My two ovens run almost constantly, and as a result it must be at least 80 degrees in my kitchen all the time. This means that making things like meringues and buttercreams a challenge (although my favorite Chocolate Buttercream holds up quite well), and until recently, most cream cheese frosting I’ve made have been too soft and melty, requiring at least overnight in the refrigerator before it could be used for piping.
So I experimented. More butter, less butter, more powdered sugar, meringue powder… I tried it all. One thing never changed, though- and that’s that I always begun by creaming the cream cheese.
So I experimented. I creamed the butter, added the powdered sugar, a few teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a dash of salt… whipped this up nice and fluffy, and then I added the cream cheese in tablespoons, still cold from the fridge. I let the mixer go for no more than 20 seconds, taking care not to overwhip- and wouldn’t you know it? Perfect cream cheese frosting. Tastes awesome, pipes beautifully.
Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter (cold, cut up into 1-inch squares)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 8oz. bar cream cheese (Cold, straight from the fridge. Oh, and Philadelphia is the best. Seriously. Don’t even go near the Neufchatel.)
Cream the butter. Add powdered sugar, lemon juice, and pinch of salt. If you like, add about a half teaspoon of pure Vanilla extract. Whip until nice and fluffy, but don’t over-whip.
Add the cold cream cheese in tablespoons, and whip together just until the cream cheese is incorporated. Do NOT over-whip.