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Crusting cream cheese buttercream on a red velvet birthday cake with gumpaste stars and edible decorations Once peo­ple find out you make cakes, look out! I recently made this cake for a friend’s daugh­ter who was turn­ing 17. She wanted a red vel­vet cake and her favourite colour is turquoise. Those were the sum of the instruc­tions I got. I have daugh­ters so it was pretty easy to come up with a design I thought she’d like. Firstly, I had to research just what was this red vel­vet cake which has lately become a bit of a National obses­sion and just what flavour is RED? ;-) After scour­ing books and ask­ing ques­tions it became appar­ent that red vel­vet cake and cream cheese icing are quite often a pop­u­lar and suc­cess­ful pair­ing. But I wanted the look of fon­dant and the taste of cream cheese. As luck would have it I found this fab­u­lous recipe for “Crust­ing Cream Cheese But­ter­cream” on the RecipeZaar web­site cour­tesy of one of their mem­bers. THANKS!

Recipe — Crust­ing Cream Cheese Buttercream

SERVES 1 , 4–5 cups (change serv­ings and units)

Ingre­di­ents :

1 cup but­ter, soft­ened
1/2 cup veg­etable short­en­ing
1 lb cream cheese, soft­ened
1 table­spoon clear vanilla extract
3 1/2 lbs sifted con­fec­tion­ers’ sugar
1/2 tea­spoon salt


1.   Cream but­ter, short­en­ing, cream cheese and extracts. Grad­u­ally add confectioner’s sugar and salt. Beat on low speed until nice and creamy. If you want whiter icing, try to use but­ter with­out dyes avail­able at most health food stores.

2.   This recipe is for a stiff con­sis­tency. For a thin­ner con­sis­tency, use 3 pounds of pow­dered sugar instead.

3.   If you want a very smooth cake, let the cake sit for 15 min­utes after icing (longer for a thin­ner icing). Then using your spat­ula or fon­dant smooth­ing tool (this works best)and smooth it with a plain, non-patterned Viva paper towel. To do this, take your paper towel and lay it on your icing (after it crusts) and lightly rub over the paper towel with your hand, spat­ula or fon­dant smooth­ing tool to get a smooth sur­face. If the icing sticks to the paper towel, you didn’t let it “crust” long enough. Stick it in the fridge for 20 min­utes or so to let it “crust” then try again. If you let it dry too long it will get harder to achieve the smooth look.

4.   This recipe will ice, fill and dec­o­rate an 8″ dou­ble layer cake with icing left over.

When a but­ter­cream is called “crust­ing” it means that it dries out and hard­ens enough to be smoothed with a paper towel and/or your smooth­ing tool. It doesn’t get as hard as royal icing but hard enough to han­dle. If your room is warm or the icing starts to get sticky you can pop the cake back in the refrig­er­a­tor or freezer for a few min­utes until it firms up again. If you like the look of fon­dant but not the taste this can be smoothed to achieve the same visual appeal. I made the first red vel­vet cake but it just wasn’t “red” enough. It looked more like choco­late cake that had a red tint to it. So I remade both the 12x12 and the 6x6 cakes again and this time they were RED! They also turned out to be very moist and tasty. I made some gumpaste from a Nicholas Lodge recipe and then pro­ceeded to make var­i­ous sized stars to which I inserted wires and painted with edi­ble sil­ver and edi­ble turquoise glit­ter. Then I coloured some gumpaste to a turquoise shade, made a plaque for her name and a few more stars for good mea­sure. I sprin­kled the top of the cake with a lit­tle more glit­ter and called it done. My friend Susan was so happy with the cake I made for her daugh­ter she cried. :-) HAPPY BIRTHDAY MORGAN! Things I learned from this cake adven­ture… RED vel­vet cake gets on EVERYTHING and leaves a stain — be warned! Stick wired objects into the cake AFTER you drive across town to deliver it — they wob­ble a LOT! Happy bak­ing! ~ Colleen :-)


Reeni on 25 January, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

This is beau­ti­ful! I never heard of the Crust­ing frost­ing. It is so per­fectly smooth. I like that it tastes good, too.

The Duo Dishes on 26 January, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

Wish we could see this one sliced!

Colleen on 26 January, 2009 at 2:49 pm #

I will email my friend Susan and see if she has one when they cut it..!! :-))

Alta on 27 January, 2009 at 11:09 am #

This looks awe­some. And delicious!

Colleen on 27 January, 2009 at 11:12 am #

Thank you Alta!

kate on 23 April, 2009 at 5:37 am #

Great look­ing cake!!
You have saved the day! Im so glad i found your site. I need to make a red vel­vet cake with the crust­ing cream cheese frost­ing how­ever i need to put fon­dant on it also. I noticed you had fon­dant accents on your cake…now to my question…did the fon­dant melt while sit­ting on the cake and did you refrig­er­ate the cake at all.‘
Thanks :)

Colleen on 23 April, 2009 at 5:46 am #

Hi Kate! The fon­dant didn’t melt at all after sit­ting it on the cream cheese. The cream cheese frost­ing dries pretty well on the out­side while remain­ing creamy on the inside. I used some fresh frost­ing on the back of my fon­dant accents to stick them to the frost­ing. Water also works. While I’m not a big advo­cate of freez­ing my cakes I did stick these cake lay­ers in the deep freeze for about 15 min­utes to set up my crumb coat layer which was also the cream cheese frost­ing put on thinly. I deliv­ered this cake on Sat­ur­day morn­ing to my friend who did refrig­er­ate it until the party the next day due to it hav­ing a cream cheese frost­ing. I warned her to keep an eye on the stars etc for droop­ing in the fridge but she assures me they didn’t budge, fall off the wires or change con­sis­tency. Good luck and I will be get­ting more posts online now since we have just about fin­ished mov­ing house. I knew April would pretty much be a quiet month for cake posts.

kate on 23 April, 2009 at 5:58 am #

Thanks so much for the quick reply. Ive been hear­ing hor­ror sto­ries about using crust­ing cream cheese frost­ing but i fig­ured you just cant have a red vel­vet cake with­out cream cheese frost­ing!! And the cake is for a 15 year old so i needed to use fon­dant to dec­o­rate as im still learn­ing how to pipe neatly :P
Again, thanks so much.

genie on 28 April, 2009 at 6:21 am #

Hi there, I’ve been asked to make a birth­day cake for a dear friend of mine this com­ing sat n have decided on a red vel­vet with cream cheese frost­ing.
Thing is, am rather appre­hen­sive using cream cheese as my pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ence was that the cake has gotta be eaten within 8 mins of it exit­ing the fridge as the cream cheese melts fast!
With this crust­ing recipe, can i use it as a fill­ing and a frost­ing for the ouside of the cake?
Will the fill­ing crust too or stay creamy?
will the frost­ing crack when the knife sinks in for the cut?
gosh, so many ques­tions, please bear with me n i hope to hear fr you really soon as am exper­i­ment­ing with a cake tomor­row!
thanks loads!


Colleen on 28 April, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

Hi Genie,

Yes, you can absolutely use this crust­ing cream cheese recipe for the fill­ing and for the out­side frost­ing. I’ve made many cakes with it and have flavoured it and col­ored it to suit. I find it a mar­velous frost­ing and very user friendly. I haven’t had any episodes of it melt­ing or crack­ing. Good luck and I hope you try it, I think you’ll be happy with the result. Would love to see a photo of your cake!

Linda on 12 May, 2009 at 9:13 pm #

I’m look­ing for a cream cheese frost­ing and came across this, I have one ques­tion. Can I make the frost­ing a day ahead and put it in the fridge until I need it or will it crust? Thanks

Colleen on 12 May, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

Hi Linda, this is a very ver­sa­tile frost­ing. Push plas­tic wrap right down on the sur­face of the frost­ing and also put it in a lid­ded bowl if you can. When you take it out you will need to let it soften up some and then you can actu­ally put it back in the mixer before you go ahead and use it. I haven’t had any issues with it doing this pre­vi­ously. If it was to be a bit stiff you can add a very small amount of water to it, just a few drops at a time. Good luck.

tina on 12 May, 2009 at 10:15 pm #

This sounds like a great recipe. I’d like to use it in a lemon wed­ding cake as a filling…but the wed­ding is the end of June, and the weather will be warm. What are your thoughts on sta­bil­ity? We will be fill­ing with this and cov­er­ing with fon­dant. Thanks for your time!

Colleen on 13 May, 2009 at 7:25 am #

Hi Tina, this should do just fine, espe­cially since you are using it inter­nal to the cake. It can get soft in warm weather due to the cheese & but­ter but if you keep it in a cool place prior to delivery/serving it should be just fine. One of the good things about fon­dant as a cov­er­ing is that it keeps the cake inside some­what pro­tected and sta­ble. Like I said, do keep it in a cool place after putting the fon­dant on. All the best!

Abigail on 18 August, 2009 at 9:51 am #

I will be mak­ing a 3 tier red vel­vet cake with cream cheese frost­ing for my friends wed­ding and I had a few ques­tions. I will not be cov­er­ing it with Fon­dant because the bride doesn’t like the taste so I will be using this frost­ing inside and out­side of the cake with fon­dant accents.
1. How long can this frost­ing be out of the fridge before it will start to sour because it is cream cheese?
I know you said above that it should be fine with a fon­dant cov­er­ing to keep the cream cheese cool but I will only have lit­tle bits of fon­dant. We live in FL and the wed­ding will be out­side on a patio in the evening.
Thank you so much for hav­ing this web­site with good infor­ma­tion for begin­ners :)

Abigail on 18 August, 2009 at 9:54 am #

One more thing… how long will it stay in a freezer or fridge? can I make it 1 or 2 days in advance? I have a deep freezer I can put it into. What is the dif­fer­ence between freez­ing or refridger­at­ing cakes? taste or apperance?

Abigail on 18 August, 2009 at 10:04 am #

sorry…one more ques­tion :) Should I just plan on prac­tic­ing and dec­o­rat­ing it with icing out of a bag with tips or would the fon­dant be eas­ier and keep bet­ter in the fridge.

Colleen on 18 August, 2009 at 10:25 am #

Hi Abi­gail, I have left a cake with this frost­ing out overnight with­out any appar­ent issues but I wouldn’t rec­om­mend doing this as it is dairy. I think the best solu­tion is to leave it in a cool spot (in the air con­di­tioned house per­haps) for as long as pos­si­ble before tak­ing it out­side. I would try to bring the cake out­side after the cer­e­mony. While they are hav­ing pho­tos done is usu­ally a good oppor­tu­nity to do this. I have the same issue com­ing up in Sep­tem­ber here in Okla­homa so I’m hop­ing for a cooler day and will be keep­ing it in the air con­di­tioned deliv­ery van for as long as I can.

I use this frost­ing in place of fon­dant all the time since a lot of peo­ple aren’t fans of fon­dant usu­ally because they’ve only had com­mer­cially pro­duced stuff and not the deli­cious home­made fon­dant many dec­o­ra­tors can pro­vide — I can see another arti­cle on fon­dant from scratch in my future!

