I don't know if it's because I am in Hotlanta but the last two batches I made turned to a grainy soft unuseable (but still tasty so now they are cinamon bun icing).... anyway I scoured the internet and cake central and found a way, not letting the cream cheese come to room tem. When I beat it directly from the fridge it blended beautifully.... cold cream cheese, room temperature butter. Here is the recipie I used and it was yummy and thick as I wanted to make it!
Excerp from "How to Eat a Cupcake"
I was alerted to this information by one of my readers who was also in search of making thick cream cheese frosting instead of the gloopy messes I've been turning out lately. I used to think it was the recipe, but au contraire, it's the technique! Here is the article she showed me. It's from culinarycafe.com.
To have perfectly smooth cream cheese frosting with enough body to spread in dramatic swirls or even pipe through a pastry bag, you have to know these two secrets. First, overbeating breaks down the cream cheese, and produces grainy looking frosting that is too soft to hold a shape. Second, cold (not softened) cream cheese produces the best texture in both of our methods. Have the butter, if you use it, at the temperature recommended for the method you choose, and sift the powdered sugar after measuring.
Yields: About 2 cups
8 ounces cream cheese
5 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Grated lemon or orange zest, ground cinnamon, or liqueur of choice
Electric Mixer Method
Have the cream cheese cold and the butter at room temperature. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until blended. Add sugar one-third at a time and beat just until smooth and the desired consistency. If frosting is too stiff, beat for few seconds longer. Do not overbeat. If desired, stir in additional flavoring to taste. This keeps, refrigerated, for about 1 week. Or freeze for up to 3 months. Soften and stir until smooth before using.