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Cream Cheese Frosting (VIDEO)

This homemade Cream Cheese Frosting is fluffy and pipes beautifully. We’re sharing our tips for a perfectly thick and whipped frosting. Watch the video tutorial and see how easy it is.

Cream Cheese Frosting on serving spoon

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We love this Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe on cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. It’s especially good on Red Velvet Cake and Pumpkin Cake. If you’ve been looking for that perfect and versatile frosting recipe, this is a must-try!

Cream Cheese Frosting Video

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Why we Love this Frosting

Hands down this is the best cream cheese frosting. Here’s why this will become your go-to recipe:

  • Texture – it’s thick enough to pipe onto a cake or cupakes and isn’t runny like many cream cheese frostings tend to be.
  • Sweetness – this has just the right amount of sugar and isn’t overly sweet.
  • Flavor – the proportion of butter and cream cheese is just right and it doesn’t taste too much like cream cheese. The vanilla and salt also add great flavor.
Whipped cream cheese frosting in bowl with spatula

Ingredients

The key to making great cream cheese frosting is in making sure your butter and cream cheese aren’t overly softened.

  • Unsalted butter – use an inexpensive, light-colored butter for a lighter colored frosting.
  • Cream cheese – 8oz adds just enough cream cheese flavor and lightens up the frosting.
  • Powdered sugar – sweetens up the frosting without being overly sweet.
  • Vanilla extract – use a real extract or homemade vanilla for the best taste.
  • Salt – a little goes a long way to balance the flavor.
Ingredients for frosting with cream cheese, butter, vanilla, salt and powdered sugar

How long to soften butter and cream cheese? Keep at room temperature (70˚F room) for about 1 1/2 hours, or until you can indent the butter with your fingertip. It should feel cool to the touch and should not feel too soft or squishy.

The Best Cream Cheese:

Make sure to use full-fat, block-style cream cheese. Avoid cream cheese sold in a tub as those can make frosting runny and are intended to be used for spreads rather than frosting.

Block style cream cheese for frosting

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. Beat butter with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy then beat on high speed for 1 minute until lightened in color. 
  2. Beat in cream cheese pieces just until combined, scraping down the bowl.
  3. Add vanilla and salt and beat to combine.
  4. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix at low speed until incorporated. Increase to high speed and beat another 2-3 minutes until whipped, thick and spreadable, scraping down the bowl a couple of times to ensure everything is really well blended. 
Step by step ingredients for cream cheese frosting

Common Questions:

Does Cream Cheese Frosting have to be refrigerated?

Yes, since it has cream cheese and is dairy-based, it should be refrigerated. See instructions for refrigerating and freezing in the “Make-ahead” section below.

How to thicken cream cheese frosting?

Add more powdered sugar if an even thicker frosting is desired.

Can I use this on cookies?

Yes, it is a sturdy frosting and perfect for cookies. You can even use gel food coloring at the end to tint the frosting.

How long can Cream Cheese Frosting sit out?

It can sit out at room temperature for 6 hours. In a warmer or more humid climate, refrigerate until ready to serve.

Can I add food coloring?

Yes, use a spatula to fold in a gel food coloring to the finished frosting to reach the desired color. Gel colors are less likely to thin your frosting.

Use Cream Cheese Frosting for:

We love to serve this frosting on all kinds of dessert. These pair really well with the balanced sweetness of this frosting.

Cream cheese frosting recipe piped

I hope this becomes your go-to Cream Cheese Frosting recipe. The texture is impressive, it pipes beautifully, and best of all, it freezes and keeps really well.

Make-Ahead:

  • To Refrigerate: Cover frosting and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or until ready to use. To use, let sit at room temperature for about 1 hour or just until spreadable or pipeable. If you frost and refrigerate your cake, let it soften at room temperature 1-2 hours before serving.
  • Freezing: Transfer frosting to a freezer-safe zip bag and shape into an even thickness in the bag. Freeze flat for 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then keep at room temperature 30-60 minutes just until spreadable.

