16 Foods That Taste Even Better With Cream Cheese Frosting

06/02/2014 09:55 am ET | Updated Mar 12, 2015

The luscious blend of cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla isn't just for carrot and red-velvet cakes. Here are some brand-new ways to enjoy the decadent frosting.

By Lynn Andriani

  • Give Bar Cookies An Edge You Never Knew They Needed
    Ben Fink
  • Although we have no qualms about taking a finger swipe of cream cheese frosting and eating it straight up (don't judge!), there's a reason the sweet icing goes so well with red velvet and spiced carrot cakes: It's a welcome flavor contrast. The same concept holds true for deep, dark chocolate brownies, such as these cocoa ones; and pumpkin spice bars (this recipe shows you how to make a lighter version of the beloved icing).
  • Eat It With Cookies (Without Making A Mess)
    Lynn Andriani
  • We've seen all manner of whoopie pies stuffed with cream cheese frosting, from red velvet to pumpkin to chocolate. But while the beloved dessert relies on thin cakes to form the outer sandwich layers and to keep that precious icing safe, you can hack the treat with any kind of cookie, really. Oatmeal raisin cookies echo carrot cake with their cinnamon and raisins (as well as with their hardy texture). Or go out on a limb and pair these cream cheese-chocolate chip cookies (which also feature cream cheese and zesty orange) with the frosting; the citrus and cream are fantastic together.
  • Reinvent Quick Breads And Cakes
  • Now that you know how well cream cheese frosting plays with spices like cinnamon, allspice and cloves, it makes perfect sense to spread the icing atop slices of apple cake, zucchini bread or gingerbread -- which all have spiced notes. And while banana bread doesn't fall under the spice-cake umbrella, the fruit imparts a rich caramel taste that pairs well with cream cheese frosting's light flavor.
  • Turn Breakfast Into A Celebration
    Lynn Andriani
  • We've seen red velvet pancakes and carrot cake waffles -- but even if you're sticking with the traditional versions of those classic breakfast foods, a dab of cream cheese frosting can take them to new levels of indulgence (also try it spread on scones, such as these maple ones).
  • Take Chips And Dips To A New Level
    Lynn Andriani
  • A bowl of cream cheese frosting served with some sort of dipper might just be the easiest dessert we've ever made. Apple slices hold up well to sturdy frosting, as do pretzels and cinnamon pita chips. More delicious snacks to try: Strawberries, chocolate chip granola bars or thick-cut potato chips.

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  • A Pie That Actually Turns Out Just Like The One In The Picture
    This Is a Cookbook
  • There is nothing perfect-looking about this insanely good chocolate-peanut butter pie from This Is a Cookbook: Recipes for Real Life -- which is why we love it so much. The crust is just crushed graham crackers. The filling is peanut butter and cream cheese. The top: chocolate sauce and salted peanuts. You're welcome. Get the recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
  • A Dessert For When You Really Want To Wow Them
    Johnny Miller
  • You can make Jell-O...or you can make Cheesecake Mousse with Blood Orange Gelee. No, really, it's that basic: these individual ramekins filled with creamy cheesecake, an orange slice and blood orange gelatin make for a stunning presentation, but they aren't complicated. And you can make them up to three days before serving. Get the recipe: Cheesecake Mousse with Blood Orange Gelee
  • The Five-Ingredient Frozen Chocolate Pop
    Ellen Silverman
  • We've already discovered how easy it is to make fresh fruit ice pops -- and it turns out chocolate fudgesicles are even simpler (no fruit to puree!). Daphne Oz, cohost of The Chew and author of the new book Relish, makes them with just five ingredients and swears they taste better than the kind you pull out of your grocery store freezer. Get the recipe: Chocolate Fudge Pops
  • Apple Pie For Crust-o-Phobes
  • If you've mastered the art of warming up a cup of coffee in the microwave, then this crustless apple pie should be no sweat. You can make it with whatever spices you'd like, from cinnamon to allspice to nutmeg or coriander. Top the softened, spiced fruit with fresh or frozen yogurt for a cool counterpoint. Get the recipe: "Baked" Apples
  • The No-Oven-Required Dessert You Can Make Tonight
    Sara Remington
  • This no-bake recipe proves that it's a snap to turn everyday ingredients (corn flakes, chocolate, butter, powdered sugar) into an impressive dessert. Be sure to use salted butter for these rich and crunchy bites from the new book From Paris to Provence: Childhood Memories of Food & France -- it's a perfect complement to the dark chocolate. Get the recipe: Roses des Sables (Chocolate Cornflake Treats)
  • Striped Cookies That Don't Take All Day
    Shaina Olmanson
  • If you've ever seen a recipe for cookies that consisted of shades of different colored dough but wrote it off as way too complicated, check out Shirley Fan's variation. The author of the new book The Flying Brownie says these beautiful treats are a snap: divide dough into thirds, dye each piece with food coloring, and stack rounds on top of each other. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters -- and there you have it: each cookie has stripes of different-colored dough. Get the recipe: Tricolored Peppermint-Striped Cookies Next: 9 cakes that are (almost) too adorable to eat