Regard­ing freez­ing ver­sus refrig­er­a­tion, I would only refrig­er­ate the cake if you will be using it within a day or two. Fon­dant cake cov­er­ings and fon­dant dec­o­ra­tions can get quite sticky and shiny when they come out of the refrig­er­a­tor. Just don’t touch them and allow them to dry out on their own and they should be fine. It can take quite a few hours for the wet look to dis­si­pate so do allow for that. It will also depend on the humid­ity so air con­di­tioned rooms help. Remem­ber that some fon­dants lose their struc­tural integrity under refrig­er­a­tion and I’ve seen flow­ers and other items sag from the mois­ture so you may want to add any­thing too fancy after it comes back to room temp.

I have frozen cakes prior to usage and you can keep a cake for a month or two in the freezer with­out it dry­ing out though I don’t gen­er­ally rec­om­mend leav­ing them in there for that long. Basi­cally the choice between fridge or freezer depends on how long you are try­ing to keep it. Fresh in my opin­ion is best if time allows. Most dec­o­ra­tors have to refrig­er­ate or freeze a cake due to time crunches from time to time.

When I don’t use all of the cream cheese frost­ing I place it in a ziploc bag, label it and reuse it when I have the need for that color or flavour. When I want to reuse it I take it out of the freezer and just let it come to room temp. I have used it straight out of the bag and I have also put it back on the mixer and rewhipped it. The con­sis­tency hasn’t changed nor the flavour or workability.

I hope I’ve cov­ered all your ques­tions. If you have any oth­ers just drop me a line! Good luck and I’d love to see pho­tos of your com­pleted cake. I’ll even post it on here!

Cheers for now,


Colleen on 18 August, 2009 at 10:41 am #

Hi Abi­gail, I think you mean should you use just but­ter­cream dec­o­ra­tions instead of fon­dant. I guess it depends on what type of dec­o­ra­tions you are doing. Per­son­ally I like the look of fon­dant accents on the smoothed but­ter­cream. Also, I learned cake dec­o­rat­ing using fon­dant and gumpaste and but­ter­cream is some­thing I’ve only embraced since mov­ing to the US so my first thought is to go with fon­dant dec­o­ra­tions most of the time unless the cus­tomer requests oth­er­wise and I am far more com­fort­able using fon­dant. Wow talk about a run on sen­tence! Doing the fon­dant dec­o­ra­tions ahead of time might be less stress­ful than doing the but­ter­cream on the day of the wed­ding? Good luck, you’ll do fine!

teresa pizzata on 25 August, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

I’d like to know if I can add a cou­ple of table­spoons of Frangelico to the cream cheese crust­ing frosting?

Colleen on 26 August, 2009 at 7:24 am #

Hello Teresa, yes you can absolutely add some Frangelico for flavour. If you think the frost­ing becomes too thin or soft just add some addi­tional pow­dered sugar until it has the con­sis­tency you desire. Good luck and thank you for vis­it­ing! Colleen :-)

Michelle on 4 September, 2009 at 2:53 am #

omg thank you so much for this recipe. i am mak­ing baby block cakes for my bf’s baby shower and i made sev­eral cakes such as car­rot and banana, which NEED cream cheese frost­ing, so i will be using this recipe. i will also be doing fon­dant accents. do you think that it would be okay to leave the frosted cakes at room temp for like 18 hours? is that too long for a cream cheese frost­ing to be out? i do not want to refridger­ate cakes that have fon­dant on them already and do not think i have time the day of the shower to dec­o­rate them as i am throw­ing the shower at my house. and should i wait for the cake to crust before i add the fon­dant? or put it on when it is slightly wet? how thin should i roll out the fon­dant dec­o­ra­tions in order for them to stick and not slide off? any advice you have would be greatly appreciated!!!

Colleen on 4 September, 2009 at 8:27 am #

Hi Michelle, so glad you found a recipe that will work for you. As far as leav­ing them out of the refrig­er­a­tor for 18 hours if you do, I would def­i­nitely ensure they are in a cool a place as pos­si­ble just to be safe. Really, you can add the fon­dant dec­o­ra­tions either while the but­ter­cream is wet or dry. Per­son­ally, I wait until it is dry as I feel it is a lit­tle more sta­ble and eas­ier to han­dle. I use a water brush like this or the flat one:
Water Brush for Cake Decorating
You can buy them online at a cake dec­o­rat­ing sup­plier such as Cal Java for about $12.00. Seems a lit­tle pricey I know but a great tool to have. With­out that you can also use a clean paint brush used only for dec­o­rat­ing to add a very small amount of water to the fon­dant dec­o­ra­tions to make them adhere to the but­ter­cream. I would make the dec­o­ra­tions rel­a­tively thin so they don’t want to slide off while wet, prob­a­bly no more than 1/8th of an inch thick. Obvi­ously you can get away with heav­ier dec­o­ra­tions if they are sit­ting on the board etc., as I did with the Jun­gle themed baby shower cake I made. Good luck and I’d love to see pho­tos of your baby blocks when you are done!

Kelley on 1 November, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

I am mak­ing 3 tiered red vel­vet wed­ding cake for a friend’s wed­ding next Sat­ur­day. The bride wants cream cheese but­ter­cream cov­ered in fon­dant with but­ter­cream accents. I need to dec­o­rate the cake Thurs­day, (as I am in the wed­ding as well… ter­ri­ble I know) how­ever I know the but­ter­cream will have cream cheese and needs to be refridger­ated but the fon­dant will get sticky. Any thoughts, sug­ges­tions, or help­ful hints? (other than don’t agree to make cakes and serve in the same wed­ding!)
Thanks so much!

Suzie on 2 November, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

OMG! I’m so glad I found your site! I was ready to give up. I do wed­ding cakes on the side as a hobby for friends and fam­ily. My friends sis­ter is get­ting mar­ried and she wanted a cream cheese frost­ing wed­ding cake with melted choco­late on top. I’ve tried a few cream cheese receipes but they are all way too soft. I wanted some­thing that had a con­sis­tency of but­ter­cream. I’m going to try this recipe tonight. I’m hop­ing it works!! Also, do you by chance know of a good recipe to make a thin choco­late driz­zle / ganache that will slightly harden up when on the cake? I tried a reg­u­lar choco­late ganache receipe and when I took it out of the fridge to cut it, the cake was hard to cut and the choco­late was kind of soft. Thanks! BTW I love your website!

Colleen on 2 November, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

Hi Kel­ley, I would never try to dis­cour­age some­one from doing a lot of things… I’m the queen of tak­ing on too much and then jug­gling it all but it usu­ally works out. Good for you! No prob­lem with cov­er­ing the cake and putting it in the refrig­er­a­tor with the fon­dant on it. The trick is, when you take it out it will look wet and sticky. You just have to NOT TOUCH IT and let it dry on its own accord. I will how­ever warn you against putting on fon­dant or gumpaste dec­o­ra­tions before you put it in the fridge. I know this makes it hard to do on a busy time scale but you will be sad if you do as these types of sugar dec­o­ra­tions will sag and can often run or bleed onto the fon­dant if they are placed on the cake and then in the fridge. Also, be sure to take a bag of icing with you to the recep­tion in case some­thing on the cake moves, breaks, falls off. And take a few extra flow­ers, swags, (what­ever your dec­o­ra­tions are) etc. for the same rea­son. Good luck to you and let me know if you have any other ques­tions or con­cerns. I’ll do my best to assist you! :-) Colleen

Colleen on 2 November, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

Hi Suzie! I use a basic boiled cream over choco­late chips for my ganache recipe. You can make it thin­ner by adding some cocoa but­ter to it but I would do it a lit­tle at a time until you get the con­sis­tency you want. You can test your ganache by cut­ting a few strips of clear thin plas­tic (not plas­tic wrap) and dip­ping it in your ganache and let­ting it set up. You can then see how mal­leable it is and make adjust­ments accord­ingly… more choco­late chips to firm it up or more cream or cocoa but­ter to thin it out.

I use this cream cheese recipe for every­thing and find it very easy to adjust the con­sis­tency with­out ruin­ing it. I often add more pow­dered sugar to make it a bit thicker/drier espe­cially when it is going to be the final fin­ish on a cake. You do have to work faster to get it smooth though as it will set up quicker. Good luck to you and be sure to email me if you have more ques­tions. Colleen :-)

Suzie on 3 November, 2009 at 10:59 am #

Thanks so much for respond­ing! I’ll try the recipe for the choco­late ganache.

Another ques­tion for you. So when I took this cake dec­o­rat­ing class I was shown how to use fon­dant. I use it a lot with my cakes now cause I like the fin­ish but I’m not sure if I’m doing some­thing wrong. Some­times my fon­dant will crack or tear as i’m putting it on. Also, it will bub­ble some­times when I take it out of the fridge. So here are the steps I usu­ally go through each time I cover a cake with fon­dant:
1. Kneed the fon­dant with crisco
2. Roll it out
3. Put it on a refrig­er­ated cake usu­ally cov­ered in buttercream.

Some ques­tions:
1. It seems to crack some­times when I add color? Am I need­ing it too much? Am I adding too much crisco or not enough?

2. Am I miss­ing a step?

3. Why is it bub­bling after I take it out of the fridge?

4. When I try to smooth the fon­dant on the cake it will some­times tear.

5. I’ve heard peo­ple using pow­dered sugar while rolling it out? What does that do?

Thanks so much!!!

Colleen on 5 November, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

Hi Suzie, I’m won­der­ing if you might try rolling the fon­dant a lit­tle thicker than you have been to avoid it tear­ing. Also keep­ing it cool helps as with most sugar prod­ucts it weak­ens when it warms up. Adding col­ors can often make the fon­dant a lot softer hence it will break eas­ier also. Are you using gel col­ors or liq­uid. I pre­fer gels as they tend to be more con­cen­trated and the liq­uids can change the ratio of the fon­dant which will also lead to it break­ing down easier.

The bub­ble can be removed by insert­ing a pin or nee­dle into the bub­bles and smooth­ing it with the cake smoother or your cool hand. Per­haps it is the recipe of the but­ter­cream you are using under­neath that is caus­ing it to bub­ble. It wouldn’t hurt to try a dif­fer­ent recipe or two and see if that helps. I learned to cover cakes with fon­dant using the pow­dered sugar method and I still pre­fer it but it can make the fon­dant dry and crack if you use too much. Per­son­ally, even though I do use it some­times I find that the crisco can really soften the fon­dant too much for my lik­ing. Mainly keep pow­dered sugar under­neath the fon­dant to stop if from stick­ing and a lit­tle on top to stop the rolling pin from stick­ing, but easy does it… just enough to ensure it doesn’t stick is all you need.

Unfor­tu­nately it can just take some play­ing around with dif­fer­ent prod­ucts and meth­ods to find what works for you. Out­side ele­ments such as humid­ity, how old the fon­dant is, brand of fon­dant can often affect how the fon­dant per­forms. There are some great recipes for mak­ing your own fon­dant which I’ve had great suc­cess with. I will be sure to write an arti­cle on that soon and add some recipes worth trying.

Good luck.


