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Cream Cheese Frostings

Sweet and tangy cream-cheese frosting has an incomparable silken lusciousness when whipped to airy lightness. It makes vegetable cakes -- carrot, pumpkin, zucchini -- taste like the most indulgent dessert. When cream-cheese frosting is paired with chocolate in red velvet or chocolate cake, it lends a hint of tartness that perfectly balances the rich sweetness.

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recipe

Mascarpone, a triple-cream cheese available at most grocery stores, adds a rich, silky component to a frosting. The texture is ideal for holding swoops and creating a snowdrift-like effect when slathered on with an offset spatula.

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Beneath this towering yet unpretentious appearance lies multiple layers of moist, mildly spiced cake that are flecked with carrots and pecans and enveloped by a generous coating of cream cheese frosting.

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Decadent indeed, this frosting is a chocolate lover's dream come true. Creme fraiche offsets some of the richness. Use it to frost vanilla cake (or chocolate if you're a chocoholic).Also try: Basic Buttercream, Ganache, and Seven-Minute Frosting

recipe

This spiced pumpkin cake is enhanced by layers of a delectably rich frosting that features cream cheese and goat cheese. Quince, available in the fall, has a fragrant, apple-like flavor. If you can’t find fresh ones, use pears or apples instead.