Just made a 3-tiered wedding cake with the cake flavors: red velvet, chocolate and pumpkin spice. The bride of course chose cream cheese frosting but wanted a fondant look without fondant. Called for a nice crusting cream cheese icing. So after trial and error, here’s what I came up with. She wanted a cream colored icing, so I did add a dab of brown coloring to the mixture.

Wedding – Crusting Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 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.


    Cream shortening, softened cr. cheese and extracts, then mix in meringue powder and salt then add 3 tbs creamer mixture.

  1. Once everything is smooth, slowly add 3 lbs of your powdered sugar with your mixer set on a low setting. Mix on setting six or med-high for 6 minutes or so.
  2. If you need a thicker icing add more p. sugar. If you ‘d like it thinner add more of your liquid. You probably know what consistency you are comfortable with.
  3. For crumb coating, take a few cups out and add more of the liquid to thin it out for your first coat. Let dry before applying your top layer of frosting.
  4. Once iced you can smooth the cake with a hot but dry spatula.(Dip in a very hot water and dry it before use). Let crust for about 20 minutes. I have been able to use the Melvira method with this icing utilizing both the roller and viva towels.
  5. You can see how this smoothed for me in my pictures it is the fall wedding cake with black ribbon and fall roses.
  6. This recipe will make a very white icing perfect for wedding cakes. If you want a more ivory cream cheese icing, substitute 1/2 cup butter for 1/2 cup shortening. Then the recipe will call for approx 3/4 c shortening, 1/2 c butter and 16oz of cream cheese.


Traci9130 Says... 18 Sep 2009 , 12:25pm

Sounds yummy!!! I LOVE cream cheese icing and can't wait to try this....

mysonbronson Says... 29 Sep 2009 , 11:31pm

I just made this today, but I did not care for it. For my personal taste I feel like it had way to many flavoring in it. I will give it a try again with maybe just the vanilla.

moxey2000 Says... 26 Oct 2009 , 9:03am

I made this today using just the clear vanilla. Delicious and very nice texture.

aztomcat Says... 29 Oct 2009 , 12:14am

Hi ladies, When I posted this recipe it was specifically for wedding cakes which I always have almond in the frosting. I'm glad to hear that you have found ways to adjust the flavors to suit you.

jfaulkner Says... 31 Oct 2009 , 10:33pm

Since this has real cream cheese, how long can you safely leave it out? Can you frost a day or two before the cake will be served and the icing not spoil?

momtofourmonkeys Says... 2 Nov 2009 , 12:05pm

I have the same question as jfaulkner. How long do you leave out the cake before the icing spoils? I have a carrot cake due this weekend that I would like to use a crusting cream cheese frosting on. I need to ice/ decorate on Friday and am wondering if I would need to refrigerate overnight for a Sat. night party?

aztomcat Says... 6 Nov 2009 , 1:12pm

I frosted the wedding cake 1 day before the wedding and it held up fine. I understand that the powdered sugar helps to stabalize it. We refrigerated the few remains.

ninatat Says... 16 Nov 2009 , 1:26pm

how long in the fridge would you keep it for later use

scionmom Says... 18 Nov 2009 , 12:49pm

How much does this make??

Shelly74 Says... 24 Nov 2009 , 7:19am

Sounds wonderful! I have a winter wonderland castle to do and I am using this recipe to work with! I am pumped thank you so much for sharing!

barico Says... 3 Dec 2009 , 4:23am

Can you add a great amount of color to the recipe? My client wants a dark brown cream cheese frosting on her cake this weekend. I wasn't sure if the cream cheese frosting could be colored the same as a buttercream can.

JustToEatCake Says... 16 Dec 2009 , 10:50am

Yes it can be colored just like reg frosting and when I recently did Cr. Ch. frosting I added cocoa to make it beige, I just added a little but you could add a bit more and then some coloring to make it dark and that would make it taste like it looked.

CakeMommy78 Says... 27 Jan 2010 , 1:55pm

How much cocoa would I need to add to make this a chocolate frosting? I will also need to add black coloring to make a black frosting.

aztomcat Says... 27 Jan 2010 , 10:50pm

You can color and flavor this icing just like any regular buttercream recipe. Remember to color your black a day ahead as the color will intensify. A dark gray color will become black in a day.

