Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese FrostingI like to keep things pretty realistic here on the blog. Over the years my blogs have morphed from being stream of conscious postings, to stream of conscious plus a lot about food and photography to what you are reading now – a food and garden blog.

It’s a food and garden blog that is being written by a real person though, and sometimes among the cookies and flowers, real life wiggles it’s way in. That is where I am this week.

My Dad is having some very distressing health struggles right now, at a time when we expected the worst of things to be behind him. After 3 years on the kidney transplant list, he finally got a kidney last fall. Without going into a lot of detail, suffice it to say that he has not had an easy recovery. Still, last week, he and Mom were able to return home finally, which was a big relief to all of us.

This week, he is back in the hospital after suffering a seizure of unknown origin, that has left him not quite himself. He is improving, but very slowly. I’m over 2000 miles away though, and struggling with the idea of flying out there, when doing so would likely not help very much, while waiting awhile, very likely will. It’s hard.

People relieve stress in all different sorts of ways. If it were summer, I could get rid of some frustration by pulling weeds, but the ground is frozen, removing that as an option. So – baking is the obvious choice. And something chocolate please, like cupcakes. The cupcakes in these photos are the recipe from the Hershey’sĀ® cocoa package, a long time favorite – very rich and moist.

They need vanilla to balance out the richness of the chocolate though, and this frosting will work perfectly. It’s a simple recipe, with the exception of dealing with the vanilla bean which you may find intimidating, though often the most intimidating thing about vanilla beans is paying for them. I get mine on ebay, where they are much cheaper. Just make sure you read the reviews to see what other buyers have thought about the quality of the beans a seller offers. In a pinch, a teaspoon of good quality pure vanilla extract will work. vanilla bean cream cheese frosting on cupcakes

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe type: Frosting
Serves: frosts 2 dozen cupcakes
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 4 ounces soft butter
  • 4 ounces room temperature cream cheese
  • seeds scraped from ½ of a large vanilla bean
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 cups confectionery sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cream or half and half
  1. Using the whisk beater of your mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. Beat in the vanilla bean scrapings and salt.
  3. Add the sugar, one cup at a time, beating very very well after each addition. [start out at a low speed each time to prevent the sugar ending up all over the place]
  4. Add the cream, one tablespoon at a time, until it is of spreadable consistency. Beat another minute or so for maximum fluffiness.
  5. Can be used right away, but if allowed to sit at room temperature for a couple hours, the vanilla flavor will become more pronounced.
  6. Should be stored refrigerated.
Will frost about 4 dozen sugar cookies, or a 2 layer cake

This frosting, on these cupcakes packed a double whammy – not only is baking therapeutic, eating cupcakes is even more so. Pulling weeds would be easier on the waistline, no doubt, but cupcakes make me feel better.vanilla bean cream cheese frosting on chocolate cupcakes.
I know a lot of you are friends on Facebook, and have expressed your concerns and prayers for all of us and I really appreciate that. We are a family that believes deeply in prayer, so if in reading this, you want to send up a few more prayers on my Dad’s behalf, I thank you in advance for that.

I wish I could give you a cupcake in person, but at least with this recipe, you can reward yourself by baking some.

20 thoughts on “Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Weeding and baking are two ways I relieve stress too. I’m sorry to hear about your dad, and he will stay in my thoughts and prayers. This frosting looks heavenly. I’m in the mood for cupcakes so these might be happening very very soon. Thank you for sharing them!

  2. Sorry to hear about your Dads health struggle, I know how difficult it is when you are living far away.
    Hope he recovers soon!
    The cream cheese frosting looks soo tempting, this is REAL comfort food.

  3. Hi Donalyn,

    I’m so glad you took the time to visit my blog. I lost you but now you are in my side bar so I won’t lose you again:)

    I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad’s health issues. When my daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer last year I too had to decide when the best time would be best to go out to Idaho, 2000+ miles away. Although I did go out there immediately, I eventually had to come home. It was heart wrenching. I believe with all my heart that her positive outcome, she is now cancer free, came from all the prayers from family friends and yes, the blogging and FB community. You and Your Family will be in our prayers for a quick and healthy recovery for your Dad..

    Thanks for the Cupcakes! I love Vanilla Bean Frosting. I’ve been using vanilla beans to flavor a baking reserve of sugar which I can just buzz up to make into confectionery’s sugar of sorts:) Thanks for sharing…

    • Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and for your prayers Louise – I am very glad to hear that your daughter is well again!

      I do keep old vanilla pods in a canister of sugar – so good on so many things!

  4. Any kind of frosting that has cream cheese in it, is tops on my list! It always turns out so good that I could eat just the frosting without the underlying cake. If I did that though, it would be ‘double-time’ for me in the garden weeding department. So sorry to hear about your Dad. I know how you feel about being so far away from family when they are sick- I was always so far away in Australia when my family members were in the US and it was hard when they got sick or died.

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about your father. It has been almost a year since my stepfather had a massive heart attack – we almost lost him (which is something my brain can’t quite process). So, when we were in the thick of things and weren’t sure how it would all turn out, we HAD to keep ourselves busy and occupied. Please know that we’re thinking of you!

  6. So sorry about your father. It’s hard dealing with that when you’re so far away – there don’t seem to be any good choices. I’m not into pulling weeds (although Mrs K R is) but cooking/baking is always a great way to relieve stress for me. Eating, too (unfortunately!). Terrific looking frosting – thanks.

  7. It’s been a couple of days since you wrote this and my fingers are crossed and my prayers are being sent that your dad is in a much better state than he was.

    When I get homesick or stressed, I always go to the kitchen. I can focus in there on something other than my problems.

  8. This frosting sounds fabulous ! But I am sad it’s the result of stress due to your dad’s situation. So very sorry to hear about your dad going back to the hospital!
    My dad isn’t doing too good – so I understand where you are coming from…hoping you find peace and strength during this.

  9. I’m so sorry to read that your father and you and your family are having to deal with such health issues. I certainly know what it’s like to be 1000 miles away and wanting to be there. You all will be in my thoughts. It’s good to keep busy so the mind can rest. I love how you managed to whip up this frosting for us. I just want to lick it right off the top of that cupcake.

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