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Make every cake and cupcake taste more heavenly than ever with this homemade cream cheese frosting recipe. Let the kids help though do what I do and give them each a spoon so there’s no fighting over who gets to lick the homemade frosting leftovers. Once you make your own homemade cream cheese icing recipe you’ll realize its way better than those store-bought varieties and will add the sweet tangy taste to your favorite baked treats!

Best cream cheese frosting recipe

Best Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Once upon a time, I used to just buy the can of cake icing and call it a day. But when I saw how easy it was to make my own, I stopped. It’s tastier to make cake frosting yourself anyway and you avoid all those gross added ingredients too. Want to learn how to make homemade frosting? Spoiler alert: there are only 5 ingredients needed to make the best cream cheese frosting ever!

Easy Cream Cheese Icing Recipe

Learning how to make icing with powdered sugar is easy and takes just 5 simple ingredients you may already have on hand. You could be making this cream cheese cupcake frosting recipe right now. This easy cream cheese frosting recipe takes only a few minutes. In fact, if you go bake a cake or cupcakes now and start making it, everything will be ready all at once!

cream cheese frosting ingredients

Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • Butter – Choose unsalted and let it soften.
  • Cream cheese – Make sure it’s full-fat for the best taste. Also, you’ll want it to soften some.
  • Vanilla extract – To help it achieve that sweet taste.
  • Powdered sugar – For more sweetness and texture. A staple when learning how to make frosting with powdered sugar.
  • Salt – Just a little adds contrast to bring it all together.

Easy cream cheese frosting recipe

How do you Make Cream Cheese Frosting from Scratch

You’ll add the softened butter and cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and turn that electric mixer to high. Combine the two until smooth, then add the vanilla and salt, making sure they’re fully combined too. Now turn it to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar little by little until it is completely incorporated. Then you can frost it onto your cooled cake or cupcakes. Or you know, eat it all with a spoon. Up to you.

Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting!

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Cream Cheese Cupcake Frosting & Cake Frosting Recipe

  • Don’t skimp on the fat. Make sure your cream cheese is a full-fat brick variety. This will give you the best results when making homemade cake frosting or cupcake frosting.
  • Salted butter is ok. If that’s all you have, don’t worry, but then don’t add in any salt or you’ll have powdered sugar frosting that is too salty.
  • Take time to soften. For both the butter and cream cheese, these things will blend better if you let them get soft first.

How do you make cream cheese frosting from scratch

How do you make cream icing?

Homemade icing is made with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. You use an electric mixer to blend these things together.

What cream cheese is best for frosting?

Full-fat brick-style cream cheese is the best for making cream cheese frosting. You can buy Philadelphia or your favorite brand as long as it is not low-fat or from a tub. 

How to soften cream cheese?

To soften a standard 8oz block of cream cheese, unwrap the cream cheese and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave it on high for about 15 seconds. If you are softening multiple blocks of cream cheese at the same time, add an additional 10 seconds for each additional 8oz block of cream cheese. Continue at 10 second intervals until you have reached the desired softness.

What is the difference between buttercream and cream cheese frosting?

While both types of frosting contain butter, cream cheese frosting contains cream cheese which gives it that signature rich, creaminess and tangy flavor.

Which is better buttercream or cream cheese frosting?

That depends on your personal taste. I feel that both are delicious types of frosting though I am a bit more partial to cream cheese frosting simply because it’s sweet yet tangy.

How do you firm up cream cheese frosting

How do you make cream cheese frosting taste homemade?

Store-bought frosting has a chemical taste that is no match for homemade. Still, if you’re trying to use a can of it up, you can try adding in vanilla extract or whipping the frosting to make it more appealing.

Why is my cream cheese frosting too soft?

If you used low-fat or subpar cream cheese that has more water in it or the tubbed variety, you will run into softer frosting. That’s why you should get a full-fat brick of the good stuff for cream cheese frosting.

How do you firm up cream cheese frosting?

If your cream cheese frosting feels a bit loose, put it in the fridge for about 5 to 10 minutes. That should solve your problem!

Which is better buttercream or cream cheese frosting

Does cream cheese icing melt?

Cream cheese icing can melt if there is too much liquid in the mixture. That’s why using the best full-fat brick cream cheese you can find is important here. Don’t try to correct it with adding more sugar or your frosting will be too sweet.

Does cream cheese icing harden?

If you put cream cheese icing in the fridge, it will harden. That’s what you can do if it’s too soft to firm it up, especially if you plan on piping it.

How do you make cream cheese frosting harder?

Knowing how to make cream cheese icing harder is easy. Simply put it back in the fridge for about 5 to 10 minutes, on up to 30 minutes. This will help make your cream cheese frosting harder.

What goes well with Cream Cheese Frosting?

Red velvet cakes and cupcakes come to mind of course, but there are so many other cakes and cupcakes that will taste amazing with it. You can even put your cake icing recipe on top of fudgy brownies or cookies.

Why is my cream cheese frosting too soft

How to Store Cream Cheese Frosting?

Since it’s made with cream cheese, you’ll want to put this frosting into the fridge. Make sure it’s in an airtight container.

How Long Does Cream Cheese Frosting Last?

In your fridge, you can keep that cream cheese frosting for up to 3 days. So it’s great to prep in advance of a party to have ready to go.

Can You Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting?

Yes! It will last for up to a month in the freezer as long as you store it properly.

How to Thaw Cream Cheese Frosting?

Let homemade frosting thaw in your fridge overnight. And for use from the fridge, just let it sit out to room temperature for easy spreading.

Watch How To Make Cream Cheese Frosting (Video)

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Calories 166
This classic homemade cream cheese frosting recipe praised for its velvety smooth creamy texture and perfectly balanced taste. It is a crowd favorite and calls for only 5 simple ingredients!


  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 1/4 cups powdered sugar


  • In a large mixing bowl, add in the softened butter and cream cheese. Using an electric mixer on high beat the butter and cream cheese until thoroughly combined and smooth. Once smooth, add the vanilla extract and salt, ensuring that this is also thoroughly combined. Set the electric mixer to low. Slowly add in small amounts of the powdered sugar, about 1/3 of a cup at a time until it is completely combined into the mixture. Use to frost cupcakes or cakes.
Calories: 166kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American


Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 16mg | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 303IU | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

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I’m a mom of two, food and wine lover, and recipe creation enthusiast. Good food brings families together. Which is why I’m devoted to sharing my best recipes that are simple enough for even the beginner cook that your family will love!

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