Cream cheese frosting for piping and decorating cakes/ cupcakes because your bakes deserve a heavenly touch and nothing can taste more amazing than cream cheese frosting.
My very first sweet post of the year is here . Rich and creamy cream cheese frosting that is not runny. I love this silky smooth frosting on about every dessert. You may say I am a bit obsessed .I have been getting a lot of requests to post a workable and pipeable cream cheese frosting. As Valentine’s is around the corner I thought of sharing an elaborate post on ‘All about successful cream cheese frosting. ‘ I hope to share everything that I have learnt about cream cheese frosting over years. You may also like my posts on buttercream frosting , ganache , stabilized whipped cream.
Few years ago when I baked in New York ,bakes with cream cheese frosting were the most popular ones amongst my clients. You will notice that most of the fruit based or special occasion cakes are frosted with cream cheese. And why not , it’s light, creamy and rich in taste . It is sweet but lighter than buttercream.
So what is this cream cheese frosting made of?
It’s made of cream cheese , butter/ veg shortening and lots of powdered sugar and extracts/ flavoring if desired.
I like to add little bit of lemon juice or zest to cut off the sweetness and add more flavor.
Cream cheese alone cannot hold the shape so some butter is always added.
When the weather is warm / hot then I like to make cream cheese frosting with combination of cream cheese and veg shortening and not butter. This makes the frosting more stable and is more likely to hold shape.
We all have had our share of curdled or runny cream cheese frosting and believe me its totally heart breaking.
Making cream cheese frosting is very easy but it’s important to follow few tips and tricks mentioned below-
Always use room temperature cream cheese. It should be soft to touch . Never use cream cheese melted or straight out of the fridge. I leave it out on the kitchen counter for 4-5 hours or overnight.
Butter should be soft to touch as well and not melted or runny .
Using cold cream cheese or butter will curdle your frosting.
Using melted one will make runny frosting.
So be patient and remember that if it starts well it will end well 😉
Use good quality butter and full fat cream cheese.
Always sift the confectionary/ icing sugar before adding to the cream . It makes a lot of difference.
Once you are done making the frosting refrigerate it for at least 1-2 hours or more to set before piping.
Over the time I have realized that for making a nice frosting butter needs to be beaten well and longer than cream cheese.
Initially when I started making cream cheese frosting I used to beat cream cheese and butter together and by cream cheese would thin out considerably. After looking up a lot online I found a great tip on Cake Central. The tip was to beat the butter for 2-3 minutes and add cream cheese later . And since then there wasn’t any looking back . This one tip changed my cream cheese frosting. It help shape and was perfect to decorate cakes.
- 1 cup / 8 ounce package cream cheese/ 226 grams, at room temperature (soft but not melted )
- 1/2 cup softened butter/ 113.5 grams at room temperature ( firm but soft to touch )
- 3 – 4.5 cups confectionary sugar/ icing sugar sifted (important)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract/ essence
- 1 tsp lemon juice optional I love it as it cuts the sweetness
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest optional
- 1/4 tsp salt - Only if u are using unsalted butter.
- 1 teaspoon room temperature cream / milk/ liquid only if frosting is very thick
Use electric hand held mixer or stand mixer ( beater attachment and not whisk )
Beat the butter on medium setting 3 mins until it's light in color and creamy.
Add in cream cheese and beat it on low setting 1-2 mins until blended and smooth.
Add salt ,vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest.
Gradually add the powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time on the lowest speed.
Use 3 cups sugar first.
Beat until frosting ingredients are completely combined.
Check the consistency at this point.
Scoop some frosting with a spoon or a spatula and turn it over gently to check if it holds peaks.
If it seems too soft, go ahead and add a little more sifted powdered sugar.
After ingredients are incorporated well beat the frosting on high for a minute.
U have the creamiest frosting ever .
Add liquid only if the frosting seems thick .
Frosting recipe can be doubled or tripled.
Please go through the entire post for important tips and tricks.
Sometimes due to weather conditions frostings tend to thin out.
Don't worry pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes or more.
And it will be perfect workable consistency.
Tint it in the color u like.
Add flavor variations of your choice.
Vegan version of cream cheese frosting
Use vegan cream cheese
Use non hydrogenated veg shortening / margarine – plant based
Use vegan / organic powdered sugar
All of the above are easily available in store or online.
Storing bakes frosted with cream cheese
Cream cheese frosting is perishable. Always keep your cakes / cupcakes frosted with cream cheese in the fridge.
The bakes will stay good upto 4-5 days refrigerated.
Storing leftover cream cheese frosting.
Make an easy ice- cream or you can refrigerate it up to a week or freeze it up to 2 months. If you have made a big batch and have lots leftover. Store in portion size one time use ziplock bags or freezer safe airtight plastic containers. Once thawed and used it cannot be frozen again.
For thawing place it in the fridge overnight or for 8-10 hours . There may be slight change in texture of frozen cream cheese frosting . You need to re beat it for 1-2 minutes and then use.
Don’t find cream cheese in stores / difficult to source
Try finding it online or you may choose to make cream cheese at home. I have never tried making it at home but there are many recipes for the same online.
What are you waiting for ? Get going and have fun piping fancy deigns on your bake . Keep spreading sweetness and smiles around.
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