What I like about this cream cheese cake filling recipe is that at first it’s quite soft and ideal for spreading over layers using this layer cake filling method. Once chilled, it becomes firm, stable, and doesn’t bulge (follow this link to read why cake fillings bulge). I’ve noticed that some formulas for cream cheese filling are far too soft for wedding cakes and sculpted cakes. Not this one. This recipe freezes and keeps well in the refrigerator too.
Cream Cheese Filling is Option #1 in the
Streamlined Layer Cake Filling Menu
Streamlined Cake Filling Method
This recipe is one of 11 cake filling flavors in a streamlined cake menu. All the variations are based on these two simple buttercream recipes that work beautifully both as fillings and frosting. A streamlined menu minimizes the amount of work required to make each cake, which is a terrific time-saver in the kitchen, especially for those who run a bakery business.
Vanilla Buttercream Cake Frosting & Filling
The proportions are 1 part smooth vanilla buttercream : 1 part cream cheese. A 1:1 ratio means equal amounts of each element (example: 10 oz or each element or one pound of each element).
2. Process one part cream cheese in a food processor until it runs smooth.
3. Add one part vanilla buttercream frosting.
4. Process until mostly smooth.
5. Scrape down the sides of the container.
6. Process again until smooth. At first, the filling will be very soft.
7. While it is still quite loose, fill the cake layers within the baking pan using this layer cake filling method.
8. Wrap the filled cake within its pan entirely in plastic wrap.
9. Freeze or chill the cakes until cold. Follow this link to read more about my cake freezing method.
Above is a red velvet tapered cake with cream cheese filling.
Suggested Cake Filling Method
My preferred method for assembling layer cakes is to build them inside the baking pan. I recommend watching the videos and reading this entire tutorial on how to fill cakes in the pan.
New to Wicked Goodies? Start *HERE*
Get the Base Recipes
Smooth Buttercream Cake Frosting
How to Freeze and Thaw Cakes
Get All 11 Stable Layer Cake Filling Recipes
VIDEO: 5 Reasons Why Cake Fillings Bulge
Go Back to the Article’s Introduction
Streamlined Cake Filling Menu
My Cake Frosting Method
Smooth Buttercream Cake Frosting
Thanks so much for sharing your talent, creativity, and so many great tips! I’ve been using your modeling chocolate recipe for years and it’s never failed me. I used the in-pan assembly method for the first time on my most recent cake, and it is life-changing! If it works as well for my upcoming cake, I will never go back. Literally cuts assembly time and difficulty in half or more! I want to make a cannoli cake filling, and my question is, do you think mascarpone instead of cream cheese would work? I’m not sure how well it would hold up to the freezing/thawing technique. Thanks in advance!
My question is where do your get those huge cake pans? Mine are only 2” tall.
I just wanted to say thank you for your excellent advice and tutorials. I was a bit dubious at first about buying the buttercream ebook but finally cracked and I have to say, yours is the yummiest and easiest buttercream I’ve ever come across.
I had to make a wedding cake this weekend on a sweltering hot day (39°c) and used your filling and freezing method and it worked brilliantly! I was previously using swiss meringue b.c and I had so many issues with bulging cakes but not this time and never again.
For the first time in a long time I’m actually excited to make my next cake thanks to your advice.
Wahoo! That is excellent news. I am so glad it went smoothly. Thanks for letting us know 🙂
Hello. Your website is amazing! I was wondering – you never seem to use dowels or supports in your layer cakes… is this because the freezing method makes them stable and there is no need?
I always use dowels. I have some articles and videos about this that you can check out if you follow these links:
Article: How to Use Wood Dowels in Stacked Cakes
Video: Wood Dowels Video
Video: Stacked Cake Assembly
1 part smooth vanilla buttercream : 1 part cream cheese
What are the measurements I’m not getting it and have already wasted frosting trying to figure out what it is.
Is it 1 cup 8oz frosting to 8 oz of cream cheese???
A 1:1 ratio means equal parts. In other words, you can take any measurement (1 ounce, 1 pound, 100 grams) of each item and combine them to achieve the desired result.
Okay wish me luck with the second go around.
You don’t need luck to correctly measure a 1:1 ratio. You just need a tool of measure.
Hi, thank you so much for the plethora of information you have given! this is my first time building a three-tier cake and I’m wondering if I use your freezing method and want to apply fondant when would be the best time? I’m thinking I should freeze the cake And filling then 24 hours before the event (fri afternoon for a Saturday outdoor event in ca. sun) I would take the cakes out of the freezer complete the frosting at the dowels and fondant and then decorate. Putting the cake back in the refrigerator Friday night to take out Saturday for the event. So, is it OK to apply the frosting and fondant/decorations to the cake while the cake is still frozen or will it cause condensation/water drops on the outside once it begins to thaw? I guess I just need to know in what order/ timeframe to complete each step… thank you so much for your insight on this situation I greatly appreciate the help
I’ve got a whole article on the topic of cake timing here: Wedding Cake Timing
Do you use the cream cheese filling to cover the Strawberries & Cream cake as well? Or do you just use regular buttercream? Thank you (AGAIN!!) SOOOOO MUCH!
I recommend using it as filling only. It’s not stable enough to be used as a frosting (well, technically you could do it if you wanted to but I wouldn’t).
I have searched high and low for the answer to this question and I appreciate it being asked and answered! I am going to fill my first Cookies and Cream wedding cake with cream cheese filling and wasn’t sure whether it was stable enough to smooth the outside of a semi naked cake with the cream cheese (especially since it’s only ever referred to as “filling”) or if it would be best to seal it in my favorite crusting American Buttercream.
