Cream cheese frosting is a delicious angelic delight.
It’s like a buoyant cloud of goodness. The flavor compliments fine spices and nuts. It’s perfect atop cakes like red velvet, carrot, and pumpkin. It’s equally as delicious and gorgeous atop cupcakes. It’s light, it’s fluffy, it’s not too sweet, and it’s easy to use. Layer cakes love this stuff, and so will pretty much everyone you know.
So how do you make it?
We start every frosting with butter. Unsalted room temperature butter is best as anything that’s not room temperature will fight you. So leave your butter out for at least an hour before using it. When ready, start whipping it until it turns pale in color. Then add room temperature cream cheese, and continue to whip. Then add sifted confectioner’s sugar. Whip a few more minutes, until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. That’s it – just 4 simple ingredients.
It’s all ratio, baby
The real secret to cream cheese frosting is the ratio of butter to cream cheese. For cupcakes, we use more butter than cream cheese. Cupcake toppings should be light, fluffy, and easy to pipe. For cakes that get iced, we like a 1:1 ratio, creating a stiffer frosting that’s easier to coat a cake.
Cream cheese frosting is best when refrigerated if you aren’t serving your cake right away. Ideally, you should serve your cake shortly after frosting (1-3 hours). If you’ve got leftovers, store the cake in an air-proof container and let it come to room temperature before serving it. If you’ve made too much frosting, you can freeze it. When you’re ready to use it, just add a little bit of cream or whole milk to bring it back to life — just avoid spreading it on your bagel in the morning.