9 Things You Never Thought to Do with Cream Cheese Frosting

It's time to give this three-ingredient, ultra-versatile stalwart the love it deserves.

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

And None of Them Involve Carrot Cake

Rich and tangy, cream cheese frosting is buttercream's lustier, more worldly cousin. Though you'll typically find it slathered on red velvet or carrot cakes, it's able to stand up to bold flavors like bacon, and it can also play nice with the cinnamon and vanilla in bake-sale basics. Here are nine reasons you need more of this sweet-tart dynamo in your life.

Photography by Kate Mathis

Dessert Cheese Ball

Take this savory snack to the sweet side with a cheese ball made of cream cheese frosting rolled in toasted walnuts. Stiffen the mixture with extra cream cheese if necessary for shaping. Chill, and serve with vanilla wafers, gingersnaps, graham crackers or pretzel crisps for spreading.

Fried Dumplings

Fill pot sticker or dumpling wrappers with cream cheese frosting, fry them up and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar and accompanied by warm chocolate sauce for dipping.

Oatmeal

Stir a dollop of cream cheese frosting into your morning hot cereal and sprinkle with cinnamon for a low-guilt homage to a breakfast cinnamon bun.

Grilled Jam Sandwiches

Go cream cheese and jelly one better by pairing frosting with your favorite fruit spread and using sliced brioche instead of plain white bread. Swipe the outside of the bread with butter, and griddle until golden.

Fruit Tart

Sub in cream cheese frosting for lemon curd for a twist on the classic French pastry. Spread a baked tart shell with frosting and top with sliced fresh fruit — think peaches and blackberries, kiwi and blueberries or raspberries and mint.

Egg Sandwich

A schmear of cream cheese frosting (yes!) on a toasted roll is a sweet mate to salty bacon and fluffy scrambled eggs.

Doughnut Dip

Thin the frosting with a little milk if necessary and serve with cinnamon doughnut holes or churros for dunking.

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Ditch the mini marshmallows and top a split baked sweet potato with cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans, and call it what it is: dessert!

Chocolate Cake

For the same reason red velvet goes so well with cream cheese frosting (all that tannic cocoa), a rich, fudgy chocolate cake is a tasty — and striking — foil for the creamy topper.