Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Take your desserts and pastries to new heights with the perfect Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe. Worlds better than canned frostings, this topping adds the finishing touch to cupcakes, cinnamon rolls and carrot cakes!

If you LOVE making frosting, be sure to try this classic Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe. It’s truly decadent and perfect. Or give this Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Frosting a try for a unique twist!

Cream cheese frosting on red velvet cupcakes.

Why Use Cream Cheese Frosting?

I’m a humble girl. I admit when I don’t know how to do something well or don’t have the very best recipe for a dish.

When it comes to frosting though? I’m going to go ahead and toot my own horn.

I love frosting in all its forms. Give me a fluffy vanilla buttercream, a simple icing or a Swiss Meringue Frosting and I’m happy.

Some desserts just scream for Cream Cheese Frosting!

  • A carrot cake without a thick layer of cream cheese icing on top is incomplete.
  • A pan of fresh hot cinnamon rolls looks empty if there’s no cream cheese frosting drizzled on top.
  • And without this frosting, your homemade gingerbread bars won’t ever live up to its full delicious potential.
  • Red velvet cupcakes are only complete with a swirl of cream cheese frosting on top!

This Easy Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe is the ONLY one you’ll ever need!

Love cream cheese? Try our cream cheese mints for a delicious twist!

Ingredient Notes

Only 5 ingredients needed to make cream cheese frosting from scratch.

You only need FIVE ingredients to make homemade cream cheese frosting.

  • Unsalted butter – Let it soften at room temperature for a few minutes first.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cream Cheese – Use regular full fat cream cheese for best results.
  • Vanilla – Make your own vanilla extract for a richer vanilla flavor.
  • Heavy whipping cream – Adds even more creaminess to the frosting for the perfect consistency!

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make cream cheese frosting.

Once you learn how to make Cream Cheese Frosting at home, you can leave the cans of store bought icing behind in the dust. (Except for the most dire cream cheese emergencies of course!)

Start by beating the butter and cream cheese together until it’s light and fluffy.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the remaining ingredients until everything is combined, smooth and free of lumps.

That’s it! The homemade frosting is now ready to pipe onto any dessert or pastry you like.

Serving suggestions

Wondering what goes with cream cheese frosting? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

I also love Cream Cheese Frosting as a way to change up the flavors in simple Sugar Cookies and Chocolate Cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting makes an irresistible filling for Chocolate Chip Cookie sandwiches too. Just spread between two cooled cookies, smoosh them together and enjoy!

Recipe FAQs

Can I make cream cheese frosting without electric beaters?

Yes, you can make Cream Cheese Frosting without electric beaters or a stand mixer but it’s very difficult. You’ll need lots of arm strength to whisk the ingredients fast enough and vigorously enough to combine everything. I STRONGLY recommend using an electric mixer for this!

How do you store cream cheese frosting?

You should store this cream cheese frosting in the fridge in an airtight container. It will stay good for 3 -4 days.

Can I substitute milk for the heavy cream?

No, I don’t recommend substituting milk for the heavy cream here. The higher fat content of the cream helps make the cream cheese frosting spreadable without getting runny.

More Frosting Recipes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Take your desserts and pastries to new heights with the perfect Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe. Worlds better than canned frostings, this topping adds the finishing touch to cupcakes, cinnamon rolls and carrot cakes!


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Beat butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl with electric (or hand held) mixer for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mixture should be light and fluffy.
  2. Add in vanilla, powdered sugar, and heavy cream. Beat an additiona 3-5 minutes until frosting has doubled in size and is fully blended and fluffy. Add more cream if you want the frosting thinner.
  3. Use on cakes and cupcakes as directed.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cupcake frosted

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 153Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 0gSugar: 18gProtein: 0g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Nothing adds a sweet finishing touch to a dessert quite like Cream Cheese Frosting. Easy to make and downright irresistible, this is a frosting recipe you’ll make over and over again!

Avatar photo

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

Learn How To Become a Better Home Baker
Sign up for the Shugary Sweets FREE Email Course Today—soon you’ll say, "I made it from scratch!"

Categories: ,

Posted on January 3, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. I made the recipe but turned it Keto. I 7sed Boca Sweet substitute for sugar, Lupin Flour substitute for white flour the same proportions. For the cream cheese frosting Swerve powered sugar substitute same proportions. Chopped 1 cup walnits. Turned out really wonderful. Super moist

  2. Made these as cupcakes – baked for 20 minutes and they came out just right. Also used only 2 mashed bananas (as it was all I had!) and topped them with mini chocolate chips instead of walnuts. Absolutely delicious! I love that they’re not too sweet. They look like chocolate cake but have an unexpected banana note that is really unique. Will be making again. I might add chocolate chips to the batter and skip the frosting for muffins!

    1. You can refrigerate it, then re-whip it after it’s chilled. Cream cheese frosting tends to be a looser frosting.

  3. My name is Shirley and I live in Brazil. Congratulations on so many fantastic recipes, one better than the other. I’ve been trying to make this cream cheese frosting for a while now but it’s not as creamy and smooth as yours. Where am I going wrong, I’ve tried several times and it’s not the same as yours. Could you tell me how long I should beat the ingredients each time they are added? Thank you. Anxious for the answer.

    1. First, are you using block cream cheese (not the spreadable kind in a tub)? Also make sure it’s real butter (not a margarine or shortening). In the directions I say beat 3-4 minutes, then add sugar and beat an additional 3-5 minutes until creamy. good luck!

  4. I seem to always make more than I am going to use. Can this frosting be made ahead of time and put in the freezer? And if so, are there any special instructions that I should be aware of, like how long it will be good for in the fridge and/or in the freezer (if done so?)

  5. Just made this and the measurements are dead on. I always seem to put too much liquid then need to add more powdered sugar, then it doesn’t taste right; more like powdered sugar. I did alter by using almond extract because I wanted it to stay white, and I only had dark vanilla. Yummy frosting recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.