Cream Cheese Frosting Dilemma

Decorating By Ellyane Updated 23 Oct 2010 , 8:28pm by Nellical

Ellyane Posted 22 Oct 2010 , 5:32pm
post #1 of 18

So I've been reading that fondant covered cakes shouldn't be refrigerated, but the cream cheese frosting I'm using under the fondant should be. So what should I do? refrigerate or no??

17 replies
TattooMom25 Posted 22 Oct 2010 , 5:47pm
post #2 of 18

it's my understanding that cream cheese is stable at room temp b/c the sugar counter acts any spoilage from the milk (although I would keep it cool so it doesnt melt)

divinecc Posted 22 Oct 2010 , 5:52pm
post #3 of 18

I wouldn't risk the frosting spoiling and refrigerate it. I had this same dilemma awhile back and just put it in the fridge the fondant was fine. I just made sure I took it out and let it come to room temp before putting in a warm/hot area and the fondant wasn't sticky at all! I also know of a stable cream cheese frosting that can be left out several days:

Crusting Cream Cheese Icing: Kathy Finholt

http://cakecentral.com/recipes/2047/crusting-cream-cheese-icing

glow0369 Posted 22 Oct 2010 , 5:54pm
post #4 of 18

wow, several days.. gonna try this.. thanks

tootie0809 Posted 22 Oct 2010 , 5:56pm
post #5 of 18

I refrigerate ALL of my fondant cakes. They all will sweat a little bit after coming out of the fridge, but that shininess goes away eventually. I also use cream cheese buttercream, so once a cake is iced, it stays cool in the fridge if I'm not working on it. I know some people swear to never refrigerate a fondant cake, but others have never had problems with it, so I guess it depends on where you live.

srkmilklady Posted 22 Oct 2010 , 6:10pm
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tootie0809

I refrigerate ALL of my fondant cakes. They all will sweat a little bit after coming out of the fridge, but that shininess goes away eventually. I also use cream cheese buttercream, so once a cake is iced, it stays cool in the fridge if I'm not working on it. I know some people swear to never refrigerate a fondant cake, but others have never had problems with it, so I guess it depends on where you live.




Totally agree with you tootie0809. thumbs_up.gif

julesh268 Posted 22 Oct 2010 , 6:41pm
post #7 of 18

You do not need to refrigerate cream cheese frosting. Tattoomom is right, the sugar stabilizes it. I have had cream cheese covered cakes at room temp for a solid week and they are just as wonderful the last day as the first.

TexasSugar Posted 22 Oct 2010 , 6:45pm
post #8 of 18

I think it depends on the cream cheese recipe. It has to have the right ratio to be safe left out.

Personally because the cream cheese people tell you it shouldn't leave it out more than 4 hours, I don't, even in icing.

Nellical Posted 22 Oct 2010 , 6:51pm
post #9 of 18

It depends on the humidity in your refrigerator. The one I have at home is a regular Whirlpool side by side and I have put cakes in it that came out fine. The professional one I have in the bakery is a humidity hog and will melt fondant beyond repair.

Once they are covered, we put fondant covered cakes in our pastry case in the front which has a dehumidifier built in and they come out fine. If you have a really cool room, like a cellar, you can put the cake in there and it should be alright. I don't like the idea of cream cheese frosting at room temp for days, it is too much of a health hazard.

You might try a test. Take a small cake, like a 4", 5" or 6". Fill and crumb coat as you would normally and cover with fondant. Stick it in your fridge for about 3 hours then take it out. You can touch it, let it come to room temp, whatever, it is just a test. The cake will answer this question best. If you don't want to use a cake, you can roll some fondant out and cover the back of a small bowl or cake pan, afixing the fondant with some frosting. The fondant will still react pretty much the same. It won't have a moist cake under it but the frosting will give it a little more moisture true to your real cake. You don't have to use a lot and it will ease your mind going into a big project.

Best of luck!

Nel

Ellyane Posted 22 Oct 2010 , 7:17pm
post #10 of 18

so if it's moisture that is the problem...just pondering here...
could I put some paper towels or something around the cake to absorb potential condensation?

JanH Posted 22 Oct 2010 , 8:44pm
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

I think it depends on the cream cheese recipe. It has to have the right ratio to be safe left out.




I also think it depends on the recipe.

