Ultra-Easy Cream Cheese Frosting

This basic frosting goes wonderfully well with carrot cake, brownies, cupcakes, and in many other cake recipes.

Vegetarian. Hands-on time: 10 mins. Total time: 10 mins.

Contributed by Janey Macleod (December 2010).

Ultra-Easy Cream Cheese Frosting

Photo © Veg World

I'll admit this up front: I've never been a big fan of frosting. I'd rather concentrate on making a cake that's delicious in its own right, without adding a layer of unnecessary calories. But not everyone agrees. I've had several emails from Veg World readers asking how to make a frosting for my classic carrot cake recipe, for example.

Here, then, is a basic cream cheese frosting that's trivially easy to make. The quantity is enough to frost an average-sized cake, a tray of brownies or a dozen cupcakes.

Ingredients

Method

Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Using your fingers, work the butter into the sugar.

Add the cream cheese and blend thoroughly. The easiest way to do that is with a hand-held electric mixer that has a balloon-style whisk attachment. Blend for about a minute on a slow-to-medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.

That's all there is to it. Just be sure to wait until the cake is cold before frosting it.

For a full-size cake, such as my carrot cake, you can apply the frosting to the top and sides, or just to the top (the above photo shows an example; in this case, I also sprinkled two tablespoons of broken walnuts over the top). Alternatively, cut the cake into two layers and use them to make a sandwich of the frosting. Either way, be sure to refrigerate the cake until you're ready to eat it.

Note on quantities and temperatures:
Quantities are given in American (cups), imperial (oz, fl oz) and metric (g, ml) units. Do not mix the units - use one or other system throughout the recipe.
See also How much does a cup weigh?
oz = ounces, fl oz = fluid ounces, g = grams, ml = milliliters, tsp = teaspoons, tbsp = tablespoons.
Oven temperatures are given in degrees F (Fahrenheit) and C (Celsius).
For fan-assisted ovens, reduce the temperature by 20F or 10C.