Strawberry Cream Cheese Spread for Tea Sandwiches and So Much More
This is one of our “legacy” recipes for Sisters Tea Parlor and was a staple on our tea trays from the very beginning. The tea sandwiches made from this spread had two different names over the years—Princess Tea Sandwiches and Sisterhood Tea Sandwiches. Some sweetly referred to them as “the little pink ones.” Whatever you call this, call it delicious. Better yet, call this recipe versatile. This lovely spread is slightly sweet, naturally pink and a little tangy. It works beautifully as a sandwich or bagel spread, dip for fruit or cookies and even makes a great, not-too-sweet filling or frosting for cakes. Add this recipe to your collection. It’s incredibly simple to make and will serve you well through the years. I know it has for me.Anything made with this Strawberry Cream Cheese Spread pairs well with many of the teas we sell in our Virtual Boutique and Tea Shop at Sisters Tea Company. Some of my favorite recommendations are: Cream Earl Grey Black Tea, Wild Cherry Rose Black Tea, Island Strawberry Green Tea, Lemon Meringue Green Tea, and for naturally caffeine-free options Lady Hannah Fruit and Herb Tisane and Wild Strawberry Fruit and Herb Tisane.
- stand mixer or hand mixer
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash salt
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. This will take about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the sliced strawberries and mix on medium speed until the berries are beaten into the cream cheese. The mixture will have become pink from the crushed strawberries. There will be small bits of the strawberries remaining.
- Add the vanilla extract and the dash of salt; mix well into the mixture.
- On low speed, slowly add the confectioners' sugar and continue mixing until the sugar is completely mixed in.
- Taste test and add more sugar if needed. If using spread as a filling for a cake or cupcakes, add up to an additional 1/4 cup of confectioners' sugar. This will make the spread a little firmer.
- Transfer the spread to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. This spread may also be frozen up to one month. Thaw overnight in refrigerator.
This recipe is such a favorite around my house. My daughter eats it straight out of bowl before she digs into it with a pretzel chip. My bagel-loving son likes it on his toasted plain bagels (and, believe me, this spread is so much better than the pre-packaged strawberry flavored cream cheese spreads you buy at the grocery). It makes the most beautiful—and tasty—tea sandwiches and this slightly sweet, naturally pink spread also makes a great filling for cakes and cupcakes. It’s such a versatile recipe, which is one reason I love it so much. Strawberry Cream Cheese Spread is really easy to make using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. This spread can be made by hand, but it’s much easier and faster if you use an electric mixer. If you do choose to prepare this spread by hand, make sure the cream cheese has been softened and crush the berries before adding to the mixing bowl, juices and all. To start, in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese by itself until it is smooth and creamy. This will take about 4-5 minutes on medium speed. I have found that if the cream cheese still has a little chill to it when I start beating the beating process then I find little lumps of cream cheese in the finished spread. Not a terrible thing, just not as pretty as it might be otherwise. Once the cream cheese is smooth and lighter in texture, add in the sliced strawberries. I think it’s best when it’s made with fresh strawberries, but thawed frozen strawberries work, too. If using frozen strawberries, I would suggest letting them thaw in a colander set in a bowl to catch the liquid. This will release some of the moisture in the frozen berries and help prevent the spread from becoming too thin. Whether you are using fresh or frozen, the berries should be sliced or chopped. This will help break them down into the cream cheese. As the cream cheese and strawberries are blended together, the mixture will begin to turn a beautiful pink color. No artificial dyes needed to achieve that lovely color. If you are planning a tea party, I highly recommend making tea sandwiches filled with this strawberry spread and our Benedictine–separately of course. Made on white bread with the crusts trimmed, a bright pink Strawberry Cream Cheese Tea Sandwich situated on a tea plate next to a Benedictine Tea Sandwich with its soft green cucumber scented filling is quite stunning. Once the strawberries are blended well into the cream cheese and there are just bits of berries remaining, add the vanilla extract and the dash of salt. These flavorings will accent the flavor of the strawberries and cream cheese. A dash of salt is always a good idea when preparing anything with a sweet flavor to it. A dash of salt is not enough to overpower the sweet, it just gives the finished dish a better balance of flavor. Next, slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar and mix on a low speed until everything is incorporated. Because strawberries can differ in natural sugar levels and sweetness, taste test the mixture. Add sugar, if desired, if the strawberries are not very sweet. If you plan to use this spread to fill a cake or cupcakes add an additional ¼ cup of confectioners’ sugar to make a firmer spread. To make a mousse-like frosting or filling, whip one cup of heavy whipping cream and fold into one cup of Strawberry Cream Cheese Spread. Divine! Once the spread is complete, I think it’s best to allow it to chill for an hour or two. This allows the cream cheese to set and the flavors to mingle. Mind you, this will not be a firm spread, in fact, it’s rather soft thanks to the natural moisture in the strawberries. Giving the spread time to “cure” actually allows the cream cheese component a change to re-solidify some. This step, however, is optional. To prepare tea sandwiches, trim the crusts from an even amount of white bread slices. Generously spread a layer of the Strawberry Cream Cheese onto half the slices of bread. Top with the remaining slices. Cut each sandwich into four sections, either into triangle or rectangle shapes. For easier cutting, cover the whole sandwiches with a clean tea towel or paper towel and set in freezer for about 20 minutes. Then, using a sharp bread knife, cut the sandwiches into smaller tea sandwiches. In addition to tea sandwiches, this delicious spread makes a beautiful fresh dip for sweet fruit, salty pretzels and even graham crackers. Store spread in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. This spread may also be frozen safely for up to one month. If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Storage Tips: To prepare tea sandwiches ahead of time, follow these instructions. Fold a piece of parchment paper twice the size of your storage container in half. Place a dampened, not wet, paper towel in between the two halves of the parchment paper; place in the bottom of the container. Lay the tea sandwiches on top of the parchment paper. Make a second set of parchment paper/damp paper towel/parchment paper to layer on top of the tea sandwiches. The damp paper towel will add moisture to the storage container to keep the bread moist, while the parchment paper will protect the bread from getting soggy. Tea sandwiches will keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to three days and in the freezer for up to one month. If frozen, simply transfer container from freezer to refrigerator and allow sandwiches to thaw for 24 hours before serving. I invite you to visit our Virtual Boutique and Tea Shop at Sisters Tea Company
You’ll find a wide variety of luxury loose leaf teas, tea accessories and more!
You’ll find a wide variety of luxury loose leaf teas, tea accessories and more!