How to Fix Runny Cream Cheese Frosting

Last Updated on November 4, 2022 by Aaron

If you have ever made cream cheese frosting, you may have noticed that it sometimes turns out a little runny.

This can be frustrating, especially if you are trying to make a beautiful cake or cupcake.

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why cream cheese frosting is sometimes watery and how to fix it.

We will also discuss some tips for thickening cream cheese frosting without cornstarch. So, whether you are a beginner baker or an experienced pastry chef, read on for some helpful tips!

Why is Cream Cheese Frosting Runny or Watery?

There can be several reasons why cream cheese frosting turns out watery.

It could be due to the high moisture content in the cream cheese used, which makes it difficult to achieve a thick consistency with other ingredients like sugar and butter.

If you are using Philadelphia cream cheese, try to use the block rather than the tub or spread which tends to have higher moisture.

See block vs spread vs tub cream cheese.

The quality of the cream cheese brands matters too.

Some brands have more moisture than others, so it is important to do your research and find a brand that you trust. The maximum moisture allowed by FDA is 55% by weight (1). Also, the stabilizers selection play an important role to keep the fat and water content from separating for a longer shelf life and better quality.

One reason for runny may be that the cream cheese was not at the correct temperature before you started to make the frosting.

If the cream cheese is too cold, it will be difficult to mix and will result in a thin consistency or lumpy as explained here. It is best to use cream cheese that has been at room temperature for about 30 minutes before you start making the frosting.

Another common reason why cream cheese frosting can be runny or watery is if there was too much liquid in the recipe.

For example, this may happen if you add too much milk or cream to the frosting.

A third reason may be that the recipe was not correctly proportioned. In particular, if there is too much sugar in comparison to the amount of cream cheese, then the frosting will likely be watery or runny.

Lastly, freeze-thawing the cream cheese will form ice crystals that draw the water content out of the cheese, end up with a grainy texture.

So, avoid freezing the cream cheese if possible.

How to Fix Runny Cream Cheese Frosting?

One way to thicken your runny cream cheese frosting is by adding butter and/or powdered sugar to it.

Use a ratio of one tablespoon per cup, then mix until smooth before adding more as needed until you achieve desired consistency.

You can also add cornstarch to thicken the frosting without making it too sweet by using a ratio of one tablespoon per cup and mixing thoroughly before adding more/less depending on taste preference (and thickness desired).

Another option is beating in confectioners’ sugar, starting with just a few tablespoons at first until the desired consistency is reached.

If you are using a stand mixer, be sure to use the paddle attachment as opposed to the whisk attachment which will create more air in the frosting and make it less dense (and runny).

Lastly, if your cream cheese frosting is too thin, try refrigerating it for 30 minutes or so before frosting your cake or cupcakes.

This will help thicken up the consistency and make it easier to use for decorating purposes!

How do you Fix Runny Cream Cheese Frosting Without Cornstarch? (Or sugar)

If you don’t have cornstarch, there are a few other ingredients that can be used to thicken cream cheese frosting.

One option is using all-purpose flour. Start by mixing one tablespoon of flour with two tablespoons of water until smooth, then add this mixture to the frosting while beating it at medium speed.

Another option is using instant pudding mix. Just follow the instructions on the package to create a thickener, then add it to your frosting and beat until smooth.

Lastly, you can also use ground nuts like almonds or cashews. Add one cup of ground nuts to the frosting and mix until well combined. This will help thicken up the consistency without adding any additional sweetness.

If your frosting is still too thin after following these steps, try refrigerating it for 30 minutes before frosting anything else! You’d be surprised how much that can help with the thickness and stability of cream cheese frostings in general (and when they’re over-thinned).

Final Thought

The best way to make your cream cheese frosting thicker is by using a high-fat content brand of cream cheese. Only then will you be able to achieve the right consistency without adding too much sugar or liquid into the mix.

If the cream cheese frosting is too thick, add a little milk or cream until it reaches the desired consistency.

So there you have it – a few tips and tricks on how to fix runny cream cheese frosting! Now go forth and make some delicious desserts with your newfound knowledge…

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