We’ll let you in on a little secret here if your promise not to tell anyone – making home-made icing for birthday cakes is a chore we don’t always have time for.  It’s much, much, much easier, even if you’re baking the cake from scratch, to use store-bought icing.  It’s very, very simple; no hand mixer or effort required.

That being said, not all store-bought icing is made equal.  Through a rigorous process of scientific investigation – or, rather, a long taste-test process – we’ve narrowed down a couple of the very best options for store-bought icing.  The next time you’re at the store, think about grabbing one of these, for use at birthday parties, impromptu cupcakes or just when something needs a little extra dash of chocolate.

Top Chocolate: Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Frosting, Milk Chocolate

It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate, but there’s a difference between real chocolate and store-bought.  You know that kind of waxy, chalky taste cheap chocolate sometimes has?  This one avoids all that.  It has a bit of caramel-y undertones, with a sweet, smooth flavor.  This was our favorite by a significant margin.

Top White Frosting: Betty Crocker Whipped Frosting, Fluffy White

This tasted a bit like marshmallow fluff, and was nice and smooth.  It also held its shape the best, which is nice if you’re doing any sort of fancy cake decorating, or at least want to have a little flair on the edge of your birthday cake.

Top Other Flavor: Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Lemon Flavored Frosting

We’re always a little suspicious of anything called so-and-so flavored, as opposed to just Lemon Frosting.  This, however, was surprisingly good – a little waxy, perhaps, but smooth and satisfying, and a nice, different flavor than go-to chocolate or white frostings.  We’d suggest avoiding the strawberry option, but the caramel flavor is nice, as well.