Cream cheese frosting goes runny when I add icing sugar

(26 Posts)

This happens every time I make it. I mix cream cheese and butter until really smooth, and the consistency is perfect. Then I add the sugar, and it goes all runny! I can't pipe it at all. It tastes great but always looks a mess. Where am I going wrong?

trixymalixy Sun 20-Oct-13 10:08:29

Cream cheese frosting isn't great for piping, it's not like buttercream. Are you using low fat cream cheese? A higher fat content means a more solid icing. I've also heard of people adding cornflour.

Have you tried adding more icing sugar?

GemmaTeller Sun 20-Oct-13 10:14:08

Full fat cream cheese seems to work better,

and maybe not quite right but I tend to add an extra scoop of icing sugar to get a thicker consistency.

TheDietStartsTomorrow Sun 20-Oct-13 10:16:57

You're probably using low fat cream cheese. Use full fat and it'll be firmer.

It is full-fat cream cheese!

I haven't tried adding more sugar. Will try that later. What about adding more butter? Or will that stop it tasting of cream cheese?

I meant to add: I want to use it to fill and top an apple spice cake, but I want it to look neat. OCD

Bunbaker Sun 20-Oct-13 10:33:29

It is because the icing sugar dissolves in the cheese, and also you may be using a low fat version. For frosting you must use the full fat version or it will go runny. Or you could try using mascarpone.

You used to be able to buy a high fat cream cheese years ago. It wasn't branded, just called cream cheese. This cream cheese never went runny, but I can't find it these days

K8Middleton Sun 20-Oct-13 10:34:29

You're adding the sugar at the wrong time. You need to blend the butter and the icing sugar to make a butter cream, then stir through the cream cheese and beat until thick.

I like Hummingbird bakery's recipe for cream cheese frosting - it's foolproof. When making frosting for a carrot cake I add double the amount of cream cheese. Both are thick and never fail.

Purple2012 Sun 20-Oct-13 10:35:00

I add cornflour to mine, a little at a time until I get the consistency I want. You can't taste the cornflour.

K8Middleton Sun 20-Oct-13 10:38:00

Hummingbird recipe. I would add 200g cream cheese for your cake topping as I do for carrot cake.

BikeRunSki Sun 20-Oct-13 10:39:32

Are you using philly ? Not fatty enough. Try looking for cre cheese or curd cheese at deli counter.

SharpLily Sun 20-Oct-13 10:39:45

I have the same problem, Baby. I've tried all sorts of solutions, including the Hummingbird Bakery recipe, and can't seem to get it right. It just slops all over the place. Husband is fed up of eating a million attempts at carrot cake.

Oh! Thanks, K8! I always thought you had to beat the butter and cream cheese together first, but I'll try it your way round. I also hadn't thought of adding cornflour, Purple. I'll have that on standby in case K8's method still goes wrong for me.

K8, have you got a link for Hummingbird's recipe? I can't find it on their website.

X-posts. Thanks for the link.

No, not using Philly. I use an own-brand one from Aldi (I'm in Germany). I hadn't thought about trying different brands though.

Sharp, it's such a pain, isn't it!

K8Middleton Sun 20-Oct-13 10:49:03

I don't know if it makes a difference but I don't have a mixer so I rub in the butter and the sugar instead?

I have used Waitrose own cream cheese and Philadelphia - both full fat. I had several running attempts before I adapted the hummingbird recipe because I didn't use enough sugar or add the cream cheese last.

300g sugar to 50g butter is a lot of sugar but you need it.

Sometimes I do 150g to 25g butter and add a whole pack of cream cheese which is 200g. Never fails.

Certainly the Aldi one in this country is proper cream cheese, certainly better for frosting the Philadelphia IME.

K8Middleton Sun 20-Oct-13 10:50:28

Fingers crossed!

The Hummingbird recipe warns of overmixing once the cream cheese is added. Maybe that's been the problem -- I do tend to mix my cream cheese and butter for a while.

Can't wait to get home and try these new techniques! Currently at PIL and dreaming of cake ...

Bunbaker Sun 20-Oct-13 15:30:57

Some great tips on here. Thank you.

BikeRunSki I haven't seen cream cheese on deli counters for years. Where can I get it? And isn't curd cheese too low fat?

BikeRunSki Mon 21-Oct-13 18:26:59

I got some cream cheese in Waitrose in Otley earlier this year Bun.

Waferthinmint Mon 21-Oct-13 18:29:42

I use hummingbird recipe and full fat philli. (Tesco was a disaster). I hardly mix once cream cheese is in

It always works

wem Mon 21-Oct-13 18:36:40

Yes, beating the cream cheese too much will make it go runny. If you've got a mixer you can make the buttercream then whisk in the cream cheese, it makes it lovely and fluffy. You may be able to pipe it, though I've never tried.

Bunbaker Mon 21-Oct-13 19:11:20

I should have popped in when we went to Otley show. My nearest Waitrose is a 30 mile round trip for me so I never go there. I tried Ocado a couple of times, but they spectacularly cocked up our deliveries twice running so we stuck with Tesco.

valiumredhead Mon 21-Oct-13 19:20:01

I just mix the cheese and icing sugar together and that's it.

QuidditchTonedThighs Mon 21-Oct-13 20:06:15

We just use cream cheese and icing sugar, no butter, and it is delicious and never runny.

cupcakes103 Thu 24-Oct-13 14:18:47

hi, I've always been told that the blocks of Philadelphia is better as it is not whipped like the tubs. I need a really stiff, but not too sweet recipe to pipe roses onto my sisters wedding cake (AAAHHHH!!!) does anyone know if philly still comes in blocks anywhere??

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