For the longest time I’ve been at war with cream cheese frosting.
Don’t get me wrong, I love cream cheese frosting on carrot cake, especially from the Meijer bakery.
But making it has not been my favorite baking experience. Each time it seems like it gets slimy, or somehow just doesn’t hold up during piping. I made it last summer to go on my first homemade carrot cake for my mom’s birthday,
then made it to top some red velvet cupcakes on request from a neighbor, then at Christmas for some gingerbread cupcakes (that was my favorite Christmas cupcake, btw) and I was pretty sure it only worked because of the frigid temps,
then for carrot cupcakes again for a wedding this July,
and it has been SO unpredictable! In anticipation of the most recent cream cheese frosting request, I tempered my anxiety by scouring the interwebs to troubleshoot my process or ingredients list. I based this frosting on a really successful buttercream from Sweetapolita, my hero.
Here are the ingredients I used and some tips I found to FINALLY make the perfect cream cheese frosting (LOOKIE – it’s actually a recipe! – this is an exception to my general “not-a-recipe-girl” rule, enjoy!):
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe (makes enough frosting for30 cupcakes)
2 sticks softened butter (room temp – this is important) cream butter in bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment on speed 4 for 2-3 minutes until light & fluffy (really light and fluffy – don’t rush this!) then add
3 cups sifted powdered sugar added into the butter one cup at a time until thoroughly blended. mix on speed 4 for 5 minutes or so until REALLY light & fluffy and the gritty texture of the sugar is reduced substantially, then add
1 tsp vanilla & dash of salt (with or without a bit of orange zest – I LOVE that combo), blend until fully incorporated and ONLY THEN add
4 oz. cream cheese (COLD, like, not frozen but right out of the fridge, cut into 4-5 small chunks & added with mixer running at stir), blend at medium speed (4) until just blended.
NOTE: only use FULL FAT cream cheese – don’t skimp because low-fat or Deschaeumel [sp???] (the 1/3 less fat substitute) cheeses have more moisture, and this will totally wreck your frosting.
Presto! Here is the latest batch of successfully-frosted red velvet cupcakes, loved by all who tried them!