Samantha on 23 November, 2009 at 9:39 pm #

I was very excited to give this icing recipe a try, but I had a few prob­lems. The but­ter and cream cheese were soft­ened and com­bined smoothly. I added 3 lbs of sugar (grad­u­ally) and my icing was VERY stiff. I had to add a few table­spoons of water to thin into a spread­able con­sis­tency.
Any sug­ges­tions on what I might have done wrong?

Colleen on 2 December, 2009 at 8:16 am #

Hi Saman­tha, My apolo­gies for not get­ting back with you sooner. I didn’t see you men­tion the addi­tion of the 1/2 cup veg­etable short­en­ing? If you did use that then you can always add a lit­tle more but­ter, crisco or cream cheese until you get it to the con­sis­tency you are look­ing for. Many dif­fer­ent vari­ables can come into play such as alti­tude, brands of but­ter, sugar and cream cheese etc. The recipe is quite flex­i­ble in that you can adjust small amounts either way and still have a suc­cess­ful but­ter­cream. The addi­tion of the water works also but I do try not to add water as it can some­times cause weep­ing. Good luck.


[…] very light and fluffy due to the sifted cake flour.  I topped and filled  mine with my favourite crust­ing cream cheese but­ter­cream and some dec­o­ra­tor sugar and top­pings I had on hand.  I love the color with this recipe.  I have […]

Sandy Briggs on 27 January, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

I am going to be doing a Red Vel­vet BD cake with your Crust­ing Cream Cheese But­ter­cream icing for my son. My plan is to use a Frozen But­ter­cream Trans­fer design. Should I do that using reg­u­lar but­ter­cream or would the CC But­ter­cream work just as well?

Colleen on 27 January, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

Hi Sandy, I haven’t used a lot of those trans­fers but I’d imag­ine to get it to adhere you might let the but­ter­cream crust over and then wet the sur­face with a paint­brush and some water to apply the trans­fer. It’s a great sur­face to work on for most appli­ca­tions. Good luck!

shannon on 10 March, 2010 at 6:39 am #

Hi there! I’m going to be mak­ing an air­plane cake for a baby shower and have a shaped pan, would this icing work well for use with tip dec­o­rat­ing or is it too crusting??

Colleen on 10 March, 2010 at 6:54 am #

Hi Shan­non, it will work fine for pip­ing with tips. I have used it with Wilton pans and the star tip. It crusts after some time exposed to air but is easy to use when it is fresh. Good luck.

jay on 11 March, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

thank you for shar­ing this recipe. i have a ques­tion regard­ing adding lemon juice and zest to the recipe, is this pos­si­ble? also can I use this recipe to fill the cake with lemon curd? I will be cov­er­ing my cake with fondant.

Colleen on 15 March, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

Hi Jay and sorry for the delay in reply­ing. Yes, you can absolutely add lemon juice and zest to this. Just watch the con­sis­tency when adding addi­tional flu­ids. This icing is very flex­i­ble but I would prob­a­bly add a lit­tle extra pow­dered sugar to off­set the addi­tional liq­uid. I also have a lemon curd recipe here that is great and could be used for fill­ing. I would not put the fill­ing all the way to the edge of the cakes being filled to avoid it com­ing in con­tact with the fon­dant as that could make a sticky mess. Crumb coat­ing the cakes with the but­ter­cream first will def­i­nitely help here also. Happy baking!

Mel on 4 May, 2010 at 11:50 am #

Colleen, you and your read­ers have al been so help­ful. I’ve been bak­ing & dec­o­rat­ing for years and love work­ing with fon­dant. I found the ques­tions from your read­ers about their con­cerns, and your answers, so help­ful for a 3-D red vel­vet cake and cream cheese but­ter­cream. I did a sam­ple taste yes­ter­day and it all came out great but I used a receipe with only 2lbs con­fec­tion­ers sugar and found it a lit­tle too sweet for my taste. Ques­tion: I’m mak­ing a 3-D bowl­ing ball and won­dered if it’s eas­ily to make out of rice krispy treat or buy a ball cake pan? This will be dirty iced and cov­ered in fon­dant on top of the base cake. Thanks.

Colleen on 4 May, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

Hi Mel and thank you for your kind com­ments! I’m so glad you found the infor­ma­tion here help­ful. A cou­ple of thoughts regard­ing the bowl­ing ball cake. Rice Krispy’s will def­i­nitely weigh less than if the ball was made out of cake but of course then you have less cake serv­ings. Either way be sure to use good struc­tural pieces like pil­lars inserted into the bot­tom cake and another cake plate (card­board) under the ball.

Per­son­ally, I would make it out of dense cake, do the crumb coat and then fon­dant as you men­tioned. If you have good sup­ports it should hold up equally as well. I like the ball pans since you don’t have to carve them and they hold up bet­ter in my opin­ion. Good luck Mel, would love to see your cake when you are done! Happy bak­ing, Colleen

Mel on 4 May, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

Hi Colleen, Oops, another ques­tion… I’ve noticed that in the past, some of my fon­dant cov­ered cakes start to bulge at the sides, even after I’ve crumb coated. I sus­pect I’m doing some­thing wrong while fill­ing the layers?

Mel on 4 May, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

Colleen, I love your site! This will be my first 3-D cake so I’m a lit­tle ner­vous about any shap­ing or carv­ing, so I’ll pur­chase a ball pan. I’m sure I’ll find many other uses for it. Thanks! Also, what do you rec­om­mend as a dense cake for the ball? Thank you!

Colleen on 5 May, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

Mel, pound cake is a good dense cake for shaped cakes. Also, when I take a lot of pan cakes out of the oven I press down on the domed top to make them level so I don’t have to carve any off and the cake is also a lit­tle denser this way. You won’t be able to press down on a shaped cake or it won’t be a ball any­more! ;-)

The bulging can be alle­vi­ated some­what by mak­ing a “chan­nel” for the fill­ing to go into. I often scoop out the cen­ter about a half an inch deep and leave about an inch of cake around the sides. This stops the fill­ing from goosh­ing out and caus­ing bulging.

Happy Bak­ing Mel and I’m sure you will do a won­der­ful job!

[…]  Colleen in Crust­ing Cream Cheese But­ter­cream!: Mel, pound cake is a good dense Mel in Crust­ing Cream Cheese But­ter­cream!: Colleen, I love your site! This will Mel in Crust­ing Cream Cheese But­ter­cream!: Hi Colleen, Oops, another ques­tion… I’ve noticed […]

[…]  Colleen in Crust­ing Cream Cheese But­ter­cream!: Mel, pound cake is a good dense Mel in Crust­ing Cream Cheese But­ter­cream!: Colleen, I love your site! This will Mel in Crust­ing Cream Cheese But­ter­cream!: Hi Colleen, Oops, another ques­tion… I’ve noticed […]

Shavonne on 19 May, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

Colleen, I cam across your site through Google and am so happy I did. I am about to make a red velevet cake for my cousins com­mis­sion­ing on Fri and want to use this frost­ing. I am putting on of these edi­ble image sheets on top( flag w/ army seal) and was won­der­ing if I can do so with this crust­ing frost­ing. Also I live in Cal­i­for­nia and I am fly­ing to NY (6 hrs). Will it be ok on the flight over?

Congrats Grads! « Heather Bakes on 6 June, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

[…] dif­fi­cult to dec­o­rate with. SO… after lots and lots of time spent search­ing online, I found this recipe for a “crust­ing” cream cheese-buttercream frost­ing. It’s FABULOUS– tastes great […]

Colleen on 6 June, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

Hi Shavonne, my apolo­gies for such a late reply since you’ve already flown the coop by now. I find I can do any­thing with this icing I can do with a reg­u­lar but­ter­cream. If it dries too much you can lightly brush it with a water pen to adhere the image sheet. I do believe it would be ok for the flight but of course best kept in a cool envi­ron­ment at all times.

therese on 23 June, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

Can i use fon­dant cutouts for dec­o­ra­tion on the cream cheese such as a Zebrra print?

Thank you

Colleen on 23 June, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

Hello Therese, you can absolutely adhere fon­dant to the but­ter­cream. I have had the most suc­cess when adher­ing them after the fon­dant has crusted and is dry to the touch since it gives more sta­bil­ity to it. You can then use a water pen or brush to stick the dec­o­ra­tions on. Happy decorating!

Daph on 7 July, 2010 at 9:15 am #

Thanks for post­ing this recipe! I was won­der­ing, could I replace the veg­etable short­en­ing with that Hi-ratio short­en­ing, and if so do I need to change the but­ter amount? Also how would you make this into choco­late buttercream?

Galit on 10 July, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

Hello! I just saw your web­site since I’m look­ing to cover a bday cake with but­ter cream and fon­dant dec­o­ra­tions.
My ques­tion– why short­en­ing? I don’t know why I’m against it but just won­der­ing if it helps to keep the but­ter­cream sta­ble.
I also under­stand there’s no prob­lem to cover with the cream cheese and then fon­dant and put in a cooler for the night..? thanks!!

Judith Schoen on 21 July, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

Colleen, I am so happy to see this recipe! I am doing the cake dec­o­rat­ing for my sister’s wed­ding and have a few ques­tions. We had planned a marsh­mal­low fon­dant over the cream cheese icing, how long do you think this could be stored in a air con­di­tioned room? Also, does marsh­mal­low fon­dant behave the same with refrig­er­a­tion? I know I may have to do the dec­o­rat­ing early the day of the wed­ding but if I can get more done the day before that would make life sooo much eas­ier!
Thank you,

Colleen on 21 July, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

Hey Judi! Thanks for stop­ping by. I always liked the idea of marsh­mal­low fon­dant (MF) but per­son­ally I don’t like the way it behaves. It has so many vari­ables depend­ing on the weather, the mois­ture lev­els in the ingre­di­ents etc etc. In an air con­di­tioned room it should be ok to be left out for a day or two, but if you refrig­er­ate MF you will end up with a gooey, sticky mess. I LOVE the crust­ing cream cheese because I find it so ver­sa­tile and for­giv­ing. There have been times when I have for­got­ten the Crisco or added too much cream cheese, but every time I get a work­able prod­uct. Per­haps it’s more luck than any­thing else but it seems so hard to make a mess with it. I have often got­ten up early to do a cake the day of but it’s such a risk as I’ve seen cakes dropped etc which doesn’t leave much time to make a replace­ment. Good luck you brave woman and I sin­cerely hope it goes per­fectly! Would love to see your cake when you are done if you want to email a pic!

Happy bak­ing,

Colleen :-)

Michelle on 9 August, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

Hi Colleen! I’m so glad I found your recipe! I have a ques­tion. Have you used this icing for dec­o­rat­ing? I’m plan­ning to use it for icing the cake but also wanted to color it to use for the letters/numbers going on the cake. Any advice? Thanks!

nancee on 29 August, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

I plan on mak­ing a red vel­vet cake and cream cheese icing on top of fon­dant­for a friend of mine for her birth­day. I would like to have her name in gumpaste on the side of the cake along with other designs. My ques­tion is this will the gumpaste ruin the cake? I seen I do have to keep it in the fridge. Also, what can I use to glue the let­ters that is in gumpaste to the fon­dant? and will but­ter cream hold up bet­ter for designs?
Thank you

Shelly on 17 October, 2010 at 5:29 am #

Colleen! Thank you so much for this post­ing! I have been search­ing for a good crust­ing cc but­ter­cream recipe and this sounds fab­u­lous! Also I really appre­ci­ate your responses… I have left comments/questions at numer­ous other web­sites that don’t get answered. You did such a great job at answered your read­ers ques­tions that you answered all of mine as well. Your web­site is now on my favorites list =) Look­ing for­ward to more posts!

