Cream cheese icing is one of the most popular choices of icing. It is creamy, smooth and has a wonderfully sweet taste that pairs well with many desserts. One may wonder due to the ingredients found in cream cheese: does cream cheese frosting need to be refrigerated?
Cream cheese icing is generally made up of cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and butter, with slight variations depending on the recipe. It is often used on cinnamon rolls, chocolate cakes, vanilla cakes, carrot cakes, spiced cakes, brownies, and cookies. It is a simple frosting that has a delicious taste.
Does Cream Cheese Frosting Need to be Refrigerated? Fact
When you are not serving dessert with cream cheese icing, it should be kept refrigerated. Cream cheese icing can safely be at room temperature for two hours, but after that should be stored in the fridge. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that any food containing cream cheese should be refrigerated within two hours.
However, if you do forget to put your cream cheese icing in the fridge, it is generally fine at room temperature for up to eight hours. This is due to the sugar in the icing acts as a preservative. It is still recommended to put your cream cheese icing in the fridge within two hours, to avoid any foodborne illnesses.
Why Do Cream Cheese Frosting Need to be Refrigerated?
Cream cheese is made from cow’s milk and it is not aged or ripened, making it perishable. If left out for more than two hours, cream cheese and cream cheese products become prone to foodborne illnesses, such as E.coli. Leaving cream cheese out for more than two hours in the danger zone, which is 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit, can cause harmful bacteria to grow.
If cream cheese is in temperatures 90 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter, it can only safely last for an hour. After the two hour period between 40-140 degrees and the one hour period above 90 degrees, bacteria can begin to double in rate, multiplying in as little as 20 minutes.
Though you are not able to see the bacteria, it can still be potentially very harmful. Children, the elderly and pregnant women are most likely to be affected by foodborne illnesses.
An unopened package of cream cheese can keep in your fridge for up to six months. After it has been opened, it can stay in the fridge for up to two weeks, as long as it is sealed.
Does Cream Cheese Frosting Need to be Refrigerated: Storing in the Fridge
Though cream cheese icing will likely be fine out for longer, it is still best to store it in the fridge within two hours, to avoid any harmful bacteria. Cream cheese icing may be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks and in the freezer for up to six months. Leftover frosting should be stored in an airtight container and frosted dessert should be covered.
Before serving cream cheese frosting, it is best to let it thaw for about thirty minutes from the fridge. If you have stored it in the freezer, you can transfer it to the fridge for a day and then let it thaw on the counter for thirty minutes as well. This will allow it to reach room temperature.
A cream cheese icing that has been in the fridge will have a cold, stiff texture, unlike its normal creamy and smooth texture. Letting it properly thaw will allow it to be smooth and creamy again. For leftover cream cheese icing, you will want to re-whip it before using it to frost baked goods, as it will have likely separated.
Does Cream Cheese Frosting Need to be Refrigerated: Preparing Cream Cheese Icing
When making cream cheese icing, you will want to make sure to use block cream cheese. Spreadable cream cheese and whipped cream cheese have different textures than block and will change the consistency of the icing. Blocks of cream cheese have the lowest water content, so they will prevent your frosting from being too soft and runny.
When making cream cheese icing, be sure to allow the butter reach room temperature and the cream cheese to be soft, but cold. Softening your cream cheese and butter will assure that the ingredients will combine well and you will have a smooth, lump-free icing. If the butter and cream cheese are too warm, it will cause the frosting to be runny.
You will find some recipes call for unsalted butter and then a small amount of salt added to your cream cheese icing. This allows you to have more control over the flavor of your icing.
A Versatile Icing
Cream cheese icing is one of the most popular icing choices. Its famously used on carrot cakes, spice cakes, and cinnamon rolls. However, it also goes great with chocolate cake, vanilla cake, red velvet cake, Bundt cake, brownies, and cookies. Its smooth, creamy and light texture is the perfect addition to any dessert.
Decorating with Cream Cheese Icing
Cream cheese frosting has a great texture for decorating baked goods with. It is a good consistency for using a piping bag to create decorations. If the frosting starts to become too soft while working with it, you can put it in the fridge for a few minutes to stiffen back up.
Spatulas are also a great tool for decorating desserts with. They work well to evenly frost cakes, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and brownies.
Keeping It Cool
Cream cheese icing is a delicious addition to any dessert. Its mouthwatering scrumptious taste, along with its creamy smooth texture will leave you wanting more. It is a simple frosting to make that is guaranteed to fulfill your sweet craving.
Due to the cream cheese being perishable, cream cheese icing needs to be stored in the fridge or freezer. Though it may stay fresh for up to eight hours at room temperature, it is best to refrigerate it within two hours to avoid harmful bacteria. Storing cream cheese icing in the fridge will also help it stay fresh and it can be stored for up to two weeks.
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