The Best Cream Cheese Frosting is a light and fluffy frosting that is the perfect complement to all of your favorite confections!
Creamy, tangy, and slightly sweet, this cream cheese frosting recipe is easy to make and is essential for everything from Red Velvet Cake to Carrot Cake! This amazing frosting can be whipped up in just minutes using only four ingredients – cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract.
The Best Part of the Cake
We’ve all been there- someone has brought over a beautiful cake that looks drool-worthy and then you take a bite. The frosting hits your tongue and coats it like a bland butter highway that refuses to be demolished no matter how much liquid you drink. Frosting can make or break even the most delicious cake, which is why I always use this incredibly easy and decadent Best Cream Cheese Frosting. My kids demand, very nicely, this frosting on their birthday cakes and I use it for all occasions which is great because it’s so simple to make and really just tastes amazing!
Other Recipes to Serve with The Best Cream Cheese Frosting
- Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake is chocolate bliss! So you know it needs this frosting to complement that decadent flavor.
- Carrot Cake Swiss Roll is a scrumptious way to showcase this amazing frosting for a perfect Springtime treat!
Refrigerator items: Set out the butter and cream cheese well ahead of time, to bring them to room temperature.
Pantry items: You’ll need powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
How to Make The Best Cream Cheese Frosting
STEP ONE: Set up your stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Mix the softened butter and cream cheese until well blended. (You can also do this with a hand mixer.)
STEP TWO: At a lower speed, pour in the vanilla extract and slowly add the powdered sugar, scraping the sides of the bowl as you mix.
STEP THREE: Beat the frosting for two minutes until everything is fluffy. Refrigerate the frosting until you’re ready to use it.
Tips for Success
- Make sure the butter and cream cheese are room temperature. You don’t want the butter to be a melted, runny mess but it should be soft enough to lightly squeeze. Room temperature cream cheese will also blend better so that you don’t end up with clumps of cream cheese in your frosting.
- Sift the confectioners sugar before adding it to the mixer. Sifting will ensure that there are no clumps of sugar that will mess with the texture and taste of the frosting.
Should I Refrigerate the Frosting Before Using It?
Refrigerating the frosting before you frost your cake is a good idea. The butter in the frosting will help it firm up a little, making it easier to spread or pipe onto your desserts.
Can I Make The Best Cream Cheese Frosting Ahead of Time?
Yes! Since refrigerating the frosting before using it is a good idea, you can also keep it in an air-tight container for up to two weeks. You can even freeze the frosting and thaw it in the refrigerator when you’re ready to use it.
Need More Reasons to Make The Best Cream Cheese Frosting?
- Classic Carrot Cake
- Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Banana Donuts with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
*This post originally posted on 03/28/2015.
- 16 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. (You could also use a hand mixer.)
- Turn down the speed of the mixer and slowly add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Once all the ingredients are incorporated, turn up the speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (see note)
Mrs. B says
I would not call this fluffy. Not by a long shot. It was pourable. I ended ip folding in stiffly whipped cream & chilling it before it was usable.
Aubrey Cota says
Interesting, I wonder if maybe it was not whipped long enough. Either way sorry to hear it didn’t work out as well for you.
How many cupcakes do you think this would frost?
Aubrey Cota says
Approximately 24-36 cupcakes depending on how much you choose to use.
Jennifer Ming says
I use this same recipe however thank you for the advice of whipping it longer and sifting the powdered sugar. I would usually add some lemon juice as well. That really pops the flavour.
Aubrey Cota says
Good hack! Thank you.
Does this make enough to frost a 2 layer cake?
Julie Kotzbach says
Hi Alice! Yes, there should be enough for a 2 layer cake.
how long does this keep for in the refrigerator? I was hoping to make this ahead of time so I can just have it ready to pipe on when I need it.
or is it better freshly made?
Julie @Real Housemoms says
You can make this frosting 1 – 2 days ahead of time if needed and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. The frosting will set up in the fridge making it thick and hard to pipe. If you set it out on the counter to soften up a bit, you’ll be able to pipe it easily.
Could I substitute shortening for unsalted butter?
Julie @Real Housemoms says
The shortening will change the flavor of the frosting and slightly alter the texture, but you’re welcome to give it a shot!
Thanks for the recipe. Have been searching for a cream cheese frosting recipe that actually will frost a 2 layer cake. Most of the recipes for a layer cake use only 8 oz of cream cheese and some only 4 ounces. Maybe I am addicted to cream cheese but I actually like to taste it on the cake…forget the thin layer, bring on lots and lots of cream cheese. Will be trying this tonight on a birthday cake for my daughter in law, who happens to be a cream cheese addict…L)
Helle Florin says
Can i pipe this on cupcakes?
Julie K says
Janelle C. says
Delicious frosting! Haven’t tasted it with the banana cake I put it on yet, but out of the bowl is very tasty!