HeatherDawnC Says... 30 Jan 2010 , 2:13pm

I made this recipe on a red velvet cake and it turned out great! However I had extra icing and I refridgerated it and used it on another cake and then refridgerated that cake, but by the 2nd day the icing was sliding off of that one. The first cake was eaten the same day I made it, I don't know if I maybe didn't put enough powdered sugar or was I not supposed to refridgerate it? I love the flavor and that it crusts! Hoping to figure out what I did wrong.

buttercreamdreams Says... 23 Feb 2010 , 7:58pm

how did the black coloring turn out on this type of frosting? was it a success?

aztomcat Says... 3 Mar 2010 , 9:27pm

Heather, I have not had it come off of a cake before. Maybe it needed more p. sugar.

deesweets Says... 29 Mar 2010 , 7:23pm

can this frosting be used under fondant. I have a red velvet cake to do this weekend and I need to get started on it on Friday and I also am concerned with it not being refrigerated.

tinsleysmommy Says... 27 Apr 2010 , 6:36am

I just used a variation of this recipe for a three tiered wedding cake. It tastes great. It's a little different than a traditional cream cheese icing, I thought, but very yummy and wonderful. I only used vanilla extract rather than the flavored extracts and I used the substitutes to get a white icing rather than a cream colored icing. Really worked great except that I failed to use clear vanilla extract so mine did have a slight tint to it but was fine. I didn't find that mine really crusted like I expected it to so it was a little difficult to get a very smooth finish. Perhaps I didn't do something correctly or should have used more powdered sugar? Also the recipe is enough to crumb coat and ice a 3 tiered cake but I had to make a second batch to decorate the cake with. Just an fyi for anyone planning to decorate with the icing as well. Thanks so much! This recipe was a life saver and a keeper!

iwantalicakes Says... 23 Jun 2010 , 6:00pm

Made this today, yummy! I used 5 teaspoons vanilla and only 1 tsp. butter flavor. Made this with the cake box carrot cake on this site, so delicious! Thanks for posting :) We will see how it holds up without refrigerating the cake over night...nervous.

aztomcat Says... 29 Jun 2010 , 10:41pm

Let me know....I understand the meringue powder helps to stabilize it.

kdbohm Says... 6 Jul 2010 , 1:14pm

I love the flavor of this recipe. I had the same issue as Heather did. I made the frosting a day in advanced. Turned out very thick and smooth and excited to decorate with it. After being in the refrigerator, it did turn more runny and was difficult to decorate with. Will try it again and decorate the same day. Followed the recipe as is and loved the flavors!

Alexsmommee Says... 23 Jul 2010 , 7:27pm

How does this hold up in heat? Bride has a late August ceremony in Charlotte NC. I will have to transport the cake about 40 minutes. The 3 tiers y'all keep referencing; am I to assume that is a 10, 8, and 6 round? I have a 12, 10, 8, 6, and 4 square to do. Any guesses on the number of batches to be made?

Alexsmommee Says... 23 Jul 2010 , 7:31pm

Oh, the reception is inside!! Wouldn't even consider the cr. ch. icing if not!!

Heat index today 105F. Miserable.

aztomcat Says... 26 Aug 2010 , 10:52pm

Sorry I haven't been checking in. But I make this frosting in AZ.....over 100 here all the time and it holds up well. I think at least 3 batches.

splendirifficcakes Says... 19 Sep 2010 , 12:01am

Just made this and it its very good! It has a very smooth texture and crusts well. I will definitely use this recipe again! Thanks Aztomcat!

Babs1964 Says... 27 Sep 2010 , 9:59pm

I made this tonight using only vanilla & butter flavoring and I must say it is delicious!

aztomcat Says... 27 Sep 2010 , 10:24pm

You can always adjust the flavorings. For weddings I always add the almond.

vandru10 Says... 6 Oct 2010 , 7:58pm

Can this be used under fondant?

lutie Says... 16 Oct 2010 , 8:17pm

Used this for a wedding cake this week-end...but only used 12 oz of cream cheese...it was perfect!!!!!! Will use this again and again...the cream cheese flavor was not a turn-off to the guests at the reception...sometimes the cream cheese is way too prevalent, but the reduction to 12 oz. was terrific...the bride and groom took the top tier to their table and ate it totally! Thanks so much for a great recipe.

sweetmonkeycheese Says... 20 Oct 2010 , 4:26pm

This was my 1st ever frosted made and it came out great! It crusted and tasted wonderful! I could taste the cream cheese, but it did not over power.

aztomcat Says... 3 Nov 2010 , 7:43pm

vandru - I have used this under fondant.

angelabarton Says... 17 Nov 2010 , 1:49pm

Sounds like a GREAT recipe to try, I will definitely use this, but just to make sure, after I make the recipe, I will ice my cake and the cake is safe to leave out for a day/night? I usually make my cakes in a 3 day window, bake, let cool overnight, decorate the next day, and deliver the 3rd day. Always looking for a recipe I can leave out on the counter and not fret about - refrigerator is not big enough sometimes to hold the different size cakes. Thanks!

cocobaby Says... 27 Nov 2010 , 5:02pm

I also do the 3 day window as angelabarton does and have a cake for next Sat. I will need to decorate Friday and deliver at noon Sat. for a baby shower at 4 that afternoon. I would greatly appreciate it if someone will tell me if this will be ok. Thanks very much.

kdbohm Says... 29 Nov 2010 , 1:47pm

I had trouble with this the first time I used it to decorate with. I tried it a second time, making sure I followed the directions to a T. I still had issues with it. I thinned it out for the crumb coat, which dried nicely, so I was excited, but when I went to frost the cake, it was soft and would slowly bunch at the bottom of the sides.

