Cream Cheese Frosting That’s Tasty as Druck

Cream cheese frosting can be tricky. There are many factors. Room temperature. Ingredient temperature. Ratio of butter to cream cheese to powdered sugar. Often I’ve frosted a cake only to watch an oil slick of frosting slide right off, leaving an unappetizing, transparent snail trail of sugar and fat on the cake top and sides. FRUSTRATING.

Alternatively, I try to coax the frosting into spreading consistency by adding cup after cup after cup of powdered sugar. This means that after sitting out on the counter for awhile, the frosting dries out enough to take on that sugary crunch that I like, and won’t smear on my shirt should my boob bump it as I walk to my car. (These things happen.) But all that sugar makes it sickeningly sweet, and cancels out the tang of the cream cheese and the butteryness of the butter.

So, I made applesauce cake this weekend:

See? Needs half as much cake, twice as much frosting.

I didn’t love it. The cake to frosting ratio was WAY off, for me. And it was so dense and thick, the outside edges were dry as dust by the time the center finally stopped sticking to my toothpick. However, in the not-a-total-waste-of-time department, the ginger, cinnamon and cloves mingled with the appley goodness, filling my kitchen with an unmistakably autumnal scent that no Gladé (that’s gla-day) candle could ever quite capture.

And one other good, perhaps even revolutionary thing: THE PERFECT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING RECIPE.

This clever blogger mentioned MAPLE cream cheese frosting. I like the way you think, Eggs on Sunday.

This is a big claim, and since we tend to overdo that in my family (‘This is the smartest cat we’ve ever had, best bologna we’ve ever tasted, biggest tree we ever put in the yard’) I’m going to offer the disclaimer that I haven’t made it twice and thus don’t know if environmental considerations (the aforementioned temps, etc.) played a significant role in frosting quality.

But that said, this stuff is DAMN GOOD, and next time I make a carrot cake I plan to double this recipe if not triple it, because someone finally got the ratio right.

For frosting

  • 5 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, obviously)

This frosted an 8″ square cake generously, if the cake itself hadn’t been freakishly tall.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Cream Cheese Frosting That’s Tasty as Druck

  1. Sheaskin

    That cat was darn smart! But I’m dying to try this frosting. Can you say carrot cake cupcakes?

    • debra

      ha! i knew the cat comment would make you smile. i still remember when mom told me that the maple tree she planted in the front yard was as tall as my sister. 🙂 can’t wait to see you!!

  2. Myrna

    I have this recipe that my mom wrote down about thirty years ago from a lady who got it from her mom, who got it from her mom.. Anyway, for the best carrot cake and cream cheese frosting. I will compare the ratios.

    • debra

      wow, that generation-spanning recipe must be a real GEM! i definitely want to hear what ratio works for you. one of these sundays, we should have a football potluck at your casa. we can have a cream cheese frosting throwdown! 😉 LOVE YOU, MERN!

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