Best Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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Meet cream cheese frosting, the tangy twist that buttercream wishes it had! Unlike plain buttercream, this guy boasts an extra oomph of richness and depth of flavor that’s been winning my heart for decades, ever since I was still a little kid. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

Back in my fifth birthday bash, buttercream was my ultimate favorite then, but the store was all out. My mom decided to get a cake with cream cheese frosting instead. Tears flowed at first, but one bite later, my frosting loyalties did a complete 180!

Why It Stole Our Hearts

  • Cream cheese swoops in with its tangy charm, waltzing with sugar and other ingredients to create a smooth, creamy frosting masterpiece that leaves your taste buds in pure bliss. No overly sugary disappointments here!
  • This dynamic duo is a match made in dessert heaven for brownies, layer cakes, quick breads, and even sugar cookie cakes. They easily slice through the sweetness of carrot cake cupcakes to add a spicy note to the mix. Even plain vanilla cakes get a deep makeover thanks to this tangy sensation.
  • This icing is the blank canvas for your creativity to run wild! A chocolate mood strikes? Enter the stage – chocolate cream cheese frosting. Imagine the rich chocolate-y goodness brought to life by unsweetened cocoa powder or melted chocolate. A dream come true indeed! Feel free to experiment with other ingredients, like berries or citrus fruits.
Cream Cheese Frosting complete

How To Make Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredient
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredient

Step 1. Beat The Butter And Cream Cheese Together

Time to get the mixer grooving! Toss your butter and cream cheese into the bowl and let the electric beats work their magic for about 3 minutes. Keep an eye out and use a spatula to make sure every nook and cranny of the bowl gets in on the creamy party.

Cream Cheese Frosting step 1 2

Step 2. Beat In Powdered Sugar And Vanilla Extract

Now, let’s jazz it up with some vanilla vibes! Add about 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract to the mix.

Start slow, dumping in 3 cups of powdered sugar while your mixer is working its charm. Take a moment to scrape down the sides, then turn up the tempo to medium. Let them mix until everything blends nicely! 

And what if your sweet tooth craves more? Throw in a dash of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until your cream cheese icing hits the perfect balance of thickness and sweetness. 

Step 3. Pipe Or Spread The Frosting For Decoration 

What are you waiting for? Bring out your inner frosting Picasso! Take a spatula or butter knife to spread your homemade cream cheese frosting all over the cake. 

Feeling a bit fancy? Then, grab a piping bag, load it up with frosting, and let your decorating skills run wild.

why you love Cream Cheese Frosting


  • Go for the full-fat brick cream cheese instead of the spreadable or low-fat kind. It’s all about that sturdy brick form!
  • I usually go for unsalted butter and throw in a pinch of salt to take full control of the flavor. But hey, if all you’ve got is salted butter, just skip the extra salt in your recipe; it’s all good!
  • Soften your butter and cream cheese before getting them into the frosting mix. Soft ingredients are the secret to a smoother, lump-free blend!
  • Got plans for some fancy piping? Give your powdered sugar a quick sift before it joins the butter and cream cheese. No one wants sugar lumps to crash the piping party, especially if you’re using small, delicate tips! 


Can I still use low-fat cream cheese?

It works, but the frosting will be less rich and tangy. Trust me, full-fat is still the best! 

Can I add other flavors to my fruity cream cheese frosting?

Absolutely! Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or citrus extracts like lemon or orange are super popular choices.

How do I store leftover cream cheese frosting?

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Let it soften slightly before using it again.

My frosting tastes too sweet; how do I fix it?

Add a little more cream cheese or a touch of lemon juice to reach that tangy counterpoint.

Now, go ahead and enjoy your perfect homemade frosting!

More Unique Frosting Recipes:

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting takes a different route than your usual thick buttercream, each bite an explosion of tangy-sweet delight. Your perfect decorating spread is just 10 minutes away!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Frosting
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 18
Calories: 256kcal
Author: Brenda Maher


  • ¾ cup (172.5g) butter at room temperature
  • 12 ounces (1.5 packages, 336g) of room-temperature cream cheese (not low-fat)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 ½ cups (360 to 540g) sifted powdered sugar or salt


  • Beat butter and cream cheese together for 3 minutes until creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar (or salt) and vanilla extract gradually, adjusting sweetness and thickness along the way.
  • Spread or pipe your fluffy frosting.


  • Opt for full-fat brick cream cheese for a sturdier consistency.
  • Choose unsalted butter, then add salt for flavor. If you use salted butter, cut down the extra salt.
  • Soften butter and cream cheese first for a smooth and lump-free blend.
  • Decorative piping tips: sift powdered sugar before piping to avoid sugar lumps.


Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.5g | Protein: 3.4g | Fat: 17.8g | Saturated Fat: 11.2g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 62mg | Sugar: 17.1g | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @cakegirls or tag #cakegirls!

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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

1 thought on “Best Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe”

  1. This is the first time I’ve ever seen these ingredients as a recipe. I’m 64 and my mother and grandmother told us the ingredients and the girls made the frosting for the cakes. 😙

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