Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe (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.
We love this frosting on cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. It’s especially good on Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake Cupcakes, and Pumpkin Cake. If you’ve been looking for that perfect and versatile frosting recipe, this is a must-try!
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Cream Cheese Frosting Video
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The Best Cream Cheese Frosting
Hands down, this is our favorite cream cheese icing. Here’s why this will become your go-to recipe:
- Texture – it’s thick enough to pipe onto a cake or cupcakes and isn’t runny like many cream cheese-based 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 balanced and it doesn’t taste too much like cream cheese. The vanilla and salt also add great flavor.
- Freezer-friendly – you can make it ahead and freeze or even pipe it onto cakes and cupcakes and freeze an entire dessert (see make-ahead instructions below)
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 too sweet like many storebought frostings, but you can add more if you prefer.
- Vanilla extract – use a real extract or homemade vanilla for the best taste.
- Fine Sea Salt – a little goes a long way to balance the flavor.
The Best Cream Cheese for Frosting
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.
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.
How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat butter with an electric hand mixer until smooth and creamy then beat on high speed for 1 minute until lightened in color.
- Beat in cream cheese pieces just until combined, scraping down the bowl.
- Add vanilla and salt and beat to combine.
- 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.
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.
Add more powdered sugar if an even thicker frosting is desired.
Yes, it is a sturdy frosting and perfect for cookies. You can even use gel food coloring at the end to tint the frosting.
It can sit out at room temperature for 6 hours. In a warmer or more humid climate, refrigerate until ready to serve.
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.
We love it with butter because it is thicker and easier to pipe and decorate with. It also keeps really well in the refrigerator when using butter.
Use Cream Cheese Frosting for
We love to serve this recipe for cream cheese frosting on all kinds of desserts. These pair really well with the balanced sweetness of this frosting.
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.
- 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 for 1-2 hours before serving.
- Freezing: Transfer frosting to a freezer-safe zip bag and shape it into an even thickness in the bag. Freeze flat for 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then keep at room temperature for 30-60 minutes just until spreadable. You can pipe the frosting over cakes and cupcakes then just thaw the dessert in the fridge overnight before serving.
More Frosting Recipes
These frosting recipes every baker should have in their collection. You will use these again and again.
- Vanilla Buttercream – classic American buttercream
- Chocolate Buttercream – richly chocolatey
- Cupcake Frosting – light, airy and fluffy
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream – wedding cake worthy
- Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting – silky smooth
- Chocolate Ganache – perfect for glazing or frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
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.
Beat in softened cream cheese, just until combined, scraping down the bowl.
Beat in vanilla and salt until incorporated.
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.