A simple recipe for cream cheese filling involves beating together 12 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract until the mixture is light and fluffy. Different extracts, such as vanilla and lemon, create variations of this basic filling recipe.
Cutting the cream cheese into cubes and heating it in the microwave for 20 seconds softens it for easy mixing. Cream cheese filling works well for stuffing strawberries, filling sweet rolls, and using as a filling for quick breads and muffins. It also makes a great dip for fruit or pretzels. Cover and refrigerate cream cheese filling for storage.
Substituting 4 tablespoons of softened butter for 4 ounces of the cream cheese makes a stiffer, richer filling. Adding an extra 1/2 cup of powdered sugar makes a stiffer, sweeter filling that is less likely to melt in warm weather. Stirring in up to 2 tablespoons of grated chocolate or sprinkles adds a festive touch. A decorating bag with a wide tip makes it easy to fill strawberries, muffins or cupcakes with cream cheese filling. Spreading cream cheese filling on a warm sheet cake and rolling it up makes a festive cake roll.