A Light Cream Cheese Frosting and Its Applications

A Light Cream Cheese Frosting and Its Applications

Jan 06, 2024Dennis Weaver
Executive Summary

This frosting is different than most cream cheese frostings. It's lighter and fluffier. We'll give you the recipe. The secret is in the whipping cream.

And we'll give you a couple applications. It's light enough that you can apply it with a pastry bag.You'll see cupcakes, a layer cake and an innovative double decker. There's a link to five kinds of carrot cakes you can make with a mix.

You'll learn how to make that innovative double decker cake and how to decorate with multicolored frosting, even in swirls.

The pictured cake is made with pears and candied ginger. It's different and delicious.

You'll like what you see.  

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This is a universal cream cheese frosting. It excels on most cakes and sweet breads--carrot cakes, pumpkin breads and even birthday cakes.  We've used this hundreds of times in our test kitchen or at home. 

I don't like most cream cheese frostings. I love the flavor but the amount of cream cheese makes the frosting heavy, rich, and overwhelming. Diluting the cream cheese with whipping cream solves that problem making it light and fluffy and much less dense. You'll like this much better.

Keep this recipe in your drawer or online and you'll use it often.

Cream cheese frosting on a carrot cake

This is a cinnamon chip carrot cake.  The cake is made with a Vanilla Bean Baby Cake MixSee Five Ways to Make a Carrot Cake with this mix.

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Light Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 four-ounce package of cream cheese (or 1/2 of an eight-ounce block), softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Cream the granulated sugar with the cream cheese like you would butter and sugar together when making cookies. The sugar crystals will create tiny air pockets in the cream cheese making it fluffy.

Don't warm the cream cheese or it will melt the sugar. You need that sugar to create those tiny pockets and to make the cream smooth with no lumps.

Add the other ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Save any leftovers in the fridge.

Baker's note

This recipe uses whipped cream. It makes the cakes divine but after a couple days, the whipped cream deflates, loses it's volume, and becomes unattractive.  We recommend using the frosting within two days.

Look What You Can Do with Light Whipped Cream Frosting.

The whipping cream makes all the difference. It makes it light and airy. You can build swirls and peaks. Anything you can do with buttercream, you can do with this frosting--like the swirled cupcakes in this article.

This frosting is light enough that you can pipe it with a pastry bag. You can also add food colors to get the colors of your choice.

red, white, and blue cupcakes

With these cupcakes, red, white and blue colors were used. The frosting is placed in a pastry bag with a spatula, one layer pressed onto another colored layer. Apply it just as you would buttercream and as seen in the picture below.

Tri-color frosting, pastry bag 

This is an orange cream cake made with light cream cheese frosting. It's made with an orange cream flavor and color--the color is right in the flavor. (When you get the flavor right, the color will be right.) It tastes just like the orange Dreamcycles we ate as kids.)

Orange Cream Cake

The cake is a Vanilla Bean Baby Cake, a cream cake. It's a denser than the fluffy cakes you make from store box mixes, and denser but lighter than a pound cake.

It was baked in a 9 x 13-inch pan. The edges were trimmed and then the cake was cut lengthwise into two smaller cakes. You'll stack them and frost them. (The cut can be across the cake also making a nearly square cake.) The cake was filled with frosting between the layers. It was decorated in swirls with a pastry bag, the same type as was used for the red, white, and blue frosting above.

 

 

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