Make desserts extra mouth-watering and delicious with the best-ever cream cheese frosting!

With only just a handful of ingredients and 2 steps, you can have a creamy, tangy, and tart frosting perfect for cakes and cupcakes.

It’s easy to make, so you can whip up a batch with just a few simple ingredients.

Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting in a bowl

My Favorite Frosting of All Time

  • This classic cream cheese frosting recipe has a rich decadent flavor with a creamy texture.
  • It’s not overly sweet, and since it has a bit of a tangy flavor, it pairs well with our favorite desserts.
  • It uses just a few simple ingredients (that you probably have on hand) and is easy to make at home.
  • Prep ahead and freeze or keep it in the fridge for a great topper!
ingredients for cream cheese frosting

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting 

Cream Cheese – Full-fat cream cheese has the best tangy flavor and whips up better than low-fat. Use a block of cream cheese because the spreadable variety has too much air whipped into it, and it won’t stay fluffy.

Butter – Butter adds a buttery flavor (of course!) and helps create a smooth texture. I prefer softened unsalted butter in baking and adding my own salt (salted butter works too, but we prefer unsalted).

Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar is also known as confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar. It is a powder so it adds a smooth texture to frostings. You can use a little bit more or less to reach the desired consistency.

Flavors – A splash of vanilla extract adds flavor, and depending on what I am using it for, I often add a bit of lemon zest.

Stir in some cocoa powder for a chocolate cream cheese frosting, or experiment with other extracts like banana, orange, almond, coconut, maple, or rum extract!

Color – Add a drop or two of food coloring to make shades of pink, green, or any color that matches the theme of the day!

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Cream butter and cream cheese until it’s smooth and creamy.
  2. Add vanilla and lemon zest (if using).
  3. Gradually mix in powdered sugar until the frosting is fluffy (as per the recipe below).
Cream Cheese Icing on a beater

Tips for Perfect Frosting

  • Do not overbeat the cream cheese. Overbeating can cause a runny cream cheese frosting.
  • Use a stand mixer with either a whisk or paddle attachment or an electric mixer. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula to ensure it mixes evenly.
  • For a thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar. For a thinner frosting, add a touch of milk (1 teaspoon at a time).
  • This is a ‘soft’ frosting and isn’t recommended for piping. It doesn’t hold its shape when piped like Buttercream Frosting.
  • Store in a covered container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Let it soften at room temperature before using.
plated Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting

Tips for Fluffy Frosting

Our Favorite Frostings

Did you make this Cream Cheese Frosting? Leave us a rating and a comment below!

Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting in a bowl
4.99 from 64 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting

This homemade cream cheese frosting is rich and creamy with just the right amount of sweetness and a hint of lemon.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 40 servings, about 2 ½ cups

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • cup butter softened
  • 3 to 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest (optional)

Instructions 

  • Combine cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Mix in vanilla (or lemon juice and lemon zest if using).
  • Add in salt and powdered sugar a bit at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Continue beating on medium speed until fluffy. Do not overmix.
  • Store up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Video

Notes

  • Do not overbeat the cream cheese. Overbeating can cause a runny cream cheese frosting.
  • Use a stand mixer with either a whisk or paddle attachment or an electric mixer. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula to ensure it mixes evenly.
  • For a thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar. For a thinner frosting, add a touch of milk (1 teaspoon at a time).
  • Ensure baked goods are cooled before adding frosting or it will melt.
  • This is a ‘soft’ frosting and isn’t recommended for piping. It doesn’t hold its shape when piped like Buttercream Frosting.
*Nutrition information is for 1 tablespoon of frosting.  This recipe makes about 2 ½ cups of frosting.
Frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let it soften at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before using. 
4.99 from 64 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 68 | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 123IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting on a whisk with writing

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. The recipe for cream cheese icing I added sour cream instead of small amounts milk to loosen from thick to desired smoothness. The addition of the sour cream made cream cheese icing delectable and great consistency.5 stars

  2. I did this with just 1 cup of sugar and thought it was perfect. I suggest you taste test along the way as 3 cups sounds to high and cloyingly sweet. Thank you for the easy recipe.