How to Make the BEST Cream Cheese Frosting
If you’re looking for the straight-up best recipe for banana cakes, carrot cakes and spiced pumpkin cakes (and cupcakes), you can’t go wrong with classic PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese Frosting. (Try a slightly modified version of it in this recipe for Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.) Generally speaking, the “best” cream cheese frosting recipe will vary according to the type of cake or cupcake you’re making. Rainbow Cream Frosting, sweetened with strawberry JELL-O Gelatin and COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, is ideal for lemon and vanilla cakes; Vanilla Creme Frosting is made with JET PUFFED marshmallow creme and tastes heavenly with chocolate cake.
Ingredients matter: PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese is our favorite for frosting. If the recipe calls for butter, unsalted will give you the purest butter flavor. Confectioners’ sugar, also labeled “powdered” or “10X” sugar will blend into the cream cheese and butter more smoothly than granulated sugar, and sifting it ensures the smoothest frosting.
When making your frosting, start with softened cream cheese and butter (if your recipe calls for it), and beat them together in a medium to large bowl to blend. Gradually beat in the sugar until smooth, being careful not to over-beat: your frosting could separate into liquid and little clumps of cheese. Add the flavoring at the end, taste and adjust. If you are making the frosting in advance, be sure to refrigerate it. When ready to frost your cooled cake, remove the frosting from the refrigerator and let it warm up to a smooth spreading texture: You don’t want to tear your cake when you are frosting it.