Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream

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Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream {crusting} by WickedGoodKitchen.com ~ Rich and buttery, creamy and flavorful, with just the right amount of tang from the cream cheese and bright notes from a special flavoring extract, this buttercream is sublime. It is the ideal “crusting” buttercream to create cakes with a bakery-style smooth fondant look but with the classic cream cheese buttercream taste everyone loves! | cake decorating crusting frosting recipe

Rich and buttery, creamy and flavorful, with just the right amount of tang from the cream cheese and bright notes from a special flavoring extract, our Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream is simply sublime. It is the ideal “crusting” buttercream to create cakes with a bakery-style smooth fondant look but with the Classic Cream Cheese Buttercream taste everyone loves! Perfect for cake decorators—especially for making wedding cakes.

A Special Buttercream Recipe by Request:
Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream

The buttercream series continues today…with a recipe by popular demand!

As I mentioned in my last post, I promised yet another buttercream recipe. Due to the wild popularity of our Best Ever Cream Cheese Buttercream recipe, several readers have reached out and requested a “crusting” cream cheese buttercream recipe. So, today I am pleased to share with you here on the blog my recipe for Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream.

My friends, this buttercream recipe is sweet, a dream to work with and has an unbeatable flavor profile—especially when adding a touch of Fiori di Sicilia extract (literally, “the flowers of Sicily”), available at King Arthur Flour, with its kiss of citrus and vanilla. I highly recommend this extract as I absolutely adore it. The flavors make your baked goods taste just like they came from an upscale bakery! In fact, those who like the flavor of Crème Bouquet (popular with cake decorators for making buttercream frostings) will enjoy the exceptional bright taste. The best part? This extract is pure and all-natural.

Fiori di Sicilia by King Arthur Flour

Per King Arthur Flour:

“You know that wonderful marriage of flavors you taste when you combine vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet in the same bowl? That’s what Fiori di Sicilia tastes like. We find that using it in just about anything mild and sweet–anything where competing flavors, like chocolate, don’t interfere–adds a wonderfully mysterious taste. Your friends will be guessing just what you’ve done to your sugar cookies or yellow cake or sweet bread to make them taste SO good!”

This delightful crusting buttercream, Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream, also has a slight alabaster sheen once crusted over and smoothed on iced cakes. It is simply sublime, foolproof and perfect to use for both serious and novice cake decorators alike.

At this time, with spring and wedding season upon us soon, and because Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream is an Easter and spring holiday favorite, I thought it prudent to share this special buttercream recipe with my readers today. If you like sweet bakery-style buttercream frostings, in particular Cream Cheese Buttercream, you are in for a real treat!

Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream {crusting} by WickedGoodKitchen.com ~ Rich and buttery, creamy and flavorful, with just the right amount of tang from the cream cheese and bright notes from a special flavoring extract, this buttercream is sublime. It is the ideal “crusting” buttercream to create cakes with a bakery-style smooth fondant look but with the classic cream cheese buttercream taste everyone loves! | cake decorating crusting frosting recipe

What Is a “Crusting” Buttercream?

For those who are not familiar, when a buttercream is made with a high ratio of sugar, the sugar and liquids in the buttercream solidify on the outer surface as it dries. The result is a light outer “sugar crust” that has hardened. This condition is ideal for cake decorating as the firm surface can be smoothed (before getting too hard) using the “Viva Method” making the buttercream resemble smooth fondant. This method employs the use of Viva® brand paper towels due to the flat yet pliable, non-quilted and fine textured surface that is so effective in smoothing crusting buttercreams. In addition, a fondant smoothing tool is used such as the Easy Glide Fondant Smoother by Wilton®. Pretty cool, right?

Why Use a Crusting Buttercream?

The main purpose of buttercreams that form a light “sugar crust” is that they provide a firm surface on which to pipe elaborate cake decorations or to adhere adornments such as gum paste decorations. These buttercreams provide an ideal blank canvas, if you will—or a suitable substrate or “base” known as a “crumb coat” to be covered in fondant. In these cases, the crusting buttercream acts as a sort of a primer.

Another purpose is protection. By using a crusting buttercream, delicate piped decorations become firm as they dry or “set” which makes them sturdier when transporting cakes. In addition, cakes decorated with crusting buttercream are protected and able to withstand the elements—thus, making it a baker’s best friend when weather conditions are extreme such as high humidity and/or high temperatures.

