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.
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, and 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.
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!
- (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
- 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.)
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