Want to put a smile on someone's face?
Pick your favorite cake recipe (I used a Red Velvet one from the recipe sidebar) but try a new frosting. This tastes like cheesecake, NOT just "oh it's cream cheese frosting" but cheesecake in all it's glory, just fluffier. Most bakery cupcakes have 3 inches of frosting on them, I've even loaded mine up on occassion, but for these, just a bit was used, enough to satisfy without overpowering the complex tastes of the cake.
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature and softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 - 8 ounce blocks ounces cream cheese, softened. Cut each block into 5-6 pieces.
1 and 3/4 teaspoon Penzey's Mexican Vanilla
A good pinch of Artesanos Himalayan Pink Salt (Artisano's Oils and Spices does ship but use regular salt if you must. But the Himalayan Pink Salt really pops the flavor on this).
Using a mixer with a clean and dry bowl that's at room temperature, NOT fresh out of the dishwasher, beat the butter and sugar on medium/high until fluffy, at least two minutes. Slowly feed in the individual cream cheese pieces, beating until incorporated (about 35 - 40 seconds), scraping down the sides of the bowl as you beat it. Then quickly beat in the Mexican vanilla and the salt. This frosting freezes quite well.