This is the ‘one and only’ for carrot cakes, and is often used on red velvet cupcakes. It has a slightly sour flavour that can offset the richness of the butter and the sweetness of the sugar. Its texture is looser than traditional British buttercream; the more you whip the cream cheese, the runnier it gets, so once you’ve added it, whip it just enough to combine and you are good to go. This makes enough frosting to generously cover a three-layer 20cm cake.
Place the butter and vanilla together in a large bowl or stand mixer. If you are using a hand-held electric whisk, then add the icing sugar little by little so that the icing sugar does not fly everywhere, and mix well between additions.
If you are using a stand mixer, fit it with a paddle attachment, then add the icing sugar in one go and carefully place a tea towel over the machine, taking care not to get it anywhere near the paddle. Beat well for 5–7 minutes, until the mixture is really light and fluffy.
When the buttercream is light and fluffy and the icing sugar is all mixed in, add the cream cheese and beat it for another minute or so.
Your cream cheese buttercream is now ready to use. The buttercream keeps at room temperature for 2 days, or up to 1 week in the fridge covered with cling film. Use as required. This buttercream usually gets used up quickly in my house, but if you need to you can freeze it and defrost it overnight in the fridge before use.
To make maple syrup cream cheese buttercream, simply add 5 tablespoons of maple syrup to the bowl with the butter.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.