"I LOVE the taste of cream cheese frosting, but I don't like how dense it is," says Pia. She found an easy fix, though: Use whipped cream instead of butter in the frosting. Here's how: Whip about 3/4 cup cream until fairly stiff, then beat in 8 ounces softened cream cheese and powdered sugar to taste, and add vanilla or other flavoring. "It was great!" raves Pia. "The texture was a little lighter and fluffier than butter-based cream cheese frosting, but it was just as easy to pipe and spread. It firmed up nicely in the fridge, too. This is going to be my new standard cream cheese frosting."
beyondthepeel makes a lighter-textured cream cheese frosting by incorporating a bit of sour cream: Beat together 8 ounces softened cream cheese, 4 tablespoons softened butter, 2 tablespoons sour cream, and 2 teaspoons vanilla, then slowly incorporate 1 pound powdered sugar (or enough to achieve your desired consistency). beyondthepeel uses this frosting for cinnamon buns as well as cakes.