How to make the best buttercream cream cheese frosting! This recipe is quick and easy, great for filling and decorating your cakes with a perfect hold for piping cupcakes! The perfect balance of sweet and salty with a smooth and creamy texture.
Cream cheese is simply a cheese spread. Very popular and a favorite cream cheese icing in the United States, it has a smooth and creamy texture similar to mascarpone but with a slightly tangy taste.
It is often used as a spread on bagels and in various savory recipes. But it is also used as a frosting in sweet and spicy desserts such as carrot cake, pumpkin cupcakes, gingerbread cakes, red velvet cake or in the preparation of New York cheesecake.
Why you'll love this recipe
There are different recipes that can be used on cakes and cupcakes. It is also possible to make a chocolate cream cheese frosting by adding cocoa powder.
The basic recipe is made of cream cheese, sugar and butter which gives a very soft cream with a perfect balance between sweet and salty taste.
Other well-known recipes include cream cheese frosting without butter with only adding confectioner's sugar. Or cream cheese whipped frosting, a creamier cream similar to mascarpone whipped cream.
Buttercream like frosting
This is the most popular and classic recipes, which makes for a thicker, firmer icing. It is more like buttercream in texture and is perfect for piping your cupcakes.
But in terms of taste it is still less heavy and more flavorful. And you can even adjust the amount of butter according to your preference, to have a firmer cream or to make a lighter cream.
Which cream cheese for frosting
The most famous brand is definitely Philadelphia. But other brands of cream cheese are also used in desserts. The important thing to remember to make the best butter cream cheese frosting is to use a high percentage of fat, and not the light version of cream cheese which could give you a cream that is too runny.
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make this cream cheese frosting recipe, scroll down the page to see the quantities in the recipe card.
- Cream cheese: Use full-fat cream cheese only, not the low-fat version. My favorite brand is Philadelphia, but other brands will do too.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter that has softened at room temperature to avoid a grainy texture.
- Powdered Sugar: Use only powdered sugar such as confectioner's sugar or icing sugar, not granulated sugar.
- Vanilla: Essential for flavoring the glaze: pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean seeds.
⚠️ You'll find quantities and full instructions in the recipe card at the end of this page.
How to make Whipped Cream cheese frosting
- Start by placing the softened butter cut into pieces in the bowl of a stand mixer or electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Beat on medium speed for about 3-5 minutes until butter is smooth.
- Add cream cheese and beat on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes until thick and creamy.
- Finish by adding confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract and mix again for about 2 minutes until creamy.
- Place the frosting in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using.
Tip: Mix the cream cheese with the flat spatula for 2 minutes on slow speed to loosen and smooth it.
Storage and freeze
In the fridge: Place it in a container with a lid in the refrigerator for about 1 week. To freeze, place it in a covered storage box and you can keep it for 3 months.
Tips for this recipe
- Use a full-fat and no low-fat cheese as this will make the icing too runny.
- Take the butter out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before starting the recipe (it must be well softened to blend in with the other ingredients and avoid a grainy texture)
- Use confectioner's sugar instead of granulated sugar so that you don't feel the grains of sugar in the cream and you have a smooth icing.
- Whisk the butter for a long time to loosen it and get a creamy texture before adding the cream cheese.
- Place the icing in the refrigerator to firm up before using.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does cream cheese frosting harden?
If your frosting has a lot of butter in it then it will inevitably harden in the fridge, so you will probably have to beat it again before using it.
Can cream cheese frosting be frozen?
Yes you can freeze it in a storage box for up to 3 months, and place it in the fridge to defrost.
Can cream cheese frosting be made ahead of time?
Yes it is advisable to make it in advance, you can prepare it up to 3 days in advance and keep it in the fridge.
Does cream cheese frosting taste like cream cheese ?
Yes and no, you get a bit of the tangy taste of cream cheese but balanced with the taste of sugar and butter.
More frosting recipes
- Best buttercream recipes
- Vanilla buttercream frosting
- Whipped mascarpone cream
- Swiss meringue Buttercream
- French buttercream
- Russian buttercream
- Vanilla diplomat cream
- Whipped white chocolate ganache frosting
- Coconut frosting
- Italian Meringue
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