I ended up scraping it off and added a lot more powdered sugar. I added about a cup more of powdered sugar for only 2 cups of frosting. I finally got it to stay, but took way more powdered sugar to make it stay.

I still love the flavor and it is a great tasting frosting. So am bummed that I keep having issues with it.

KJ1974 Says... 4 Apr 2011 , 5:47am

I made this frosting this weekend and LOVED it. Thanks for sharing.

jesscox Says... 13 Apr 2011 , 7:51am

What is meant in the instructions by " then add 3 tbs creamer mixture"??

jesscox Says... 13 Apr 2011 , 10:02am

LOL. Nevermind. I didnt see where you wrote about the powdered creamer.

fromkimskitchen Says... 22 Jun 2011 , 9:09pm

a cream cheese icing can be left out. as long as you're in a controlled room temp where it won't melt. i work in a restaurant that leaves it out for 3-4 days as we cut the cakes for serving. as far as the icing sliding off of cakes not sure, but if our cakes are really moist it will fall off around the edges. and if seems to do this worse if the cake is partially frozen when i ice them.

cakefusion Says... 28 Jul 2011 , 7:07am

This recipe is PERFECTION! Very smooth and a great consistency. I added the vanilla and butter flavorings and am very pleased with how it turned out : )

littlecherrygumdrop Says... 28 Jul 2011 , 7:15pm

I use a recipe similar to this, but instead of cream cheese, you can use all vegetable shortening tomake something like a "buttercream". The meringue powder is what causes the icing to crust, as it is similar to egg whites in a royal icing, only this won't completely harden. Another easy way to smooth it is to let it crust over, then lay a piece of wax or parchment paper on it and smooth by lightly rubbing with your hands or a fondant smoother :)

jdandersenna Says... 31 Jul 2011 , 12:36pm

Could you tell me what type of vegetable shortening you use (Crisco?) Would this recipe work if I used butter instead? Thanks for your help!

aztomcat Says... 5 Aug 2011 , 9:30pm

I would say stick with shortening. The cream cheese is already a softener, if you add butter as well it will not crust. Since they changed the recipe of crisco, I often buy the store brand of shortening. Its old school, just what you need. Good luck!

aztomcat Says... 5 Aug 2011 , 9:30pm

cakefusion, glad you liked it!

milissasmom Says... 16 Sep 2011 , 1:40pm

Trying this next month for a wedding cake :-) So excited to find it. Thanks for posting it and for keeping up with answering questions on the thread after so long! You are awesome aztomcat!

aztomcat Says... 16 Oct 2011 , 4:54pm

Milissasmom...... Hope you like it!

Rubiosix Says... 4 Nov 2011 , 1:21pm

Aztomcat, I am having to frost a cake with cream cheese today for a a party tomorrow. I just wanted to make sure you meant a whole cut of shortening? I have never put that much shortening in my frosting before, somewhat hesitant about that, but you have such rave reviews on the recipe! Thanks in advance!

jokalima Says... 16 Nov 2011 , 12:58pm

Hello, Is it ok for me to fill and crumb coat a cake with cream cheese/whippin cream frosting the day before the event and leave it out? Thanks

kimberly6723 Says... 10 Jan 2012 , 12:08pm

I am soo excited to find this...I have someone who wants an "electric blue" cream cheese icing...so I will be making this and hopefully it will work! Thanks!

MMARI Says... 20 Feb 2012 , 7:22am

I assume this cake be frozen, correct ? Anyone know for how long ? Anything special I should know about freezing it ? I have some left over cream cheese and instead of wasting it I thought I would whip up a couple batches of this icing since it seems to be in high demand. I have used this recipe before but for a cake that was delivered immediately so there was not need to store and left overs.. it was delicious !

aztomcat Says... 7 Mar 2012 , 10:35pm

I have frozen the leftovers and used them for cupcakes. But when I do a full sized cake, i make a new batch. Let me know how it goes with smoothing after defrosting.

Good luck.

aztomcat Says... 7 Mar 2012 , 10:41pm

jkolima..... I would use this to crumb coat a cake the day before and I have. Whipping cream icing, i would be less sure of. If it is the powdered dream whip recipe, it would be okay, but refrigerated whipping cream icing should stay cold.

Ezzi71 Says... 12 Jul 2012 , 10:43pm

hi, i am really excited to try this recipe. i am just wondering if this frosting is not gritty coz of the powdered sugar? thanks.

Luby Says... 25 Jul 2012 , 6:06pm

I needed a crusting cream cheese icing for a red velvet cake for a wedding shower. I couldn't have been more pleased with the flavor of this icing and the consistency. I did cut back on the flavors - only used 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 1 1/2 tsp of butter flavor. The flavor is wonderful. Thanks for posting this recipe!

La_amor Says... 4 Aug 2012 , 11:09am

I am reading very good things about this ! I have been looking for a new recipe to keep :)

Login To Leave A Comment