***The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Jenna, Suzie, Biz, Cheryl, and Kim~the lucky winners!***
Wedding and birthday cakes from good bakeries, at least here locally, have a certain evasive flavor in the icing that I’ve always mentally defined as “celebration.” I am still unable to describe the flavor any other way, but I learned the secret of that flavor and have been using it in the frostings for my own homemade celebration cakes ever since.
It is a flavor emulsion called “Crème Bouquet.” This is wonderful stuff. It is an oil-based flavoring with lemon and other essential oils that aren’t listed on the label (because they are sneaky and don’t want us to figure out how to duplicate it at home!). Believe me, I’ve tried, but I can’t make anything that tastes even remotely as wonderful as this emulsion. It doesn’t taste like lemon to me, although that’s the only essential oil listed, and it doesn’t taste like anything else I’ve ever had. Well, besides wedding and birthday cake. I have relatives that call it “that sweet flavor.” But that is not an apt description, either. You just have to try it for yourself!
Since I’m so in love with this flavoring and know it’s not a common household ingredient, I am going to give five lucky readers a 2-ounce bottle from Cake Stuff! To enter, just leave me a comment on this post and I will draw the winners using Random.org on Friday, November 5th . Simple as that. For those interested in purchasing crème bouquet, you can order by phone from Cake Stuff–just call the number on their website. It is very reasonably priced at $2.50 for a 2-ounce bottle, and they also have two larger sizes available.
You can turn any vanilla frosting into celebration frosting by adding crème bouquet to it, and I’ll share the two that I use it in. Enjoy!
White Celebration Frosting
I try to avoid this one since it’s kind of a non-food, one but sometimes, you just need a good, bright white frosting and the only way to achieve that is with shortening. And believe me, it does not taste like non-food. It is utterly delicious. I promise. The meringue powder is essential in this recipe to eliminate the greasy mouth-feel that shortening frostings usually have. It is also important to use good shortening because cheaper brands tend to be clearish, off-colored, and slimy. You want one that is an opaque white, like Crisco.
Printable recipe with picture
2 cups Crisco vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons meringue powder
2 teaspoons crème bouquet
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
Pinch of salt
2 lbs. (8 cups) powdered sugar
1/3-1/2 cup water
Put the Crisco in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium a few seconds, until creamy. Add in the meringue powder, flavorings, and salt and beat until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, alternating with water when it becomes too thick. Add more or less water to get your desired consistency. Once it is all added, beat on medium-low speed for four minutes. This frosting will keep for up to a month, tightly covered, at room temperature, or several months in the refrigerator.
Cream Cheese Celebration Frosting
This is my favored celebration frosting. This frosting on white cake, for me, makes the ultimate celebration cake. And be sure to try it on red velvet as well–divine!
Printable recipe with picture
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 pounds powdered sugar
2 teaspoons crème bouquet
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract*
Pinch of salt
Milk, if desired
Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on low, scraping the sides, until all the sugar is incorporated, then turn to medium/high and beat for another two minutes. I prefer not to add any extra liquid because I find it easier to get a perfectly smooth cake with thick frosting**, but you can add milk as needed to make it creamier. Refrigerate or freeze if you won’t be using it within a few days.
*You can use regular vanilla but the color will turn more yellowish-ivory (like Mom’s birthday cake above), which is fine unless you are aiming for a lighter color. To illustrate, I made the following two wedding cakes with the same recipe for cream cheese celebration frosting, but used clear vanilla on the first and regular on the second:
**To get my icing perfectly smooth, I use a straight-edged offset spatula and the water bottle trick: fill a clean (ideally, brand new or designated for water only) squirt bottle with water and spray the frosted cake all over. This allows the spatula to glide over the surface and smooth it easily. I recommend placing the cake, uncovered, in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight to allow the water on the surface to evaporate completely before decorating. You can see me demonstrating the “water bottle trick” in this video: How to Make a Layer Cake part 3: stacking and frosting.
~Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this blog or sponsored by Cake Stuff to promote them. That is the store where I’ve always purchased my crème bouquet and it is consistently delicious. So I decided to buy some to share with my readers so you can experience the awesomeness for yourselves!~
Hi Veronica, here’s a recipe of creme bouquet I got from here http://www.cakecentral.com. I e never tried it, but since you can’t find it here in Australia (I don’t think!)… I decided to research it :)
All my food love, Lydia :)
1 tbsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp butter flavoring
Thanks so much – you are so thoughtful! I did try this years ago (got it from cakecentral too) and i thought it was dreadful, nothing like real creme bouquet. But it’s been so long ago, I can’t be 100% sure I made it right – perhaps I was missing an ingredient. I hae them all now so maybe I will try again. Let me know if it yields good results for you!
Will the cream cheese recipe set up like a buttercream does? I am considering making it for a smaller 2-tiered birthday cake that will be on a 5 hour drive to OH this weekend. I want to make sure it will be sturdy enough. Also, I can’t find any creme bouquet. Have you ever tried Princess flavoring? I saw someone reccommend it online and compare it to creme bouquet. I bought the ingredients for making creme bouquet, but saw that you didn’t like the homemade version. I can buy Princess flavoring at Hobby Lobby in town.
Yes, it will. I’ve used it on all the wedding cakes I’ve made and it holds up well b/c it is quite thick. I use half this amount of sugar for cupcakes since it doesn’t need to be thick, but with this recipe, it will hold up great for a tiered cake. Are you assembling the cake before driving the five hours? I think I’d do it on site to lessen the stress – it’s is sooo stressful to travel with a tiered cake, let me tell you! I’m sorry I haven’ tried the Princess flavoring but have heard good things – I’d go for it. :)
Do you sift the powdered sugar in the cream cheese frosting? I always sift the sugar for frosting so thought I would ask. I used my homemade creme bouquet in the cake batter last night and it was really good (I added 1/2 tsp. to the batter), but maybe after I pick up my son at school we will run over and get some princess flavoring for the icing. Thanks for your help. I am planning on assembling before we leave, but it’s only going to be a 2-tier cake similar in size to this spiderman cake I made for my son’s birthday one year. http://www.homeecathome.com/2/post/2012/07/spiderman-birthday-cake.html
I already made a giant cake box for it. I traveled with this baby shower cake to Ohio a few years ago in a giant homemade cake box. http://www.homeecathome.com/2/post/2013/09/buttercream-frosting1.html It arrived safely, everything in tact.
Actually, I don’t. I never need to because the mixer takes care of it, making it smooth. I once used a very clumpy bag of powdered sugar and I really wished I’d sifted that one, but with enough mixing it eventually got creamy – lol! Also, this is very thick, especially as you first mix it (it gets a lot creamier once it comes together and you continue to beat it) so I’d recommend a stand mixer. I’ve broken so many hand mixers on thick frosting I finally made a rule not to ever use one for frosting again, even if it’s more convenient – lol.
You make beautiful cakes! That two tier doesn’t look too terrifying to travel with, but I’d still be a mess. I’m just not cut out for traveling with tiered cakes! One reason why I gave them up – lol. More power to you. I hope you’ll share a picture of your finished cake. :)
Thanks for all of your advice and tips. I finally posted the cake. http://www.homeecathome.com/2/post/2014/03/two-tiered-celebration-cake-and-transporting-a-cake.html
You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be
actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and
very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of
Just wanted to ask how long is your cream cheese buttercream last in room temperature.
To tell you the truth, I once left a covered bowl of it at room temp for a month by accident. It was covered up by something and I forgot about it until I was cleaning (finally) and unearthed it. I tasted it and it still hadn’t gone bad, although it didn’t taste as fresh as the day I made it. Usually it keeps and stays fresh tasting several days at room temp.