Some recipes like snarkybaker's are almost all cream cheese with minimal powdered sugar (3/4 cup p.s. to 10 oz. cream cheese & 2 Tbsp. butter):

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-40193-.html

While Earlene Moore's recipe is a buttercream flavored with cream cheeseicon_sad.gifuses 5-1/2 lbs. p.s. to 17 oz. of fat)

http://www.earlenescakes.com/icings.htm

Factors to consider when using cream cheese frosting under fondant...

Since regular cream cheese (33% butterfat) can have a water content of up to 55%, I can understand why a recipe without sufficient p.s. to control the water activity could be problematic under fondant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cream_cheese

Additionally, not all fondants are created equal, either. For example, a mmf recipe doesn't contain the stabilizers of a commercially prepared fondant so that also would be a factor to consider...

Additionally, American buttercreams (made with tons of powdered sugar, fat and a small amount of liquid/any liquid) are shelf stable (no refrigeration required) because the sugar (which is hygroscopic or water absorbing) controls the water activity in the liquid, be it water, milk, cream or non-dairy coffee creamer, etc..

But that doesn't mean that any frosting/filling recipe that contains some sugar doesn't need to be refrigerated.

Here's the science.

Water activity & microbial growth:
(Prolonging Bakery Product Life.)

http://tinyurl.com/ya8po4z

WJ Scott in 1953 first established that it was water activity, not water content that correlated with bacterial growth:

http://tinyurl.com/bmsato

Formulating for increased shelf life:
(Decreasing water activity results in hostile environment for bacteria.)

http://tinyurl.com/csu2b9

Cream cheese frosting & sugar as a preservative:
(Includes shelf stable cream cheese recipe.)

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-621145-.html

HTH

Nellical Posted 22 Oct 2010 , 8:55pm
post #12 of 18

Wow...well written.

As to the paper towels, NO! If the fondant gets sticky, you will have a huge mess. The best thing to do is let the fondant sit at room temp, after you have removed it from the fridge. Do not touch it for about an hour. It will sweat at first but do not touch it. Once it has come to room temp, it should be dry on its own.

Do the test so you can tell about your own fridge before you do a "real" project. icon_smile.gif

Another thing that helps me is I use Satin Ice mixed with white modeling chocolate made from Merckens super white. 75% fondant, 25% modeling chocolate. Makes a very workable, tasty, and forgiving fondant. You can also add flavorings to it if you want.

Nel

Ellyane Posted 22 Oct 2010 , 9:30pm
post #13 of 18

wow! thanks so much!
I only wish I'd asked this question before I covered my cake in cream cheese frosting. sigh.
It's going to a birthday party tomorrow, so I think I'll just get up early and cover it w/ the fondant shortly before it goes out the door. That way it shouldn't need to be in anyone's fridge for very long, if at all.
I'm learning...

Nellical Posted 22 Oct 2010 , 9:45pm
post #14 of 18

Give yourself at least two hours to decorate your cake. Some folks are faster but it never hurts to have extra time.

Today, if you have time, you can practice, if you need to, by covering an upside-down cake pan with fondant. No need to wet it or put frosting on it. In fact, make sure it is really clean and dry so you can use the fondant tomorrow. And make sure your hands, tools, and counter are really clean!

If this is new to you, you'll get a better idea of how fondant behaves with a little practice.

Have fun and remember

It's just a cake!
icon_smile.gif
Nel

sweettreat101 Posted 23 Oct 2010 , 9:22am
post #15 of 18

I only use Kathy Finholts cream cheese frosting recipe. It is wonderful to decorate with and also crusts. It can be unrefrigerated for up to five days. I emailed her regarding her recipe a couple of months ago to check on the shelf life.

Ellyane Posted 23 Oct 2010 , 4:48pm
post #16 of 18

Thanks everyone!
I finished it up last night and covered it with fondant this morning. It will be sitting in the car until it's served, which here in MA means that it will be at or near refrigerator temps anyway.
It has it's flaws, but for my first real effort with fondant, I'm pretty happy. Check it out here if you like: http://cakebliss.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/cat-tastrophe/

ILoveDaffodils Posted 23 Oct 2010 , 5:27pm
post #17 of 18

Your cat cake turned out great. Love it.

Nellical Posted 23 Oct 2010 , 8:28pm
post #18 of 18

Sarah,

Your cake is awesome! I would not have believed it was your first fondant attempt, a carved cake! You learned a lot during this project, like making sure your cake is cold before you carve it, some things that took me a long time . You did a really Great job! icon_smile.gif

Remember that each cake is a learning experience as well as an expression of love and art!

Again, great job!
Nel

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