Kimberly Throneberry on 25 October, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

So, of course, I’m here with yet another ques­tion, like every­one else! I typ­i­cally use but­ter fla­vored crisco in my bak­ing because I pre­fer a but­ter fla­vor but have short­en­ing behaves. So, that’s what I have on hand. DO you think it would be ok in this frost­ing or would it’s fla­vor in combo with the real but­ter over power the cream cheese, do you think? I don’t mind pick­ing up some of the plain stuff if nec­es­sary, but sav­ing a trip is always good too.

Colleen on 25 October, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

You know Kim­berly, that is a great ques­tion. I used to use the but­ter flavoured Crisco when I had it in the pantry but now only stock the plain vari­ety. My best advice would be to try and make half a batch by cut­ting down the ingre­di­ents. You don’t have to use baker’s per­cent­age mea­sur­ing just half of every­thing and this still works. I know because I’ve done it to test odd flavours from time to time. Try it out and do let me know as I would love to see what you think. I also think if the but­ter flavour over­pow­ers every­thing else then I might add some extra vanilla or what­ever flavour you are want­ing, but do it drop by drop to see how it tastes. Too much of a good thing will go a long way… made that mis­take before! Good luck and do let us all know!

Colleen on 25 October, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

You know Kim­berly, that is a great ques­tion. I used to use the but­ter flavoured Crisco when I had it in the pantry but now only stock the plain vari­ety. My best advice would be to try and make half a batch by cut­ting down the ingre­di­ents. You don’t have to use baker’s per­cent­age mea­sur­ing just half of every­thing and this still works. I know because I’ve done it to test odd flavours from time to time. Try it out and do let me know as I would love to see what you think. I also think if the but­ter flavour over­pow­ers every­thing else then I might add some extra vanilla or what­ever flavour you are want­ing, but do it drop by drop to see how it tastes. Too much of a good thing will go a long way… made that mis­take before! Good luck and do let us all know!

Colleen on 25 October, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

Thanks Shelly, so glad you dropped by and were able to find some­thing use­ful. I too, have been very remiss in not respond­ing to every­one lately. My Dad passed away recently and I just haven’t been on the com­puter as much or bak­ing for that mat­ter. Life is turn­ing around now so we should be able to get back into it soon! All the best! :-)

Colleen on 25 October, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

Hello Nancee. First off my sin­cere apolo­gies for not reply­ing sooner. Gumpaste will adhere well to this frost­ing often with­out using any addi­tional water. I would def­i­nitely put it on after it comes out of the fridge though as gumpaste can get very sticky, flow­ers will wilt and I’ve seen intri­cate work fall apart from being refrig­er­ated. Most gumpaste likes to stay dry for best results. I often use plain fon­dant that I colour for names or num­bers etc to put on this frost­ing. Espe­cially for a birth­day cake or sim­i­lar. Gumpaste tends to be more finicky, will break a tooth if some­one decides to bite into it and tastes really bad. It’s not really meant to be eaten so if I can, I use fon­dant. Obvi­ously for very detailed flow­ers etc that need to main­tain their shape gumpaste is the only way to go. I do hope your cake turned out well con­sid­er­ing how long ago you sent me the mes­sage. Once again my apologies.

Colleen on 25 October, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

Hi Michelle, I am so sorry to be so slow in get­ting back to you. You may see from another post that we’ve been deal­ing with my Dad’s pass­ing from can­cer and it’s been a tough time for all of us. Now, you can absolutely use this for dec­o­rat­ing as well. If I have a cake on here that I have used the cc frost­ing on and it has bor­ders etc, it’s prob­a­bly the same frost­ing. I’ve made piped flow­ers out of it as well. The only thing when it’s sort of warm and humid, I might add a bit more pow­dered sugar to the batch I’m going to be using for bor­ders or dec­o­ra­tions so that they hold up bet­ter. All the best and happy baking!

[…]  Colleen in Crust­ing Cream Cheese But­ter­cream!: Hi Michelle, I am so sorry to Colleen in Crust­ing Cream Cheese But­ter­cream!: Hello Nancee. First off my sin­cere Colleen in Crust­ing Cream Cheese But­ter­cream!: Thanks Shelly, so glad you dropped by […]

Lisa Schilling on 2 February, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

I need some tips, I am hav­ing the hard­est time spread­ing this with­out my cake crum­bling. I didnt freeze like I nor­mally do, do you think this is the prob­lem? My cake isnt dry at all, super moist, just super fluffy too!! My frost­ing isnt really thick either, aaaggggh­hhh!!! Any tips?

Colleen on 2 February, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

Hi Lisa, My best advice would be to do a thin­ner layer of frost­ing known as a “crumb coat.” It will def­i­nitely get cake crumbs in it. If you have to you can add a tiny amount of milk or water to it to thin it. Then once you have this spread all over I would freeze it until it’s firmly set. You don’t have to freeze the entire cake until it’s solid just the frost­ing layer. At that point I would remove the cake from the freezer and quickly get my top layer of frost­ing in place. You can also smooth it should you want to once it is some­what air dry to the touch. Get­ting all the frost­ing on in one go can be very chal­leng­ing even for expe­ri­enced cake mak­ers. I hope this helps! Happy baking!

cindy on 10 February, 2011 at 10:16 am #

colleen.. i have a quick ques­tion… i was plan­ning on crumb coat­ing and fill­ing with your cream cheese but­ter­cream and cov­er­ing it with fon­dant. Do you think it will be ok at room temp. till sat. granted… the weather is cold. please help… the cake is baked and now i don’t know what to do.

Colleen on 10 February, 2011 at 10:34 am #

Hi Cindy, not know­ing what your sched­ule per­mits, I would make up the but­ter­cream and leave it in the fridge til Fri­day. Wrap the cake/s in plas­tic wrap or put them in air­tight con­tain­ers until you are ready to use them. If you have time I would do it all on Fri­day after­noon (as I said, I don’t know your sched­ule or com­mit­ments) and then I feel it would be ok to leave it overnight in a cool place. Per­son­ally, I have left the frost­ing out for a cou­ple of days but that goes against the safe food han­dling rules for dairy prod­ucts — the cream cheese and the but­ter, so I don’t rec­om­mend it. If you can’t do it on Fri­day, fill and crumb coat the cakes today and maybe you can fit them into the refrig­er­a­tor or freezer until Fri­day night. Let them come to room temp or slightly cooler before you put the fon­dant on. I have put the fon­dant on a cake that was slightly frozen and you will get wet shiny patches on the fon­dant. What­ever you do don’t try to dry them or touch them. They will dry out in a cou­ple of hours by them­selves and you won’t be able to see where they were if you leave them alone.

I sure hope this helps Cindy! Best of luck and bak­ing to you! Colleen

cindy on 10 February, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

thank you so much for your advice and for get­ting back so quickly!!! I have frosted the cake and put it in the fridge… so i will cover it tomorrow…thanks for the advice i will let come to room temp before i cover it.

Maite on 15 February, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

Hey Colleen.
I LOVE your recipe, it is my go to recipe when I use cream cheese. Every­one raves about how yummy it taste and it crusts so beau­ti­fully, even in our humid weather. One quick ques­tion, I’ve had some of your icing sit­ting in the fridge in a tup­per­ware con­tainer, how long do you think it could keep in there and still be safe to use again?

Colleen on 15 February, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

Hello Maite! It is a great frost­ing to use isn’t it! So ver­sa­tile also, I’ve added jams and jel­lies to it, added melted choco­late to it etc. and it still holds up well. To your ques­tion… I usu­ally freeze my left overs for up to 3 months before I throw it away. If it’s in the fridge I don’t keep it much longer than a week just like most dairy prod­ucts. I am always so con­cerned about mak­ing any­one sick that I start over with fresh. If in doubt, chuck it out. It’s not worth the health of oth­ers and your rep­u­ta­tion to serve older per­haps unsafe foods.

Cheers and happy baking!

Colleen :-)

Lisa Schilling on 15 February, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

Thanks for the advice, I did try to the crumb layer. I am def­i­nitely going to freeze my cake first this time, thank good­ness that was a trial run and not the one I need for this week­end though =)

Terry Grier on 19 February, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

Hi Colleen, I’ve been look­ing for a cream cheese but­ter­cream icing and came upon yours. I am tak­ing cake dec­o­rat­ing classes and don’t like the tra­di­tional but­ter­cream icing as I find it way too sweet, so I will be try­ing your recipe. It sounds heav­enly. I will defi­nately be book­mark­ing your page for fur­ther ref­er­ences. Again thanks for all the tips I’ve been read­ing. :) from Chill­i­wack, BC Canada

Colleen on 19 February, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

Hi Terry! Cake dec­o­rat­ing is lots of fun and very use­ful at times. It’s a great but­ter­cream and very ver­sa­tile. If you have any ques­tions don’t hes­i­tate to con­tact me! Cheers! Colleen

Shirley on 21 February, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

Than you so much for post­ing this recipe. I’m get­ting mar­ried end of April, I want a very moist apple cake, I will make, with a cream cheese icing, have some­one to dec­o­rate for me. I plan on 3 lay­ers with very plain dec­o­ra­tions, Pink dots(pearls) on white icing. Will this work on such a moist cake?

Colleen on 21 February, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

Hi Shirley, Con­grat­u­la­tions on the wed­ding! I do believe this prod­uct will serve you well. Per­son­ally, I would add prob­a­bly an addi­tional cup of pow­dered sugar to make the frost­ing a bit stiffer and drier. This will help com­bat the extra mois­ture that will be present in the cake and could pos­si­bly make the frost­ing even moister than it is already. Be sure to do a crumb coat then let that set in the freezer before you add the final frost­ing to avoid a crumby mess. There is a flavour­ing I have used called “wed­ding” flavour… I’ll have to go find that to get the brand and name for you but it’s very nice and would prob­a­bly go well with the apple. Although you don’t want any­thing too over­pow­er­ing now I think of it more… Good luck to you and yours! Colleen

Michelle on 25 February, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

This recipe did not work for me. The lb mea­sure­ments threw me. I read three and half cups, instead of pounds. Who mea­sures pounds of sugar? It taste good, but is not work­ing as frost­ing. It doesn’t set, it’s sticky, no mat­ter how much it is chilled. Had to redo it.

Colleen on 25 February, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

Hi Michelle, So sorry it didn’t work out for you but it does say POUNDS. Pro­fes­sional bak­ers use pounds. Cups are not used very often in the bak­ing indus­try as they can be inac­cu­rate and accu­racy avoids waste of mate­ri­als and time as you can appre­ci­ate a busi­ness needs to stay on top of it’s expenses. This recipe comes from a friend’s bak­ery. I do hope you’ll give it another go. It’s a great frost­ing when the cor­rect amounts are used. All the best, Colleen

Cathleen on 4 March, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

Thank you for this crust­ing cream cheese recipe!! By the way, Paula Deen’s red vel­vet cake recipe is the way to go. I use it often, but have had to resort to fon­dant to get the dec­o­rat­ing look I wanted because I didn’t want to use a crust­ing but­ter­cream on a red vel­vet cake. I’m going to use this one for my niece’s red vel­vet baby shower cake next week!

