Cupcake Frosting Recipe

The perfect cupcake frosting. Easy and so much better than store-bought!

This whipped cream and cream cheese frosting is a perfect cupcake frosting! I doubled the recipe and (generously) piped it onto 45 cupcakes for my sisters baby shower with some left over. Click here for the recipe to perfect vanilla cupcakes. It would also work for a cake. You can’t really go wrong with this list of ingredients.

Flashback: as a child, I used to hide in the pantry and sneak spoonfuls of canned frosting [gross]; there’s something about the store-bought one that was just terribly addictive. Maybe all those fabulous chemicals? Well, take that addictive trait (-) chemicals (x) 1000 and you get this frosting. Oh and it stays put pretty well in the fridge for, well, mine has been in there a week and I’ll go poke my finger in it.

Be right back……… ok that’s just ridiculous. It’s still good! P.S. Use a higher quality cream cheese like Philadelphia and you’ll have a smoother frosting.

Ingredients for Perfect Cupcake Frosting:

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened at room temp
1 1/2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
1 1/2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

How to Make the Cupcake Frosting:

Cooks Tip: For best results with whipped cream, freeze your mixing bowl and whisk attachment 10-15 minutes before using. Also keep the heavy whipping cream refrigerated until ready to use.

1. Whip the cream on high speed in your stand mixer (1-2 minutes) until thick, fluffy and spreadable.

2. In a second mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar (start on low speed unless you want to be standing in a cloud of powdered sugar), then beat in 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

Cupcake Frosting Recipe

3. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mix.

Cupcake Frosting Recipe-1

That’s it! just three steps and you’ve nailed it! Keep it covered in the fridge until ready to use on these perfect vanilla cupcakes (or any cupcakes really!).

This recipe was adapted from a recipe that my sister shared with me. She received it from my other sister, who received it from a gal in our church; Tanya. It may have experienced a case of broken telephone along the way so I’m not sure how close it is to the original recipe, but it turned out great!

The perfect cupcake frosting. Easy and so much better than store-bought!

Cupcake Frosting Recipe

4.9 from 57 reviews
Prep time:
Total time:
Our go-to cupcake frosting recipe. This one always gets rave reviews and doubles as a perfect cake frosting!!
Author:
Skill Level: Easy
Cost To Make: $4
Serving: frosts 20-25 cupcakes or 1 cake

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1½ cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • 1½ cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Cooks Tip: For best results with whipped cream, freeze your mixing bowl and whisk attachment 10-15 minutes before using. Also keep the heavy whipping cream refrigerated until ready to use.

  1. Whip the cream on high speed (1-2 minutes) until thick, fluffy and spreadable.
  2. In a second mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar (start on low speed unless you want to be standing in a cloud of powdered sugar), then beat in ½ tsp vanilla extract
  3. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mix. Keep it covered in the fridge until ready to use on these cupcakes.

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  • Katya
    September 16, 2017

    Hi Natasha. I was wondering of i can use cool whip instead of heavy whipping cream to make this frosting? 16 oz? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 17, 2017

      Hi Katya, I haven’t tried that in this particular recipe. I imagine it would work though. Keep in mind cool whip is quite a bit sweeter so add it to taste. Reply

      • Katya
        September 17, 2017

        I did go with 16 oz cool whip. I reduced sugar to 1 cup only. The frosting held its shape beautifully even after a couple hours without refrigeration and it was not overly sweet. I will have to make it with heavy whipping cream to see the difference next time. Can you taste cream cheese when you make it? Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          September 18, 2017

          Hi Katya, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! The cream cheese balances the frosting well but should not overwhelm the frosting. Reply

  • Delene Holmes
    September 16, 2017

    Tried your cupcakes today and they are just divine. Thank you got such an easy recipe.
    Delene from Johannesburg Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 16, 2017

      You’re welcome Delene! I’m glad you love the recipe as much as I do! Thanks for sharing your excellent review! Reply

  • Vi Strong
    July 26, 2017

    I’m elicited to try the perfect vanilla cupcakes and frosting.
    In the frosting the powdered sugar and whipping cream calls for 1.5 cups. Is that 1 and1/2 cups?
    Thank you. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 26, 2017

      Hi Vi, yes that is correct. I updated the recipe to read a little more clearly with 1 1/2 cups instead of 1.5. Reply

  • Beth
    June 15, 2017

    can I add food coloring to tint the frosting and will it change the consistency? I have both liquid coloring and paste…. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 15, 2017

      Hi Beth, you can but I would suggest using a gel food coloring and adding a small amount at a time so you don’t change the consistency. Reply

