This is a Cream Cheese Frosting without butter and without powdered sugar. It's light and fluffy, but also rich and satisfying at the same time! Perfect for carrot cake and cinnamon rolls, whip it up in ten minutes or less with only 4 ingredients!
What can I use instead of butter in frosting, you ask. How can homemade cream cheese icing for carrot cake be good without powdered icing sugar? The secret is in the two somewhat-healthier ingredients: raw honey and whipped cream. You don't need much honey to give whipped cream cheese frosting the sweetness it needs when the flavour and richness of whipping cream and cream cheese make it so satisfying. The cream is whipped separately before being incorporated into the frosting, so it provides a certain lightness to the topping.
- Cream Cheese - Use the kind that comes in a brick rather than the more spreadable one sold in a tub. Allow it to come to room temperature so you can beat it.
- Heavy Whipping Cream - Labels are different in different countries. In Canada, I use 35% whipping cream. It might also be called heavy cream or heavy whipping cream. Use something that has 30% fat content or greater.
- Honey - There are health benefits to consuming raw honey, and they will be retained as this frosting is uncooked. Any liquid honey should work in this recipe, though.
- Vanilla - I use pure vanilla extract.
Beat softened cream cheese, liquid honey, and vanilla extract together until they are smoothly combined. Use either a stand mixer or a hand-held one.
Beat the whipping cream until it is stiff enough to form peaks when the beater is pulled out.
Carefully fold the whipped cream, about one-quarter of it at a time, into the beaten cream cheese mixture. To fold, gently draw a spatula through both ingredients in the bowl from one side to the other. Keep turning the bowl, a little at a time, until everything has been mixed together.
Spread homemade cream cheese frosting over cake, cupcakes, muffins, or cinnamon rolls.
Recipe FAQ's and Tips
The benefit of using a softened brick of cream cheese is that when your frosting is refrigerated, the cream cheese will firm up again and help it to thicken.
Your cream cheese frosting might be runny if you used softened, spreadable cream cheese or if your cream was not whipped until stiff peaks formed. It may also become runny if it's left out in a warm room for too long after it has been made.
Don't let this cream cheese frosting sit out overnight. It should be covered and refrigerated until you serve it.
What Uses Cream Cheese Frosting?
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Cream Cheese Frosting
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream chilled
- 1 cup (8 oz) cream cheese at room temperature
- ¼ cup raw honey in liquid form
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Beat together the cream cheese, honey, and vanilla.
- In a clean bowl, whip the cream until stiff.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Use it immediately to frost a cooled cake, cupcakes, or muffins. Store the frosted items in the refrigerator.
- A stand mixer makes quick work of this frosting. If you don't have one, you can certainly use a hand mixer.
- Store frosting, covered, in the refrigerator for a few days.