How To Use Crusting Buttercream

Fill and frost cake as usual then allow the cake to stand out at room temperature until a light “sugar crust” forms on the surface of the buttercream, for at least 15 to 20 minutes and up to 30 minutes or so.

To smooth the buttercream, use the “Viva Method” by using a fondant smoother and plain, non-patterned Viva® brand paper toweling. Simply place a sheet of paper towel on top of the buttercream that has formed a crust and gently rub the fondant smoother over the paper towel to smooth the buttercream underneath.

If you do not have a fondant smoother, you can use your hand. If the buttercream sticks to the paper towel, allow the cake to stand longer to form a crust. Do not let the buttercream stand for too long as it will harden to the point of being more difficult to form a smooth surface and wrinkles may result.

Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream {crusting} by WickedGoodKitchen.com ~ Rich and buttery, creamy and flavorful, with just the right amount of tang from the cream cheese and bright notes from a special flavoring extract, this buttercream is sublime. It is the ideal “crusting” buttercream to create cakes with a bakery-style smooth fondant look but with the classic cream cheese buttercream taste everyone loves! | cake decorating crusting frosting recipe

What makes our recipe for Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream wicked good?

Since many crusting buttercream recipes are made with solid vegetable shortening or part vegetable shorting and butter, a satisfying rich flavor can be lacking due to the high amount of sugar. Our recipe for Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream calls for butter for flavor, palm shortening for a nice white pristine appearance as well as a smooth buttery texture versus oily (as with regular vegetable shortening) and cream cheese for richness and depth of flavor with a slight tang. It is sweetened just right for a sweet crusting buttercream and, by using part salted and unsalted butter, the salty-sweet flavor sensation is in perfect balance. Finally, the addition of Fiori di Sicilia extract provides for an exceptional flavor profile with delightful citrus and vanilla notes.

Our Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream is the ideal buttercream to frost carrot, banana, chocolate, spice, yellow and white cakes, ideal for bridal showers and weddings, as well as red velvet cakes. It also pipes beautifully to create lovely special occasion cakes. What’s not to love?

Bon appétit!

xo,

stacysig

 

 

 

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Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream {crusting} by WickedGoodKitchen.com ~ Rich and buttery, creamy and flavorful, with just the right amount of tang from the cream cheese and bright notes from a special flavoring extract, this buttercream is sublime. It is the ideal “crusting” buttercream to create cakes with a bakery-style smooth fondant look but with the classic cream cheese buttercream taste everyone loves! | cake decorating crusting frosting recipe

Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream {crusting} by WickedGoodKitchen.com ~ Rich and buttery, creamy and flavorful, with just the right amount of tang from the cream cheese and bright notes from a special flavoring extract, this buttercream is sublime. It is the ideal “crusting” buttercream to create cakes with a bakery-style smooth fondant look but with the classic cream cheese buttercream taste everyone loves! | cake decorating crusting frosting recipe

Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream {crusting} by WickedGoodKitchen.com ~ Rich and buttery, creamy and flavorful, with just the right amount of tang from the cream cheese and bright notes from a special flavoring extract, this buttercream is sublime. It is the ideal “crusting” buttercream to create cakes with a bakery-style smooth fondant look but with the classic cream cheese buttercream taste everyone loves! | cake decorating crusting frosting recipe

Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Makes about 5 cups; enough to fill and frost a two-layer 9-inch cake or three-layer 8-inch cake plus a little extra for light piping work.

Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream

Rich and buttery, creamy and flavorful, with just the right amount of tang from the cream cheese and bright notes from a special flavoring extract, our Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream is simply sublime. It is the ideal “crusting” buttercream to create cakes with a bakery-style smooth fondant look but with the classic cream cheese buttercream taste everyone loves!

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks/170 grams) butter, softened, can use part salted & unsalted
  • 6 tablespoons (72 grams) organic palm shortening, such as Spectrum®
  • 1 (8-ounce/226-gram) package chilled cream cheese, such as Philadelphia®
  • 2¼ teaspoons (11.25 ml) pure vanilla extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) pure almond extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®, optional
  • ⅛ teaspoon (.625 ml) Fiori di Sicilia extract, by King Arthur Flour®, optional
  • 1 (2-pound/907-gram) package 100% pure cane confectioners’ sugar, such as C&H® or Domino®, sifted
  • Special Equipment & Supplies
  • Heavy Duty 5-Qt. Stand Mixer, such as KitchenAid®, necessary

Preparation

Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening on medium speed until creamy. Add cream cheese and extract(s); beat until fully incorporated. Gradually increase mixer speed to high and continue beating until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary with rubber spatula.

Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating on low to medium-low speed, until well combined. Beat on high speed until well combined and smooth while scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, about 4 minutes. Buttercream will be very stiff and thick. Before frosting cake layers, rebeat buttercream to ensure smoothness.

To Frost Cakes with Crusting Buttercream: Fill and frost cake as usual then allow the cake to stand out at room temperature until a light sugar crust forms on the surface of the buttercream, about 15 to 20 minutes. To smooth the buttercream, use the “Viva Method” by using a fondant smoothing tool (such as by Wilton®) and plain, non-patterned Viva® brand paper toweling. Simply place a sheet of paper towel on top of buttercream that has formed a crust and gently rub fondant smoothing tool over the paper towel to smooth the buttercream underneath. If you do not have a fondant smoothing tool, you can use your hand. If the buttercream sticks to the paper towel, allow the cake to stand longer to form a crust. Do not let the buttercream stand for too long as it will harden to the point of being more difficult to form a smooth surface.

Notes

Variation:

For Double Batch, You Will Need:
1½ cups (3 sticks/340 grams) butter, slightly softened, can use part salted & unsalted
12 tablespoons (144 grams) organic palm shortening, such as Spectrum®
2 (8-ounce/226-gram) packages chilled cream cheese, such as Philadelphia®
2 (2-pound/907-gram) packages 100% pure cane confectioners’ sugar, such as C&H® or Domino®, sifted
1½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) pure vanilla extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pure almond extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®, optional
¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) Fiori di Sicilia extract, by King Arthur Flour®, optional

Tips:

If not using immediately, keep bowl covered tightly to keep buttercream from drying before frosting cake or cupcakes.

The buttercream can be refrigerated for up to 1 week in an airtight container. Storing longer than this is not recommended due to the dairy content. Before using, bring to near room temperature before beating smooth again.

Be sure to set enough time aside to allow the buttercream to set or crust over before piping designs or adding decorations, at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.

Do not wait too long to smooth the buttercream. It is best to use the smoothing “finishing step” soon after the buttercream has dried or crusted over while still pliable (soft) underneath the crusted surface. If you wait too long (several hours or overnight), the smoothing technique may cause the frosting to look wrinkled.

Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com

Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.

http://wickedgoodkitchen.com/best-ever-decorators-cream-cheese-buttercream/

About Stacy

Stacy Bryce is a recipe developer and member of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Her passion is developing original conventional baking recipes as well as special diet recipes to include dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free. You can follow Stacy at Pinterest.

Comments

  1. I used to bake for business and I remember in testing cream cheese frosting, it was always too soft! I found out (fortunately before selling any cakes haha) that I needed MUCH more cream cheese and much for powdered sugar. Looking at this recipe I already know that it’s PERFECT based on the quantities! I love a frosting that crusts but I really wish you were somehow my neighbour so I could just come over to taste this! I could eat this by the bowl full (true story!).
    Jessica @ Jessica in the Kitchen recently posted…One Skillet Spicy Shakshuka with FetaMy Profile

    • Thank you, Jessica! I remember reading about your business when I first met you via blogging, so there’s no doubt your know your cream cheese buttercreams, my friend. 🙂 It is so true…when you add more cream cheese (more than the butter), you need to add an incredible amount of sugar to compensate. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

  2. Your cream cheese buttercream looks perfect for decorating, Stacy! My nieces and nephews all prefer cream cheese frosting for their cupcakes whenever I make them but I still haven’t found a recipe that the piping holds up as well as an ABC or SMBC. I can’t wait to try yours, it looks so creamy and delicious!

    • Thank you, Kelly! Kids…they really do enjoy cream cheese buttercream, don’t they? They just have good taste and know what makes a great cupcake! 😉 Thanks for stopping by, Kelly. Have a great week!

  3. I could eat this by the spoonful!
    Jennifer Farley recently posted…Chocolate Cherry CupcakesMy Profile

  4. This is the perfect cream cheese buttercream, Stacey. I’ve never made one thick enough for decorating as I’m not much of an artist. But I bet this would be great pipped up over a cupcake!
    Jen @ Baked by an Introvert recently posted…Chocolate Chai Banana BreadMy Profile

    • Thank you, Jen! This crusting buttercream is perfect for piping big swirls on cupcakes…especially if the weather is warm or humid. It’s perfect for outdoor weddings and showers, especially. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a fabulous week!