  • Ginni
    May 31, 2017

    Hi!! I made this frosting tonight to practice the rose cupcakes, its taste amazing however mine came out a little runny and my roses didnt look that good, any ideas on what I should do to thicken it a bit? I just love the taste and really wanted to use this recipe for Saturday.
    Thank you
    Ginni Reply

    • Ginni
      May 31, 2017

      I also wanted to add, after reading other reviews, I used heavy whipping cream, froze my bowl, and made the cream cheese mixture in a separate bowl then folded the whipping cream in, I absolutely love the taste!! Just wish it didnt turn runny 🙁 Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        May 31, 2017

        Oh ok, got it! Sorry I didn’t see this reply when I answered. I hope the softening tip and using Heavy whipping cream tip helps! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 31, 2017

      Hi Ginni, I have found that for best results, the cream cheese should be softened at room temperature (not speed softened in the oven or microwave) and the cream must be HEAVY cream and beat until it is stiff and spreadable. If the cream is under-whipped, it will be a softer frosting. Reply

      • Ginni
        June 1, 2017

        Thank you so much for responding!! I will try it again!! Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          June 1, 2017

          My pleasure Ginni! Reply

  • Alexa
    May 30, 2017

    I would like to make this frosting for a work event and I am wondering if it will hold up in the car ride and sitting out for maybe an hour or two.
    Other frostings I’ve made with cream cheese get melty if they’re not keep refrigerated.
    THANK YOU! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 30, 2017

      Hi Alexa, I think they would keep well in an air conditioned car for 1-2 hours as long as they are not in the sun. The sun will make them get melty much quicker. Reply

  • Sherry Sulisz
    May 22, 2017

    Hello – just a couple of questions about this frosting recipe. When mixing the heavy whipping cream, I’ve read about adding cream of tartar – what are your thoughts on this? Also, you just fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, but you don’t beat them together, correct? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 22, 2017

      Hi Sherry, that is correct, I just fold them together. I haven’t tried adding cream of tartar to whipping cream. I usually use it to stabilize meringue. Now I’m curious and I’m off to do some research! 🙂 Reply

      • Sherry Sulisz
        May 22, 2017

        Ha ha! Ok, would love to know what you find out! Thanks! Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          May 22, 2017

          Hi Sherry, so far, I’m not finding much. I did read that it adds unwanted flavor I think it was on cooks illustrated or someplace so I’m not sure… Reply

          • Tabitha
            May 24, 2017

            Would this be a good frosting to use instead of like buttercream to make roses on a cake?

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            May 24, 2017

            Hi Tabitha, I have used this to pipe roses and it does work well.

  • Kiran
    May 9, 2017

    Hi Natasha,
    The last line of the recipe says ‘keep it covered in the refrigerate until ready to use’, so can I prepare the night before and keep it in fridge so that I can frost the cupcakes the next morning?
    Should I whip/beat the frosting again just before using ?
    How many mini cupcakes we frost with this recipe ?

    Thank you,
    Kiran Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 10, 2017

      Hi Kiran, you can rewhip to lighten it up if desired. I think this pipes the prettiest when you pipe it after it is made. You can also pipe the cupcakes with frosting then refrigerate those overnight and they keep really well frosted. Reply

      • Kiran
        May 10, 2017

        Natasha,
        How many mini cupcakes will this recipe frost?
        I only have space in my freezer, would it be ok to frost the cupckes and freeze them ?
        I am not sure how to thaw them on the day of the event. Please advise.

        Thank you,
        Kiran Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          May 10, 2017

          Hi Kiran, I haven’t tried that but I think it would work to pipe the cream on and freeze them. If you don’t have a container for them, once they are frozen, I would cover them so they don’t absorb other food smells from the freezer. Let them thaw at room temperature for an hour or so or let them thaw in the fridge overnight (if you have room). Let me know how it goes! Reply

          • Kiran
            May 11, 2017

            Thank you Natasha!
            Will let you know how it goes.

          • Natasha's Kitchen
            May 11, 2017

            My pleasure! Please do 🙂

          • Kiran
            May 14, 2017

            Hey Natasha,
            I made best vanilla cupcakes and this yummy frosting for my son’s birthday and it was a bit hit.
            Everyone loved them.
            I frosted the cupcakes in a cupcake container and kept them in the freezer .
            I took them out 2 hours before the party and they were perfect .
            I can’t Thank you enough for all the suggestions 🙂

            Kiran

          • Natasha's Kitchen
            May 15, 2017

            That’s great to hear! Thanks for sharing Kiran 😀

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