Easy Cream Cheese Frosting


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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.

a glass bowl of piped cream cheese frosting with powdered sugar around it

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.

Frosting Ingredients

It doesn’t get much simpler than a cream cheese buttercream frosting. No meringues to whip, just butter, sugar, and a bit of flavor.

a bowl of powdered sugar, softened butter, softened cream cheese, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt
  • 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!

butter and cream cheese creamed together with sugar then piped
  1. Begin by creaming the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add in one cup of powdered sugar, and beat on low until combined.
  3. Repeat until all the powdered sugar is combined in thoroughly and you have a smooth but thick cream cheese frosting.
glass bowl of piped cream cheese frosting


Can I make this ahead of time?

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.

The frosting is too thick to pipe from the fridge.

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!

My frosting is runny, what happened?

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.

My frosting is too thick!

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.

Should I pipe or spread this?

Either one! Spread it on sheet cake or cinnamon rolls or pipe it onto cupcakes or your stacked cakes, even on cookies!

A bowl of cream cheese buttercream frosting in front of cupcakes

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!

a bowl of cream cheese frosting in front of cupcakes

Easy Cream Cheese Frosting

Mikayla M.
A simple, but delicious pipeable cream cheese frosting that's versatile and creamy.
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24
Calories 163 kcal


  • 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.


Times and Nutritional Values are a best estimate based upon personal equipment and products. They may vary based upon the products and equipment available to you. 


Calories: 163kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 24mgPotassium: 11mgSugar: 22gVitamin A: 272IUCalcium: 9mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.

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  1. 5 stars
    This frosting totally worked. Sometimes I had trouble with other recipes, but this one was super simple to follow and the result, was just perfect! Thank you!

    1. Oh Laura that is so wonderful to hear. I am thrilled it worked so e=well for you and that my recipe and instructions were so easy to follow!

  2. 5 stars
    I use this cream cheese frosting for all of my dessert recipes, e.g. red velvet cake, cupcakes, etc. Really easy to make and not too sweet! Only changes I make are doubling the batch and adding a bit more vanilla (closer to 1 tablespoon).

  3. 5 stars
    I made this frosting for some quick cupcakes this weekend and it is delicious! The cream cheese flavor is rich and pairs perfectly with chocolate.

    1. Thanks Kim, I hope that everyone enjoyed your cupcakes. This frosting is so simple I use it myself quite often!

  4. 5 stars
    I feel that an awesome cream cheese frosting recipe is something everyone should have in their wheelhouse. This one is so good and seriously perfect enough to eat straight with a spoon! My favorite is to make a batch and then dip pretzels in it!

    1. Lori, what a great idea. I love that you find it good enough to “eat right off the spoon”! I am planning to do this and let me kiddos add some sprinkles. They will love it!

  5. 5 stars
    Just tried out this Easy Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, and it’s a total game-changer! The simplicity of the ingredients and the quick preparation make it a go-to for any baking adventure.