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Whip up this easy cream cheese frosting for cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, or stacked cakes in just a few minutes. It’s the perfect, pipeable cream cheese frosting that balances sweet with buttery smooth texture and just a hint of cream cheese tang. It’s a classic buttercream that you can turn to whenever you need a quick frosting.
We all have those standby recipes right? Those go to, quick and easy ones that are versatile and always just work. This ridiculously easy cream cheese frosting is one of those for me.
I have a small admission…I don’t love cake. Or cupcakes. It’s just not my thing (I’m a brownie girl!) But my husband would seriously eat cake as the only dessert for the rest of his life. So I bake them quite frequently! But since I’m not a cake connoisseur so to speak, I’m also not a frosting connoisseur. So I turn to this cream cheese buttercream frosting often.
It’s creamy, sweet but not overly so, with just enough tang to keep it interesting. And bonus, it’s SO EASY and works on a lot of different things. Carrot cake, red velvet, chocolate, spice cake, or even cream cheese cinnamon rolls! Basically what I’m saying is…pin it, bookmark it, keep it. It’s you’re frosting go to.
It doesn’t get much simpler than a cream cheese buttercream frosting. No meringues to whip, just butter, sugar, and a bit of flavor.
- Powdered Sugar – No exceptions, you need superfine powdered sugar to make a creamy buttercream.
- Unsalted Butter – I like European butter when possible (better fat ratio), and unsalted is a must.
- Cream Cheese – A softened chunk of cream cheese is fairly essential to cream cheese frosting!
- Vanilla Extract – Ever make your own? You should try! Get the recipe.
- Salt – Just a pinch, it enhances flavor, even sweet ones.
How to make It
Simple ingredients, simple process, easy to love! This makes enough frosting for 24 cupcakes!
- Begin by creaming the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl until smooth and fluffy.
- Add in one cup of powdered sugar, and beat on low until combined.
- Repeat until all the powdered sugar is combined in thoroughly and you have a smooth but thick cream cheese frosting.
Yes! Simple beat together and store appropriately. It’s safe at room temp for up to 8 hours, but should be refrigerated after that, for up to 3 days. If you want to prep WAY in advance, store in the freezer for a month.
Let it return to room temperature, even beat it again with an electric beater to loosen it back up if need be. Don’t heat it in the microwave!
Either your butter or cream cheese was too soft, or you haven’t added enough powdered sugar. If your butter or cream cheese is melty, it won’t whip properly. It should be soft to the touch, nothing more. If you’ve done that right, add more powdered sugar, half a cup at a time until desired thickness.
If you’ve added too much powdered sugar too fast, the frosting will be stiff and difficult to work with. You can rectify this by adding a tablespoon of milk or cream at a time until desired thickness.
Either one! Spread it on sheet cake or cinnamon rolls or pipe it onto cupcakes or your stacked cakes, even on cookies!
I hope this is the easy cream cheese frosting you’ve been looking for. It’s certainly a frosting recipe that I love, so much so that I’d even eat cake for it. 😉
Give it a go (I mean it doesn’t take long, and while you’re at it, try out these fun cake recipes to try it on. Or, eat it with a spoon, no judgment here!
- 6 ounces cream cheese softened
- 6 ounces unsalted butter softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- pinch salt
- Cream together butter, cream cheese, salt, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.
- Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until a thick, creamy frosting comes together and all the powdered sugar is dissolved.
- Use as desired! Store at room temperature up to 8 hours, in the fridge up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 1 month.
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.