Cupcakes/ Frostings & Sauces

Cream Cheese Frosting

February 8, 2018

Creamy, fluffy and rich, this melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese frosting is perfect for piping. It has a slight tang, which makes it not overly sweet.

Cream Cheese Frosting

My favorite frosting and the one I use the most is cream cheese buttercream frosting. 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. Cream cheese frosting is delicious with cupcakes, cakes such as banana, carrot, or red velvet cake, and cinnamon rolls.

Use Block Cream Cheese

I use block Philadelphia cream cheese. I tried using cream cheese spread cof different brands and it didn’t work well. The frosting was too thin no matter how much sugar I added.

Sift the Sugar

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

Cream Cheese Frosting

Use This Frosting for:

5 from 6 votes
Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
YIELD: 3 cups
This recipe is 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. Multiply the recipe by 1.5 for a layer cake.

  • 8 oz. (225 g) block cream cheese (not spread), softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (350 g) 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 🙂

    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 🙂 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, can’t wait to try it. Can this frosting be colored?

    • Reply
      March 16, 2020 at 11:58 am

      Yes 🙂

  • 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, “your cream cheese frosting is so much better, Mom!” Lol
    It’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 🙂

  • 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. I’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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