Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

honey cupcakesLet’s take a moment to thank the bees of the world for making honey. I love that there are so many varieties, and that honey from bees in Maryland will taste different than honey from bees in Pennsylvania. My favorite honey can be found at the market at Soergel Orchards in Wexford, just north of Pittsburgh; they stock locally-made wildflower honey that is excellent for baking.

I first made this frosting for honey cupcakes a few years ago at Rosh Hoshannah, but you certainly don’t have to reserve this recipe for the Jewish New Year. It would go very well on spice cake, or just a regular vanilla cake. The recipe below will frost at least 2 dozen cupcakes or 1 dozen cupcakes and a single-layer 8-inch round.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until well-combined and fluffy. Add honey and vanilla extract and beat until very well-combined. Add powdered sugar, one half-cup at a time, beating well after each addition.

Note: various web sources claim that you can store cream cheese frosting in the fridge for a few weeks, but I’d use it quickly, within a week at least.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

cinnamon roll cupcakesCinnamon is among my favorite spices, and when you add it to cream cheese frosting, something magical happens. Besides cinnamon roll cupcakes, you could use this delightful frosting for spice cake, gingerbread, or an orange spice cake (note to self: find recipe for orange spice cake).

Cream cheese frosting is easy to work with, but it does need to be refrigerated once it’s made to keep from spoiling. Unlike buttercream, which you can store at room temperature, the sugar to butter ratio in cream cheese frosting isn’t high enough to prevent bacteria growth. You can bring your treats to room temperature before serving them if you like, but this frosting is also delicious when it’s cold.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons cinnamon

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and cinnamon and beat well, scraping the sides of the bowl often.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

pumpkin cupcakePumpkin baking continues! This weekend I made some pumpkin chocolate chip bread and I had a little more than a cup of pumpkin left over, so I wanted to try something new. I found this recipe online and first thought it was more muffin-like than cupcake-like, but the end results are definitely in the cupcake family. They have an excellent texture, likely due to the combination of pumpkin puree and vegetable oil, and just enough spice from the cinnamon and nutmeg.

These cupcakes pair well with maple cream cheese frosting, which is one of my favorites ever. Just make sure you use real maple syrup – the pure stuff – rather than maple flavoring for this frosting; while you could probably use maple flavoring, I doubt it would be the same. If you’re lacking in pure maple syrup, you could certainly frost these with plain cream cheese frosting or cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners; my recipe yielded 14 cupcakes.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a large glass measuring cup, combine pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix well, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Stir until well-combined and smooth.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, fill cupcake wells about 3/4 full.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven; immediately remove from tins and place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Preparation

In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cheese for 2-3 minutes, until very fluffy.

Add 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until well-combined; add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and beat until well-combined. Add remaining powdered sugar and maple syrup, beating until very well-combined.

Frost cupcakes using an offset spatula. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Cream Cheese Frosting II

red velvet iiThis is an updated version of cream cheese frosting that produces a very smooth texture ideal for piping.

Cream cheese frosting is a good complement to red velvet cake and carrot cake, but its possibilities are truly endless. Regular cream cheese frosting is great on its own, but it can be enhanced with a range of flavors to complement any number of cake or cupcake flavors.

Fruity flavors like raspberry or lemon are great for spring and summer cupcakes, or treats for bridal or baby showers or Mother’s Day. Maple, cinnamon, and orange are good for fall and winter in complement to spice cakes. Add in some cocoa powder for a chocolate cream cheese frosting or spike it up with some whiskey for a complementary frosting to stout cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, or spice cupcakes.

This recipe is also easy to adapt to smaller or larger batches. The ratios below are ideal for a batch of 24 cupcakes.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese for 1-2 minutes, until combined. Add vanilla and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes.

Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. If you’d like your frosting to be a bit sweeter, add the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.

Fit a piping bag with a large plain tip and pipe frosting onto cupcakes.

Store in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before serving.

Cream Cheese Frosting

 

 

 

 

 

Cream cheese frosting is a classic companion to carrot cake and red velvet cake, but it can certainly be used for a variety of cakes or cupcakes.  I’m not sure who decided that blending cream cheese with powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract would be a good idea, but thank goodness they did, eh?

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter.

Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating after each addition.

Add vanilla and beat well.

Store frosted cake or cupcakes in the refrigerator to be on the safe side.  We are talking about cream cheese, after all.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yesterday was Mike’s birthday, and he requested a carrot cake (with raisins and walnuts) for his birthday cake.  I don’t really believe in mixing vegetables with dessert, but who am I to refuse my husband’s cake wishes on his birthday?

Cream cheese frosting is incredibly rich and sweet, so I chose to frost only the top of this cake.  Carrot cake isn’t complete without something indicating that it is, in fact, carrot cake, so I’ve chosen simplicity and gone with one single frosting-piped carrot in the center.

Carrot Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups peeled raw carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.

Peel and grate carrots; set aside.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs together until light and fluffy.

Add canola oil and vanilla, beating well.

Add flour mixture and beat until combined.

Stir in grated carrot, raisins, and walnuts.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the top of the cake is firm.

Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Orange and green food coloring, if carrot decorations will be included

In a mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter.

Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating after each addition.

Add vanilla and beat well.

Frost top of cake, adding carrot decorations if desired.

Store cake in refrigerator to be on the safe side.  We are talking about cream cheese, after all.