More Frosting Recipes:

These frosting recipes every baker should have in their collection. You will use these again and again.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

4.87 from 15 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Cream cheese frosting piped onto spoon
This homemade Cream Cheese Frosting is fluffy and pipes beautifully. Learn how to make the perfect thick and whipped frosting.
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $6-$8
Keyword: Cream Cheese Frosting
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Calories: 213
Servings: 24 cupcakes or 2-layer 9″ cake

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place butter into a large mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy then beat on high speed 1 minute until lightened in color.

  2. Beat in softened cream cheese, just until combined, scraping down the bowl.
  3. Beat in vanilla and salt until incorporated.
  4. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix on low speed until incorporated. Once all the powdered sugar is in, Increase to high speed and beat another 2-3 minutes until whipped, thick and spreadable, scraping down the bowl a couple of times to ensure everything is really well blended.
Nutrition Facts
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 213 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 44mg2%
Potassium 18mg1%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Sugar 20g22%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 481IU10%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Nora
    October 17, 2021

    This frosting tasted delicious! Not sure what I did wrong, but it almost melted and looked almost curdled when I was done mixing it.. I didn’t mix it very long so I don’t know what happened. It was good and everyone loved it though!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      October 18, 2021

      Hi Nora, that could be due to using cream cheese or butter that are overly softened. Make sure you let it sit at room temperature (70-75˚F) for about 1 1/2 hours and you don’t need longer than that. It will be even faster in a humid or warm location.

      Reply

  • Kim
    September 3, 2021

    Hi Natasha!
    Your recipes are definitely my go to!
    Anxious to try your pumpkin cupcakes.. wondering though which frosting to try as you have a few cream cheese frostings on your site. My family isn’t a huge cream cheese fan. So which one your cream cheese frostings isn’t too ‘cream cheesy’?
    Thx!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      September 3, 2021

      Hi Kim, I would go with this cream cheese frosting since it has a good proportion of butter to cream cheese and it won’t taste too much like cream cheese.

      Reply

      • Kim
        September 3, 2021

        Perfect!
        Thank you for responding.
        Take care .. 😊

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          September 4, 2021

          You’re welcome, Kim!

          Reply

  • Esther Oghenetega
    July 11, 2021

    This frosting recipe is so good. Tastes divine! Although, my frosting split. I probably over mixed it. Besides that, it tastes so great

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 11, 2021

      Hi Esther, that could’ve been the case but good to know that you liked the taste!

      Reply

  • Anusha
    June 14, 2021

    Hi Natasha, I’m wondering if I could use salted butter for this frosting?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 14, 2021

      Hi Anusha, we prefer it with unsalted butter. Unsalted butter is light-colored butter for a lighter-colored frosting. Also, if using salted butter you may want to add less salt to the recipe.

      Reply

    • Margaret Ueberroth
      August 30, 2021

      I really love your recipes. Also enjoy watching the videos.

      Reply

      • Margaret Ueberroth
        August 30, 2021

        Recipe rating 95%.

        Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        August 30, 2021

        I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes and Videos, Margaret!!

        Reply

  • Bebi cheddi
    June 11, 2021

    Hi Natasha, love your recipes.
    For the red velvet cake can I use apple cider vinegar because I can’t find distilled vinegar.

    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 11, 2021

      Hi Bebi, I haven’t tried it with apple cider vinegar to advise on the outcome. I can’t say it will work the same.

      Reply

  • Valerie
    May 28, 2021

    Hi, Can i used Philadelphia Cream cheese for this recipe pls?
    Thanks. Love all your recipe ☺

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 28, 2021

      Hi Valerie! That should work great!

