting drizzle, you'll want to loosen up the frosting a little so it's nice and pourable. To do this, heat your leftover frosting in the microwave for a few seconds at a time, stirring in between, until it becomes slightly runny. Then, transfer it to a small jug for easy pouring. Of course, you could also spoon it straight from the bowl.

Drizzle the warmed frosting over the top of your freshly made pancakes or waffles, and you'll have a gooey, sweet topping that pairs perfectly with the fluffy texture of the pancakes or the crispiness of the waffles. For extra sweetness and indulgence, you can add some sprinkles or whipped cream.

9. Stir it into oatmeal

Hear us out with this one. Oatmeal and frosting might not seem like a natural pairing, but it's a surprisingly delicious combination that can take your oatmeal to a whole new level.

Once you've whipped up a steaming bowlful of oatmeal, dollop your leftover frosting on top for an indulgent twist. Stir it through to distribute it evenly, and that sweet creaminess will melt right into the oats. You can adjust the amount of frosting depending on your desired level of sweetness. It serves as a wonderful alternative to your average sprinkle of sugar or drizzle of honey, turning your breakfast into a crave-worthy treat. 

You can also add some extra goodies such as fresh berries, nuts, seeds, or chocolate chips for the ultimate breakfast bowl. It's easy to mix and match the toppings depending on the flavor of your frosting. If you have cream cheese frosting to hand, try making carrot cake oatmeal by flavoring the oat mixture with pumpkin pie spice and vanilla, and topping it with the creamy frosting.

10. Make ice cream

Leftover frosting can also be a fun way to add color and sweetness to homemade ice cream. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of patience, you can create a delicious frozen treat that's bursting with flavor.

To make frosting ice cream, start by whipping up a batch of your favorite ice cream base. Once the base is mixed and ready to go, add one-third of the mixture to a loaf pan. Then, heat the frosting in the microwave until pourable, and drizzle the frosting on top of the ice cream. Use a knife or skewer to swirl it in figure-of-eight motions and make an appealing pattern. Repeat this twice more with the remaining frosting, to ensure beautiful swirls throughout. It helps if your frosting is a different color to the ice cream base, as this will give a nice contrast. If your ice cream and frosting are both vanilla, you can always add a few drops of food coloring to the frosting before swirling it in. Transfer the ice cream mixture to a freezer-safe container and let it freeze for at least six hours or overnight until it's firm and scoopable. 

11. Spread it onto graham crackers

This one is simple but totally delicious. With just two ingredients, you can create the ultimate crunchy, frosting-topped treat. Whether you're craving something quick that will satisfy your sweet tooth, or want to add a delicious treat to your packed lunch, frosting-topped graham crackers are sure to hit the spot.

Graham crackers make the perfect base for a dollop of sweet frosting. Just spread a generous layer of leftover frosting right on top of the cracker, and you've got the easiest of indulgent snacks that are perfect for any time of day. This will work with just about any flavor of frosting, providing it's thick enough to be spreadable. Try chocolate, peanut butter, or coffee-flavored frosting for a tasty twist. You could even sprinkle them with some tasty extras, like chocolate chips or chopped nuts, or make graham cracker sandwiches by squishing together two frosting-laden crackers.

12. Put it in your coffee

Coffee might not be the first thing that comes to mind when deciding how to use your leftover frosting, but these two can actually make a great pairing. The unlikely combination was proposed in a Reddit thread discussing ways to use up leftover cupcake frosting.

On the thread, one user explained, "This is gonna sound gross but last time I had some leftover buttercream I put a dollop of it in a jar of hot coffee and hit it with an immersion blender, then put another small dollop on top and served it with a cinnamon stick garnish. Wife enjoyed it, as did I." It seems that a few dollops of vanilla buttercream can make your morning coffee extra delicious, transforming it into a luxurious treat.

So, forget the sugar, grab that frosting from the back of your fridge, and give this a try. We reckon it could work fantastically in a rich hot chocolate too.

