Pipable Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Perfectly sweet, with deep notes of caramel from the brown butter, this frosting is so creamy yet sturdy enough to pipe decorations with. Might just become your new favorite!
There’s no doubt that cream cheese frosting is easy to make and the perfect pairing to many cakes like pumpkin, carrot, red velvet and spice. Its creamy, its tangy and tastes a lot like cheesecake.
However, the way it behaves sometimes, just drives me crazy!
It has a tendency to be way too soft and weepy. Try layering that with a cake and you’ve got yourself a sliding mess.
Now picture that in summer. Recipe for disaster I tell ya.
Then there’s this drama of having it separate. Let’s just say that it might result in the shedding of a few tears and/or bursting anger words and pulling of one’s hair. Speaking of experience here.
There’s always this common solution of adding “more” confectioners sugar to stiffen it up, but that just turns into a gritty sugar bomb.
This brown butter cream cheese frosting solves all that, plus it tastes like caramel. What a bonus!
The good news is, its still just as easy.
It’s perfectly sweetened so its not cloying nor is it under-sweetened so it feels like you’re eating a tub of cream cheese.
And that texture…phenomenal!
Its so smooth and creamy yet sturdy enough to pipe decorations with and pile layers of cake on.
And that brown butter flavor is truly dreamy. You might just never make cream cheese frosting with regular butter again. The brown butter give it hints of nuttiness and deep caramel notes that just puts it over the top.
First you start by browning the butter (here’s a great tutorial)
Then get it to room temperature by putting it in a small bowl in the freezer for about 45 minutes until it solidifies again but is still soft.After that, beat the brown butter for about a minute until creamy then add the confectioners sugar.
A little salt to balance out the sweetness and some vanilla, because how could vanilla ever go wrong?
Cream that together for about 5 minutes until lightened up in both color and texture, then add one piece of COLD cream cheese at a time, one after the other, mixing well after each addition so there are no lumps. The cold cream cheese is the secret to making this frosting pipable. Continue adding the cream cheese until its fully incorporated, then beat the whole thing for about 2 minutes to lighten it up. Do not overbeat or you might risk getting the frosting too soft from the heat of the beaters.
And there you have it folks! A knock-your-socks-off brown butter cream cheese frosting that will literally be “the icing on the cake”
I can’t guarantee that it will make it to the cake though.
You’ll probably end up eating it straight from the bowl.
Oh and let’s hear it for my sister-in-law for the hand modelling!
- 1/2 cup (4oz/ 114g) unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cups (7oz/ 200g) confectioners sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup (8oz/ 227g) cream cheese, cold straight from the fridge, cut into 1-inch pieces*
- Place the butter in a light colored skillet or saucepan over medium heat until melted.
- Continue cooking, swirling the pan constantly and stirring with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the butter is dark golden brown a has a mezmerising nutty aroma.
- Transfer to a small bowl, cover and place in the freezer for about 45 minutes or until its solidifies but is still soft a pliable. If it get too solid and cold, give it a quick zap it the microwave to loosen and get it back to room temperature. Just make sure its not warm one bit.
- Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or handheld mixer.
- Beat the butter for about 1 minute until creamy.
- Add the confectioners sugar, salt and vanilla and beat for about 5 minutes until lightened in both color and texture.
- Add one piece of cream cheese at a time, one after the other, mixing well after each addition so there are no lumps.
- Continue adding the cream cheese until its fully incorporated.
- Beat for about 2 minutes to lightened it up being careful not to overbeat or you might risk getting the frosting too soft from the heat of the beaters. The frosting is now ready to use.
- This frosting makes enough to fill a 3-layer 8 or 9 inch cake with bare sides like The Ultimate Pumpkin Cake. Double this recipe, If you wish to frost the sides of the cake too.
- For a classic cream cheese frosting, feel free to skip browning the butter and use room temperature butter instead. Everything else, including the mixing method, stays the same.
- My favorite cream cheese brands for frostings are Philadelphia (the one that comes in brick-style packages NOT the spreadable ones in the tub) and Kiri squares. If using Kiri, use 14 squares.
Measurements Note: All recipes of this site have been developed using weight measurements. Although US volume measurements have been included for your convenience, it is highly encouraged that you weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale to get the best possible results. Due to the sensitive nature of baking, kitchen scales are proven to yield more accurate and consistent results than measuring cups. Enjoy!
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