cream cheese frosting on wire whisk with text overlay

Homemade cream cheese frosting is creamy, fluffy and perfectly tangy. It’s an easy frosting (only 4 ingredients) to make for cake and cupcakes. Made in one bowl in under 10 minutes.

I’m a little obsessed with this thing called CREAM CHEESE FROSTING!!

Yeah. I know, I’m a little late to the game, but I just figured I didn’t like cream cheese frosting. Just like I thought I didn’t like cheesecake when I was younger because it had the word “cheese” and I’m not a huge cheese fan.

Homemade cream cheese frosting is an essential recipe for a baker! It pairs well with so many cakes and cupcakes – further down in the post I’ll be sharing all my recommendations.

This cream cheese frosting recipe is incredibly easy to make and most likely you have all the ingredients on hand already.

cream cheese frosting being spread onto a cake

ingredients to make cream cheese frosting on white metal tray with text overlay

What is Cream Cheese Frosting?

It’s a type of frosting that calls for creaming butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar together to make a tangy frosting. Cream cheese frosting and carrot cake is a traditional combination.

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe makes enough frosting to frost a 9×13 inch cake, a two layer 8 inch cake or 24 cupcakes.

  1. Place room temperature unsalted butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl.
  2. Use an electric mixer on medium and beat together for 1-2 minutes, until whipped and fluffy.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract and powdered sugar, beat again on low for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until everything is incorporated.
  4. If the frosting is too thick, add a splash of milk or heavy cream, beat until creamy.

how to make cream cheese frosting collage

Does Cream Cheese Frosting Need to Be Refrigerated? How Long Does It Keep?

Cream cheese frosting on cake or cupcakes can be left at room temperature for up to 8 hours. Beyond that, it is recommended that it be refrigerated.

You can make the frosting ahead of time and store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week. The frosting will thicken in the fridge because it’s cold. Before using, place the frosting on the counter and allow it to come to room temperature. Give it a quick whip with an electric mixer before using.

close up of cream cheese frosting

Troubleshooting Cream Cheese Frosting

Why is cream cheese frosting runny?

This could be because the frosting was over whipped. To fix, add more powdered sugar, however this can push the frosting to the sweeter side.

Why is cream cheese frosting lumpy?

The frosting can be lumpy if the cream cheese or butter were cold when you mixed the frosting together. If you are desperate, you can put the bowl of frosting in the microwave for 10 second intervals to soften the cold ingredients.

Be sure to use room temperature ingredients. A quick way to get cream cheese and butter to room temperature is to microwave them for 5 second intervals until soft.

Will cream cheese frosting harden?

This frosting will develop a crust over the surface but it will not harden completely.

Cake and Cupcakes to Pair with Cream Cheese Frosting

White Cupcakes
Lemon Cake
Doctored Up White Cake
Lemon Cupcakes
Strawberry Cake
Funfetti Cake

Cookies to Pair with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cut Out Sugar Cookies
Lemon Cookies
Coconut Cookies
Sugar Cookies Bars

cream cheese frosting in white bowl with metal knife in bowl


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Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 2-3 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Homemade cream cheese frosting is creamy, fluffy and perfectly tangy. It’s an easy frosting (only 4 ingredients) to make for cake and cupcakes. Made in one bowl in under 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz brick of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • optional: 1/8 tsp salt and dash of milk or heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Place room temperature unsalted butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer on medium and beat together for 1-2 minutes, until whipped and fluffy.
  2. Add in the vanilla extract and powdered sugar (and optional salt), beat again on low for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until everything is incorporated.
  3. If the frosting is too thick, add a splash of milk or heavy cream, beat until creamy.
  4. Use as frosting on cake and cupcakes. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

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