Hello! I’m making an 8″ square cake (in the 4″ deep pan) with 3 layers of chocolate cake and 2 layers of the Oreo cream cheese filling. How much filling do I need to make? I ordered the buttercream recipe tutorial…if I make a single batch of buttercream and mix with equal amount of cream cheese (approximately how much cream cheese is that, by the way???), is that enough filling? Or will it be too much? I could always make a single batch of buttercream, reserve half for the crumb coat, then use the rest to mix with equal parts cream cheese and Oreo.
Thank you SO SO much for the help!!!
For the smaller sized recipe, I estimate that you will need 1/3rd of the buttercream to convert into filling. Keep in mind that the crushed cookies will also increase the volume of your filling. I would reserve most (2/3rds) of the buttercream for the frosting. In terms of purchasing, I think you will be fine with 16 oz of cream cheese.
THANK YOU SO MUCH (again)!!!
Thank you SO much for always answering my questions! Used your cake filling method for the first time and un-panned it this afternoon…worked PERFECTLY!!!! Gotta get all new pans (deep ones)!
I am making a small (10″ & 6″) wedding cake for an evening wedding in June. I live in Central California so it may be as hot as 90 degrees outside. The reception will be in a tent. The bride does not want fondant on her cake. She wants strawberry filling. What frosting would you recommend I frost and fill with? I thought of making your cream cheese filling with chunks of strawberries in it, but am not sure if the strawberries will freeze & thaw well. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
The above filling recipe and this buttercream recipe are my go-to options. When the weather is hot, I just plan accordingly. For a cake that size, you could hold it in a refrigerator until later in the reception.
As for the strawberries, as long as they are pureed or in small chunks, you shouldn’t notice a difference with a freeze/thaw. The trick is to make sure your berries are layered against the cake so the sponge can absorb their moisture.
Thank you! I used your filling method when I made my daughter’s wedding cake and it was amazing! I really appreciate your tutorials.
Hi!Thanks for sharing! I would like to ask how long can the cake be at room temp if I use creamcheese frosting? As most of my cake hv fondant modelling on the fondant surface. I always ready for the whole cake(including the fondant decorations) e.g. On Friday night and deliver it on Sat morning. They will serve the cake on Sat afternoon . Can I still use cream cheese frosting? If not then what situation I can use cream cheese frosting? I am confused as I am afriad of the creAmcheese under roomtemp is not good but it tastes better than just buttercream! Thanks for your help!
There is no problem leaving the cake out on display for 4-5 hours during the event. However I wouldn’t leave it out at times when it’s not necessary. My recommendation is to refrigerate this type of cake overnight and at the times when you’re not working on it.
Many thanks for your reply!!! Your website is really useful! In face I would like to cover the fondant and add some fondant decorations on the cake. Usually I will do it the night before delivery. I am afraid that if i have covered the fondant and freeze it, the cake surface will have water drops. If I take it out the next day and cover fondant, the time is so tight to add decorations and delivery. Anyway, I will try using cream cheese frosting!
It is not recommended that you cover a cake in fondant then freeze it. However if you must do so, first seal the cake in plastic wrap before freezing it, then allow the cake to fully thaw before removing the plastic wrap. That will prevent the condensation from forming.
Hello, What a great website. Very helpful info thank you for sharing. I have a question would this cream cheese frosting work under a fondant cake that can be left out the day before the event or what filling would you recommend under a fondant cake that will be left out. Thank you so much in advance.
I have never used this recipe specifically as a frosting or for use under fondant so I can’t say for sure if it would work in terms of being the glue between cake and fondant. I prefer to use straight buttercream under fondant as it’s more sturdy. No matter what you use, that under-layer should be thin.
Technically, cream cheese filling should not be left out at room temperature for that long since it contains cheese and butter. Examples of fillings that are shelf stable at room temperature are jam/jelly, Nutella, or shortening-based recipes – basically anything with hydrogenated oil would work. I am more of an all-natural, butter-based gal myself so my cakes need to be refrigerated. That is totally a matter of preference though. This is the buttercream that I would use under fondant.
Thank you so much for your advice.
I have a similar question…what if I used this as a filling only, then used buttercream to crumb coat before covering with fondant? I need to be able to use fondant, as the exterior needs to be completely black. This is just for my sons Bday party, so I can cover it a few hours before the party. Also, is it possible to add food color to the cream cheese frosting? Thanks for the help!
Yes – this recipe is intended for use as a filling only and you would be best to use buttercream as crumb coat before covering with fondant.
I have added pink food coloring to cream cheese frosting before. That’s as dark as I’ve gone with color in that recipe. I’m fairly confident it would work with black but my recommendation is to use real chocolate, like cocoa powder instead. Chocolate makes an excellent substitute for black and is so much more appetizing tasting and looking! Eaters always prefer to eat chocolate over black. Plus it doesn’t stain your clothes and teeth and tongue.
So if you start with the chocolate buttercream as base and work the cream cheese in at 1:1 proportions, you will end up with a dark brown color. If that’s still not dark enough, you can add black food coloring from there, which is a good jumping off point since then you already have a dark shade to work with, which requires less total food coloring. Good luck!
THANK YOU SO MUCH for the quick response!! Actually, was only using black for the fondant on the cake exterior. My kiddos want the filling to be lime green with the Oreos. They are having a “Laser Tag” party 😉 Which is why I was wondering about adding color.
Thought of one more thing…am getting ready to buy the Fat Daddio SQUARE pan. Does it make fairly square edges or will I need to cut the cake to get that look?
There is a little roundedness to the edges of the Fat Daddio’s square pans but only enough to prevent a crease in the metal. I’ve never needed to trim a square cake in order to make the edges and corners crisp. That is the magic of this frosting method.