Rich, ultra-creamy, light and fluffy and packed with citrus flavor, this incredible buttercream frosting is made with lemon curd, has the texture of mousse and tastes just like lemon cheesecake! Perfect for refreshing spring cakes and pipes beautifully.
A Special Buttercream for Spring & Summer:
Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream
Happy first official full day of spring, y’all!
Before delving into beautiful spring cakes, cupcakes and cookies, I am delighted to share with you my favorite spring incarnation of my recipe for Best Ever Cream Cheese Buttercream – Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream!
The first lemon dessert I remember my mother making was classic Lemon Meringue Pie. She made the pastry and lemon custard filling from scratch and even succeeded in making the toasted meringue on top. Mom was not a very good baker, but I distinctly remember how proud she was of that pie and how she extoled the virtues of meringue. It was a gorgeous pie with billowy meringue. Much to my Mom’s disappointment, I did not like her meringue topping. To this day, I am not a huge fan of meringue or even marshmallows – that is, unless the marshmallows are roasted over an open fire and all melty inside. 😉 In fact, when I make my lemon pies and tarts, I much prefer whipped dairy cream or coconut cream as a topping. Creamy and lemony just go together. Don’t you agree?
If you are like me and enjoy lemon cheesecakes, lemon pies and tarts with whipped cream, lemon tiramisu or frozen lemon desserts like lemon gelato, you will love this recipe for Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream. If you are a lover of all things lemon, like me (just check my Lemon Love board at Pinterest), you need to try this buttercream recipe as soon as humanly possible. Your friends and family will flip over it. It is phenomenally good and I could not stop eating it from the spoon. Yes. Once again, I could not be trusted with a spoon. 😉
As with the other cream cheese buttercreams in this series, this exceptional buttercream base is rich and buttery, melts on the tongue and is truly divine. Now, with the addition of homemade or fine-quality lemon curd, our cream cheese buttercream becomes incredibly extraordinary. I kid you not. Lemon and cheesecake lovers around the world, rejoice!
As stated previously, the secret to making an exceptional Cream Cheese Buttercream is to use equal amounts, by weight, of butter to cream cheese—that is, 8 ounces each. This, of course, translates to two (2) sticks of butter and one (1) brick of cream cheese. Most cream cheese frosting recipes call for far too much cream cheese (read: too much moisture and not enough fat) and the frosting just does not want to pipe well. In addition, the frosting is so loosey-goosey that cake layers actually slide! No fun—especially if transporting the cake. Essentially, you would have to add an incredible amount of confectioners’ sugar to stiffen it up in order to pipe nicely. And, for most of us, this translates to a frosting that is just too cloyingly sweet.
In case you missed it in previous posts, this is what I wrote in a post last spring:
“Just as with my carrot cake recipe, my Cream Cheese Buttercream recipe was inspired by the one found in my New Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. It is quite the opposite of Mrs. Fields’ recipe that calls for two 8-ounce packages (16 ounces) of cream cheese and only one stick (½ cup or 4 ounces) of salted butter. The BHG recipe calls for one 8-ounce package of cream cheese to one stick of butter (again, at 4 ounces). However, I increased the amount of butter from the BHG recipe to create a true “Cream Cheese Buttercream” in a 1:1 ratio (8 ounces to 8 ounces) of cream cheese to butter with enough confectioners’ sugar to thicken the consistency to pipe beautifully. Sometimes, I even use one stick of salted butter with one stick of unsalted for a nice salty-sweet balance.”
In this variation, relating to the 1:1 ratio of butter to cream cheese, it is the cream cheese that is reduced to “make room” for or accommodate the lemon curd (leaving plenty of butter in the recipe) which has adequate fat to replace what was in the cream cheese yielding a buttercream that will pipe nicely.
What makes our Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream wicked good? This phenomenal buttercream literally melts on your tongue. It is buttery-rich, creamy, silky-smooth, full of citrus flavor and is light and fluffy like mousse. A delightful tang from the cream cheese and lemon curd, balances perfectly with the amount of sugar so as not to be overly sweet. This cream cheese buttercream tastes just like lemon cheesecake! Due to the adequate amount of fat from the butter, this special buttercream pipes beautifully. Our Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream is versatile and pairs extremely well with white cakes and yellow cakes alike as well as cupcakes, cheesecakes and other sweet treats like baked doughnuts. Quite simply the ideal light and fluffy lemon buttercream! Without a doubt, wicked good.
For the lemon and cheesecake lovers in your life, whip up a batch of Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream for your next cake or batch of cupcakes to make a special baked sweet treat everyone will remember. Friends and family will sing your high praises over your fresh and lemony buttercream!
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Rich, ultra-creamy, light and fluffy and packed with citrus flavor, this incredible buttercream frosting is made with lemon curd, has the texture of mousse and tastes just like lemon cheesecake! Perfect for refreshing spring and summer layer cakes or to brighten everyday layer cakes. Pipes beautifully.
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, softened (or 1 stick salted & 1 stick unsalted)
- 4 ounces (½ 8-ounce package/113 grams) cream cheese, such as Philadelphia®, chilled from the fridge
- ½ cup (120 grams) homemade or prepared lemon curd, such as Stonewall Kitchen
- 1½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) pure vanilla extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
- 4 to 4½ cups (480 to 540 grams) confectioners’ sugar, spooned in cup, leveled off & sifted
- Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld mixer and large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add cream cheese, lemon curd and vanilla; 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.
- Add confectioners’ sugar gradually, beating on low speed (stir), until well combined. Beat on high speed until well combined and smooth while scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, about 2 minutes.
- Before filling, frosting, icing and piping cakes, rebeat buttercream to ensure smoothness.
- Yield: Makes about 4½ cups; enough to fill and frost a 9-inch two layer cake, or 8-inch three layer cake, or 18 to 24 cupcakes—depending on amount used to simply ice cupcakes with a knife or icing spatula (in the traditional manner) or pipe elaborate swirls, or decorate with other piping details.
To intensify the lemon flavor in this buttercream, beat in 2 to 3 teaspoons of fresh lemon zest before adding confectioners’ sugar.
If not using immediately, the buttercream can be refrigerated for up to 2 to 3 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature before beating smooth again.
If using the buttercream to pipe details, be sure to use chilled hands when handling pastry bag as warm hands can melt the buttercream.
Cook Time above simply means Active Time for preparing buttercream.
Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com
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