  5. Cream cheese frosting is a favorite of mine, and I love this version, perfect for decorating a beautiful carrot or red velvet cake (among others)! I never knew about the “crusting”, so I definitely learned something new today. Thanks for sharing, and have a great day, Stacy!
    marcie recently posted…Apricot Orange Irish Soda BreadMy Profile

    • Thank you, Marcie! My pleasure. I’m glad you learned something new in pastry and cake decorating from my blog. This “crusting” buttercream is so much fun to work with and tastes so much better than traditional crusting or decorator’s buttercream recipes. Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

  6. Stacy, this was so educational! I never knew all this about frosting and cake decorating. I love cream cheese frosting and yours looks amazing!
    Rachelle recently posted…Spumoni CheesecakeMy Profile

  7. This is so perfect! I’m pretty sure I’m going to reference your blog now whenever I need any kind of buttercream frosting! Really appreciate the explanations! (:
    Monica recently posted…Egg TartsMy Profile

  8. I prefer cream cheese frosting because it has tang that butter cream doesn’t. My boys love cream cheese frosting. In fact, they wouldn’t mind this just on a toast:-). I cannot wait to get my hands on a cake to make this amazing frosting. I’m sure we could make some good swirls with it.
    I learn so many new things when I visit. Beautiful post as usual my friend.
    Have a beautiful week.
    Ash-foodfashionparty recently posted…Sesame-Creme Brulee CakeMy Profile

    • Thank you, Ash! Kids really do love cream cheese buttercream, don’t they? Thanks for stopping by, my friend. 🙂 I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

  9. I have eaten crusting buttercream before but never knew it was called “crusting buttercream” – Stacy – this looks fantastic! You are the queen of buttercream!!!

  10. I love cream cheese frosting! What a great recipe for when I’m gearing up for cake decorating!
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted…chocolate spiced almond blondiesMy Profile

    • Thank you, Laura! Wow…are you gearing up for some cake decorating? I can’t wait to see what you do if you will be posting!

  11. I would eat right now Stacy, look amazing!!
    gloria recently posted…Mango and orange flan (Flan de mango y naranja )My Profile

  12. I’m excited to try this. Sounds delicious. Do you think it would pair well with chocolate cake with a mocha mousse filling?

    • Hi there, Nichole! Thank you for writing with such a great question. This recipe for Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream is ideal for both chocolate and mocha flavored cakes. Your mocha mousse filling sounds divine! Thanks again for writing and happy baking!

  13. Hi! YOUR RECIPE SOUNDS WONDERFUL, I’M GOING TO TRY IT, I LOVE CREAM CHEESE. ONE QUESTION, DO YOU KNOW IF I CAN SUBSTITUTE THE ORGANIC PALM SHORTENING I’M HAVING TROUBLE TO FIND IT. THANK YOU …

    • Hi there, Mariana! I am sorry, but there is no real substitute for the palm shortening. It is crucial to use in my buttercream recipes for the same outcomes. I’m so sorry you’re having trouble finding it. The entire world has not caught on yet as to how phenomenal this shortening really is! Try Amazon.com and stock up. Here is a link. It’s a fabulous shortening and comes in a butter-flavored variety as well. You will be surprised at how much you will love it! I guarantee you will be sold on it like I was. Good luck!

  14. I apologize in advance if someone already asked this question! I need a frosting recipe that will crust so I can wipe it down with a viva paper towel and make it look like fondant. I have another recipe that does this, but the taste is not the greatest. Have you done this method with this recipe or has anyone else? Thanks!

    • Hi there, Shelly! Thank you for writing. Yes. As I wrote in the article, this recipe for Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream, is ideal for using the “Viva Method” to smooth cakes to look like fondant but that it has an incredible flavor profile that everyone loves. Thanks again for writing and happy cake baking and buttercream making!

  15. I’ve been on the hunt for a cream cheese buttercream that crusts and am so glad I came across your site! I always prefer cream cheese frostings to american buttercream on my favorite chocolate cake and this will be perfect! I have a quick question…would it be possible to flavor this buttercream with salted caramel (for a flavor similar to your Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream)? I’m making a birthday cake for a friend (who is a chocolate and caramel lover) and am looking for a caramel buttercream that crusts so I can use the “viva” method to smooth, harden in the fridge overnight, and then pour chocolate ganache over. Thoughts or suggestions?