Colleen on 4 March, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

Hi Cath­leen and thanks for drop­ping by! I sure hope you love this frost­ing as much as I do. Remem­ber, it uses 3 pounds of sugar not cups. Just to be sure! You will love it I just know it. All the best for the baby shower!

Happy bak­ing, Colleen :-)

Christina on 26 March, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

Hi! I’ve read through every reply and finally reached the bot­tom. I’m new at bak­ing, only started about a year ago. I have my first wed­ding cake com­ing up for this Fri­day. Three tier 6,9,12 red vel­vet. She wants it cov­ered in MMF. She has tried my red vel­vet cake before and loves my cream cheese frost­ing. My prob­lem is I know I can’t put the fon­dant right over it. No prob­lems fill­ing, but I would have to crumb coat with a but­ter­cream. Would this recipe work bet­ter? I don’t want to throw the fla­vors off. I already know I have to refrig­er­ate, not sure how the pro­fes­sional bak­ers do it with­out it weep­ing. Luck­ily it’s not going to be exten­sive dec­o­ra­tions. Thanks for this post! Hope all is well. :)

Colleen on 4 April, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

Hi Christina, first off I need to apol­o­gize for miss­ing your post. Obvi­ously, my reply is far too late to be of any assis­tance. I hope that it worked out well for you. The crust­ing cream cheese recipe would have worked very well as a crumb coat or final coat. YOu could have smoothed it to look like fon­dant. I per­son­ally don’t like MMF. It’s nice tast­ing but too unsta­ble and finicky for my liking.

Once again, my apolo­gies for not see­ing your email come in.

Happy bak­ing, Colleen :-)

[…]  Colleen in Crust­ing Cream Cheese But­ter­cream!: Hi Christina, first off I need to Colleen in Just a quick note…: Hi Nee­nie, sorry for your loss.  Colleen in Red Vel­vet Cake from Scratch!: Hi Holly, This recipe is great […]

Callie on 7 April, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

Thank you so much for this recipe, I’ve been look­ing every­where! I have a cou­ple of quick ques­tions as I am mak­ing a three layer cake this week­end for my niece’s first birth­day. I’d like to know if this icing is thick enough to hold between the lay­ers with­out caus­ing the lay­ers to slide and I’d also like to know if it will work for pip­ing zebra stripes on the sides of the cake. Again, thanks for this great recipe!

Callie on 7 April, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

One more ques­tion: the cake I’m mak­ing will be three 8″ rounds and then another two layer 4″ round cake for her to play in. Will this recipe make enough to fill, cover, and dec­o­rate all of this or how much extra should I make?

Colleen on 8 April, 2011 at 8:00 am #

Hi Cal­lie! The lay­ers shouldn’t slide but the best trick is to leave about an inch of cake around the edge and scoop out a “gut­ter” to put the icing into. Then the strength of the cake holds the lay­ers not the icing because it can some­times bulge out the sides. Nobody can tell you’ve done this and they will still get lots of frost­ing between their lay­ers. And yes, you can use it to pipe with also. Gel or pow­dered colour­ing will give you stronger colours with­out becom­ing too wet unlike those cheaper liq­uid colour­ings from the gro­cery store.

Your sec­ond ques­tion was about the quan­tity. Obvi­ously it depends on how thick you make your frost­ing lay­ers but this recipe yields a LOT of frost­ing. It almost fills the bowl on my 6 qt Kitchenaid mixer. The good thing is this. If you run out you can make a bit more.. do a half batch. Also, when I have had to make a sec­ond batch I just don’t flavour or colour what I’m not using and I freeze it for up to 6 months and have had very good results when I’ve thawed it out at a later time. I hope this cov­ers all your ques­tions. Good luck with the cake and I’d love to hear how it turned out. You can even send a photo and I’ll post it here!

Happy bak­ing! Colleen :-)

Haley on 11 April, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

Hi Colleen!

Your recipe looks like EXACTLY what I need. I’m mak­ing a 3 tier peanut but­ter choco­late cake for a party, and I wanted the smooth look of fon­dant, but a cream cheese icing pairs so beau­ti­fully with this cake that I couldn’t give it up. I’m going to do each tier a dif­fer­ent color, so is it best that I crumb coat each one, freeze them indi­vid­u­ally until the icing sets, then do a smooth icing layer?

Also, this cake tastes best when frozen. Am I okay to freeze this cake for a day? I plan to apply a few fon­dant appliques, quite small ones. When it comes time to present the cake, do I just take it out of the freezer, brush a lit­tle water on the appliques, and then adhere them?

Thank you so much for your help!

Haley on 11 April, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

Sorry one more question!

If the appliques are pretty sim­ple, only like 2″ by 2″,can I maybe put them on before we freeze it for a few hours? It’d save a lot of time since it’s for a sur­prise party! But if you think it’s a bad idea I’ll fig­ure out a way to get them on after I take it out of the freezer

Colleen on 12 April, 2011 at 7:28 am #

Hi Haley! It really is a great recipe. Do be sure to mea­sure the ingre­di­ents as it says. It really is in pounds because it makes such a large quan­tity. Ok… yes def­i­nitely use the same but­ter­cream and do a thin crumb coat, freeze and then do the final layer. I use the Viva brand paper tow­els to get that smooth fin­ish and a smoother or some­times just my hand if it’s a smaller cake. You can also add a lit­tle extra pow­dered sugar to make a really stiff mix to the but­ter­cream you want to use for bor­ders or dec­o­ra­tions.. If your appliques are cutouts and made of fon­dant or gumpaste there is a chance that after you take it out of the freezer they can get wet look­ing and sag. If this occurs, place in a cool dry area… I have been known to use a fan in the room when a cake comes out of the freezer espe­cially in very high humid­ity. The most impor­tant part is don’t poke at it or try to dry any wet look­ing areas with a paper towel or such. Just let it come back to room temp and it should dry out nicely. Happy bak­ing! Colleen :-)

Tamra on 22 April, 2011 at 8:37 am #

I am using cream cheese icing for the first time on a birth­day cake today. I filled and iced with cream cheese frost­ing yes­ter­day and refrig­er­ated both tiers overnight before stack­ing. This is a lit­tle girl’s two-tier birth­day cake. It firms up when in the refrig­er­a­tor, but gets very soft when I removed it to put fon­dant dec­o­ra­tions. I’m not cov­er­ing in fon­dant, just dec­o­rat­ing. Should I put it back in the refrig­er­a­tor after dec­o­rat­ing or is it okay to leave out. The birth­day is tonight. I read some hor­ror sto­ries on other sites about dec­o­ra­tions slid­ing off. Just hope that doesn’t hap­pen. I also heard that the fon­dant can sweat and I’m using very bold col­ors. I’m not famil­iar with using this icing. Any help would be appreciated.

Colleen on 22 April, 2011 at 9:47 am #

Hi Tamra. Given the short time you have left this is what I would do… Fon­dant can sag when moist so I would def­i­nitely be watch­ing those and take it out of the fridge if this begins to hap­pen. If you have a cool, dry spot you can put the cake that might be pref­er­en­tial to putting it back in the refrig­er­a­tor. Given the dairy in the frost­ing I wouldn’t leave it out if it’s hot and humid as you have seen how soft the frost­ing can get. If you have a fan you can use to cir­cu­late the air put that on and it might also help to dry out the frost­ing a lit­tle. Not sure if you used the recipe on my web­site or another… I can only vouch for the frost­ing I’ve been using as they aren’t all equal in ingre­di­ents etc. I have seen darkly/brightly coloured fon­dant pieces “leach” colour into frost­ing and the mois­ture in the frost­ing make the fon­dant dec­o­ra­tions soft where they touch. The main thing with fon­dant if it looks moist is don’t touch it and try to let it dry on its own. Also, if leach­ing occurs be sure to have a small amount of your but­ter­cream handy and touch it up with a knife or small spat­ula where the colour is com­ing off the fon­dant. You can eas­ily cover the areas with a small amount of but­ter­cream in a pinch. Good luck.

Lauren on 24 June, 2011 at 8:08 am #

Hey! I can’t wait to try this recipe!!! Try­ing it out today for a 3 tired engage­ment cake. I have a ques­tion though… I’m also mak­ing red vel­vet cup­cakes next month and I want to top them off with a Min­nie Mouse cake ball. Will the frost­ing hold it or will it just sink in? I mean, they’re not THAT heavy, but I don’t want them to sink in. Thanks!

Colleen on 24 June, 2011 at 8:48 am #

Hey Lau­ren, I think you will really like this frost­ing. For the frost­ing on the cup­cakes I would add a lit­tle more pow­dered sugar to make it a bit stiffer. I would prob­a­bly add an addi­tional cup or two while mix­ing. You will be able to tell I’m sure. It soft­ens when its warmer and stiff­ens more when refrig­er­ated. Enjoy!

Espy on 29 July, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

Hi, thanks for This recipe. I will be using this frost­ing next week, but I want to know if I need reg­u­lar or unsalted but­ter? Might be a dumb ques­tion but this is my first time mak­ing my own but­ter­cream. I hope to hear from you soon.

Colleen on 30 July, 2011 at 6:52 am #

Hi Espy, Nor­mally the recipe calls for unsalted but­ter and then you add the half tea­spoon of salt to the mix. I have used salted but­ter when I didn’t have any unsalted and then just left out the salt that the recipe called for. It still worked fine for me and per­son­ally, I couldn’t taste the dif­fer­ence. Also it doesn’t appear to alter the con­sis­tency of the but­ter­cream either way. You should enjoy this but­ter­cream recipe, I’ve had great, con­sis­tent results with it every time I’ve made it. Enjoy!

Shirley on 15 August, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

Hi. While search­ing for a cream cheese icing for a red vel­vet cake I came accross your recepie just when I was about to give up my search.

I’ve read a lot of the ques­tions oth­ers have sent you as well as your answers.

I have an order for a 3 tier topsy turvy cake for a bridal shower on Sep­tem­ber 10th, where the top and bot­tom tiers will be red vel­vet with cream cheese fill­ing and icing and cov­ered in fon­dant. This recepie seems to be strong enough to han­dle being cov­ered with fondant.

I am plan­ning to do a test run with a cake I’m doing as a far­well for a co-worker that is leav­ing (last day 9/1/11) so I’ll do a smaller ver­sion of a 2 tier topsy turvy for her and will test the red vel­vet and this cream cheese icing then.

While I don’t par­tic­u­larly have any ques­tions any sug­ges­tions you may give will be greatful.

Thanks in advance.

