Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

5 from 5 votes

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Look no further! This Butter Cream Cheese Frosting is a game-changer and will become your go-to frosting. Made with simple ingredients like butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract, this creamy, smooth cream cheese frosting will take your cakes, cupcakes, and cinnamon rolls to the next level. Keep reading for the full recipe and some handy tips to make it perfect every time.

piping cream cheese frosting onto cupcakes

Why You’ll Love This Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

I loooooove Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s the perfect complement to carrot cake, red velvet cupcakes and especially cinnamon rolls. A lot of cream cheese 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 frosting with a creamy texture that was smooth enough to spread easily while still holding its shape so you could use it in a piping bag too. Sure enough, after a few tries of trial and error, I must say this is the BEST cream cheese frosting recipe!

ingredients for cream cheese frosting on a counter top

Ingredients Needed for Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

For easy and homemade cream cheese frosting, you only need 4 ingredients. It’s the perfect buttercream recipe! Here’s what you need:

  • Salted Butter – softened, room temperature butter. If you use unsalted butter just add a pinch of salt later.
  • Plain Cream Cheese – softened real cream cheese. This is where all of that delicious tangy cream cheese flavor comes from. I prefer to use Philadelphia cream cheese over any other off brand. It just has the best texture, in my opinion. 🙂
  • Powdered Sugar – to sweeten and to help thicken.
  • Vanilla Extract – to loosen it up a bit and give it tons of flavor.

Variations

You can easily tweak this recipe to suit your dessert needs by adding different flavors. Experiment and see what you like, but be sure of one thing, this cream cheese frosting recipe, as written, can stand on its own! Here are a few ideas if you want to try different flavored frosting!

  • Change the flavor of the frosting by adding cocoa powder to make chocolate cream cheese frosting.
  • Try adding a splash of lemon juice for a tangy flavor.
  • Experiment with different extracts like almond or coconut for specific flavor you might be looking for. You could even use real vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste. Love seeing those beautiful little flecks of vanilla in frosting!
frosted cupcakes on a cooling rack

Tips for Making the Best Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

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. Use a stand mixer or hand mixer for effortless blending and a silky smooth frosting.

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 to this recipe. Instead, stirring the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla 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.

Use Full-Fat Cream Cheese

The type of cream cheese you use matters. Make sure that you are using full-fat brick cream cheese with the high fat content, not low fat or spreadable cream cheese (which is usually sold in a tub rather than in brick form).

a bite taken out of a cupcake

How to Make Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

This recipe makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes, two 8 or 9-inch round layer cake or one 9×13 cake. For full recipe details, including ingredient measurements, see the recipe card down below in this post.

Combine Ingredients in a Bowl

Start your frosting by putting very soft butter and a very soft block of cream cheese into the bottom of a large bowl. On top of that, pour powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

Mix, Mix, Mix!

Now comes the fun part! Use an electric mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment and mix, mix, mix it all together on low speed 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 of the bowl, increase to medium speed if desired and mix 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. One of my favorite things to use some extra cream cheese icing on is graham crackers! Here are a few recipes I love to use this homemade frosting on:

cupcakes and frosting on a tablescape

How to Store Cream Cheese Frosting

Store any leftover frosting in an airtight container or cover well with plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can also freeze this frosting in a freezer-safe container or zip-top plastic bag (to avoid freezer burn) for up to 3 months. Need to make this ahead? No problem. Just store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Let it come to room temperature and give it a good stir before using.

cupcakes with frosting on top on a tablescape

More Frosting Recipes

With this easy-to-follow recipe and handy tips, you’ll be whipping up this classic Cream Cheese Frosting in no time. Printable recipe card is below. Have a great day, friends!

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.

frosting in a glass bowl
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5 from 5 votes

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Perfectly creamy and sweet, this Butter 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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • Place very soft butter and a very soft cream cheese into the bottom of a large bowl.
    frosting in a glass bowl
  • On top of that, pour powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Use an electric mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment and mix it all together on low speed 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 of the bowl, increase to medium speed if desired and mix again briefly to make sure it's fully smooth.
  • Use as desired.

Video

Notes

*This recipe can frost 24 cupcakes, two 8 or 9-inch round cakes or one 9×13 cake.

Nutrition

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.

  3. Vanilla Cake Recipe | Lauren's Latest

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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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