Monday, August 1, 2016

Decorator Cream Cheese Buttercream - 5 variations

I optimized this recipe recently and now I use it for everything from sugar cookies to cakes. I think traditional buttercream is too strong and most cream cheese frosting recipes are too soft for decorating. This has just the right amount of cream cheese and as long as you add the right amount of milk it's also perfect when using a piping bag. I prefer to use a hand mixer with this recipe instead of a stand mixer. It provides better control and you won't have to scrape down the sides. 

Basic recipe below is vanilla (originally posted here), These updated variations include chocolate, peanut butter, lemon, and strawberry (or other freeze dried fruit).

1/4 cup salted butter (room temp)
2 ounces cream cheese (room temp)
1/8-1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (white or dark)
300 grams powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoon milk

In a medium mixing bowl, whip butter and cream cheese together with hand mixer until smooth. Mix in salt and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and mix with hand mixer at high speed until it clumps together and a stiff ball starts to form. Mix in milk in teaspoons or drops to achieve desired consistency. I always check my consistency with a butter knife. Since this frosting has cream cheese in it, it should be refrigerated if not consumed the same day.

Variations (may omit or reduce vanilla, according to taste preference):

Chocolate - Add 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
Peanut Butter - Replace 2 tablespoons of the butter with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
Lemon - Add 1/2-1 teaspoon lemon zest and use lemon juice instead of milk.
Strawberry (or any other freeze dried fruit) - Add two tablespoons of crushed freeze dried fruit powder (use a rolling pin or meat tenderizer to crush the freeze dried fruit in a ziptop bag).
Coconut - 1/8 teaspoon coconut flavoring extract