Cream Cheese Frosting

Problems making cream cheese frosting? Does it always turn into a lumpy, runny disaster? Trust me, I’ve been there! Finding a U.K recipe that actually works can be tricky, but believe me when I say that this one will not let you down.

It’s taken me years of failed attempts to finally develop a recipe for cream cheese frosting that is spreadable, pipe-able and silky smooth. I actually jumped for joy when it worked!

cream cheese frosting

Success tips for cream cheese frosting

  1. Use Full-fat Philadephia Cream Cheese
    In the U.K our cream cheese is more like a spread and thin in texture. I’ve found that low-fat versions or any other brand of cream cheese isn’t thick enough and results in a runny frosting.
  2. Beat the butter on its own for 1-2 minutes first.
    This will break down any lumps and make sure the frosting is completely smooth. You also want to beat the butter until it is really pale so that the frosting comes out a lovely bright white colour.
  3. Sieve the icing sugar.
    Making sure the icing sugar is really fine in texture will keep the frosting smooth and lump-free.
  4. Keep the cream cheese in the fridge.
    This is THE most important tip. You want the cream cheese to be as thick as possible, if it’s kept at room temperature it will start to loosen and become soft. Therefore only take the cream cheese out of the fridge when you are ready to use it in the recipe.
  5. Gently fold the cream cheese into the mixture
    At this step swap the electric mixer for a wooden spoon or spatula. Very gently fold the cream cheese into the mixture until it has JUST combined. Be really careful not to over-mix as the frosting can very easily turn to liquid.
cream cheese frosting

Recipe ideas for how to use cream cheese frosting

There’s plenty of ways you can use cream cheese frosting, it’s really versatile and pairs particularly well with vegetable or fruit cakes. Want some recipe inspiration? Check these out:


Ingredients

Makes enough cream cheese frosting to decorate 12 cupcakes or the top and sides of a two-layer 8inch cake.

  • 150g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 150g full-fat cream cheese frosting (cold from the fridge)

Method

Step 1

Cut the unsalted butter into chunks and put it in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric whisk or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on a medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes until super soft, fluffy and pale in colour.

step 1, beat the butter

Step 2

Sift half of the icing sugar into the bowl. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently mix the butter and icing sugar together first for 30 seconds (this will help stop the icing sugar from going everywhere when using the electric mixer). Now turn the electric mixer on a medium-high speed and beat together until smooth and fluffy.

step 2, sieve the icing sugar

Step 3

Sift the remaining icing sugar into the bowl. Repeat the same step as above, using a wooden spoon or spatular to first mix the butter and icing sugar together, then the electric mixer to beat together until you have a smooth mixture.

step 3, beat together

Step 4

Take the cream cheese out of the fridge and add it to the bowl. Use a wooden spoon or spatula (not the electric mixer), to gently fold the cream cheese into the mixture until smooth and just combined. Be careful not to over mix at this stage.

step 4, fold in the cream cheese frosting

Step 5

Use straightaway to decorate your bakes, or cover with clingfilm and store the cream cheese frosting in the fridge for up to 3 days. I used it to decorate these gorgeous Strawberry Cheese Cupcakes

strawberry cheesecake cupcakes

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Celebrate summer with these delicious strawberry cheesecake cupcakes. Topped with cream cheese frosting and filled with strawberry jam, these cupcakes are perfect for picnics, BBQ’s or just to enjoy on a warm summers day.

strawberry cheesecake cupcakes

Let’s break it down

There are four parts to this recipe, each step is really easy to make but together they create a show-stopping cupcake:

  1. The cupcake base – made using a classic sponge cake recipe, the base has added vanilla essence for a light and sweet flavour.
  2. The filling – the middle of the cupcake is scooped out and filled with strawberry jam. I used Bonne Maman Strawberry Conserve, which is a lovely high-quality jam you can buy in most supermarkets.
  3. The icing – the cupcakes are topped with a swirl of sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. Now they’re starting to taste like cheesecake!
  4. The decoration – the cupcakes are finished with a sprinkle of crushed digestive biscuits and a fresh strawberry.

These strawberry cheesecake cupcakes really are delicious!

strawberry cheesecakes cupcakes with a jam filling

Strawberry cheesecake cupcake recipe

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

For the sponge:
150g Stork tub (margarine) or unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
150g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk

For the cream cheese frosting:
300g icing sugar
150g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
150g full-fat cream cheese, cold from the fridge

For the filling/decoration:
1 jar of strawberry jam
12 fresh whole strawberries
4-5 Digestive biscuits (crumbled)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cupcake baking tray with 12 cupcake cases.

