Fast and Easy Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
3 1/2 ounces sugar ; see note
5 ounces heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume
8 ounces plain, full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese, cold
With kitchen temperatures above 74 degrees F (23 degrees C), start by refrigerating the mixing bowl and sugar until they have cooled to 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). At elevated temperatures, these ingredients and equipment can act as a heat source to the cream, preventing full aeration. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using a hand mixer, combine sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt. Mix at medium-low speed until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to high and continue beating until cream is about as thick as Greek yogurt, about 2 minutes longer. Begin adding cream cheese 2 tablespoons at a time; this should take about 30 seconds all together. Once it is incorporated, shut off the mixer. The frosting will look a bit curdled, like cottage cheese; this is the result of incomplete mixing rather than over-whipping, so don’t be alarmed. Thoroughly scrape bowl and whisk, then continue whipping on high until frosting is smooth and light, with only a few small flecks of cream cheese (they will disappear into the frosting over time). This may take 2 to 3 minutes with a stand mixer, or more if using a hand mixer. After whipping, the frosting should be about 60 degrees F (16 degrees C). Use immediately or refrigerate until needed.