Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

A few weeks ago, I was given very strict orders by Camille. She’s just old enough to understand what a birthday party is, and so when she knew her birthday was approaching, she made a list that I call ‘birthday demands’.

Last year, we were in Seattle for her birthday, and we passed off a donut tour of the city followed by an ice cream cake after dinner as a child’s birthday party. We felt smug, yes, but we also knew this was our last year getting away with such behavior.

1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Combine the fresh strawberries, sugar and a splash of water in a small saucepan. Turn the heat to medium low, and cook while stirring every few minutes until the strawberries reduce to 1/4 cup. Stir frequently, and lower the heat as needed to prevent burning. You can add a splash of water to help, if needed. It should take about 20-30 minutes, and it will turn into a thick jam that looks like preserves.
Scrape the strawberry mixture out of the saucepan, and let it cool in a separate bowl.
Meanwhile, beat together with an electric mixer on high the butter and cream cheese until creamy. Add the strawberry mixture and vanilla, and beat until combined.
Finally, stream in the powdered sugar while beating until everything is creamy and smooth.
Use on cupcakes, in between cake layers, or place in a plastic storage bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

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