Start by making the cupcakes.

First beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and beat in the eggs one at a time, along with a tablespoon of the 150g flour each time to stop the mixture from curdling. Add the remaining flour and milk, and fold the mixture together.

Divide evenly between the cupcake cases and bake for 16-18 minutes until the cupcakes are a golden brown, risen and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer cakes to a cooling rack and leave to completely cool.

Fill the cupcakes.

Once the cupcakes are cool, scoop out the middle of each using either a cupcake corer, apple corer or teaspoon. Fill each cupcake with a heaped teaspoon of strawberry jam. Press the cake middles back into the hole to cap off the jam (you may have to trim them down).

Now make the cream cheese frosting.

Beat the butter with an electric mixer until really soft and pale in colour. Now sift in half the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Sift in the remaining icing sugar and beat again until you have a smooth and creamy frosting.

Now take the cream cheese out of the fridge and add to the bowl. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently fold the cream cheese into the frosting until smooth. Be careful not to over do it, as it can quickly become runny.

Time to decorate.

Spread or pipe the frosting on top. I used an 11mm open star piping nozzle to get that lovely swirl effect. Crush a few digestive biscuits and sprinkle over the cupcakes. Finish by slicing a fresh strawberry in half and placing on top.

Store the cupcakes in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutella Lava Cookies

Golden, chewy, monster-sized cookies with a molten Nutella middle – these Nutella Lava Cookies are absolute heaven!

Here’s why you’ll LOVE these Nutella Lava Cookies:

  • They are NOT on the small size, in fact, they are pretty enormous! The recipe will make 8 cookies in total.
  • They have a crispy golden edge and a chewy, soft-baked centre.
  • When you break the cookie open, the middle oozes molten liquid Nutella.
  • They are dotted with chocolate chips for an extra chocolatey hit in every bite.
Nutella lava cookies

Making the Nutella middles

The recipe starts by making the Nutella “middles”. Heaped teaspoons of Nutella are dolloped on a baking tray and then popped in the freezer to firm up.

The freezer!? Yes, you read that correctly. It may sound strange but freezing the Nutella will make sure the middle is super gooey and molten. Otherwise, the Nutella becomes too hot, starts to cook in the oven and will result in a firm Nutella centre.

Nutella middles

Shaping the Nutella lava cookies

Once the cookie dough has chilled for 3 hours, it’s time to assemble and shape the cookies. You’ll take a heaped tablespoon of cookie dough, flatten it in the palm of your hand and place a frozen Nutella lump in the middle. Using another tablespoon of cookie dough, you’ll conceal the Nutella middle, roll the cookie into a ball and press a handful of chocolate chips in the top.

Nutella cookie dough

Baking the cookies

The cookies only take 12-14 minutes to bake. They will spread out and double in size in the oven, so remember to leave plenty of space between the cookies on the baking tray. As an indication, I only had 3 cookies on each baking tray.

Once the cookies are out of the oven, do your very best to resist them for at least 10 minutes. This will give them time to cool slightly, improving the texture and flavour.

The wait is finally over. Tuck in and enjoy!


Nutella lava cookie recipe (makes 8 large cookies)

Ingredients

160g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
150g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium egg + 1 medium egg yolk, at room temperature
250g self-raising flour
8 heaped teaspoons of Nutella (roughly a 200g jar)
20g chocolate chips

Method

Start by making the Nutella middles.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Dollop 8 heaped teaspoons of Nutella onto the baking tray, leaving space between each, and put in the freezer to firm up.

Meanwhile, make the cookie dough.

Melt the butter in 20-second blasts in the microwave until it turns to liquid. Add the light brown and caster sugar and mix together. Add the vanilla extract, whole egg and egg yolk and mix together. Fold the flour into the mixture until it forms a cookie dough. Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge for at least 3 hours to chill.

Assemble the cookies.

Preheat oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. Take the Nutella middles out of the freezer and the cookie dough out of the fridge.

Take a heaped tablespoon of cookie dough, flatten in the palm of your hand and place a frozen Nutella lump in the middle. Now take another heaped tablespoon of cookie dough and wrap around the Nutella so that it’s completely covered and concealed. Place on the baking tray and press a handful of chocolate chips into the top of the cookie ball.

Repeat for the remaining 7 cookies. Remember to leave space between each cookie ball so they have room to spread out. I baked mine in batches with 3 cookies on each baking tray.

Bake the cookies.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and lightly browned in the middle but still soft. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking tray, then transfer to a cooling rack.


Cookie recipe inspiration

White Chocolate Rocky Road

White chocolate rocky road packed full with cranberries, pistachios, shortbread biscuits and marshmallows. Finished with a scattering of cute rainbow sprinkles!

