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Cream Cheese Frosting

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a close up of Cream Cheese Frosting on a cupcake
This tangy cream cheese frosting is the perfect recipe to add to all of your favorite baked confections.
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Table of Contents
  1. Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Cream cheese frosting is creamy, rich, tangy, and perfect on top of cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. This simple recipe shows you how easy it is to make your own delicious topping that is the perfect texture for all of your delightfully delicious confections.

a close up of Cream Cheese Frosting on a cupcake

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

Cream Cheese Frosting raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 8-ounce block cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CREAM CHEESE: Be sure to use full-fat cream cheese in the block for this easy recipe. You do not want to use the spreadable cream cheese in a tub or fat-free cream cheese as they will give you a looser frosting that is not the intended taste or the right consistency. 

How to Make This Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

The beauty of this easy cream cheese frosting is that you can make it in advance and store it in the freezer until the day you are ready to use it.

STEP ONE: Add the room-temperature cream cheese block and unsalted butter to a medium-sized mixing bowl.

STEP TWO: Using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat together the cream cheese and room temperature butter for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.

PRO TIP:

Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature, so you don’t end up with lumps in your creamy frosting.

STEP THREE: Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt to the butter and cream cheese and beat until fully incorporated.

heavy cream, vanilla, and salt blended together in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Add the sifted powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, to the cream cheese mixture and beat on low speed. Continue to add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, until all the powdered sugar has been added and your cream cheese frosting is thick and smooth.

PRO TIP:

If your frosting is a little too loose for your preference, you can add additional powdered sugar, starting with just a ¼ cup at a time until you reach your desired thickness. If it is too stiff, you can loosen it up by adding a little extra heavy cream to it. Start with just a splash (about 1 teaspoon), then mix it, and if that does not get you to your desired consistency, you can add an additional teaspoon.

powdered sugar added to the heavy cream mixture and then blended together in a bowl

How To Serve

There is nothing quite as delicious as a fluffy cream cheese frosting, and it’s the perfect complement to your favorite cupcakes and cakes. Make this frosting to top our carrot cake cupcakes or pumpkin cookies before serving.

PRO TIP:

I like to pipe my frosting for my cupcakes. To do so, you can place a large piping tip (I like to use a Wilton 2A tip) into a large piping bag, or a heavy-duty zip-top bag with a corner snipped off of it, then transfer the cream cheese frosting into the piping bag. The cream cheese frosting pipes a little easier if you allow it to firm up just a little bit by placing it in the fridge for about 15 to 20 minutes before decorating your cupcakes. Be sure that your cupcakes are completely cool before frosting them, or your frosting will just melt right off the top of your cupcakes.

Our strawberry cream cheese frosting is a variation on this creamy recipe, while our Cool Whip frosting is a lighter and fluffier alternative.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: You will not want any frosted baked goods to stay at room temperature for more than 1 to 2 hours due to the cream cheese in the frosting. You can store this frosting for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I would allow the frosting to come back to room temperature after being in the refrigerator to make the cream cheese frosting more enjoyable. 

IN THE FREEZER: Freeze the homemade frosting for up to 1 month until you are ready to use it on top of cakes or cupcakes.

a close up of Cream Cheese Frosting on a cupcake and on a plate with a piping bag

Nothing says “I love you” quite like home-baked goods, smothered in creamy, delicious frosting. The tangy cream cheese flavor is the perfect balance of flavors and just the right thing to top any dessert you are making from scratch.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make this basic cream cheese frosting ahead of time?

This homemade cream cheese frosting freezes really well and can be kept in the freezer for up to one month, ready to use when you are.

Can I use low-fat cream cheese

We would recommend sticking with full-fat cream cheese for this recipe. A low-fat or fat-free version will not give you the creamy and thick consistency you want.

Can I save leftover frosting?

This classic cream cheese frosting can be kept in the fridge for up to three days or up to a month in the freezer.

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a close up of Cream Cheese Frosting on a cupcake

Cream Cheese Frosting

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This tangy cream cheese frosting is the perfect recipe to add to all of your favorite baked confections.
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Servings 24

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • You can make your frosting by adding the room-temperature cream cheese block and the room temperature unsalted butter to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • Using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat together the cream cheese and unsalted butter for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
  • Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt to the butter and cream cheese and beat until fully incorporated.
  • Add the sifted powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, to the cream cheese mixture and beat on low speed. Continue to add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, until all the powdered sugar has been added and your cream cheese frosting is thick and smooth.

Notes

  • If your frosting is a little too loose for your preference, then you can add additional powdered sugar, but I would start with just a ¼ cup at a time until you reach your desired thickness. If it is too stiff, you can loosen it up by adding a little extra heavy cream to it. I would start with just a splash (about 1 teaspoon), then mix it, and if that does not get you to your desired consistency, you can add an additional teaspoon.
  • The beauty of this easy cream cheese frosting is that you can make it in advance and store it in the freezer until the day you are ready to use it.
  • Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature, so you don’t end up with lumps in your creamy frosting.
  • If your frosting is a little too loose for your preference, you can add additional powdered sugar, starting with just a ¼ cup at a time until you reach your desired thickness. If it is too stiff, you can loosen it up by adding a little extra heavy cream to it. Start with just a splash (about 1 teaspoon), then mix it, and if that does not get you to your desired consistency, you can add an additional teaspoon.
  • I like to pipe my frosting for my cupcakes. To do so, you can place a large piping tip (I like to use a Wilton 2A tip) into a large piping bag, or a heavy-duty zip-top bag with a corner snipped off of it, then transfer the cream cheese frosting into the piping bag. The cream cheese frosting pipes a little easier if you allow it to firm up just a little bit by placing it in the fridge for about 15 to 20 minutes before decorating your cupcakes. Be sure that your cupcakes are completely cool before frosting them, or your frosting will just melt right off the top of your cupcakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 29mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 142IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
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