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Cream Cheese Frosting

The BEST Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe, it’s sweet and tangy while also being fluffy and thick. Keeps its shape when piping and pairs perfectly with carrot cake, red velvet, and cinnamon buns.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Easy Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting is my most favorite frosting and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that! It makes anything and everything it touches even more delicious.

Sometimes you don’t want something as sweet as buttercream and the tanginess of cream cheese frosting fixes that perfectly. Sweet and tangy while also being fluffy and thick it’s just the perfect pairing to any baked goods.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Why this is the BEST Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Smooth, fluffy and creamy!
  • Thick and stable enough to pipe
  • Never turns out runny
  • Perfect level of sweetness
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

What Goes with Cream Cheese Frosting

There are so many baked goods that go perfectly with this frosting. Here are a list of some of my favourites!

  • Carrot Cake – The OG and the most perfect pairing would have to be carrot cake! You can find my carrot cake recipe here.
  • Cinnamon Rolls – My Overnight Cinnamon Rolls drizzled with the frosting is one of the most delicious breakfast treats!
  • Carrot Cake Cupcakes – Just like carrot cake, these carrot cake cupcakes aren’t complete without this frosting!
  • Banana Cake – I usually serve my banana cake with brown sugar buttercream but for something different, cream cheese works so well!
  • Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes – There’s something about warm spiced baked goods and cream cheese and these pumpkin cupcakes are no different!
Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Troubleshooting

Why is my Cream Cheese Frosting Runny?

There are a few reasons why your frosting can turn runny. The most common is using the wrong type of cream cheese. You need to use a block of cream cheese, not spreadable or light as these will thin out your frosting.

The second reason is the frosting curdling or breaking. Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before you start and you shouldn’t have any issues.

How to Thicken Cream Cheese Frosting

If you’ve used the right type of cream cheese and your frosting is smooth and hasn’t separated the first step would be to place it into the fridge for 15-30 minutes. This will harden the butter and cream cheese which should thicken your frosting up.

If you are still finding its still too thin make sure you have followed the recipe amounts closely and add a little more powdered sugar. This should give you a thicker frosting.

How to Stabilize

This recipe contains butter which will really help to stabilize your frosting and keep its shape. If you would like it more stable than it already is you can increase the butter content of the recipe.

Carrot Cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Frosting Flavours

  • Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting – Add some lemon juice and lemon zest to the frosting
  • Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting – Blended strawberries, strawberry essence as well as freeze dried strawberry powder can all be added to make this strawberry flavoured!
  • Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting – Add a few scoops of your favourited peanut butter for a different flavour!
  • Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting – You can find the recipe here.
  • Maple Cream Cheese Frosting – Use maple flavoured butter or add some maple syrup.
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 Stick / 8 Tbsp / 115g Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature. If you forgot to get it out of the fridge you can place it into the microwave in short bursts to soften it. 
  • 7oz / 200g Cream Cheese – This recipe needs a block of room temperature cream cheese. Spreadable or light cream cheese wont work in this recipe.
  • 3 Cups / 375g Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar, icing sugar and confectioners sugar are all the same ingredient just different names in different parts of the world. 
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence (optional) – Vanilla adds a little more flavour but it isn’t required. 

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature, this is so important to making sure you frosting doesn’t seperate.

Add the butter to the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl if you’re using a hand mixer.

Whip on medium speed for about 3-5 minutes until light, fluffy and doubled in volume.

Add the room temperature cream cheese to the whipped butter. It’s important to use full fat cream cheese here, not light or spreadable as these will lead to a really soupy liquid frosting that wont hold it’s shape, plus it won’t taste near as good!

Whip the butter and cream cheese for another few minutes until combined and light and fluffy.

Make sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl a few times just to make sure everything is evenly combined.

Add the first half of the powdered sugar and whip on low speed for about a minute until the sugar has been incorporated.


Add the second half of the sugar mix again until fully incorporated and the frosting is light and fluffy.

At this point you can add any flavourings you would like. Depending what I’m serving the frosting with I will add vanilla essence but most of the time I prefer the frosting without.

Before using the frosting place it into the fridge for 30 minutes just to let it firm up and settle from all of the whipping.

