Philosophy of Yum's Signature Vanilla Frosting
Don’t panic over the “low sugar” you see in my post title. As soon as a recipe has “low this” or “that free” in the title, many bakers tend to be turned off by it. One’s mind immediately pictures a mountain of artificial sweetener – ugh. NOT TODAY FOLKS!
* Photos by Alice Swan
The flipside of the coin is this: sugar on its own actually doesn’t have ANY flavour. It’s just sweet. So here’ my angle…
IF THERE’S LESS SUGAR IN THE FROSTING, THERE’S AN OPPORTUNITY TO ADD MORE INGREDIENTS WITH ACTUAL FLAVOUR.
So, please be open-minded. I know buttercream is the “standard frosting” out there, but it does not deserve to be. Its overwhelming sweetness actually DAMAGES the beautiful flavour of a GOOD cake.
I know there are some yummy buttercream recipes out there – like Magnolia Bakery’s famous frosting – but once you’ve tried this Philosophy of Yum frosting recipe, there will be a whole new standard of yum for you.
This recipe is my Home Bakery's SIGNATURE Frosting. It's my GO-TO recipe I use every single day. I use this vanilla version or the chocolate frosting version on ALL my cakes & cupcakes. It goes with EVERY CAKE FLAVOUR known to man. And not only does it “go with it”, it elevates it to a whole new dimension of bliss!
ALL my Home Bakery clients go gaga over this low sugar frosting, because it has so much flavour and it’s gloriously luxurious and smooth.
Please note that Philosophy of Yum frosting has a higher water content than buttercream or ganache, so if you place a high sugar item on top of it, it will melt into this frosting. This means fondant and sugar candies. But chocolate is A-OK 🙂
For classic cakes, cupcakes, naked frosting, semi-naked frosting, layered cakes, covering cakes etc. this frosting is absolutely perfect! It’s an honest frosting and it is honestly ridiculously delicious!!
Low Sugar Frosting Development
I explain the whole journey in detail on my low sugar chocolate frosting post if you want to check it out. In a nutshell it goes like this:
As a child I could not stand frosting. I always scraped it off the cake because it was just TOO sweet. My mother is a dietician and developed a lower sugar frosting for her carrot cake recipe. Now that frosting was DELICIOUS! It was, however, a bit too runny to pipe.
When the time came for me to start up my own Home Baking Business, I knew that I would need to come up with my own frosting recipe… And that the frosting would need to be SUPER YUM and lower in sugar so that it’s not too sweet.
I made a drastic decision to omit butter altogether from my recipe! *GASP!!* Since you need to add HEAPS of icing sugar to butter to get it to the right consistency, it's just so not worth it. I opted to use whipped cream instead because cream is just SO delicious! The whipped cream also makes the frosting so much lighter.
Because cream cheese and cream are already quite soft, there’s no need to add kilos and kilos of sugar to achieve the right consistency.
The result was just stunning… So smooth, so luxurious, SO YUMMY!!
Reasons to make Philosophy of Yum Low Sugar Frosting
* It is so flipping DELICIOUS!!! So delicious in fact that it makes you giggle, squirm and dance from the deliciousness.
* Philosophy of Yum Frosting contains a staggering 75% – 80% LESS SUGAR than any other frosting, but it's completely sufficiently sweet enough.
* It is actually a whole lot quicker and easier to make than buttercream or traditional cream cheese frosting.
* You don’t need a stand mixer to make this frosting! A simple electric hand mixer is ideal.
* Because there is no butter in this frosting, it is also 55% lower in fat than any other conventional frosting. What a bargain!!
* Extra perk: you can freeze this frosting! Say what?? Yes indeed. Let it thaw again in the fridge for about 2 hours and proceed to whip it GOOD. You are basically re-whipping the cream inside the frosting. After a minute or so it will be beautifully thick once more 🙂
Let’s get started! My instructions are going to be quite thorough so that there’s little room for error. I really want you to experience the awesomeness of this low sugar frosting.
- 80 g Whipping Cream (about 30% fat), cold
- 200 g Medium Fat (about 25% fat) Cream Cheese, cold
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 70 g Pure Icing Sugar (no added corn starch)
- Cold Water
- Whip cold cream to stiff peaks with an electric hand mixer in a medium mixing bowl.
- Beat in cold Cream Cheese till smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat again till smooth and thickened. About 1 minute in total.
- Beat in Vanilla and icing sugar. Leave to stand for 1 minute so that sugar can melt into the cream cheese thoroughly.
- Beat again till smooth and thick – about 1 minute.
- The longer you beat the frosting, the thicker it becomes. If it gets a bit runny once the sugar has fully dissolved, just keep beating it in one spot and it will thicken up. After this the “thickness” spreads to the rest of the mixture when you incorporate it.
- The frosting will be quite thick at this stage. If I’m using the frosting for layer cakes, I use it as it is. Just stir it a bit with a metal spoon to smooth out the biggest air bubbles.
- If I’m piping the frosting onto cupcakes, I like to thin it out a little. Add 1 Tbsp of water at a time till you reach the desired consistency.
- Signs of my perfect consistency: when you tap the side of the bowl, the frosting jiggles. When you scoop up a spoon, it takes about 2,5 - 3 seconds to drop off the spoon, back into the bowl.
* THIS RECIPE ONLY WORKS WHEN THE INGREDIENTS ARE SUPER COLD. Both the cream and cream cheese should have been in the fridge, on the lowest shelf, overnight. Make sure your kithen isn't hot when you mix the frosting.
* If you live in a super hot climate, you may need to take extra precausions. If your frosting isn't whipping up, let it chill in your FREEZER for 15 minutes. Hold your mixing bowl at an angle and hold beaters in the lowest spot on top speed for 1-2 minutes (don't move beaters around initially). Once the frosting gets really thick around the beaters, gradually start moving the beaters around in smaller circles to incorporate the runnier frosting with the thick frosting. Continue beating till you see the frosting is as thick as it's possibly going to get.
* Another precausion for super hot climates: Once you've piped the frosting onto cupcakes, let the frosted cupcakes chill in the fridge for at least 30 – 40 minutes so that the piped frosting chills and dries out a bit. After this, you can leave the cupcakes at room temperature and the frosting will keep its shape.
* A smaller, deeper mixing bowl makes this frosting much easier to whip up.
*This recipe produces enough frosting for about 12 cupcakes.
* If using in a layer cake: Allow the frosting on each layer to chill in the fridge for at least 1h30 before placing the next layer of cake on top.
* This is not a hard-setting frosting. It remains moist. I love this because it keeps my cakes moist as well, so you never need to do the simple syrup soaking again!
If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram #philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!