Cream Cheese Frosting

Baking By sarascakecreations Updated 17 May 2010 , 3:11am by preciosa225

sarascakecreations Posted 5 May 2010 , 9:48pm
post #1 of 27


So I made cream cheese frosting and most of the recipes I found online were: 8oz cream cheese, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 3 cups icing sugar.

BUT when I mixed it the consistency was so thin... it was something like a creamy peanut butter... so it won't hold when I try to pipe nice icing on the cup cake????

What am I doing wrong... I tried adding more icing sugar but now it is over taking the cheese flavor. How can I get it to thicken?


26 replies
denetteb Posted 6 May 2010 , 3:52am
post #2 of 27

You seem to be missing the fat. I just looked up some recipes and they are more like 8 oz cream cheese, 1 c fat, 2# powdered sugar. The big variation I have found is in the fat. They vary from 1:2, 1:1 or 2:1 butter to shortening depending on the flavor you want and how heat tolerant.

sarascakecreations Posted 6 May 2010 , 12:33pm
post #3 of 27

sorry im lost now.... so what do i put as a fat...

can you post a recipe for me please

melmar02 Posted 6 May 2010 , 12:41pm
post #4 of 27

Here is a crusting cream cheese recipe. It makes a pretty big batch, so scale it down if needed.

djs328 Posted 6 May 2010 , 12:58pm
post #5 of 27

Yes, mine has butter & cream cheese in it, so it does hold up for piping - very similar to the one posted by melmar. icon_smile.gif

denetteb Posted 6 May 2010 , 1:14pm
post #6 of 27

Sorry to confuse you. Cream cheese recipes have either all butter, all shortening or a combination of both as the fat. All butter tastes better but all shortening has better tolerance for sitting out on a table at a reception or event and is better for standing up to piping. And if you use a combination of both then the different proportions of fat to butter combine the benefits. I was pointing that out because which recipe you choose depends on what your needs are. For example for a friends wedding cake in northern MN in May I went with one with more butter than shortening (a 2:1 ratio). It tasted great but the bit of shortening had it stand up well. That recipe might not work as well in TX in the summer because it would be too prone to get soft in the heat. I hope that clears it up.

sarascakecreations Posted 7 May 2010 , 3:27am
post #7 of 27

thanks so much everyone!

so this recipe looks great! Thanks!

1 + 1/3 cup veg shortening
16 oz cream cheese softened at room temp (2 8oz blocks)
3 tsp clear vanilla extract
3 tsp clear butter extract
2 tsp clear almond extract or creme bouquet
(or you can use 1 tsp of both yum)
3 tbs meringue powder
1/3 tsp fine popcorn salt (or reg salt)

3 3.5 lbs powdered sugar

1/4c plain powdered creamer dissolved in 1/4 c very hot water
(you may use flavored creamers, if you want to infuse a flavoring) You may not need to use all of the liquid.

so my question is... i would really like it to be stiff and hold up for an outdoor wedding... so does that mean i should instead of doing... 1 1/3c vegetable shortening do it half shortening and half butter? and still add the butter extract??

is butter extract really needed? where would i get it... bulk barn?

denetteb Posted 7 May 2010 , 3:47am
post #8 of 27

I haven't tried that specific recipe. The all shortening should hold up better for an outdoor wedding than if you use some butter in it. The butter flavoring is to add the butter flavor since it is an all shortening recipe. You can get it at most Walmarts in the craft section where they have cake decorating supplies or at Michaels. Personally I wouldn't use the almond or creme bouquet in it because I would want the cream cheese flavor to stand out, I think the additional flavor of almond and creme bouquet would muddle things up. I would make the frosting in a half batch size just to see how you like the taste and working with it before you get to the real thing. And remember you don't want it so stiff that you can't work with it, you still want it soft enough that you can frost and pipe with it. But that is easily adjustable by the liquid, add more or less as you see how firm it is while you are mixing.

sarascakecreations Posted 7 May 2010 , 4:05pm
post #9 of 27

thanks so much, i may try it this weekend if i can get to the store.

so i think i will infact leave out the almond extract and the creme boquet bc i do love the taste of cream cheese and i do want it to stand out. and i am definately going to make it in half a batch to see how much it gives me.

