Cupcakes without frosting are not nearly as decadent or as enticing as frosted varieties. The sweet and creamy spread helps the cake to retain moisture, and it is the finishing touch. However, it is not necessary. Substitutes can be used, and they can be just as tasty and as icing. Use substitutes when you do not have frosting on hand, or when you want to enjoy something else for a change.
I recently made a big batch of cupcakes, and much to my surprise, I did not have any frosting in my pantry. I did not want to drive to the store, and I decided to look for substitutes. I came up with a number of delicious ideas. Most people have substitutes on hand, but they do not realize it. Give these options a try. You might like them better than the usual canned or homemade frosting.
Tasty Peanut Butter Topping
If you love peanut butter, try one of the tastiest substitutes for frosting. Simply combine creamy peanut butter with a small amount of confectioner’s sugar. It will make the peanut butter slightly thicker and ideal for spreading onto cooled cupcakes. If desired, top each one with a mini peanut butter cup. With or without the added candy, the results are delicious.
Fruity Substitutes for Topping Cupcakes
When seeking substitutes for topping cupcakes, consider using thick fruit jam. To make the cakes even more impressive, poke holes in the cakes before topping them with jam. The jam will seep into the holes and create streaks inside the cakes. Jam is one of my favorite substitutes for frosting. The natural variety is the best choice since it does not contain added sugar.
Create a Tasty Baked Cinnamon and Sugar Topping
Another one of the best substitutes for frosting is not creamy at all, but it is very flavorful. Consider topping cupcakes with a combination of cinnamon and sugar. Add the topping just before the batter sets. The sugar will create a crunchy glaze, and the cinnamon will add amazing flavor. If desired, stir a little cinnamon into the batter before baking the cupcakes. It is very tasty when combined with white or yellow cake mix, but use it in small doses. A little goes a long way.
Real Chocolate Substitutes for Topping Cupcakes
One of my favorite and most often used substitutes for frosting is melted chocolate. Melt chocolate chips or almond bark in the microwave oven, after the cupcakes have cooled. If melted chips are used, dip the tops of the cool cupcakes in the melted chocolate, and allow it to set in the refrigerator. The chips will create a decadent chocolate topping that is crunchy, creamy and absolutely delicious.
Source: Personal Food Preparation Experience and Experimentation