Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

5 from 4 votes

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Perfectly creamy, slightly tangy and sweet, this Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe will become your go-to frosting! Smooth enough to spread and thick enough to pipe. This is a perfect recipe.

I love Cream Cheese Frosting. I love it on carrot cake, on cupcakes and especially cinnamon rolls. A lot of frosting recipes tend to come out too thin and look horrible spread on a cake, so it was my mission to come up with a thick and creamy frosting that was smooth enough to spread easily while still holding its shape so you could pipe it too. Sure enough, after a few tries of trial and error, I got it down!

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Easy and homemade you only need 4 ingredients to make this divine cream cheese frosting. Here’s what you need:

  • Salted Butter – softened. If you use unsalted butter just add a pinch of salt later.
  • Cream Cheese – softened. This is where all of that delicious tangy cream cheese flavor comes from.
  • Powdered Sugar – to sweeten and to help thicken.
  • Vanilla Extract – to loosen it up a bit and give it tons of flavor.


You can easily tweak this recipe to suit your dessert needs by adding different flavors. This can be in the form of subbing out the vanilla extract for others like lemon, coconut or mint. Or adding in dry ingredients like pumpkin spice, chai spice or cocoa powder. Experiment and see what you like, but be sure of one thing, this plain cream cheese frosting can stand on its own!

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Secrets for making the best cream cheese frosting

My two secrets for this cream cheese frosting include:

  1. Use very very soft butter and very very soft cream cheese…as in left out on the counter for 6+ hours to ensure they both are the same temperature so they easily combine together
  2. Add in vanilla extract and DO NOT add in milk. Most frostings call for milk, but this one is a special case. Because you want this to be thick, you simply don’t add milk and stir it until it’s completely smooth and thick. As it stirs, you might second guess yourself because it seems like it won’t come together, but, if your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature, you will have no problems. When in doubt, keep mixing.

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Start your frosting by putting very soft butter and very soft cream cheese into the bottom of a large bowl.
  2. On top of that, pour in some powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
  3. Now comes the fun part! Use a hand mixer to stir stir stir it all together until completely smooth and thick. At first, it might seem like the powdered sugar won’t all mix in, but as you stir and work it together with the hand mixer, it will surely come together. Scrape the sides and stir again briefly to make sure it’s fully smooth and use as you’d like! Easy as that.

Again, it is thick enough to pipe, smooth enough to spread and holds its shape. It’s really the perfect balance of tangy and sweet which accompanies nearly any dessert perfectly.

Uses for Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve been developing recipes for some time now and I have a ton of recipes that call for cream cheese frosting. Here is a couple I love!

cream cheese frosting

More Frostings to Check Out!

Printable recipe card is below. Have a great day, friends!

cream cheese frosting
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5 from 4 votes

Cream Cheese Frosting

Perfectly creamy and sweet, this Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe will become your go-to frosting! Smooth enough to spread and thick enough to pipe. This is a perfect recipe.
servings 14 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1/2 cup salted butter at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Stir with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) until completely combined, thick and smooth. Scrape the sides and stir again briefly to ensure a smooth frosting. Use as desired.


*This recipe can frost 24 cupcakes, two 8 or 9-inch round cakes or one 9x13 cake.


Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 110mg | Potassium: 22mg | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cream cheese frosting, cream cheese frosting recipe, how to make cream cheese frosting

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Recipe Rating

10 Responses
  1. Melissa Whittaker

    5 stars
    Creamy, sweet, and with a bit of tang! Loved this cream cheese frosting with vanilla cake and fruit.

  2. Gayatri

    5 stars
    I tried this recipe and it turned out really good compared to buttercream frosting. This was able to withstand summer heat better.

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  5. Heather White

    5 stars
    This is the hands down best cream cheese frosting ever! Even though it caused me to break my hand mixer (well it was over 15 yrs old) it was still perfection! Luckily my husband stepped in and stirred it by hand for me 🙂
    Thanks for the best frosting ever! It was perfect on your carrot cake! !

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