1 last question... in terms of the flavor is the butter extract really necessary? will it highten the cream cheese flavor or will it cover it up? if i leave it out am i asking for disaster?


denetteb Posted 7 May 2010 , 9:15pm
post #10 of 27

I would use the butter flavor since you are using all shortening. I don't think it would cover it up, it will complement it. It is only a couple dollars for the Wilton 2 oz jar. It is clear so doesn't change the color of the frosting. Plus it is often called for in other icing recipes. I don't know if leaving it out would be a disaster though, but if it was me I would put it in. In almond and especially creme bouquets defense, I love them both, especially creme bouquet in plain buttercream.

sarascakecreations Posted 8 May 2010 , 4:11am
post #11 of 27

ok thanks. i only ask because i went to the grocery store today and they didn't have it... and michaels and bulk barn are both a bit out of the way considering i wanted to make it for sunday. i suppose maybe i could do half veg shortening and half butter then? i guess it just won't be as stiff?

also you were saying that almond extract and creme bouquet are good to flavor buttercream... i've used almond but never the other one... that one is also made by wilton? what type of flavor does it have?

i've almost always just done a vanilla buttercream.

denetteb Posted 8 May 2010 , 2:50pm
post #12 of 27

The "stiffness" of icing is more based on the amount of liquid you add. Using a combination of butter and shortening will make it less tolerant to the heat, more likely to be melty or soft from the heat, than if you use all shortening. So consider when and where the cake will be served, how long sitting out, etc. But you can do half and half butter and shortening, or you could do twice the shortening to butter. When I was checking out cream cheese frostings for the wedding cake I was getting frustrated cause I wanted the BEST frosting and was struggling with why there were so many different variations of recipes. I did 3 for a taste test and the one with more butter than shortening tasted best. So mostly butter for better flavor with a little shortening to make it easier to work with and more stable than butter alone. But that recipe wouldn't be best for a TX wedding in August. Thus the multiple of recipes, based on needs and preferences. So you can adjust all you want but it will have consequences. You certainly can make it without the butter flavoring, it will change the taste. You can use a combination of fats but it will change the heat tolerance.

denetteb Posted 8 May 2010 , 2:54pm
post #13 of 27

I think I was running out of room....Creme Bouquet is a fantastic flavoring. I don't think Wiltons makes it though several other companies do. It adds a lovely flavor. Kind of vanilla, almond with a little citrus. Really hard to describe. YUMMY! If you see some at a cake place, pick up a bottle. It makes things taste special like you used a secret recipe. And it is great for cream cheese mints.

sarascakecreations Posted 8 May 2010 , 9:26pm
post #14 of 27

Thank you so very much for all this info! it makes alot of sense... i definately won't have time to make it for mother's day but i am for sure going to try it. and i think i will do something like 1/2 butter and 1/2 veg shortening.

for now the cup cakes are for home tasting and then the wedding is in september indoors at a hall so it should be ok.

and i will definately look into creme boquet... i go to a cake supplier and next time i'm there i will check for it.

denetteb Posted 8 May 2010 , 11:36pm
post #15 of 27

Here is the recipe that won our taste test.
1 c butter, softened
1/2 c shortening
16 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter flavor
3 1/2 - 4 # powdered sugar (see how it looks, don't just dump it all in)
1/2 tsp popcorn salt (this is not the flavored kind, popcorn salt is finer grained than regular and mixes in better)
Cream butter, shortening, cr cheese, extracts and salt. Gradually add p. sug. Beat on low til nice and fluffy. This is a crusting recipe and can be smoothed with the viva paper towel. This recipe makes stiff consistency. Whenever I have made it I need to add more liquid and have used milk or liquid coffee creamer, depending on what I have on hand. This makes about 6 cups but I have often cut it in half. It fills and frosts a 9 inch two layer cake with a couple cups left over. It worked find for piping also.

