Cupcakes/ Frostings & Sauces

Cream Cheese Frosting

July 2, 2022

Creamy, fluffy and rich, this melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese frosting is perfect for topping cakes and cupcakes with. It’s not overly sweet and has a satiny-smooth texture you’re going to love. Learn how to make cream cheese frosting absolutely perfect!

Cream Cheese Frosting

My favorite frosting and the one I use the most is cream cheese buttercream frosting. Just like my white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, this frosting is fluffy and rich, without being too heavy.

Homemade frosting is the best and it’s easy to make. I’ve tested this frosting with different amounts of butter, cream cheese, and sugar, and this recipe is perfect for piping and holds its shape well, so you can use it for cupcakes and layer cakes, like red velvet cupcakes and carrot layer cake.

How to make cream cheese frosting

If you ever wondered how to make cream cheese frosting, it’s incredibly easier! Here’s how to do it:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a handheld mixer), beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt, and beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then on high speed for 1-2 minutes until smooth and fluffy (Note: If you want a thicker frosting, feel free to add more powdered sugar).

Tips for making easy cream cheese frosting

Use full-fat, block cream cheese. Cream cheese that comes in the plastic containers doesn’t work well for frosting – it doesn’t hold it’s shape and your frosting will be runny. Also, full fat cream cheese helps stabilize the cream cheese so it holds it’s shape (and of course, tastes better).

Sift the powdered sugar. For a smooth, velvety frosting, make sure you sift the sugar so it’s not lumpy and easily absorbs into the frosting.

For extra fluffy frosting, replace the paddle attachment with the whisk and beat the frosting for 1 minute. This will give it a whipped, fluffy consistency.

What cakes and cupcakes can I top with cream cheese frosting?

You can substitute cream cheese frosting for chocolate buttercream or vanilla buttercream whenever you feel like switching things up. But here are some of my favorite recipes to top with cream cheese frosting:

Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 6 votes
Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
YIELD: 3 cups

Fluffy and velvety smooth, this cream cheese frosting is absolutely perfect for cakes and cupcakes. This recipe makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes generously or 20 cupcakes if you cover them with a thinner layer. It's enough to frost a sheet cake or large round cake. For a layer cake, multiply the recipe by 1.5.

  • 8 oz. (225g) block cream cheese (not spread), softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (350g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt, and beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then on high speed for 1-2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. If you want a thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar.
  2. Frosting can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Before using, bring to room temperature and whisk by hand for a few seconds until satiny and smooth.
Best cream cheese frosting, perfect for piping

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  • Reply
    January 27, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    I love this one! It goes so well with the vanilla cupcakes!
    It’s the taste I’ve always wanted to achieve ๐Ÿ™‚

    Shiran, could you do a post on tips about frosting?
    I’ve never really baked until I found your blog so I don’t know anything about it,
    so when it says “desired consistency” or “thick enough to pipe” I’m actually not sure what consistency that is.
    Hence the taste was always great, but it never turns out pretty because I don’t know what consistency is ideal for pretty piping!

    Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      January 29, 2018 at 4:45 am

      Hi Miri ๐Ÿ™‚ I know that it can be difficult to understand sometimes. I’m in the process of doing videos to some of my recipes, so make sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Hopefully it would help!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    This was a great frosting recipe! Thank you.

  • Reply
    July 11, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    When you say powdered sugar is this icing sugar?

    • Reply
      July 17, 2019 at 2:53 am


  • Reply
    August 16, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    I used this recipe to go with your Whoopi pie, and it is now a family favourite! I used to love baking, but this recipe multiplied my love of baking by a million!

  • Reply
    November 21, 2019 at 7:32 am

    Hi Shiran! Thank you so much for sharing your delicious recipes. I have been struggling to find a good frosting recipe for my cupcakes and layers cakes as, despite being half french, hate the taste of buttercream. Unfortunately in Portugal we can’t find philadelphia cheese creme in block (only spread) :/ Any ideas on how I could overcome this issue? Many thanks! Xx

    • Reply
      November 24, 2019 at 3:14 am

      Hi Emma! Unfortunately you need the block style cream cheese to make it work, otherwise the frosting would be too soft. You can use the Philadelphia spread for a softer version, and top the cupcakes with a thin layer. This would also work if you want to top a one-layer cake.

      • Reply
        Donna Gentry
        May 15, 2020 at 8:35 pm

        Used this frosting on your vanilla cupcake recipe. I’m a home baker so always looking for new recipes. Absolutely delicious. I just added a strawberry to the top of each cupcake.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2020 at 6:10 am

    Great recipe, canโ€™t wait to try it. Can this frosting be colored?

    • Reply
      March 16, 2020 at 11:58 am

      Yes ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    June 10, 2020 at 5:12 am

    Hi. Can I make this frosting using a hand mixer? Thanks

    • Reply
      June 11, 2020 at 2:01 am


  • Reply
    August 17, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    My go-to recipe for cream cheese frosting. My girls compare all other frostings to this one and prefer this one to many others that they have eaten, often saying loudly at events/restaurants, โ€œyour cream cheese frosting is so much better, Mom!โ€ Lol
    Itโ€™s easy to make, not too sweet, and perfect for frosting cupcakes or cakes. Thank you for this delicious recipe, Shiran!
    PS My older daughter also enjoys this frosting spread on her waffles with fresh blueberries.

    • Reply
      August 20, 2020 at 5:28 am

      Thank you so much, Diana! I’m so glad your family loves it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    April 7, 2021 at 2:03 am

    Hi Shiran, your photos and videos are really nice. Just wondering what was the lens you used for the video on your canon 70D?

    • Reply
      April 20, 2021 at 2:24 pm

      Hi Ayantha, here is a link to all of the lenses I own and love. But recently I have been using mostly the 50mm f/1.2L.

  • Reply
    Erica Beggs
    July 26, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    My son requested an orange cake for his birthday. Iโ€™m planning to make your cream cheese frosting to go with it. Can I add orange zest or orange extract in the icing, or is it better to leave it as is?

    • Reply
      Talia @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet.
      August 4, 2021 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Erica, you can definitely add some orange zest into the icing if your son likes orange! It will enhance the orange flavor significantly but I think it would taste great!

  • Reply
    Erica Beggs
    July 26, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    And, so excited to try the orange cake recipe, too!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    I needed to put together a dessert at the last minute and made a “tweaked” box red velvet, but alas…I only had chocolate icing on hand. But then I realized I probably had everything on had to make creme cheese icing. This is now my “go-to” recipe for icing. Easy and yummy!! Thanks!

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