Here’s my favorite frosting for our carrot cake or our banana breads…a rich Orange Cream-Cheese Buttercream. It’s super easy.
Mix in stand mixer, or by hand mixer, 2 sticks of room temperature, unsalted, butter with one, 8 oz package [brick], cream cheese (also room temperature).
Mix until smooth, adding in 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract. While you can use imitation vanilla in baked goods (really), I don’t recommend it for unbaked items. Nothing, nothing compares to real vanilla extract!
Then, using a microplane (a fine grater than fits you’re your hand), remove the zest from one orange. The zest is simply the top layer of the orange; don’t go too far down or you’ll hit the white part called the pith, just under the skin; it’s quite bitter.
Lastly, add approximately 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar (or less…add slowly and taste it as you go along. I prefer it less sweet, but you might want to add more to suite your own taste). If you are baking your own 8” or 9” round cake, you should double this recipe. Using the best tool for frosting a cake, a bent frosting knife (you can find online at Michael’s or Wilton), place a lot on top of your cooled cake (I prefer frosting my cakes frozen, yes, frozen…you’ll get less crumbs mixed in!) Sometimes I like to simply frost the top of a cake if it’s particularly rich.
Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting for our Chocolate Chip or Classic Banana Bread.
Mix in stand or by hand, 2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature with One, 8 oz package (brick) cream cheese. Mix until smooth, adding in 1/2 tsp of vanilla and the seeds from the inside of a vanilla bean. If you have not used a vanilla bean before, simply take the bean in one hand and using a very sharp small paring knife, run it along the side of the bean, opening it up so you can scrape out all the luscious little brown beads, which is the priceless vanilla. Lastly, add approximately 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar (or less…add slowly and taste as you go along). I prefer it less sweet, but you might want to add more to suite your own taste. If you are baking your own 8” or 9” round cake, you should double this recipe.
Again, it’s super rich, so you might only wish to frost the top of the cake.