This delicious cream cheese frosting with caramel-y notes from brown sugar,
will put your carrot or spice cakes over the top for deliciousness.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to cool room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to cool room temperature
3/4 cup fresh light or dark brown sugar
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, plus more if needed
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses*
Place the butter, cream cheese and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand
mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat for 1-2 minutes at medium
speed. If necessary, scrape the sides of the bowl and the beater, then beat
a little longer. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes, to allow the brown
sugar to absorb into the wet ingredients (this is to avoid grittiness).
Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and molasses (if using)
and beat until smooth and creamy, scraping the beater and sides of the bowl
If frosting seems too stiff, add milk or cream, 1 teaspoon at a time; if
too soft, add more powdered sugar a little at a time, until it reaches the
When you have reached the consistency you like, beat on high speed for
one full minute.
* A little bit of molasses helps to intensify the brown sugar flavor. If you
don't have it you can skip it, but if you do have it, adding it is highly