Is it safe to leave cream cheese frosting out of the fridge for a few hours? I want to offer red velvet cake as a possible wedding cake flavour to clients, but have misgivings about using cream cheese frosting, both the food safety issues and also wonder about its stability. I usually set up wedding cakes in the morning and they're left out most of the afternoon and/or into the evening, so it could be several hours. I found a very good cake recipe by Ann Reardon of `How to Cook That', but have doubts about the frosting.
I wouldn't use cream cheese frosting if the cake was being left out of refrigeration. It has a tendency to go too soft for starters, and I'd be worried about spoilage and people getting sick. That's just what I would do for my own peace of mind.
ACream cheese frosting left out will not spoil in a few hours. Sugar is a preservative. If cream cheese spoiled that quickly, no one could eat cheese balls or any cream cheese based food item at room temp. In fact, you couldn't leave the cream cheese out to soften before you even make the frosting! I use cream cheese in my b/c frosting and it tastes so much better at room temperature which is why I deliver a cold cake at least an hour before an event to give it time to warm up.
I wouldn't leave it out for days, but we've eaten cakes that have been out overnight ( personal use) and they were tasty and no one got sick. Like I said, sugar acts as a preservative. You're fine.
Here's a link to a tested recipe
It's all about the availability of water for growing bad things.
Sorry, I just realised I was giving my answer from the point of view of where I live. I'm in a tropical climate, so leaving out cream cheese frosting is just a no-no. It goes super soft within 20 mins of being left out, and yes, I would worry about it spoiling - not to mention the cake collapsing! I do need to remember that most of you live in normal climates though, lol! So I apologise if I led you astray. I've just been baking in this crazy weather for so long that taking precautions like that is second nature to me.
Thanks for all your comments and info, especially the recipe link. All very helpful!