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 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.
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!
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.
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?
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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!
- 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
- 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.
- Yield: Makes about 5 cups; enough to fill and frost a 9-inch two layer cake, or 8-inch three layer cake, or 20 to 26 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.
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.
When creating a rose or rosette cake covered in piped rosettes, it is important to allow the crumb coat to crust, about 30 minutes, first. This will create a solid “foundation” for the piped rosettes to adhere to. This important tip came from my reader, Ashley. She reported that her rosette cake, made with this crusting decorator’s cream cheese buttercream, held up well and did not slide off the cake – even after being left at room temperature for several hours. This tip is helpful for offsite event catering professionals and cake decorators alike.
Cook Time above simply means Active Time for preparing buttercream.
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
Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com
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