As I mentioned in my Red Velvet Cupcake post, one of the few things I truly miss about living in New York City is Magnolia Bakery’s red velvet cupcakes. And it wouldn’t be a red velvet cupcake if it didn’t have delicious cream cheese icing on top! So I will be sharing the recipe for the cream cheese icing in this post. You can also use this cream cheese frosting for other types of cakes, such as chocolate. In the picture above, I used this cream cheese icing to top chocolate cupcakes baked from a Duncan Hines mix, and it worked out really well and gives the cupcake that extra something. You can quite easily find the Magnolia Bakery Red Velvet Cake recipe, with the frosting, online and in their cookbook.
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cook Time: None
Servings: Enough to ice 36 cupcakes
Meal type: Dessert
Grocery Cost: $ 3.72 ($0.10 per cupcake)
- ½ pound (one 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces ~ $2.49
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces ~ $0.25
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract ~ $0.15
- 2 ½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar ~ $0.83
1. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the vanilla and beat well.
3. Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy.
4. Add food colouring as needed (optional).
5. Cover and refrigerate icing for 2 to 3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using.
The cream cheese icing is very creamy, but more runny than normal sugar icing. To thicken it for decorating, you can add more icing sugar, but the more icing sugar you add, the sweeter and less like cream cheese it tastes.
When mixing the sugar and butter, make sure the butter is softened, but not melted. Melted butter will be too runny, but hard butter will make mixing it really hard. It’s best to have the butter softened at room temperature. Also make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature as well before mixing it.
You can play around with this base recipe, with adding more icing sugar, if you want it stiffer for decorating, as this icing is runnier than sugar icing. You can also choose to add different food colouring to make it different colours. Since this icing is white, it takes to other colours quite easily. Also, you can choose to add other flavouring as well. Think of what tastes good in a cheese cake and you can probably try to apply it here as well, since the basic ingredients are the same as a cheese cake – cream cheese and sugar.
The cream cheese icing always turns out well – how could you go wrong with cream cheese and sugar? Feel free to get creative with different colours and variations and you’ve got a great cream cheese icing base recipe. Enjoy!