Buttercream vs Cream Cheese Frosting

cream cheese frosted cupcake

Buttercream and cream cheese frosting are popular toppings for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and many more desserts. But what is the difference between them?

While there are many different flavors and types of both of these frostings, there are some common similarities and differences. So read on for the different uses and similarities between cream cheese and buttercream frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting and Buttercream

Frosting is what makes a cake something special. Whether it’s a birthday cake or a dessert to celebrate a special occasion, everyone with a sweet tooth will love a creamy frosting.

Both buttercream and cream cheese are popular types of frosting. Knowing the difference will help you decide which of these delicious varieties to use with your next dessert.

Difference Between Cream Cheese Frosting and Buttercream

buttercream frosted cupcakes

While there are a number of things cream cheese frosting and buttercream have in common (we will get into the details below) the primary difference between them is whole fat cream cheese is used as a base for cream cheese frosting while heavy whipping cream is used for buttercream.

Buttercream is used in a wider variety of recipes and goes with cakes, cookies, brownies, and cupcakes while cream cheese frosting is most commonly used as a cake and cupcake frosting.

Even when it comes to using them to frost cakes there are common differences. Cream cheese frosting is traditionally used to top spiced cakes, carrot cakes, and red velvet cakes while buttercream is more often used on traditional chocolate and vanilla cakes.

Buttercream and Cream Cheese Frosting Similarities

Most types of buttercream and cream cheese frosting contain powdered sugar, vanilla and butter.

These ingredients provide both types of frosting with a smooth and creamy texture making them perfect for topping desserts.

What Are the Types of Buttercream?

Buttercream can be found in a number of different types, and they are named after their country of origin.

The most popular types of buttercream are French, German, Swiss, and American. While they all offer a similar texture and flavor, there are differences in how each is made.

American Buttercream: The American type of buttercream is made using heavy whipping cream, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. You will also find recipes calling for milk instead of heavy whipping cream.

It is often found in vanilla, chocolate, raspberry, lemon, and strawberry flavor. It is used as a frosting or filling.

French Buttercream: This type of buttercream is most commonly made using egg yolks, sugar, butter, salt and vanilla.

French buttercream is smooth and rich perfect for frosting cakes and cupcakes.

Swiss Buttercream: This style of buttercream is similar to French except it uses egg whites in place of egg yolks.

It produces a silky smooth frosting that is great for presentation desserts. It also has a more subtle flavor than other types of buttercream.

German Buttercream: This type of buttercream is made using a custard base with added butter. It is a light and fluffy buttercream with a rich flavor.

What Does Buttercream Taste Like?

Buttercream’s base is butter, therefore the primary flavor for all types of buttercream is butter. It will also take on the taste of any added flavors such as chocolate or vanilla.

Does Buttercream Need To Be Refrigerated?

Yes. If storing buttercream for any period of time, then it should be stored in an airtight container in your fridge.

Types of Cream Cheese Frosting

Most cream cheese frosting is made using butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and salt. The primary difference in types of cream cheese frosting is found in how it is flavored.

Cream cheese frosting can be flavored in any way but the most popular flavors include chocolate, vanilla, and fruit.

Cream cheese frosting all offers a rich and creamy flavor ideal for all types of desserts.

What Does Cream Cheese Frosting Taste Like?

Cream cheese offers a tangy flavor due to the cream cheese with the rich flavor notes of butter.

Does Cream Cheese Frosting Need to Be Refrigerated?

Yes. Cream cheese frosting should be refrigerated if being stored for any period of time. That includes frosted desserts as well as leftover cream cheese frosting.

Does Cream Cheese Frosting of Buttercream Taste Better?

The answer depends on the individual. While buttercream is more popular than cream cheese frosting, that is largely due to it’s versatility and not to a superior taste.

When deciding which of these frostings to use, it is best to consider if you prefer the buttery flavor of buttercream or the more tangy flavor of cream cheese frosting.

Written by Liv

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