    • Hi there, Laura! Thank you for writing with such a good question. However, I wish that I had a good answer for you. Since I have never tested this recipe for Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream, to make it similar to my recipe for Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream, to see if it will crust, I cannot help you there. I would have to experiment as to how much Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce to use due to the humectant (moisture) factor and also how much sugar to use to create the “crusting” effect. If you do some experimenting on your own, let me know how it goes. I think it is a fabulous idea to have a Decorator’s Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream in one’s baking repertoire. Meanwhile, I did find this recipe that is for a caramel buttercream that crusts over at Cake Central: Crusting Caramel Buttercream. I hope this helps. 🙂 Thanks again for writing and happy cake baking and buttercream making!

      • Thanks so much for your reply, Stacy! I will definitely do some experimenting and let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the link to the other recipe…it’ll be nice to have something as a backup in the event of a fail :).

        • My pleasure, Laura! Have fun in the kitchen experimenting. I hope you will soon be doing a victorious “happy dance” to celebrate your success with a crusting caramel cream cheese buttercream. I’m cheering for ya! 🙂

  16. Son-Mi Lee says:

    Hi, I loved the recipe, but it didn’t crust. any thoughts?

    • Hi there, Son-Mi Lee! Thank you for writing and bringing this typo (error) to my attention. I went back and reviewed my notes and noticed that I had inadvertently entered a test recipe and not the final recipe. Please accept my sincerest of apologies! Rest assured, the recipe has been updated to reflect the correct amounts and weights of butter and cream cheese with 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks/170 grams) butter and 1 (8-ounce/226-gram) package of cream cheese. All of the other ingredients are in the correct amounts. Once again, I deeply apologize for my error and hope you will try this recipe for buttercream soon. The taste and texture is phenomenal and it is a pleasure to work with. I even made the recipe again today to make certain everything is accurate. You should witness the crusting between 10 and 15 minutes, at the earliest, and around 20 to 30 minutes, at the latest, depending on the humidity. Thanks again for writing and happy baking, buttercream making and cake decorating! 🙂 ~Stacy

  17. Melody J says:

    I used your recipe this past weekend for a wedding cake for a dear friend – she asked for a snickerdoodle cake. EVERYONE raved about it. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It was completely delicious and very easy to work with.

    • Thank you for writing, Melody! My pleasure, girl. Wow…a Snickerdoodle Wedding Cake! How cool is THAT? 🙂 I am beyond thrilled that you, the bride and all the wedding guests enjoyed your very creative cake made with our recipe for Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream. It truly is a dream to work with, so easy to make and the taste as well as texture are both phenomenal. Thanks again for taking the time to write, Melody. I appreciate it so much! Meanwhile, I hope you will try our other fabulous buttercream recipes and will share your experiences with them. You will LOVE them. Happy baking and buttercream making!

  18. Anastasia says:

    I am going to attempt my hand at decorating with cream cheese frosting this week and looked at your recipe first, which is lovely as it’s essentially a break down of what I do for my regular buttercream with a slight variation in math for the cream cheese. Long time baker, only recently bothering with decorating. Thanks!

    • Thank you for writing, Anastasia! My pleasure. I hope you will enjoy this recipe. It’s so much fun to work with and the taste is phenomenal. 🙂 Happy baking and buttercream making!

  19. Karen Sonntag says:

    I have a question about storage, can I ice cupcakes and leave out (covered) at room temperature overnight? I have a wedding coming up and no room to store 90 cupcakes in the fridge. I have researched this question about cream cheese icing extensively and have no solid answer. I hope you can help, thank you!

    • Hi there, Karen! Thank you for writing with such a great question. However, you may not like my answer. Yes, all cream cheese buttercream frostings need to be (should be) refrigerated for food safety reasons due to the added dairy content with the cream cheese. Please accept my sincere apologies as I thought that I had answered your question. (In WordPress, questions by new commenters are color coded. Since you have commented before here on the blog, your comment was not colored. It just slipped through upon first glance. Again, so sorry!) Meanwhile, I am currently working on a comprehensive post on buttercream frostings, from tips to making them to troubleshooting common problems and safe storage. So, look for that post coming soon this fall. Thanks again for writing and happy buttercream making!

  20. Does your Cream Cheese Buttercream need to be refrigerated? Also, does this recipe work well for piping flowers?
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi there, Diane! Thank you for writing with such great questions. Yes, all cream cheese buttercream frostings need to be refrigerated due to food safety reasons and the added dairy with the cream cheese. As for piping flowers, if you really want them firm, I would go with another recipe. This recipe is perfect for decorative piping and for the rose swirl technique. Thanks again for writing, Diane. I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly and completely. Meanwhile, happy baking and buttercream making!

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