Cream Cheese Frosting is an American favorite when it comes to topping cakes and cupcakes.
Just a few ingredients come together to form a super sweet, smooth, and decadent frosting that pairs with just about any kind of cake. There are a few tips and tricks with the ingredients and mixing needed to make it perfect!
Cream Cheese Frosting is one of those things that I've been making my entire life but have never put the recipe on my blog... until now. I honestly don't think there's a more popular version of frosting out there.
For as long as I can remember, I honestly didn't even know other frosting recipes existed. Growing up, my options were either homemade cream cheese frosting or frosting from a can. It turns my stomach knowing I used to eat the frosting from a can when it is so easy to make it at home from scratch.
Now, this frosting is so much different than my super popular Buttercream Frosting recipe. That one uses a hot sugar syrup and an obscene amount of butter. It's not nearly as sweet as this frosting either. If you're planning on decorating a fancy cake, I would use the buttercream. If you're planning on just slathering it on and enjoying every last morsel of that sweet creaminess, then I would make this cream cheese frosting.
How to make this recipe:
- To achieve a super smooth frosting, there are a few things you'll need to do.
- First, you'll want to use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer. It's really hard to get super smooth and creamy frosting when mixing by hand.
- Second, you'll need to make sure that both your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature. If they're cold, your frosting will be lumpy.
- To mix your cream cheese frosting, you'll begin by fully mixing together your butter and cream cheese until it is a very smooth and fluffy mixture.
- Then all you need to do is add your vanilla and powdered sugar. I recommend adding the sugar in increments, fully mixing, and then adding more. You can adjust the amount of sugar you add based on desired taste and thickness.
This is easy cream cheese frosting.
Wanna know why? Because I took the guess work out of measuring.
If you buy a brick of cream cheese, that's 8 ounces.
If you use a cube of butter, that's 8 tablespoons.
Those two amounts are exactly what the recipe calls for, so no measuring required!
And if you cook like me and prefer to eyeball ingredient measurements rather than measure them to spare having to wash yet another dish, you can even guestimate the amount of powdered sugar you use based on sweetness and thickness.
- Crush up freeze dried fruit and mix it into your frosting. I did this with the blueberry cream cheese frosting pictured below, but have also done it with freeze dried mango, strawberries and raspberries.
- Create frosting with fall flavors by mixing in pure maple syrup, cinnamon, or pumpkin spice.
- Zest from lemons, limes, or oranges adds a fresh fruity citrus flavor to your cream cheese frosting.
- Spoon in some unsweetened cocoa powder to make chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Full Recipe Instructions
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 8 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Blend butter and cream cheese together on high speed in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape sides, add vanilla, and continue mixing for about another minute or so.
- Add sugar incrementally, blending slowly to combine and then on high speed to really mix.
- Makes enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes or a stacked 9-inch round cake.
Cream cheese frosting is my favourite type of frosting! I love it on carrot cake, especially. Thanks for this perfect recipe!
I have to confess I've never made this sort of frosting, but yours looks so easy!
I would happily eat this out of the bowl. So many great uses for it.
A classic that looks amazing! I'll try this on the carrrot cake I'm making, thanks for a timely recipe!
Lol, I love how you describe how many cream cheese frosting recipes there are out there!! Yes, so true. This looks GOOD, love it and now I want to eat cream cheese frosted cupcakes, thanks for the great tips and tricks!
Do you sit the confectioner's sugar? And if so, do you measure before or after sifting?
I don't bother sifting the sugar for this recipe.
Very very good, the only think i would add is: if you want a super duper smooth icing use 3 cups super 🙂
Hey Krissy, such a great recipe you had shared. Sometimes i thought why i couldn't be so creative while cooking. 🙁 Thanks for sharing this article. I didn't make it before. This cream cheese frosting is looking perfect. Your tips will help me to make that correctly. Keep sharing this type of recipes. 🙂