Cream Cheese Icing For Red Velvet Cupcakes

Baking By MELI_CAKES Updated 13 Aug 2010 , 6:47pm by Debcent

MELI_CAKES Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 2:27pm
post #1 of 15

Hi! So I am thisclose to landing a Sweet 16 in October. They want a small pillow cake with a shoe topper and then 2 cupcake towers.

I baked them a sample of my red velvet and they told me they liked it better than Cake Man Raven's! (I'm still glowing about that comment)

Here's my issue, my cream cheese icing is very creamy so it's hard to pipe in a swirl that will keep it's shape. I have to do it fast because it slides right through the tip on my bag before I even add any pressure!

How can I thicken it up a bit?

My recipe is : 1 stick butter, 1 brick cream cheese, and two cups powdered sugar plus a teaspoon vanilla extract.

I know I could add more sugar to thicken it but I don't want anyone to catch a cavity over my cupcakes.

Do you think adding half a cup of shortening could help? Or maybe a half brick more of cream cheese?

Thanks in advance for any advice. icon_smile.gif

14 replies
LindaF144a Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 2:54pm
post #2 of 15

I have the same problem with my cream cheese frosting. My proportion is a little different than your recipe. I use 2 pkgs of cream cheese to one stick of butter.

Still after using this several times with several bits of variations of butter/cream cheese, I believe that this combination does not hold up well to piping. It is not a cooked variation with no stabilization of egg whites like a SMBC of IMBC.

I think you best bet would be to use Indydeb's recipe and add cream cheese to it. I know that Mamawrobin has posted her version of a cream cheese/shortening based recipe on here.

Here is is:

Indydeb's crisco crusting frosting with cream cheese

1 2/3 cups Crisco
1 8 ounce box cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
4 LB. powdered sugar (SIFTED)
6 tablespoons Dream Whip
2 tablespoons vanilla (clear if you need white icing)
1 to 1 1/3 cups milk (I use half and half)

Put Crisco and cream cheese in mixing bowl and whip for 10-15 minutes.
Add about 1 1/2 pounds of the sifted powdered sugar, about 1/2 the milk and Dream Whip and mix until blended. Incorporate the rest of the powdered sugar, another 1/2 cup milk and vanilla. Let whip for at least 20 minutes. You may need to add up to 1/3 cups more milk...maybe even more. Just have to add until it "looks right". I like my icing pretty thick (still spreadable but thick)
I have also added 6 ounces of melted white chocolate to this icing and it is really, really good. It will require more milk if you add the chocolate, just add a teaspoon at a time until it "looks right". I used the icing with white chocolate added for a red velvet cake and it was a great flavor combination.

You can use half butter and half Crisco...I don't because of the heat and humidity in my area. This icing crust very well and will smooth beautifully using the viva method.

You could probably play with the ratio of crisco/cream cheese also. I think Mamawrobin said that she does not like cream cheese, so she puts just a little in the recipe.

***** Either way - I believe in my experience that you need to add some stability to a cream cheese frosting in order to use it as a piping medium. Shortening is a good way. I have tried over and over to make a SMBC cream cheese frosting and it just breaks down with the addition of cream cheese, even when adding just about 2 T. I don't know why because butter, which is a grease, does not break down SMBC. But there must be something to the fat in cream cheese that reacts with the meringue and not in a good way. Note - I have not tried IMBC as of yet. I don't know if the hot sugar will help to stabilize the meringue in such a way as it will take cream cheese being added to it differently than SMBC.

Crisco will add that stability you need to pipe. But I wouldn't take just my word. Hopefully Mamawrobin or Indydeb will see this and give their advice also.

LindaF144a Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 2:56pm
post #3 of 15

Sorry, I missed your question about shortening.

I should delete my long winded message.

But yes, I believe adding shortening will help stabilize a cream cheese frosting.

Good luck and let me know how it works out. I love my cream cheese recipe, but it definitely does not hold a well defined piped look very well.

MELI_CAKES Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 3:31pm
post #4 of 15

Thanks Linda for your advice. icon_smile.gif I will give that recipe a shot one day I love White Chocolate ! I will mess around with shortening additions and see what happens.

Pallison Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:26pm
post #5 of 15

I was looking for the same thing, thanks for the recipes and info Linda.....

JGMB Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 10:55pm
post #6 of 15

You should give Decorator's Cream Cheese Frosting from here on CC a try. It's absolutely delicious, and it smooths and pipes beautifully. HTH!

deMuralist Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 11:22pm
post #7 of 15

I have used the recipe you posted (Indydebi's with cream cheese) and it is quite nice to work with but not very cream cheesey. I tried changing the ratio to be more cream cheese but the texture was not usable.

Now the Decorator's, is about the same amount of fat (crisco, cream cheese, butter) but half the ps, should be interesting. I am going to give it a shot.

MELI_CAKES Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 7:29pm
post #8 of 15

Thanks JGBM I'll give that a shot !

MariaK38 Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 11:00pm
post #9 of 15

re: the frosting not being very "cream cheesy"... I saw posted earlier to use just a little of the Lorann cheesecake flavoring if you like it more "cream cheesy."

HarrietBakes Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 9:42am
post #10 of 15

Hey there! I'm looking for the same answers, so this thread is v helpful, thanks! I will try the crisco+butter+cream cheese one, but I just need to check - what is crisco? I'm guessing it's a shortening/veg fat type thing? I am in the UK so we don't have crisco as far as I know!

TIA icon_smile.gif

malene541 Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 5:13pm
post #11 of 15

I made some Decorator's cream cheese frosting last night and it was super smooth and great for piping. It still has that yummy cream cheese taste too.

Dayti Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 5:38pm
post #12 of 15
Originally Posted by HarrietBakes

what is crisco? I'm guessing it's a shortening/veg fat type thing? I am in the UK so we don't have crisco as far as I know!

In the UK you would use Trex which you buy in the supermarket. It is a solid vegetable fat, like Crisco.

HarrietBakes Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 5:50pm
post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by Dayti

Originally Posted by HarrietBakes

what is crisco? I'm guessing it's a shortening/veg fat type thing? I am in the UK so we don't have crisco as far as I know!

In the UK you would use Trex which you buy in the supermarket. It is a solid vegetable fat, like Crisco.

Great, I have some trex in the fridge! Thank you!

blessedist Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 6:12pm
post #14 of 15

I made a Red Velvet yesterday and I used 2lbs or powdered sugar....not 2 cups. I pretty much use the Deco cream cheese recipe here. I just add in pure vanilla (will make it ivory colored) and a little imitation butter flavor and it's delish!!!! Oh and to everyone that asks, it DOES crust and you CAN leave it out. I sat the cake in the dining room in a crystal cake plateau just to make sure. It's fine and I made it about 24 hours ago. HTH

Debcent Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 6:47pm
post #15 of 15

I used this recipe for my son's grad party Red Velvet Cupcakes. And everyone thought they were delicious. I added to the main recipe one 8oz cream cheese.

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