Colleen on 16 August, 2011 at 5:13 am #

Hey there Shirley! Sounds like a great cake you’ve got planned. This frost­ing does go great under fon­dant but I rarely bother with the fon­dant. I just colour and smooth the frost­ing to become the fon­dant. Here in the USA peo­ple tend to tear off the fon­dant and throw it away which always breaks my heart so I decided I had to make my own fon­dant in lieu of com­mer­cially pro­duced so that it had a great taste and tex­ture also, but that’s another recipe. For a topsy turvy style cake I’ve had to ensure my frost­ing was heav­ier so I added more pow­dered sugar. This helps to give more sub­stance for those tricky angles and I’ve always made a heav­ier frost­ing in the event I am going to put fon­dant over the top. So glad that you have the good sense to do a test cake or two. I try to do this also. Why leave it up to chance that it’s going to work right before your dead­line. This is the dif­fer­ence between suc­cess and maybe not! And really, who needs that much pres­sure! Awe­some. I’d love to see your cakes when you are done. Please send a photo! All the best, Colleen

Shirley on 16 August, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

Colleen, thanks so much for your quick response. I will defi­nately send you a pic­ture of the final prod­uct. Thanks for the tip on mak­ing the frost­ing heav­ier. Would the con­sis­tency of peanut but­ter do like in the but­ter­cream frosting?

On a dif­fer­ent note, I printed the red vel­vet cookie and cake pop recipes you posted and will defi­nately be try­ing those two as well. They look yummy.

I also found your recepie for the apple pie using the apple shaped mold from sonoma. Such is my luck, I hap­pen to have pur­chased the apple and pump­kin mold at the Xmas Tree shop a while ago and have not used them yet. Thanks for sharing.


Victoria on 19 August, 2011 at 1:52 am #

Hi! I AM so glad I came across your recipe, and I’m super excited to try it. I do have a cou­ple ques­tions though! First, can this be used as a crumb coat, or should I whip up a batch of non-crusting but­ter­cream as well? I’m doing a three tiered wed­ding cake cov­ered in rosettes with accom­pa­ny­ing cup­cakes also with rosettes on top. I just want to make sure that if i use this recipe to crumb coat, that my BIG rosettes will still stick to the sides and top of my cake. Also, you had men­tioned used dye free butter…I’ve had lit­tle suc­cess find­ing it where I live, can I use an icing whitener? Or will that alter the con­sis­tency of the BC too much? Thanks so much for your help! :o)

Colleen on 19 August, 2011 at 6:02 am #

Hi Vic­to­ria, I use this same recipe for a thin crumb coat, put it in the freezer just until it’s hard, then I put a thicker layer of the same frost­ing over the top. For me, it’s that good! I have had noth­ing but suc­cess with this frost­ing and have been able to tweak it how­ever I liked and it has worked. I’ve made it in all colours and flavours also. Now, I’ve not used an icing whitener with it since I’ve never had to. Even my brides have not minded it’s off white colour. But I think you should whip up a test batch and try it out. Would LOVE to hear how that works and if you send pho­tos I’ll blog about it and give you full credit of course. So far I’ve not had any­thing I’ve added to this alter it to where it’s unman­age­able. If after adding the whitener it seems too soft you can always add in a lit­tle more pow­dered sugar. Remem­ber, this frost­ing is softer the warmer it is also. Best of luck and be sure to send me pho­tos and let me know how the whitener worked for you. Cheers for now, Colleen :-)

Amelia on 21 August, 2011 at 11:46 am #

Hi Colleen! I’m a pretty good baker and a very bad froster. I usu­ally care more about the taste than the look, but this time I’m mak­ing a cake for some­one else (out­side my fam­ily) and I need some advice. I’m mak­ing red vel­vet cup­cakes and form­ing them into a cup­cake cake. I was plan­ning on using the tech­nique shown here: Do you think your frost­ing will work? Espe­cially with fill­ing in the gaps between the cup­cakes? Will I have to crumb coat first? And, finally, is the piped bor­der on your cake the same cream cheese but­ter­cream? Could it be used to make sim­ple flowers?

Colleen on 21 August, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

Hi Amelia! That looks like a lot of fun! And yes, the crust­ing cream cheese but­ter­cream would work very well indeed for this project. I would see what the con­sis­tency is like when you make it and per­haps add an addi­tional cup of pow­dered sugar so that its a lit­tle firmer. This recipe firms up great as it crusts and also if refrig­er­ated. It’s just this sum­mer heat we are hav­ing that is giv­ing peo­ple softer results. Don’t know where you are but it’s been very hot here in Okla­homa. You should be able to use it just the same way the lady in the demo video did, in between and on top. And yes, I used the exact same frost­ing for my bor­ders and sim­ple piped flow­ers. Would love to see your fin­ished cake, so send some pics and I’ll post them here for you! Happy bak­ing, Colleen! :)

Jody on 5 September, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

Hello Colleen,
First I want to thank you for post­ing this recipe, and also for your gen­er­ous heart that has been will­ing to answer ques­tions about it for almost 3 years!
I am more of a baker than a dec­o­ra­tor, but a friend asked me to cre­ate a 3-tiered red vel­vet wed­ding cake for her, so I want it to look as fan­tas­tic as it will taste. I love the idea of a crust­ing cream cheese frost­ing & as I’ve looked it up, most of the recipes are very sim­i­lar to the one you shared. My ques­tion is this: I’ve seen com­ments in which peo­ple men­tion adding a tea­spoon or two of meringue pow­der to the icing to cause it to be very smooth.
You have been icing with this recipe for a while now, do you have any thoughts about adding meringue pow­der?
Thanks again!

Amy on 15 September, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

This is the most deli­cious but­ter­cream recipe. I have been using it on my kids bday cakes and cup­cakes. LOVE it!

Mom’s birthday cake « Willfully Disobedient on 21 September, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

[…] a few that I thought would be way too sweet and got pretty frustrated…Until I found this crust­ing cream cheese but­ter­cream frost­ing. Of course, I had to make things harder than they needed to be, so I started try­ing to come up with […]

Karen on 10 October, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

Thank you so much for post­ing this recipe. I live in Aus­tralia and have been asked to do a 4 tier red vel­vet cake for a wed­ding. It needs to be cov­ered in fon­dant, and under no cir­cum­stance can I put it in the fridge as the dec­o­ra­tion on the fon­dant is black sten­cilling. It is the end of spring for us so weather should be around 24c. I will keep it is a cool room but it needs to be at the recep­tion 1–2 hours before the wed­ding. Will it be alright for the night in the room, or should I sug­gest the recep­tion have them carve the cake first and then refrig­er­ate it. I am very con­cerned about the sten­cil bleed­ing if it is placed in the fridge before.

Thanks for the help

Rose on 12 October, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

Hi Colleen, thank you so much for this recipe! I’m based in Aus­tralia so I’m hop­ing that the pound to gram con­ver­sion works. I’m plan­ning on bak­ing a red vel­vet cake with piped ver­ti­cal ruf­fles for a fam­ily reunion this Sat­ur­day. Do you think the ruf­fles will hold or will the but­ter­cream be too heavy? If you think it will hold what would the right con­sis­tency be to achieve this result and finally will it need to remain refrig­er­ated to keep the ruf­fles from melt­ing? I’ve read most of your responses & you’ve said it’s great for pip­ing, but not sure how it will work for a petal tip ruf­fle. I am also a novice dec­o­ra­tor so lack the expe­ri­ence or knowl­edge to trou­bleshoot. Many thanks, Rose

Amber on 2 November, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

The word “crust­ing” scares me. If I use this frost­ing on a cake will it get extremely hard or does it “crust” slightly on top and remain smoooth under­neath? Also, will any pip­ing dec­o­ra­tions get hard if the cake is left out?

Colleen on 3 December, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

Hi Jody, I know it’s a long time since you asked this ques­tion but I need to reply to you. I have not needed to add meringue pow­der to this recipe. I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt it at all. It’s such a for­giv­ing recipe. The only thing I can think might hap­pen is that it is drier than with­out the meringue and might crack or get a cracked tex­ture to the sur­face which might be fun on the right cake. Let me know if you try it I’d be inter­ested to know and will blog or you can guest blog about it if you like.



Colleen on 3 December, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

Thanks Amy! It really is so easy to use and very tasty. I’ve made it in all sorts of flavours and it always works out so well. One of my favourites was adding melted choco­late to it! Awe­some! Happy baking,


Colleen on 3 December, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

Karen, I have no doubt it would have been ok to leave it out in a cool place. Sorry for the delay in reply­ing, it’s been crazy around here. I’m from Aus­tralia orig­i­nally and have used this recipe there many times with great suc­cess. You sound like you had it under con­trol and I sin­cerely hope your cake was the hit of the wed­ding (besides the bride of course!).

Cheers for now,


Colleen on 3 December, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

Rose, the addi­tion of some addi­tional icing sugar to stiffen the frost­ing a bit is how I use it for pip­ing dec­o­ra­tions. I have used it for ruf­fles and it’s turned out great! Hope it went well for you.


Glynis on 6 December, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

Hi I’m mak­ing a 3 tier topsy turvy birth­day cake for saturday.the bot­tom and top tier is straw­berry cake w/ cream cheese fill­ing. My questions/concerns are:
1. Once I put the cream cheese fill­ing, will it be stiff enough that it wont come out the sides after I put the fon­dant.
2. Can I make the cream cheese today store in the fridge till tomor­row. Then fill the cakes and crust, put the cakes back in the refrig­er­a­tor. Then Thurs­day put the fon­dant on cakes and store in the fridge. then assem­ble sat­ur­day morn­ing since the party is at 4pm.
If you have a bet­ter solu­tion on how I should plan please let me know.
This will be my first 3 tier topsy turvy fon­dant cake and I just want it to be per­fect.
please help can’t wait to hear from you!:)

Glynis on 6 December, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

Oh another thing you say to put more pow­dered sugar to make it stiffer. I’ve done that before and it just makes it a lot sweeter and it takes away from the cream cheese taste.. also instead of water can I use milk or heavy cream instead of water.

Colleen on 6 December, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

Hi Gly­nis, There are two things you can do if you think the frost­ing is too soft and is going to squish out the sides. You can leave cake around the edge and dig a chan­nel down for the frost­ing to go in. Basi­cally, you remove some cake in the cen­ter and leave cake at the edge. I hope that is clear. Also, you can just not frost all the way to the edge but I pre­fer the other method. Actu­ally, a third method just came to mind I have used. I freeze the tiers and keep the frost­ing cool (it gets sost when it’s warmer) and then put the filled, wrapped tiers back in the fridge to keep it firm.

You sure can make it a day ahead but you will need plenty of time to let it warm up a bit so that you will be able to spread it or pipe with it as it will be very stiff after being in the fridge. On the sec­ond mes­sage you men­tioned using milk or cream instead of water? Since there is no water in the recipe I’m assum­ing you mean when thin­ning? You can use milk or water.

Your sys­tem to pre­pare the cakes sounds per­fectly rea­son­able. I’m sure you will do won­der­fully. Would love to see your fin­ished cake!

