Magical Mystical Cream Cheese Frosting

©Rosy Outlook Photography

Magical Mystical Frosting is the most magical mystical frosting of them all. Everyone loves frosting, but this recipe is akin to a peyote spiritual journey. You will have an epiphany while literally tripping on this frosting. The heavenly lightness combined with the rich, creamy tang makes it unsurpassable. Furthermore, its super hero shape holding power guarantees your cake will remain unmelted even on the hottest, most tropical day. Those of you in Germany will appreciate this recipe because in Germany butter and cream cheese have a higher water content, which makes frosting melty. 

Although this frosting takes a little bit more planning than just throwing powdered sugar and butter together last minute, I promise it will be so worth the effort. I bet once you have tried it, you will never make any other frosting ever again. Except for my other awesome frostings to come, of course. But seriously. YOU. MUST. MAKE. THIS. FROSTING. NOW.

Everyone who eats this frosting (and I frost all my cakes with some variation on this) is absolutely flabbergasted. Everyone. My Magical Mystical Frosting is a creative adaptation of classic cornstarch frosting, which was all but forgotten until Cook’s Country Magazine re-popularized it in 2010. In later posts, I will include vanilla, chocolate, lemon, maple, and various other versions.


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 heaping tbs cornstarch
  • 2 packages softened cream cheese (if you’re in Germany you absolutely MUST use Philadelphia Doppelrahm, no exceptions)
  • 1 stick of softened unsalted butter
  • Suggested music: The Beatles “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”

In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in a little milk, until there are absolutely no lumps. Lumps are bad. In a pot over medium heat, whisk the milk, sugar, salt, flour, and cornstarchy liquid. You will continue to whisk for what will seem like a damn long time, but it will all be ok because you will be thinking about eating this frosting, and possibly discovering your totem. Eventually, it will bubble and become very hard to whisk because it will be super duper thick. You will know if it is thick enough if you stir and it keeps it’s shape for a bit. Also, your arm will hurt.

Remove it from the heat, and pour into a metal bowl. I put mine in the freezer for a few hours (make sure it doesn’t freeze), but if you have time you can just refrigerate it. Once it is totally cooled, whip it on high in your mixer with the butter, vanilla, and lemon juice until it has learned its lesson. It should be very light, fluffy, and easy to spread.

Put it on your favorite cake or cupcakes. It is perfect for my pumpkin spice cake, red velvet cake, carrot cake, lemon sour cream pound cake, brownies, etc. (recipes will follow soon!). You could even use it as a crêpe filling with strawberries and pretend you’re having blintzes. And if, god forbid, some horrible soul gave you a fruitcake, this will make it better.

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