Cream Cheese Frosting – Less than 5 ingredients to make and comes together in just 10 minutes! Perfectly smooth, fluffy and has a delicious, rich flavor. Great to use on cakes, bars, cookies, cupcakes and more!
Best cream cheese frosting
This homemade cream cheese frosting is one of my favorites! It’s seriously so easy to make and takes less than 5 ingredients! The consistency is perfectly smooth, fluffy and creamy, while the taste is rich and decadent.
I love that this cream cheese frosting recipe is so easy to adapt to your own taste. Just add more powdered sugar if you prefer a sweeter and thicker frosting, or add in your favorite flavorings like cocoa, lemon or orange. Plus it’s perfect for decorating! You can add in any color you desire.
Have leftovers? Spread on top of a graham cracker or over a strawberry with a few graham cracker crumbs. SO yummy and one of my favorite childhood snacks.
Ingredients for cream cheese frosting
It doesn’t get easier than this cream cheese frosting recipe. It’s made with just 4 simple ingredients and comes together in minutes! Feel free to add in a couple of drops of food coloring or additional flavoring like cocoa, lemon juice or orange juice.
- Cream cheese
- Unsalted butter
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
How to make cream cheese frosting
Scroll down for the printable cream cheese frosting recipe.
- Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth.
- Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat just until combined and fluffy. Make sure not to over mix.
- Taste and add pinch of salt or extra vanilla if needed. If you’d like a sweeter and thicker frosting, add 1/2 cup more powdered sugar.
- Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
TIP: If using this frosting to pipe on cupcakes, I suggest adding an additional 1-2 cups of powdered sugar and make sure not to soften the butter or cream cheese too much.
Cream cheese frosting variations
Below are a few of my favorite variations for cream cheese frosting. There are so many ways you can flavor the frosting to meet your needs!
- Chocolate cream cheese frosting: Add in 1/2 cup of cocoa powder with the sugar and mix until combined.
- Lemon cream cheese frosting: Add in a teaspoon of both fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Orange cream cheese frosting: Add in a teaspoon of both fresh orange juice and orange zest.
- Strawberry cream cheese frosting: Puree 1/2 cup fresh strawberries in blender, then fold in strawberry puree at the end.
- Peanut butter cream cheese frosting: Add in 1/2 cup peanut butter and beat with the cream cheese and butter.
Favorite ways to use cream cheese frosting
Cakes: My absolute favorite way to use homemade cream cheese frosting is for carrot cake. It also tastes amazing on red velvet cake, too.
Cupcakes: If frosting cupcakes with this cream cheese frosting, I typically add 1-2 more cups of powdered sugar so that it holds it’s shape. It tastes amazing piped on chocolate cupcakes, red velvet brownie cupcakes, carrot cake cupcakes and Neapolitan cupcakes. Click here to learn how to frost a cupcake.
Cookies: Sugar cookies or sugar cookie bars topped with this frosting are my jam! They both compliment each other so well. It also tastes great over pumpkin cookies or sandwiched between pumpkin whoopie pies.
Frequently asked questions for cream cheese frosting
Why is my cream cheese icing runny? If your frosting is runny, you could have beaten the cream cheese a little too long prior to adding the powdered sugar. I’ve also found that low fat cream cheeses make for a more liquid-y frosting. These types of cheeses contain more liquid, so I always suggest using full fat cream cheese.
How do you fix lumpy cream cheese frosting? If you’re frosting is lumpy, it’s probably because you didn’t allow the butter and cream cheese to soften enough. If this happens, try microwaving the frosting for about 10 seconds, so that the lumpy butter and cream cheese bits can melt.
How do you thicken cream cheese frosting? To thicken this frosting, try adding 1/2 cup more powdered sugar. If I’m frosting cupcakes, I like to add 1-2 more cups of powdered sugar so that the frosting will keep it’s shape.
Should cream cheese frosting be refrigerated? Yes, this frosting needs to be refrigerated. Place in an airtight container or bag and store in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Can cream cheese icing be frozen? Yes, this frosting can be frozen. It holds up well in the freezer due to it’s thick consistency. Simply add frosting to a zip top freezer bag and store in freezer for up to 3 months.
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar , more as needed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Optional: pinch of salt, food coloring
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Then add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat just until combined and fluffy. Do not over mix.
- Taste and add a pinch of salt and more vanilla if desired. You can also add 1/2 cup more powdered sugar if you'd like it a little sweeter or thicker.
- Store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
- If using this recipe to pipe on cupcakes, I suggest adding an additional 1-2 cups of powdered sugar and make sure not to soften the butter or cream cheese too much. This will help the frosting hold it's shape.
- If you'd like to make chocolate cream cheese frosting, add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder with the sugar and mix until combined.