All the best,


Maite on 22 February, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

Hi Colleen! This recipe by far is still my favorite to use, one ques­tion, I read through all the com­ments and I don’t think I saw any­thing about mak­ing it a choco­late cream cheese…how would you go about that?

melissa on 31 March, 2012 at 6:24 am #

Sounds like a won­der­ful recipe. I too have a red vel­vet cake to make and wanted a cream cheese but­ter­cream. One ques­tion, I want to use this recipe to make the rosettes on the cake. Will it hold up or should I add a lil more ps to make the rosettes?

Kelsey on 6 April, 2012 at 8:23 am #

Hi Colleen! Ques­tion: will this frost­ing work if I do a bas­ket weave pat­tern on a cake? Ive been plan­ning to use it for Easter but I want to dou­ble check first

Colleen on 6 April, 2012 at 8:31 am #

Hi Kelsey, Yes, I have used it for bas­ketweave. I do tend to make it a lit­tle stiffer by the addi­tion of some extra pow­dered sugar. Also, work­ing in a cooler envi­ron­ment will hold your pat­tern until it sets up a bit. I made some cup­cakes myself last week­end and they sagged as it was so hot in my kitchen and I’ve been doing this for many years. Just an FYI! Happy Easter!

Colleen on 6 April, 2012 at 8:32 am #

Hi Melissa, It should work won­der­fully for your rosettes. I would def­i­nitely err on the side of adding a lit­tle more sugar just for the rosettes them­selves. Happy baking!

Colleen on 6 April, 2012 at 8:35 am #

Maite, I usu­ally add pow­dered choco­late to my reg­u­lar mix and also some brown food col­or­ing if I want a richer color than the milky choco­late it is. I’ve also added some choco­late essence for flavour if the cocoa pow­der isn’t giv­ing it the choco­latey flavour I’m after. Another time, I did melt choco­late and cre­ated a ganache which I mixed into the frost­ing but this was very time con­sum­ing and it took a while to get it per­fectly blended. Happy baking.

Angel Cavalera on 15 April, 2012 at 11:17 am #

Hello Colleen, I know you my ques­tions are slightly the same as oth­ers, but I’m really ner­vous and need to hear you that I’m doing it cor­rectly. I just received my first order for an engage­ment party, and they request for car­rot cake with cream cheese frost­ing and cover wit fondant.

Angel Cavalera on 15 April, 2012 at 11:24 am #

Hello Colleen, I know you my ques­tions are slightly the same as oth­ers, but I’m really ner­vous and need to hear you that I’m doing it cor­rectly. I just received my first order for an engage­ment party, and they request for car­rot cake with cream cheese frost­ing and cover with fon­dant. For the fill­ing you were say­ing ” can leave cake around the edge and dig a chan­nel down for the frost­ing to go in. Basi­cally, you remove some cake in the cen­ter and leave cake at the edge”. How inches from the edge to leave and how deep tp remove? hope you can answer my ques­tions. And thank you so much in advance.

Colleen on 15 April, 2012 at 11:53 am #

Hi Angel… Noth­ing to be ner­vous about lady its CAKE! I usu­ally leave an inch from the edge and go down only about half an inch. You can cover it with fon­dant but if you smooth it, it looks like fon­dant any­way… Peo­ple in the USA always peel the fon­dant off which hor­ri­fies me! Good luck you can do it!

jennifer on 2 May, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

Hello Colleen,
Was won­der­ing if I could use low fat or fat free cream cheese to achieve the same “crust­ing” results…I am mak­ing a red vel­vet with cream cheese frost­ing for my hus­bands bday, but he is on this diet plan and said that he must have lower fat than usual, but I need my cream cheese icing to look like fondant…please help..thanks

Colleen on 9 May, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

Hi Jen­nifer, You can use the low fat or fat free cream cheese. You might find that it is a bit drier due to the lower fat con­tent and may need to add more cream cheese than the recipe calls for. I hope that makes sense. As I’ve said before it is a very for­giv­ing recipe and I’ve not found a way to mess it up yet.. but give me some more time! Happy baking,


Sue on 10 May, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

Hi Colleen — thank you for the recipe and infor­ma­tion. I’ve used a dif­fer­ent cream cheese icing recipe with no luck. After it has crusted, I still end up with cracks all over the cake. I’m going to try your recipe. It looks awful. Any other tips on how I can avoid the cracks in the icing? I’ve tried every­thing to get a smooth sur­face. Thanks again!

Sue on 10 May, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

Oh — sorry Colleen. I didn’t mean your recipe looks awful — - my cake looks awful!! Thanks again!

Sue on 10 May, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

And one more thing — sorry Colleen — I’ve read two dif­fer­ent things from dif­fer­ent recipes. One says to let the cream cheese soften at room tem­per­a­ture. The other says to keep it cold. Can you tell me which one way will work best for no cracks with this icing? Thanks again.

Colleen on 10 May, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

LOL.. I guessed where you were going Sue! All women talk in cir­cles so we under­stand each other well! The cracks gen­er­ally come from the icing being too dry.. too much pow­dered sugar. I let mine come to room temp before I make it. Also, too much work­ing the icing to get it smooth also causes cracks. It’s best to get it on, get it smooth and leave it alone. Best of luck, I’m sure you will like this frosting!

Sue on 11 May, 2012 at 5:18 am #

Thank you Colleen! I’ll be sure to try your recipe and tips. You’re right, I prob­a­bly was work­ing too hard to get it smooth before it crusted. I’m going to try it this week­end and let you know how it turns out! Thank you once again — I’m glad I found your site.

Kaile Erhart on 3 June, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

Thank you for this recipe! My dad owns a red BMW motor­cy­cle, so for his birth­day I’m mak­ing a round, red vel­vet cake with the blue/gray BMW logo as the face of the cake (fon­dant). I needed a great recipe for cream cheese frosting/crumb coat. This is only my sec­ond fon­dant cake ever. You saved the day!

Colleen on 3 June, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

Best of luck to you Kaile and happy birth­day to your Dad! It’s a great recipe! Let me know if you have any questions.

Erin on 25 June, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

Colleen, I am mak­ing a three tiered red vel­vet and cream cheese wed­ding cake for Saturday…I am also the maid of honor! Yikes, so basi­cally was won­der­ing if I can use your recipe and put the tiers iced, into the fridge for a day until I stack them the morn­ing of the wed­ding?? Will it be ok, or will it be super hard on the outside?

Colleen on 25 June, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

Hey Erin, Go ahead, I’ve done this many times. When I take them out of the refrig­er­a­tor some­times they will look shiny and wet but don’t try to dry them off just let them dry out nat­u­rally in the room air. Also, when I put mine in the fridge, I try to use an air­tight con­tainer so they don’t dry out as fridges can do to food that is left uncov­ered. Also, you want to be sure noth­ing else drips onto the cakes as this can cause con­t­a­m­i­na­tion… Best of luck you brave girl!

Erin on 26 June, 2012 at 10:55 am #

Ok thank you!! But after I stack them and take to the recep­tion site, will it melt and want to fall, or will it hold up fine as long as I have the cor­rect sup­port with using dowels?

Shannon on 13 July, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

Hi I’m inter­ested in this icing to be used on my red vel­vet cake shaped like a Bud­dha head for my mums 40th. Do you think it will be suit­able for pip­ing? Also I live in Aus­tralia so I’m unsure where I could find short­en­ing. What would be a suit­able sub­sti­tute? Thanks!

Colleen on 14 July, 2012 at 6:53 am #

Hi Shan­non, This frost­ing pipes just fine. If it seems too stiff the warmth of your hand will usu­ally soften it enough or you can add the small­est amount of water to it. I’m from Aus­trala also and I know we have short­en­ing… just remem­ber­ing the name is the hard bit…LOL Copha is NOT an equiv­a­lent prod­uct to short­en­ing even though it is a solid veg­etable oil. I have left the short­en­ing out many times and it really hasn’t affected my frost­ing neg­a­tively. You might have to add a lit­tle more cream cheese to make it moist enough is all. Good luck!

Elizabeth on 22 July, 2012 at 8:43 am #

This frost­ing is amaz­ing. It was easy to pipe and it made a good amount, I had enough frost­ing to frost a 1/4 sheet cake.. It there some­where to send a pic of my fin­ished prod­uct? Thanks for this yummy recipe.

Colleen on 22 July, 2012 at 10:11 am #

Excel­lent to hear Eliz­a­beth! Yes, please send us some pic­tures. You can email them to I look for­ward to shar­ing your suc­cess story!

Kristin on 1 September, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

Hi! Thanks for post­ing your frost­ing recipe! I’m going to be mak­ing a grooms cake for a friends wed­ding and they want red vel­vet (it will be a uni­ver­sity of alabama cake..) with cream cheese frost­ing. I’m going to do a few trial runs so I can avoid run­ning into issues. The red vel­vet recipe I nor­mally use is a very moist and soft cake. Is this ok? Could you rec­om­mend another recipe for me to try? Also, I’m going to be putting a hound­stooth edi­ble icing sheet over the frost­ing, do you think this frost­ing would hold it up well? Any tips on apply­ing the edi­ble sheet??

Thanks, Kristin

L.A. on 4 May, 2013 at 8:20 am #

Hey Colleen,THANK THE LORD I HAVE FOUND THIS WEBSITE!! I was asked to make a red vel­vet cake for a wed­ding and they do not like fon­dants at all. So, I was won­der­ing is it ok to add mas­caporne cheese and dou­ble whip cream with this recipe??would it change consistency??PLS PLS REPLY!! Thanks!

Colleen on 4 May, 2013 at 10:18 am #

Hello L.A. I would be ok with adding the marscapone prob­a­bly in place of one of the 8oz boxes of cream cheese, but I would do a test batch with the dou­ble whip cream as I’m pretty sure it will ha e too high a water con­tent and change the con­sis­tency of the frost­ing. Let me know if I can help with any­thing else. The flavour is good as it is and you can add flavour­ings also. Best of luck and have fun with it!

Susan on 5 May, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

can this cream cheese frost­ing be cov­ered totally by marsh­mal­low fon­dant? Thank susan

Colleen on 5 May, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

Yes Susan you could def­i­nitely do that. You might want to keep it fairly thin though as its sweet all by itself. I have found marsh­mal­low fon­dant to be a real mess so of course don’t have a lot of good things to say about it but it comes down to per­sonal choice and you might really like it! I per­son­ally, love the fin­ish of the cream cheese frost­ing all by itself. Good luck and happy baking!

Wendy on 9 May, 2013 at 7:39 am #

Hi collen ,
I’m so con­fused , I’ve been asked to make a red vel­vet cake but they want fon­dant to cover. My ques­tion is can I use cream cheese frost­ing with fon­dant over the top ?
I’ve never made a cake like this before so this is all new! Or should I just use cream cheese frost­ing as a fill­ing ?
Also in Aus­tralia we do not have crisco or veg short­en­ing is there any­thing I can substitute ???

Colleen on 9 May, 2013 at 7:59 am #

Hi there Wendy, just leave the short­en­ing out. There have been many times I’ve for­got­ten to put it in and it still works fine. Just don’t use Copha.. it’s not the same ani­mal and will ruin your icing. Yes, you can use as a fill­ing and you can use it as a crumb coat or final coat and just put the icing over the top. It will work fine. I use a a first crumb coat very thinly, freeze it til stiff and then do my next coat over the top. Works like a charm! Good luck, you can do it.. it’s just cake and there’s no tears in bak­ing!!! :)

Ashley on 29 May, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

Could I sub­sti­tute coconut oil for the short­en­ing and have it hold us as well?

