Easy Cream Cheese Frosting

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Cream Cheese Frosting is so easy to make, just 5 ingredients! Sweet, creamy, with that slight tang that you love.

Cream Cheese Frosting is so easy to make, just 5 ingredients! Sweet, creamy, with that slight tang that you love.I really love cream cheese frosting. Smooth and creamy, just like my favorite american buttercream (recipe coming soon!) but less buttery and it has that cream cheese tang that I just can’t get enough of. Making your own frosting is really so easy! Just a few basic ingredients and a mixer and you are set. There are a few secrets to making a perfect easy cream cheese frosting. The butter and the cream cheese need to be very soft, but not at all melted. When I plan ahead I will just set the butter and the cream cheese out on the counter several hours before I plan on making my frosting. If they are nice and soft they will whip easily which will give you a light and creamy frosting. Cream Cheese Frosting is so easy to make, just 5 ingredients! Sweet, creamy, with that slight tang that you love.

The second secret is to whip, whip, WHIP! To make frosting you really need some sort of electric mixer. I love my stand mixer, and that is definitely the easiest way to go. You just turn it on, and then come back a few minutes later. You can also use a handheld mixer, I have many times. I’d just suggest using a heavy-duty model if you can. Even when softened the frosting is quite thick and could burn out the motor on a mixer if you aren’t careful. The butter and cream cheese really need a full 5 minutes of whipping to incorporate lots of air and make the finished frosting nice and smooth. Set a timer, a full 5 minutes!

Funny story. My sister got married this past May and I made her wedding cake and the cupcakes to serve at her reception. She wanted gluten free red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. I am asked to make it for almost every special occasion now. It is what I made my sister for her birthday just a few months before. Anyways… I made and frosted more than 300 red velvet cupcakes with this cream cheese frosting. (If you want to check out my cake making adventures on Instagram you can here, here, andย here. And here and here are pics from her wedding.) I made pounds and pounds of my easy cream cheese frosting. I was letting my mixer really whip the cream cheese but when I went to lift up the beaters, the whisk attachment stayed in the frosting and the post that it was attached to was still in the head of my mixer. The plastic whisk attachment melted off because of the friction! (you can see that on Instagram too, here.)

Pro-tip: use your paddle attachment or a solid metal whisk attachment.

Cream Cheese Frosting is so easy to make, just 5 ingredients! Sweet, creamy, with that slight tang that you love.

The final secret to the perfect easy cream cheese frosting is to measure the powdered sugar (and the butter and cream cheese) by weight. Why? It is quite simple, the amount of air in powdered sugar can vary greatly. Maybe you just shook the bag and it is nice and aerated? Or maybe you really packed it in? Either way of measuring could get you more or less sugar, which could really change your frosting. So do it by weight!

Just one last note, this frosting is very soft when it is warm. Not nearly as stiff as my american buttercream. Any piping you do won’t have as much definition, but that doesn’t change how delicious it is. I really think it is the perfect easy cream cheese frosting!

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Easy Cream Cheese Frosting
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Cream Cheese Frosting is so easy to make, just 5 ingredients! Sweet, creamy, with that slight tang that you love.
Author:
Serves: Enough for 24 cupcakes, a 2 layer 6 or 8 inch cake, or a 9x13 cake.
Ingredients
  • (1) 8oz pkg Cream Cheese, softened
  • (1) 4 oz stick butter, softened (1/2 cup)
  • 1½ lbs (24 oz) powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Using a stand mixer or electric hand beaters beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy (5 minutes) add the milk or cream, powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth (additional 3 minutes.)
Notes
I often double this recipe and use 3 lbs of powdered sugar. Instead of measuring it, I use 1, 2 lb bag of powdered sugar and half of a second 2lb bag of powdered sugar.

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Comments

  1. says

    Yes!!!! This is exactly the recipe I’ve been looking for! So glad you joined the party at Inspiration Thursday. I always love to see the recipes you share. Have a great week!

    • flippindeliciousflippindelicious says

      I have had it come out runny for me when the cream cheese and butter are too warm. Would that be the case for you?
      I think the tips to success are:
      1) to have the cream cheese and butter at room temperature, not melty or hot.
      2) measuring the powdered sugar by weight.
      3) being careful when adding the cream or milk. You might not need it all. Just add it a little at a time until the frosting comes together and is smooth.

      If your frosting is runny you can also “fix” it by adding some more powdered sugar.

      I hope that helps! Let me know how it turns out next time you make it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Angie says

    Hello,

    Just made this frosting, but it won’t hold its shape when I pipette! Any tips? I added extra powdered sugar to thicken it.

    • flippindeliciousflippindelicious says

      Hi Angie, How soft was your cream cheese and butter? In my experience, when they’ve been very warm my frosting has been softer. I make the frosting, add all the powdered sugar, and then I add the liquid a little at a time, just until I get the consistency I want.
      Also, cream cheese frosting is just a bit softer than my american buttercream in general. If I want a firm frosting, I use that recipe and add cream cheese flavoring (like when I made my gluten free red velvet layer cake for my sister’s wedding in May. I didn’t want to risk the softer cream cheese frosting not staying in place in the warm weather.)
      Hope that helps! -Brianna

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