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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 12×12 and the 6×6 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 😛
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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