Without a doubt, Cream Cheese frosting would be my favorite frosting in the whole wide world. I guess this comes as no surprise, seeing as how I am such a huuuuge fan of cheesecake.
The only problem with most cream cheese frosting is that it is so soft and delicate that it often tends to be very difficult, if not impossible to pipe… swirls have a tendency to lose their shape as soon as they get formed. And, well, something has to be said for swirled frosting. It just so pretty to look at, it seems to make it taste that much better!
So, if you’ve been looking for the perfect Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, rejoice! Your search has just come to an end.
Not only is the gorgeous, mouthwatering, drool-worthy cream cheese frosting you’re looking at right now sturdy enough to be used for piping the most perfect swirls onto your favorite cakes or cupcakes, it also tastes so insanely, heavenly good you’ll want to bathe in it… and then roll yourself in coconut flakes and bathe in it again.
Why coconut? Dunno… You could very well roll yourself in something else if you wanted to. I just find that coconut and cream cheese frosting make for a really good pair. Must be why I chose to add loads of coconut to the Hummingbird Cake I recently made and then covered in all those luscious cream cheese frosting swirls!
Wouldn’t you say that this is a very tempting slice of cake? I think I could stare at it and drool for hours…
Just in case you needed to take a closer look… can you get a sense of how dreamy that stuff is?
I’ve no doubt that this Cream Cheese Frosting recipe will become your new go-to recipe. And while this may seems like it makes a huge batch, trust me if you’re gonna be piping a whole bunch of swirls, you will be needing a very generous amount of frosting.
Besides, I’m sure you won’t mind a little bit of leftover, if you should be lucky enough as to generate some!
I’ve no doubt that you’ll think of ways to use it up…
Step-by-step instructions with pictures immediately follow recipe
- 1-1/2 cups (360g | 8.5oz) butter, at room temperature
- 2- (250g | 8oz) packages full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
- 1/4 tsp pure lemon extract
- 12 cups (1.5kg | 3.3lb) powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp powdered buttermilk (optional but strongly recommended)
- Combine the the butter, cream cheese, salt and pure lemon extract in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes.
- Combine the dry buttermilk and powdered sugar in a separate bowl and mix with a whisk until well combined and completely lump free.
- Add this powdered sugar to the creamed butter and cheese mixture a few cups at a time and beat on low speed between each addition until well incorporated.
- Once all the sugar has been added, increase the speed to high and beat the frosting for 2 to 3 minutes, until it becomes really light and fluffy.
- If you find that your frosting is too soft to be used right away, refrigerate it for about 10 minutes and then beat it again before you use it. Return to the refrigerator as often as needed.
- Keep the finished cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS & PICTURES
First, you need to make sure that both your butter is at room temperature. While you could definitely get away with using coldish cream cheese, the butter absolutely needs to be soft and easily spreadable to start with.
Put that softened butter, cream cheese, a pinch of salt and about a quarter of a teaspoon of pure lemon extract in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes.
You’ll notice that I’m not adding any vanilla extract because I like to keep the liquid content as minimal as possible: powdered sugar requires so very little moisture to completely liquefy, I figure the less moisture we add, the better. Besides, the lemon extract adds so much POP to the flavor of the icing, the vanilla would only go unnoticed. Poor thing. Might as well not invite it to the party, if no one’s even going to notice its presence!
Next, in a separate LARGE bowl, combine a few tablespoons of dry buttermilk and a whole lot of powdered sugar — we’re talking a whopping 12 cups here (thank goodness we didn’t use that vanilla extract!) — and mix with a whisk until well combined and completely lump free.
Add this powdered sugar to the creamed butter and cheese mixture a few cups at a time and beat on low speed between each addition until well incorporated.
Now about that dry buttermilk: while you don’t absolutely have to add it in, I strongly suggest that you do if you can get your hands on it. Cream cheese frosting is extremely delicate in nature, and I find that the addition of dry buttermilk helps to stabilize it and makes it a tad firmer and easier to work with.
Not only that, but I find that it also makes the frosting fluffier and gives it a hint of a mysterious yet very pleasant aroma…
Once all the powdered sugar has been added, increase the speed to high and beat the frosting for 2 to 3 minutes, until it becomes really light and fluffy.
Your frosting is now technically ready to use, but chances are it’ll be a bit on the soft side from all that whipping action. If you find that it is indeed too soft to be used right away, refrigerate it for 10 to 15 minutes and then beat it again for a few seconds before you use it.
All that’s left to do now is load that piping bag of yours and pipe away to your heart’s content! See how beautiful those swirls are and how well they hold their shape?
If it’s particularly warm out, though, or if your cake is taking a particularly long time to frost and you ever feel like your frosting is starting to soften up a bit too much on you, feel free to return it to the refrigerator as necessary so it firms up again. Just a few minutes, followed by a gentle beating with a wooden spoon will do the trick.
Since cream cheese frosting is so delicate, I strongly suggest that you keep your finished cake, or cupcakes, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.