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Creamy, rich, and tangy, this cream cheese frosting is the perfect recipe to add to cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. The best cream cheese frosting recipe, it’s just the right thing to top any dessert you are making from scratch.
Always a crowd-favorite frosting, cream cheese frosting is an easy recipe made with just 6 simple ingredients. Use this tangy cream cheese frosting as a topping for all of your favorite baked confections.
Nothing says “I love you” quite like home-baked goods. The tangy cream cheese flavor is the perfect balance of flavors and just the right thing to frost all kinds of treats from carrot cake to red velvet cookies.
Cakes, cupcakes, and cookies are all better when they are smothered in creamy, delicious frosting. This simple recipe shows you how easy it is to make your own delicious frosting that is the perfect texture for all of your homemade confections.
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
- Cream cheese
- Butter - unsalted butter
- Sugar - powdered sugar
- Cream - heavy cream
- Vanilla extract
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. Just be sure to use full-fat cream cheese in the block for this easy recipe to get the right taste and consistency.
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.
We like to pipe the frosting for our cupcakes. To do so, you can place a large piping tip, such as 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.
How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
FIRST STEP: 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.
SECOND STEP: 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.
THIRD STEP: Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt to the butter and cream cheese and beat until fully incorporated.
FOURTH STEP: 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.
How do I prevent lumps in my frosting?
Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature, so you don’t end up with lumps in your creamy frosting. We also 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 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. This classic cream cheese frosting can also be kept in the fridge for up to three days.
How do I get the best appearance for my frosting?
Be sure that your cupcakes are completely cool before frosting them, or your frosting will just melt right off the top of your cupcakes.
How to Store Cream Cheese Frosting
IN THE FRIDGE: You can store this frosting for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 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. 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. Defrost in the refrigerator before using.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 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
- 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.