This lemon cream cheese frosting is light with a gel like texture and is perfect for decorating cakes!
Total Cooking Time: 15 minutes
When dealing with lemons, why not add more lemons? This lemon cream cheese frosting is a perfect complement to the lemon cake I made as a part of my Great British Bake Off Week One Challenge. The frosting turned out rather interesting as lemon juice mixing with the cream cheese cause a gel like consistency to occur. But, honestly, I like it. This frosting has a great balance of tartness and sourness that perfectly balance the sweet flavors that frosting usually brings.
Because of the natural flavoring of this frosting, there are more ingredients that we would see in a regular buttercream. I also modified the recipe to make it a little lighter and a little less buttery. The creamy ingredients include butter (of course), heavy whipping cream, and cream cheese. The natural flavors come from lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract.
The process for making frosting is extremely simple. First, to make sure the butter has the right consistency, it should be beaten on high speeds until smooth. Then, starting at a low speed, the heavy whipping cream is added in with a pinch of confectioner’s sugar. As the heavy cream becomes firmer, increase the whipping speed to blend all the ingredients. The cream cheese is then added to the bowl and is fully incorporated on low speeds.
And now its time to add all the sugar. So much sugar. I would recommend doing this is smaller portions because sugar dust is likely to fill the air when displaced by the mixer. The lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract should also be added at this time. Whipping together all of the ingredients to make that perfect consistency always takes longer than I would expect. If the frosting is too thin, then more sugar should be added. If too thick, adding lemon juice will help thin the frosting out. And voila! We have frosting perfect for decorating cake!
You often see references to melted frosting, or perhaps you’ve experienced it for yourself, and the question arises: why does frosting melt? Well, most frostings are also known as buttercream because the main component in the frosting is butter. It makes it delicious but butter changes consistency from a solid to a liquid depending on the temperature it’s exposed to. So, too cold and the frosting will become a hard substance and too hot will cause it to become a liquid. Working with frosting requires just the right temperature!
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Buttered softened
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 Cup Cream Cheese (8 ounces)
- 5 Cups Confectioner's Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice (about one lemon)
- 2 Tsp Lemon Zest (about one lemon)
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- Salt to tasta
- In a stand mixer, beat the butter at high speeds until smooth and creamy.
- Starting at a low speed, add in the heavy whipping cream and a pinch of confectioners’ sugar and slowly increase speed until the butter and cream is combine.
- Add in cream cheese and beat until smooth.
- Add in confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
- Mix on a low speed to combine and then mix on high to whip up the frosting.
- If the frosting is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar. If the frosting is too thick, add more lemon juice.