      Reply

  • Jeannie Baker
    May 20, 2021

    This is delicious but I tried it twice and in the beginning it was perfect but not long after I’m done beating it would start to almost melt and texture is almost like curdled. When I immediately spread on the cake it won’t hold and would start to be watery. I followed exactly the steps and tips. I am in Canada (not hot). I waited till it hardens on the cake in the fridge before I smoothen and put another layer. I follow lots of your recipe but this was a fail for me. I wonder why? Again it was delicious. Thank you.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 21, 2021

      Hi Jeannie, it sounds like the frosting probably got too soft. Make sure when softening that you leave cream cheese out for about 1 1/2 hours and not longer at room temperature. If the cream cheese or butter are too soft, it will affect the texture. Also, make sure to use block-style cream cheese.

      Reply

    • Ellen
      July 21, 2021

      In Germany we don’t have cream cheese in blocks, so ours is softer and not that dry or stiff. That’ s why we have to change the procedure to get a good frosting. First we mix room-temperatured butter with icing sugar until all sugar is very well combined. And only then we add cold cream cheese and we get a perfect stiff frosting. Maybe, it is a help if you have this problem of cream cheese too

      Reply

  • Marie
    April 19, 2021

    This should be illegal! So good! I followed your instructions (butter at room temp 2 hrs and did the poke test) the first time and icing was lumpy. The second time the butter was still not smooth when I was beating it so popped it into microwave for 20 sec. That did the trick! I wonder if our butter in Canada is made different and that’s the reason or if our house is too cool lol. Anyways I made notes for next time as this is a great recipe for cream cheese icing!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 20, 2021

      That could be the case but I’m glad you were able to make it work and you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Pam
    April 19, 2021

    Hi Ms. Natasha! Can i reduce the number of cups of powdered sugar?
    Thank you for this recipe, may family loves cream cheese, and i want to try this frosting in my Chiffon Cake.
    More power!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 19, 2021

      Hi Pam, I honestly haven’t tried that yet to advise. If you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes.

      Reply

  • Lilli
    April 4, 2021

    Excellent recipe – as usual!! Not too sweet, but perfectly balanced.
    I made the cream cheese frosting from your carrot cake recipe yesterday. Turns out I need more frosting! (We may have eaten a little too much while waiting for the cake to cool)
    I’m just wondering – when you use a hand mixer, is it ok to use my stand mixer? I’m just wondering. Thanks again!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      April 4, 2021

      Hi Lilli, it’s totally ok to use a stand mixer. That would work great as well. I”m so glad you loved the recipe.

      Reply

  • Levi Ackerman
    March 31, 2021

    THIS WAS THE BEST FROSTING RECIPE I’VE EVER USED!!! It’s soft and fluffy but maintains its shape. In addition, it’s not overly sweet cuz the cream cheese cuts the sweetness by a bit. This frosting is BUSSIN. <3

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 31, 2021

      Love it! Thank you so much for your awesome comments and feedback.

      Reply

  • Jay
    March 15, 2021

    This is my first time attempting a cream cheese frosting and it was delicious! I did edit the recipe to suit our tastes so the original recipe I rated as 4 star. I used much less butter (1/2 cup) and 2 cups sugar and this was perfect for us! It went lovely with your red velvet cake.

    Reply

  • Priscilla K Lyden
    March 5, 2021

    Super fluffy and I very much appreciate the fact that the frosting isn’t too sweet.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 6, 2021

      Thank you for that great review! I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe!

      Reply

  • Salma
    March 4, 2021

    This is by far the best recipe I’ve tried for a red velvet cake! So moist and delicious. The frosting adds the perfect sweetness and your tip about not having the ingredients soft worked wonders for me! Thank you so much ❤️❤️

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 4, 2021

      That is so awesome! I’m so glad to read your wonderful review, thank you so much for sharing that with us, Salma!