13. Make a sweet 'grilled cheese'

Here's a super fun creation to try — a sweet "grilled cheese." You'll need just two ingredients to make this easy treat that's designed to be a whimsical play on its savory counterpart.

To make your "grilled cheese," grab some pound cake or any other vanilla loaf cake that resembles bread in shape and color. Cut off two slices and pop them in the toaster or under the broiler until nicely browned. Then, arrange the slices one on top of the other and slice them in half diagonally to make your two cake sandwiches. For the "cheese" element, take some vanilla frosting and mix through a few drops of yellow food coloring to give it a more authentic cheesy look. Then, spread a generous amount on two of the bread triangles before sandwiching the other pieces on top, squishing them down so the frosting oozes out of the sides a little.

14. Stuff some strawberries

Strawberries and cream are a much-loved combination, but strawberries and frosting can be an equally delicious match. One fun and creative way to pair these two sweet treats together is by stuffing the strawberries with the frosting, to make beautifully presented, bite-sized snacks that are perfect for parties.

To make frosting-stuffed strawberries, start by washing and hulling a batch of fresh strawberries, removing the green tops, and creating a small cavity in each berry. You can make this hole using a piping nozzle, gently pressing it into the top of the strawberry, giving it a twist, and pulling out the core. Next, fill a piping bag with your leftover frosting (vanilla, lemon, or cream cheese frosting works wonderfully here). Pipe it into the cored strawberries, creating a swirly frosting mound on the top of each.

Once all the strawberries are stuffed, arrange them on a serving platter and add any toppings of choice, such as chocolate sprinkles or cookie crumbs. They're best served chilled, so refrigerate the stuffed strawberries for at least 30 minutes before serving to ensure the frosting is set.

15. Glaze a pork belly

Get ready to surprise your taste buds with this savory-sweet fusion. Using leftover vanilla frosting to glaze a succulent pork belly can be a delicious way to balance the rich flavors of the meat.

To glaze a pork belly with frosting, start by seasoning and cooking the pork belly as you normally would, roasting or grilling it until it's cooked through and tender, then remove it from the heat. While the pork belly is resting, warm your leftover frosting in a saucepan over low heat until it becomes smooth and pourable. Then, brush or drizzle the warmed frosting over the top of the pork belly. 

If desired, you could return the glazed pork belly to the oven or grill for a few minutes to allow the frosting to caramelize and form a sticky, flavorful coating on the outside of the meat. Let it rest for a few minutes, then slice it into thick, juicy portions. Serve it alongside your favorite sides and garnishes for a show-stopping meal that's sure to impress.

16. Make frosting-dipped pretzels

Combine the salty crunch of pretzels with the sweet creaminess of frosting by making frosting-dipped pretzels. These make for an incredibly moreish snack that's the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. 

Pretzel rods will work best for these fun treats. Simply heat your leftover frosting in the microwave until smooth, then dip each pretzel rod in, coating about ¾ of the way up the stick, and shaking off any excess. While the frosting is still runny, roll the coated pretzels in any extra toppings. Sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, and chopped nuts should all stick to the frosting nicely and give a delicious result.

Place the frosting-dipped pretzels on a parchment-lined baking sheet and leave them at room temperature until the frosting hardens. You can also pop them in the refrigerator for a few minutes to speed up the process.

17. Make fudge

Homemade fudge typically combines condensed milk, butter, milk, and sugar. But, we've got a handy hack for whipping up fudge using, you guessed it, that leftover bowl of frosting.

All you'll need is frosting and chocolate to make this simple yet decadent treat. White, milk, or semi-sweet chocolate can all work well, depending on the flavor of your frosting. Strawberry frosting pairs amazingly with white chocolate, while semi-sweet chocolate can add a richer depth of flavor to chocolate frosting. Most recipes call for about 12 ounces of chocolate and 16 ounces of frosting, but you can scale this down if you don't have that much frosting left over. 

First, melt the chocolate in a heat-proof mixing bowl in the microwave in 30-second bursts, until everything is nice and smooth. Next, stir in the frosting and transfer the mixture into a square pan and chill until set — about 2 hours. Then, it's ready to slice and enjoy.