Colleen on 29 May, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

No I really don’t think so Ash­ley. I would just leave it out which I have done many times with no prob­lems. Coconut oil is a very dif­fer­ent prod­uct to short­en­ing as I’m sure you know.



Nancy on 10 July, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

Colleen I live in Texas and it is very humid and hot. Will this icing melt easily?

Colleen on 10 July, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

Hi Nancy, I have made this frost­ing in Nebraska, Louisiana and Okla­homa. It is like most frost­ings and will def­i­nitely get soft if left out of the refrig­er­a­tor for long peri­ods of time. If you can leave it in the fridge or a cool room until needed then it will do bet­ter. The addi­tion of the short­en­ing does sta­bi­lize it some. I would make a stiffer prod­uct by the addi­tion of some extra pow­dered sugar rather than a thin­ner icing. It is not at all like the frost­ing you buy in the can from the gro­cery store. Let me know if you have any fur­ther ques­tions I can help with. Happy bak­ing! Colleen

Kristle on 10 July, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

Nancy, I am also in Texas (smack dab in the mid­dle of the state) and I used this for my sister’s wed­ding cake last year, 3 tiers, and it worked won­der­fully! Hope that helps!

Colleen on 10 July, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

Hey Kris­tle! Thank you for the input, that is very use­ful info! So glad it worked for your cakes! Hope you are enjoy­ing the Sum­mer! Colleen

Kristle on 10 July, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

Thank you Colleen! Well, you know, it is July in Texas, so sum­mer is mis­er­able. ;)
Thanks for the great recipe!

Nancy on 10 July, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

Thank you colleen and kris­tle. That helped a lot. I live close to Galveston

Colleen on 10 July, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

Hey Nancy! My daugh­ter lives in Katy Texas and I was there twice last month. Haven’t ven­tured to Galve­ston yet but hope to some day soon, I hear it’s nice! Good luck to you! Colleen

Chels on 27 July, 2013 at 1:03 am #

Hi Colleen, I have a cake I need to do that I was going to use this recipe. I was just won­der­ing how long it can be kept at room temperature?

Rubberseed on 1 August, 2013 at 2:18 am #

Hi, thanks for shar­ing! I am wor­ried if the frost­ing will be too sweet. Can I sub­sti­tute some pow­dered sugar for corn flour or corn­starch? Any other sug­ges­tions will be greatly appreciated!

Colleen on 1 August, 2013 at 8:10 am #

Hi Chels, It should be good for an hour or so. I would def­i­nitely try to keep it in a cooler place if pos­si­ble, which I know isn’t always pos­si­ble. This frost­ing does keep pretty well. We’ve done a few tests and it doesn’t soften to the point where it runs off the cake. I do tend to make mine a bit on the stiffer side so that it holds up well. Of course from a food safety per­spec­tive, it has dairy so needs to be treated the same way. Good luck!

Colleen on 1 August, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

Hi Rub­berseed, I’ve never heard of any­one replac­ing sugar with corn flour or corn­starch. They have quite dif­fer­ent prop­er­ties and I can’t imag­ine what it would do to the con­sis­tency, let alone the fla­vor. It is frost­ing and that does tend to be sweet. I have many Asian cus­tomers who also don’t like their prod­uct too sweet so I tend to add a lit­tle more salt to cut the sugar, but the cream cheese in it does a great job of not being too sweet. I say go and try your idea and I’d love to hear how that works out! Best of luck.

Mary on 9 August, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

Can I add white choco­late to this cream cheese frost­ing and still have it crust?

Colleen on 9 August, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

Hi Mary, I have added melted choco­late to my mix before and it still worked out very nicely. It crusted and I was happy with the result. I was using Dutch Processed choco­late not white. White choco­late has a lot more cocoa but­ter, sugar and milk solids in it than does milk or dark (brown) choco­late. I’m think­ing you may have to check it as you go and the worst would be that you would have to add some more pow­dered sugar to it. I would also leave out the crisco as you prob­a­bly don’t need it with the addi­tion of white choco­late. Best of luck and you will find this a very for­giv­ing recipe.

Happy bak­ing! Colleen

Linda on 28 December, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

Hi Colleen, will the crust­ing cream cheese frost­ing still be moist under the crusting?

Colleen on 28 December, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

Hi Linda, yes the frost­ing under­neath is still very nice and moist. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Happy New Year!


wentworth on 5 January, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

Hi collee,

I try­ing to make cup­cake, the frost­ing is cream cheese and using lit­tle piece of fon­dant on top for dec­o­ra­tion ( like george town cup­cake dec­o­ra­tion ). The fon­dant gets wet and melt after 1–2 hour. Can i fix that prob­lem with your recipe ? can the cup­cake stay in nor­mal room tem­per­a­ture ( around 25 degree, warm) in about 2 days?

thanks a lot ..

Colleen on 5 January, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

Hello Went­worth, Because this frost­ing has cream cheese and eggs in it I do always refrig­er­ate them after­wards. How­ever, as you already know you can’t really put fon­dant in the fridge or it breaks down. My rec­om­men­da­tion would be to place the cup­cakes in a cool area (not sure which part of the globe you are in) but here in the USA it’s cold enough to not have to refrig­er­ate. I would then just pop the fon­dant dec­o­ra­tions on the day you need the cup­cakes if this is prac­ti­cal for you. I hope this helps some! Best of luck.


Ericka on 14 January, 2014 at 7:09 am #

I live in Atlanta, GA and when I use a but­ter­cream recipe I use a meringue pow­der just 1–2 table­spoons depend­ing on the humid­ity. It helps tremen­dously with the icing not run­ning, becom­ing tacky etc. Thanks for the recipe! I use this one at times:

Monique Romero on 14 January, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

Hi Colleen !! Can I use unsalted but­ter for this recipe?!

Colleen on 14 January, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

Hi Ericka, I’ve heard that really does help! Great idea! Thanks for shar­ing. :) Colleen

Colleen on 14 January, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

Hey Monique, absolutely! Most bak­ing recipes use unsalted so you can con­trol the level of salt in the recipe. Best, Colleen :)

Monique Romero on 14 January, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

Awe­some! Thank you so much for reply­ing so quick :)

Donna on 16 February, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

I made this and it was yummy..I have a lot left and I was won­der­ing I could freeze it?

Colleen on 16 February, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

Hi Donna, I’ve kept this stuff in the freezer for months with no notice­able change in the prod­uct. When I take it out I defrost it and then whip it up in the mixer again. Glad to hear you liked it! Have a great day! Colleen

Martha on 21 March, 2014 at 11:14 am #

Can I cover a cake in piped rosettes with this frost­ing? I just made cc frost­ing but added melted white choco­late and that was not a good thing (runny mess). Im gonna try this one because I need to cover a cake in piped rosettes and need a stiff cc frosting.

Candice on 26 March, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

Hey Hun, I’m mak­ing a top tier cake and cup­cakes for a friends wed­ding. She has insisted on cream cheese for the frost­ing as she wants red vel­vet. The top tier is going to have fon­dant roses cas­cad­ing down the side… How would I achieve this? My thought is that the wet­ness of the cream will melt the roses and they will wilt and fall off. Even if I put a stick into them I’m scared of them becom­ing soft and slid­ing… Help me please :-)

Colleen on 27 March, 2014 at 11:22 am #

Hi Can­dice! IF the roses are made of gumpaste you could just wire them together in the cas­cade and posi­tion them onto the cake on the day. Of course out of the fridge as we know what hap­pens! If they are but­ter cream you are able to pipe them directly onto this cream cheese frost­ing and they should stay well. I would def­i­nitely leave the top tier out of the fridge/freezer on the morn­ing, in a cool, dry place and let it “crust” which will pro­vide a very dry sur­face. I hope this helps. Be sure to make a stiffer frost­ing so that is is a bit drier over­all. Best, Colleen

Colleen on 27 March, 2014 at 11:24 am #

Hey Martha, I would make this frost­ing stiffer with the addi­tion of some extra pow­dered sugar. It should be fine to pipe the roses out of this mix­ture. Don’t put them in the refrig­er­a­tor as you know they will sag and fall apart. Best, Colleen

Candice on 27 March, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

Thanks so much!! Yes I will def­i­nitely leave it out for a bit to form the crust. I’m going to do a trial run tomor­row. Fin­gers crossed it works :-)

Pam on 22 April, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

I made this frost­ing and it is deli­cious how­ever the sides of my cake began to melt off in a mat­ter of about 30 min­utes after remov­ing the cake from the fridge.…was so dev­as­tated I wanted to cry.. but it is yummy that’s for sure

corina on 23 June, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

Hi I was won­der­ing if I could use this recipe under fon­dant, I have a wed­ding cake three tiers i have to do and the bride to be wants red vel­vet with cream cheese fill­ing and fon­dant since this is a crust­ing but­ter­cream I really want to know. Also, I livre in Hous­ton Texas. And the cake is for August so it’ll be pretty hot

Cindy on 21 August, 2014 at 9:27 am #

So glad to have found this recipe! I am mak­ing a friend’s wed­ding cake in a cou­ple of months.

My ques­tion is, can you replace the but­ter and short­en­ing with all hi-ratio short­en­ing (such as Swee­tex)? The bride wants an all-white cake, so I don’t want to use any butter.


Colleen on 21 August, 2014 at 9:32 am #

Hi Cindy. I’ve never used the Swee­tex prod­uct but I would def­i­nitely make a test batch to see how that works before the wed­ding cake project. Also, see how it stands up at room tem­per­a­ture and in the refrig­er­a­tor etc. That’s what I would do. I had to make my daughter’s cake vegan and did those sorts of tests before­hand as we didn’t use any but­ter then but all Crisco. Sounds like the Swee­tex is sim­i­lar to Crisco.

Best of luck!


Colleen on 21 August, 2014 at 10:53 am #

Pam, so sorry to hear the side of the cake melted!! I would def­i­nitely try to make it a bit stiffer next time by adding some addi­tional pow­dered sugar per­haps. Best, Colleen

Colleen on 21 August, 2014 at 10:54 am #

Yes Corina, you can use this under fon­dant. Best, Colleen

Eve on 20 September, 2014 at 9:42 am #

Hi, I have used your recipe over and over it is AMAZING! I’m in Phoenix AZ this recipe holds up in the heat.
I’m won­der­ing if I can add rasp­berry extract instead of vanilla or add fresh rasp­berry puree to get a rasp­berry fla­vor cream cheese. Your thoughts? Have you tried dif­fer­ent fla­vor variations?

Colleen on 20 September, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

Hi there Eve! I have suc­cess­fully added many dif­fer­ent flavours to this recipe. Keep in mind that fresh rasp­ber­ries have a lot of water nat­u­rally so you might need more pow­dered sugar. Once I made rasp­berry flavour and use rasp­berry jello crys­tals with some of the puree and it set up great. Using fresh fruit will also reduce how long it lasts and how it holds up in heat. Best, Colleen

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