Hold onto your spatulas, folks, because today I’m unveiling a cream cheese frosting recipe that’ll take your baked goodies to the next level! This frosting is good on so many desserts and a go-to anytime I’m whipping up red velvet cupcakes!
Why You’ll Love This Cream Cheese Icing
- Beginner Friendly: This frosting is so easy that beginners and seasoned bakers alike will fall in love.
- Light and Fluffy: Unlike other versions, this frosting is light and fluffy thanks to the addition of heavy cream and a good stir.
- Make Ahead: Did you know that you can actually make frosting in advance or even freeze it for later?
Cream cheese frosting is one of my go-to icing recipes for so many reasons. It calls for minimal ingredients, spreads nicely, and can be piped for beautiful decorating. So good on so many cake flavors and a tang that pairs with almost anything.
It’s rich, velvety, and strikes a perfect balance between sweet and tangy. The creamy, slightly tangy notes from the cream cheese meld with the sweetness of powdered sugar to create a luscious, indulgent taste. It’s like a delightful dance on your taste buds, leaving a luxurious, lingering sensation that’s both comforting and utterly delectable. This frosting has the power to elevate any baked treat into a heavenly experience.
Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
The ingredient list is short and follows the same lineup as most of my cake frostings. Here is what you will need to get started:
- Cream Cheese: I pull my cream cheese out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before I plan to make this recipe. That lets it soften slightly without becoming too runny, making it perfect for mixing.
- Butter: Unsalted butter that is softened works best. However, you can use salted in a pinch.
- Powdered Sugar: I say six cups, but you can stop adding powdered sugar as soon as your desired thickness has been reached.
- Vanilla: I always suggest pure vanilla extract. It gives you the best finishing flavor for most baked goods.
- Heavy Cream: My secret. There’s a food truck here in Utah that sells the most incredible cupcakes. Her frosting is SO light, fluffy, and just subtly sweet. Her secret? Whipping cream into the frosting. AMAZING.
Best Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Don’t skimp on the cream cheese brand either. You want a good quality otherwise you are going to sacrifice in the flavor department. You also want to grab a good quality butter. No margarine!
- PREP: Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- MIX: Whip at low/medium speed until fully combined and smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
- SUGAR: With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar slowly and one cup at a time.
- WHIP: Once combined, stir in the vanilla extract and the heavy cream. Whip for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- ENJOY: Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix one minute more.
- Stand Mixer: Can you use a hand mixer (affiliate) in this recipe? Yes, but I highly recommend a stand mixer (affiliate). The paddle attachment is golden and works better than the whisk!
- Silicone Spatulas: If I can only recommend one kitchen tool, it would be a set of silicone spatulas (affiliate). These are so versatile and used daily in our kitchen. Great for baking AND cooking.
You can, but keep in mind that it might affect the texture and flavor slightly. Full-fat cream cheese generally yields a creamier and richer frosting.
Definitely! It stores well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Just give it a good stir before using.
This might happen if the butter or cream cheese was too soft, or if you added too much liquid. Try chilling it for a bit to help it firm up.
Yes, you can freeze it for up to three months. Thaw it in the refrigerator and give it a good stir before using.
Leftovers? Rare, but if you have some, use it as a delicious dip for fruit, spread it on toast, or swirl it into oatmeal for a sweet twist.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 6 oz cream cheese soft
- 1½ cups soft butter
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Whip at low/medium speed until fully combined and smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar slowly and one cup at a time.
- Once combined, stir in the vanilla extract and the heavy cream. Whip for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix one minute more.