sarascakecreations Posted 10 May 2010 , 6:19pm
post #16 of 27

ok thanks i think i am going to try that last recipe you posted denetteb... just 1 question .... you said 3 1/2-4 # did you mean 3 1/2 - 4 cups??

also in the other recipe posted they mentioned... what is powdered creamer???


denetteb Posted 10 May 2010 , 6:56pm
post #17 of 27

Nope, pounds is correct. I made a note that I use around 3#. It makes a really big batch. But I also usually add some liquid, either milk or liquid coffee creamer, depending on the consistency. Powdered creamer is the non-dairy creamer powder people add to their coffee.

sarascakecreations Posted 10 May 2010 , 9:38pm
post #18 of 27

okay denetteb... i tried your recipe this afternoon and it is YUMMY and holds up nicely! I love it... thanks so much for all the tips along the way.

Sara... now i need to master the red velvet cake recipe??? not going so well with that one lol icon_sad.gif

denetteb Posted 10 May 2010 , 9:59pm
post #19 of 27

I'm so glad it worked out for you! Thanks for letting me know. I haven't tried making a red velvet cake, they aren't so common in MN. I have only tasted one once when we were in the south, I wasn't so impressed with it. Where are you from?

melakurtz Posted 10 May 2010 , 10:00pm
post #20 of 27

can someone tell me if this icing is OK to leave unrefrigerated at a wedding for hours? I need good advice-so many conflicting stories about cream cheese icing! Help please!

sarascakecreations Posted 11 May 2010 , 2:37am
post #21 of 27

I have no idea if it could be out for hours but if it were for a wedding i think it should be just fine! as for leaving it out over night i would think that's a no no bc of the cream cheese.

I am from Ontario, Canada... it's not too popular here among the common person but upscale bake shops usually have it on hand.

denetteb Posted 11 May 2010 , 3:23am
post #22 of 27

There have been lots of discussions about refrigerating it or not. If you go to google and type in.....refrigerate cream cheese frosting cake central.....a number of prior CC discussions will give lots of opinions on this. But it will be more conflicting opinions, some cakers won't leave their butter to soften on the counter overnight so of course wouldn't leave cream cheese frosting out of the fridge for more than an hour, others are comfortable with much more room temp time. Personally when I have had cupcakes with cr cheese frosting I have left them out for several days and eaten them myself.

cakeflake80 Posted 11 May 2010 , 3:05pm
post #23 of 27

denetteb- thank you so much for the recipe. I am making a baby shower cake this weekend and definitely want to try making this icing. I was also concerned about needing to refrigerate the cake once done. I want to avoid that at all costs. If I were to decorate this cake on Friday night, would it be fine in a cake box overnight? The shower is Saturday.

denetteb Posted 11 May 2010 , 7:04pm
post #24 of 27

Read the other threads about refrigerating cream cheese frosting and decide what you are comfortable with.

preciosa225 Posted 16 May 2010 , 3:04am
post #25 of 27

denetteb - just one question. Can you taste the cream cheese in this icing? The reason I am asking is because I have tried a few "crusting" cream cheese icing recipes and a lot of them taste sooo sweet and you cannot taste the cream cheese at all. (They just taste like VERY SWEET buttercream). I want a recipe where you can TASTE the cream cheese! LOL


denetteb Posted 16 May 2010 , 3:37pm
post #26 of 27

I am not the best person to ask that question because in my opinion there is no such thing as too sweet! I think it is a yummy recipe and my friend did also and it won the taste test of 3 different recipes. I think it is really cream cheese tasting also. I have read that the salt in the recipe cuts down the sweetness, so perhaps you could adjust that quantity to get it to your liking if you thought it too sweet. Not sure how much you can add before it tastes salty. Make a half or quarter batch and give it a try. I won't admit how much leftover I have eaten with a spoon, straight from the fridge, never to make it onto a cake.

preciosa225 Posted 17 May 2010 , 3:11am
post #27 of 27

LOL...Thanks for this! I will give it a try!

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