      Reply

    • Salma
      March 4, 2021

      I had two tabs open one for the red velvet cake and the other for the cream cheese frosting and my comment was meant for the red velvet cake post sorry about that! 😃😃

      Reply

  • Rachel
    March 2, 2021

    Hi Natasha! can I use frozen cream cheese for this recipe? I still have 500 gram of frozen cream cheese. Do you think I need to buy a new one?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 2, 2021

      Hi Rachel, I haven’t tried using frozen cream cheese. I imagine you would need to defrost it, but I can’t speak to it working or not.

      Reply

  • Tatyana
    February 28, 2021

    I made this one to decorate my cake but it was too sweet .

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 28, 2021

      Hi Tatyana, did you make sure to use the correct amount of cream cheese and salt to balance the frosting? Normally this one isn’t overly sweet with those two ingredients but you can add less sugar to taste, but keep in mind it does help with keeping a thicker frosting. If you love a less sweet frosting, you might really enjoy our Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

      Reply

  • Paulina
    February 27, 2021

    Can it be use for cakes, is it stable enough?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 27, 2021

      Hi Paulina, this goes well with our red velvet cake!

      Reply

  • Dianne d
    February 27, 2021

    How would you adapt this for a lemon flavour for poppy seed cake

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 27, 2021

      Hi Dianne, I imagine you can add some lemon zest in here. Have you tried our lemon poppy seed cake?

      Reply

  • Rosalie Legg
    February 17, 2021

    Love this icing. A big hit with my family and friends.
    Love all your videos and recipes.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 17, 2021

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying our videos, Rosalie! Thank you for that wonderful review.

      Reply

  • Catherine Epperly
    February 16, 2021

    Morning! Being allergic to ‘things with a hoof’ I substitute marscapone cheese for cream cheese in recipes, but when I try in frostings it’s so runny. Do you know of a way to thicken it so I may indulge in this yummy frosting? Thank you so much!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 16, 2021

      Hi Catherine, I haven’t tried that in this one so I’m not sure I can make an adequate recommendation for it.

      Reply

  • Tanisha
    February 15, 2021

    Hi Natasha, love you recipe and cant wait to try. But could u pls first help me with this
    – how to make buttermilk?
    – substitute of eggs ?

    Lemme know soon so i can make it. Thanks alot. Lots of love

    Reply

  • Margarita
    February 15, 2021

    It is just delicious! Soft, spreadable and yummy!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 15, 2021

      Thank you for your good comments and feedback!

      Reply

  • Jan
    February 15, 2021

    Which piping tip do you use for cupcakes? Thank you!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 15, 2021

      Hi Jan, These 3 piping tips are the only ones I use for frosting cupcakes

      Reply

      • Mary Hartz
        February 17, 2021

        I make cream cheese frosting all the time and thought I would try your recipe. Mine is 1 block cream cheese to 1 stick butter. Yours is 3 sticks of butter, is that correct? It was kinda greasy.

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          February 17, 2021

          Hi Mary, that is correct. We believe we found the perfect balance for this recipe.

          Reply

  • Zoie Penick
    February 13, 2021

    This was the best cream cheese frosting we’ve made and tried so far. It wasn’t too sweet, it just had the right amount of sweetness in it. It was perfect on top of your red velvet cake. Thanks for the recipe Natasha!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 13, 2021

      You’re welcome, Zoie! I’m so glad you enjoeyd this with your red velvet cake.

      Reply

  • Robert B Hendrix
    February 13, 2021

    Wonderful website and videos, thanks. If this frosting needs to be refrigerated then does that mean that a frosted cake needs to be stored in the fridge?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 13, 2021

      Hi Robert, that’s right. Since it has cream cheese, it will need to be refrigerated.

      Reply

  • Sue
    February 12, 2021

    Made this cream cheese frosting today…its ABSOLUTELY yummy!! Loved it!!! I am a great fan of yours Natasha, always follow your recipes which are so easy and great 🙂
    Thank you for making cooking so much fun 🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 12, 2021

      Thank you for your awesome review, Sue. I’m so glad you loved it!

