Did you ever come across a recipe in a new cookbook and just had to immediately make a recipe that caught your eye? Well, of course you have! This is exactly what happened to me when I found the recipe for White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream in Rose Levy Beranbaum’s award-winning 1988 cookbook, The Cake Bible. I just had to make it right away!
In fact, the first time I made this beautiful ivory buttercream, it graced none other than a cheesecake. Just viewing the photo for Rose’s “Cordon Rose Cream Cheesecake”, all dolled up with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream and a ruby-red cherry topping, in the color plates section of her cookbook, I knew this buttercream would be a match made in heaven for the Classic New York Style Cheesecake recipe handed down to me by my Grandma Gigi. Needless to say, the cheesecake was a smash hit with everyone in our family.
Let me just say, Rose is right. (Isn’t she always?) As Rose states, her White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream is the perfect complement to yellow cakes, carrot cakes and especially cheesecakes.
Yep. This mellow buttercream not only complements the flavor of cheesecake, it even matches the color of cheesecake. Fancy that, eh? The white chocolate in the buttercream provides firmness to create beautiful piping as well as a unique flavor profile. Without a doubt, this fabulous buttercream truly does make for an impressive presentation for special occasion cakes!
Baking continues to amaze me. It is still hard to believe that these four (4) simple ingredients create such a gorgeous ivory buttercream that is whipped until it is light as whipping cream yet pipes so beautifully.
Speaking of special occasion cakes, I enjoyed using my adapted recipe for White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream when making tiered cheesecakes for bridal showers and weddings. Below is a scan of a snapshot from 1996 of a tiered cheesecake I made for a bridal shower. (Sincere apologies for the poor quality of the image.)
For this elaborate tiered cheesecake, I used basket weave piping and embellished the cake with edible sugared violets and fresh mint leaves. The cheesecake itself was made with two batters for a two-toned effect. Half of the batter had homemade raspberry-blueberry compote stirred in to create a heavenly berry flavor as well as provide the color violet as part of the bride’s color scheme. The cake was served with a pool of Raspberry Purée spiked with Grand Marnier to provide a burst of tart raspberry flavor with a hint of citrus as well as the color fuchsia—the other part of the bride’s color scheme. This cake was a major hit and the recipe was provided to the bride as a keepsake.
Do yourself a favor and make this spectacular White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream for your next cake, batch of cupcakes or cheesecake. You won’t regret it! Thank me later for telling you so.
Why is our recipe for White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream wicked good?
Our White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream melts on your tongue. It is creamy and smooth with a hint of white chocolate and the slightest tang from the cream cheese and lemon juice. To create an everyday white chocolate cream cheese buttercream, we met Rose Levy Beranbaum and Shirley Corriher halfway with the amount of butter for a buttercream that will hold up well in warm months yet still be full of buttery flavor and provide for a smooth sensation on the tongue. Our White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream is versatile for cakes, cupcakes, baked doughnuts and cheesecakes as well as other sweet treats!
Our White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream melts on your tongue. It is creamy and smooth with a hint of white chocolate and the slightest tang from the cream cheese and lemon juice. It pipes beautifully, is smooth and full of buttery flavor. This versatile buttercream is ideal for cakes, cupcakes, baked doughnuts and cheesecakes as well as other sweet treats!
- 9 ounces (255 grams) white chocolate, such as Callebaut®, chopped
- 1½ 8-ounce packages (12 ounces or 339 grams) cream cheese, such as Philadelphia®, softened
- ½ cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ tablespoons (23 grams) freshly squeezed lemon juice
To a medium saucepan, or bottom pan of a double boiler set, add an inch or so of water. Bring water to a simmer over medium heat.
Place chopped white chocolate into medium sized metal bowl (or separate glass bowl) or top pan (insert) of a double boiler set.
Place over hot water (but, not hotter than 160ºF) over medium-low heat and melt, stirring constantly.
Do not allow water to touch the bottom of the metal bowl or top pan (insert) of the double boiler as this could scorch the chocolate. Do not allow the chocolate to get too hot and be sure no moisture gets into the melted chocolate or it could seize up (become grainy, very thick and unworkable).
Carefully remove the bowl or top pan (insert) of the double boiler from the heat; stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Microwave Method: You may melt white chocolate in the microwave if special care is taken by stirring every 15 seconds. Before chocolate is completely melted, stir until smooth allowing the residual heat to finish the melting process. Allow to cool.
Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld mixer and large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
Gradually add cooled white chocolate and beat until well incorporated and smooth.
Add butter and lemon juice; beat well until fully incorporated and fluffy.
Before frosting cake layers, rebeat buttercream at room temperature to ensure smoothness.
Tips:Buttercream may be made in advance and chilled. Do not rebeat until buttercream reaches room temperature. Otherwise, the buttercream will curdle. Buttercream may separate upon standing in a very warm room. This can be remedied by carefully placing the bowl in ice water and using a wire whisk to stir the mixture as it thickens and becomes smooth again. While working with buttercream, rebeat it to restore its smooth and creamy texture because, upon standing, it can become spongy. If using the buttercream to pipe details, be sure to use chilled hands when handling pastry bag as warm hands can melt the buttercream. Store buttercream covered up to 1 day at room temperature, 2 weeks if covered and refrigerated, or up to 2 months frozen if well wrapped. Recipe Inspiration: Our White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream recipe is adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s recipe from The Cake Bible (William Morrow Cookbooks; 8th edition, 1st edition September 20, 1988) and can be found on page 237. It was also inspired by the recipe for White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing found in Shirley Corriher’s cookbook, BakeWise (Scribner, October 28, 2008), on page 144. Shirley’s recipe calls for no butter. In Rose’s book, she states that Shirley had made her buttercream recipe with only 2 ounces (½ stick) of butter and it withstood a hot Atlanta summer day very well. As Shirley states, in her book BakeWise, “Cream cheese makes very spreadable, manageable icings that hold up better than butter in warm rooms.” For this recipe, I chose to meet Rose and Shirley halfway with the amount of butter called for in my recipe, between Shirley’s 2 ounces (made that hot summer in Atlanta) and the 6 ounces called for in Rose’s recipe, by going with 4 ounces or 1 stick of unsalted butter.