Rocky road really is the easiest of recipes and such a great way of using up any leftover baking ingredients such as nuts, fruits and biscuits. It’s as simple as melt the chocolate, mix in the rest of the ingredients, chill and slice. Perfect for making with little ones, for a bake-sale, a delicious gift for someone, or to keep in the fridge for when you crave a sweet treat.

White chocolate rocky road

White chocolate rocky road recipe makeovers

You can use this white chocolate rocky road recipe as a quantity guideline and swap out the ingredients depending on what you like or what you have in your cupboards. Here are a few delicious combinations that you could try:

  • Apricot and walnuts
  • Oreo and marshmallows
  • Honeycomb and macadamia nuts
white chocolate rocky road

Ingredients (makes 20 rocky road bites)

500g white chocolate
100g pink and white marshmallows
100g shortbread biscuits
50-75g cranberries
50-75g pistachios
Sprinkles (optional but looks so cute!)

Method

Line an 8inch square baking tin with greaseproof paper.

Break the white chocolate up into a microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave in 30 second blasts, stirring in-between, until completely smooth. Alternatively you can melt the chocolate in a glass bowl set over a pan on simmering water.

Crush the biscuits up using a rolling pin or using your hands. Add to the melted chocolate, along with the marshmallows, cranberries and pistachios. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to fold everything together.

Transfer the mixture to the baking tin, spread it out into an even layer and scatter over the sprinkles. Put the rocky road in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set.

Slice the rocky road into 20 bites and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

These lemon meringue cupcakes are filled with tangy lemon curd and topped with lightly toasted meringue – a delicious cupcake twist on a classic dessert!

I have a new found love for developing dessert-inspired cupcake recipes. It’s so much fun experimenting and finding the best way to incorporate the flavours, the textures and appearance of the dessert into the cupcake. So far we’ve had Banoffee Cupcakes and Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes, and now these gorgeous lemon meringue cupcakes.

Lemon meringue cupcakes

How to make lemon meringue cupcakes

There are 3 parts to these lemon meringue cupcakes:

  1. Lemon infused cupcakes – the zest of 2 lemons is added to a simple vanilla sponge mixture. Light in texture and buttery in flavour, the sponge melts in your mouth and has a lovely citrus kick.
  2. Lemon curd filling – the middle of the cupcakes is scooped out and filled with sweet and tangy homemade lemon curd. Lemon curd is surprisingly quick and easy to make, and homemade always tastes SO much better! But if you fancy taking a shortcut or want to speed the recipe up, then you can use a jar of shop-bought lemon curd instead.
  3. Toasted meringue topping – a simple two-ingredient meringue is whisked up, swirled on top of the cupcakes and lightly toasted under the grill. You can also return the cupcakes to the oven or use a blow torch to toast the meringue. Just watch them very closely (I literally sat next to the oven!) as they can quickly burn.
Lemon curd

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:
200g Stork tub
200g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
2 lemons, zest only

For the lemon curd:
4 lemons, juice only (you can use the two lemons from the cake ingredients above)
2 lemons, zest only
120g caster sugar
2 large egg yolks
20g unsalted butter

For the meringue topping:
4 large egg whites
200g caster sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a cupcake baking tray with 12 cupcake cases.

Start by making the cupcakes. 

In a large bowl beat together the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, adding 2 tablespoons of the 200g flour with each egg to stop the mixture from curdling.

Add the remaining flour, baking powder, lemon zest and milk and fold together until smooth and combined. Be careful not to over-mix. The mixture should drop off the spoon but still hold its shape.

Divide the mixture equally between the cupcake cases. Bake for 16-18 minutes until the cupcakes are golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Now make the lemon curd.

In a small saucepan combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and egg yolk. Heat gently for about 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter to make thick, glossy lemon curd. Pour into a jar and leave to cool and thicken up.

Fill the cupcakes.

Make a hole in the middle of each cupcake (you can do this using a cupcake corer, apple corer, piping nozzle or teaspoon). Fill each hole with a teaspoon of lemon curd and press the cut-out piece of sponge back into the hole, trimming to fit if needed.

Now make the meringue topping.

Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk on a medium-high setting until they are thick, bright white and can hold their shape. Now add the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time, whilst continuing to whisk, until you have a stiff and glossy meringue.

Spread the meringue on the top of each cupcake and put them under the grill to lightly toast the meringue. Watch them like a hawk as they can burn very easily, mine took roughly 30 seconds to brown. Leave to cool completely before serving.

Store the cupcakes in the fridge for up to 2 days.