The summer between my junior and senior years of high school, I had to take a cooking course for my occupational credits. My mom and I had just moved back to Washington and it was a graduation requirement, so off to summer school I went. The course was 8 hours a day for a month and we used a full sized professional kitchen. It was SO much fun and I learned a lot about cooking! During that course is when I made frosting for the first time. Another girl and I were handed a recipe for cream cheese frosting, and we whipped up about a gallon of it to frost several giant pineapple carrot cakes. It ended up being easily the best frosting I've ever had, and the cake was incredible as well.
Unfortunately for me, I did not save the recipe for either. I just assumed that all cream cheese frostings would be as delicious since the ingredients were only cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Easy, right?! Yes, definitely, but I have NEVER had cream cheese frosting turn out as perfectly since and I have no idea why! They've basically all been big flops for me. Vanilla frosting, too. Maybe the powdered sugar I used in the cooking course was a different kind? I've mentioned before on this blog that powdered sugar has a strong, strange flavor that completely turns me off, I think it's the cornstarch they add to it. Whatever the reason, I was never completely happy with another homemade non-chocolate frosting recipe until I tried this one from Southern Plate. It's nice and sweet, not too tart (but still obviously cream cheese based), and has a rather interesting addition: butter flavoring! Lucky for me, the addition of butter flavoring completely masks the unappealing powdered sugar flavor. You can either try it with the butter extract or just use vanilla if you like.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick salted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 t butter flavoring or vanilla extract
3 1/2 to 4 C powdered sugar
Beat together butter, cream cheese, and flavoring until fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar until frosting is thick and has the desired consistency, you will probably use the full amount. You can add more powdered sugar 1/4 C at a time if necessary, or thin it with about a teaspoon of milk at a time. Use immediately.
Yield: Enough to frost a 2 layer cake, or a 9 by 13 cake with some leftover.