I first experienced it on top of a carrot cake, which is its traditional home as far as I am concerned, and since then I've used it as a frosting for a number of different cakes & cupcakes. It's sweet yet salty-savoury flavour combination just seems to go so well with so many things! And the left overs in the bowl are always a welcome cook's perk. I have been known to make an excess "by accident" on more than one occasion...
Do not be tempted to lighten the calories on this one and use low fat cream cheese. The water content is too high, and your frosting will just go runny! Not good.
Cream Cheese Frosting (makes enough to generously cover 12 standard-sized cupcakes. Scale up or down as required)
- 225g tub cream cheese (Philadelphia works well)
- 28g soft butter
- 2 tbsp milk
- half tsp vanilla extract
- 200g icing sugar
Gradually beat in the icing sugar until you reach a thick, spreadable consistency. You may find you need more than 200g. If you add too much, add a little more milk one teaspoon at a time.
To test that the frosting is thick enough, remove a teaspoonful and press a fork into it. If the ridges remain with no sign of running or collapsing, it's thick enough. This teaspoonful must now be eaten, just to make doubly sure.
The frosting is now ready to transfer to a piping bag or syringe, and use as required. It will keep well in the fridge for up to a week. Any cakes topped or filled with the frosting are best refrigerated, but should be OK left out for a few hours as long as it's not too warm.