      Reply

  • Dee
    February 8, 2021

    Hi Natasha, Your recipes are just amazing!! I just loveeee them. Quick question. I wanna try the red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.. but I live in the UK and I have not seen unflavoured cream cheese nor cream cheese sticks 🙁 .. Any substitutes I can use. Thank you loads.

    Reply

  • JoAnne
    February 7, 2021

    I just love all your recipes. Thank you. My happy place is in my kitchen. Been 👩‍🍳 my 60 years and still learning. You’re fun to watch🤗

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 8, 2021

      Lovely to hear from you JoAnne. Same here, my kitchen is my favorite and happy place at home. Thanks for watching my videos and I hope you’ll love each recipe that you will try.

      Reply

  • wilhelmina wessel
    February 7, 2021

    This frosting is perfect for just about anything! I frosted some cupcakes with it. Then I just couldn’t resist eating the leftovers on graham crackers!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 7, 2021

      Glad you are enjoying the frosting! Thanks for your great feedback.

      Reply

  • Suzy
    February 7, 2021

    This is our go-to frosting! Adding the cream cheese gives it such great flavor!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 7, 2021

      I’m happy to hear that, Suzy!

      Reply

  • Bob
    February 6, 2021

    Adding at least one or 2 tablespoons of frozen orange juice into your cream cheese frosting makes it a little better.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 6, 2021

      Thank you for sharing that suggestion with us, Bob!

      Reply

  • Beverly Leszczynski
    February 6, 2021

    I use lemon juice instead vanilla

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 6, 2021

      Thank you for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • DaWanda
    February 6, 2021

    I have enjoyed many of your recipes! Thank you for being there for us. There are many more I want to try! Once I made this cream cheese icing I will never make any other! It is creamy and delicious! Keep on giving us your awesome and delicious culinary miracles!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 6, 2021

      I’m so happy to hear that, DaWanda! Thank you for that wonderful feedback.

      Reply

  • Bonnie
    February 6, 2021

    Try using brandy instead of vanilla. I would use 2 tsps

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 6, 2021

      That sounds really yummy using brandy instead of vanilla. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

  • Jen
    February 6, 2021

    This is the type of frosting that you really are tempted to eat by the spoonful! It’s so delicious!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 6, 2021

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing your great review, Jen!

      Reply

  • Khaled
    February 4, 2021

    Hi Natasha,
    Thanks for the amazing recipe!
    I live in a country where cream cheese is only sold in tubs and not brick-style. I tried a frosting recipe once but it turned out runny. Any suggestions on how to mitigate this problem? Maybe you have an alternative or a few tricks to get a thick fluffy form?
    Thanks for the help and all the delicious recipes!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 4, 2021

      Hi Khaled, you might stick with the Buttercream frosting that we have posted. That is a common problem with tub cream cheese. Also, it definitely helps to make sure the butter is still cool to the touch and softened as instructed above.

      Reply

  • PeoplesAmbassador
    February 3, 2021

    Under “Ingredients” you mention that 1/2 cup of cream cheese adds just enough flavour yet the recipe calls for 1 cup (8 ozs). Can you clarify?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 4, 2021

      Hi, 8 oz is correct. I corrected that in the written portion above. Thank you for pointing that out and I hope you love the frosting and the cake that is coming tomorrow to go with it.

      Reply

  • Jana
    February 3, 2021

    I think waiting for me next Friday hehehe waiting for your cake 😂😂😂

    Reply

  • katerina @ diethood.com
    February 2, 2021

    WOW! This frosting is SO delicious!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 2, 2021

      Thank you for your awesome feedback!

      Reply

  • Allyson Zea
    February 2, 2021

    This is the perfect cream cheese frosting!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 2, 2021

      Thank you for your great feedback!

      Reply

  • Kristyn
    February 2, 2021

    Cream cheese frosting is my absolute favorite! I will add it on so many desserts! This recipe makes the creamiest frosting!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 2, 2021

      Thank you Kristyn, I’m so glad you enjoy our Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe.

      Reply

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