How can I cut out the sour taste a bit and make it sweeter? Overall the icing tastes good, I'd just like to tweak it a bit.

The recipe I used contains:

  • 2 8-oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Hi Shirley, welcome to Seasoned Advice! I've moved the recipe information into the question, where everybody can see it; in the future, please use the "edit" link to clarify or add new information to your question, as opposed to comment replies.
    – Aaronut
    Dec 5, 2011 at 0:19
  • 2
    Separately, did you taste the cream cheese and/or butter by itself? It is possible for both of those to go rancid and develop a sour taste if left long enough. Cream cheese is usually not sour at all by itself, so freshness of ingredients is the first thing I would check.
    – Aaronut
    Dec 5, 2011 at 0:21

2 Answers 2


Oddly enough, a little SALT might help. Salt has the effect of blocking some sour receptors in the tongue while enhancing sweetness.

  • 1
    I know that salt blocks bitter receptors but this is the first I've heard of it blocking sour tastes. Can you point us to a reference?
    – Aaronut
    Dec 5, 2011 at 0:14
  • @Aaronut, you are quite correct, I sometime confuse sour and bitter, (yes, they are very different but I will get the wrong name for them, which is odd because I quite like sour and detest bitter...) Of course, even though the salt will not "block" the sour, the electrophoresis of the salt will still have the effect of enhancing the sweet. A little salt in this situation might still benefit the icing. (source: Good Eats: The Ballad of Salty and Sweet)
    – Cos Callis
    Dec 9, 2011 at 2:16

Based on your recipe, I would add between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup more confectioner's sugar.

Also, your recipe may match better with a sweeter cupcake.

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