Storing Cream Cheese Frosting

Fridge

Cover the frosting or place in an airtight container and into the freezer up to 1 week. Before using beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer for a few minutes.

Freezing

Place the frosting in airtight container or freezer bag and into the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost it fully at room temperature before beating with a hand mixer or stand mixer for a few minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting FAQ

Can I add chocolate?

You can find my recipe for chocolate cream cheese frosting here. I would recommend using cocoa powder instead of chocolate as there is already a lot of fat from the butter and cream cheese so the recipe doesn’t really need cocoa butter too.

What to do with Leftover Cream Cheese Frosting

Leftover frosting can be kept in the fridge for about 7 days or frozen for up to 3 months. You can drizzle it over cinnamon buns, pancakes or waffles if you have some leftover.

What Cream Cheese to use

I recommend using Philadelphia Cream Cheese for this frosting but if you have another brand you prefer you can use that. Make sure you’re not using light or spreadable cream cheese as this will turn your frosting pretty runny and it wont be stable.

Does this frosting need to be refigerated?

Cream Cheese Frosting can sit out at room temperature for 3-4 days. The sugar content preserves the cream cheese so it is completely safe to eat! You can also keep it in the fridge if you prefer.

Can I pipe this frosting?

Yes you can! This recipes contains butter as well as cream cheese which makes it thicker. After making the cream cheese frosting its best to let it rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up as the butter and cream cheese soften as they are whipped.

Equipment fo this Recipe

  • Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer The frosting needs to be beaten for a while for this recipe. This is easiest to do with a stand mixer or hand mixer. You can do this by hand with a whisk if you would prefer. 
  • Measuring Cups or Digital Scale To measure the ingredients for this recipe measuring cups or a digital scale can be used. I have given the amounts for both as different people have different preferences.
  • Piping Bag and Piping Tip To use this frosting on cupcakes it’s easiest to use a piping bag and piping tip. I have used a Wilton 2D piping tip here, it’s my favorite!

More Frostings

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 2 Cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

The BEST Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe, it’s sweet and tangy while also being fluffy and thick. Keeps its shape when piping and pairs perfectly with carrot cake, red velvet, and cinnamon buns.

Ingredients

  • 1 Stick / 8 Tbsp / 115g Butter
  • 7oz / 200g Cream Cheese
  • 3 Cups / 375g Powdered Sugar / Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature, this is so important to making sure you frosting doesn’t seperate.
  2. Add the butter to the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl if you’re using a hand mixer.
  3. Whip on medium speed for about 3-5 minutes until light, fluffy and doubled in volume.
  4. Add the room temperature cream cheese to the whipped butter. It’s important to use full fat cream cheese here, not light or spreadable as these will lead to a really soupy liquid frosting that wont hold it’s shape, plus it won’t taste near as good!
  5. Whip the butter and cream cheese for another few minutes until combined and light and fluffy. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl a few times just to make sure everything is evenly combined.
  6. Add the first half of the powdered sugar and whip on low speed for about a minute until the sugar has been incorporated.
  7. Add the second half of the sugar mix again until fully incorporated and the frosting is light and fluffy.
  8. At this point you can add any flavourings you would like. Depending what I’m serving the frosting with I will add vanilla essence but most of the time I prefer the frosting without.
  9. Before using the frosting place it into the fridge for 30 minutes just to let it firm up and settle from all of the whipping.

Notes

Troubleshooting

Broken - If your frosting as has broken, curdled and separated this is most likely caused by ingredients being too cold. Make sure all of your ingredients have come up to room temperature before starting the recipe.


Runny - If your cream cheese frosting is runny make sure it hasn't broken and place it into the fridge. This will harden the butter and cream cheese and make the frosting thicker.

Storing Cream Cheese Frosting

Fridge - Cover the frosting or place in an airtight container and into the freezer up to 1 week. Before using beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer for a few minutes.

Freezing - Place the frosting in airtight container or freezer bag and into the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost it fully at room temperature before beating with a hand mixer or stand mixer for a few minutes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Cups Serving Size: 2 Cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1731Total Fat: 81gSaturated Fat: 50gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 225mgSodium: 689mgCarbohydrates: 253gFiber: 0gSugar: 246gProtein: 7g

Nutrition Information is estimated and not always correct

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