Cream Cheese Frosting makes the perfect frosting recipe for so many sweet treats. An easy, yet elegant cream cheese frosting recipe.

Cream Cheese Frosting from

Cream cheese frosting comes in handy for all sorts of delicious delicacies – like hummingbird cakered velvet cake, cupcakes, and well… just about anything else I can think of right now. It just makes anything taste better in my book – and no wonder with all that fluffy, creamy deliciousness!

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

This frosting comes together quickly by creaming together the cream cheese and butter that have been softened and then slowly incorporating the sugar half a cup at a time.

After each cup of sugar has been added, turn the mixer onto the highest speed setting for about 10 seconds to make your cream cheese frosting as light and fluffy as possible.

Then, add in your vanilla and give your frosting a final burst of mixing on high speed.

Cream Cheese Frosting from

This recipe yields a generous portion of cream cheese frosting – enough to frost a 3-layer cake well. It is also easy to halve the amounts if you do not need that amount.

Desserts frosting with cream cheese frosting do require refrigeration. You’ll want to store a cake or cupcakes, etc in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Unused frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days, but can not be frozen as it will ruin the consistency of the frosting. To use the frosting, remove it from the refrigerator and incorporated a tablespoon of heavy cream to the frosting with an electric mixer to return it to a spreadable consistency.

Here’s my Cream Cheese Frosting recipe. It’s a classic that everyone loves!

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting makes the perfect frosting recipe for so many sweet treats. Get this easy, yet elegant cream cheese frosting recipe.
4.8 from 30 votes

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Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch


  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Cream cream cheese with an electric mixer.
  • Add in butter and cream together with cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  • Add confectioner's sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time. After each cup has been incorporated, turn the mixer onto the highest speed setting and for about 10 seconds to lighten the frosting.
  • Add in vanilla and beat until well-blended, light and fluffy.
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Robyn xo

Cream Cheese Frosting makes the perfect frosting recipe for so many sweet treats. An easy, yet elegant cream cheese frosting recipe. //

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives, originally published 2011.

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Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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145 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Hi Robyn, Amazing recipes I must say, quick question.
    Are we looking at 8 ounces in total of cream cheese or 2 8 ounce packages?? meaning 16 ounces in total?

    Sorry! hope to hear from you soon!


  2. How long can the iced cake stay out on counter? I will have to make on Dec. 23 to take to my daughter’s house on morning of Dec. 25th?

    1. Hi Denise – Desserts with cream cheese frosting do require refrigeration. You’ll want to place the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator before until it’s completely eaten. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Thanks so much! xo

  3. I just made this for a red velvet cake. It is not thick enough. If I put it in the fridge overnight will it thicken up? Is there anything else I can try?

    1. Hi Laura,
      I’m sorry it didn’t get thick enough – I’ve not had that happen. Is there a chance the butter got too warm (warmer than room temperature?) If so, that could be the reason…and you could refrigerate for a while til cool, then beat with mixer until fluffy, then frost the cake. I hope this helps. Thanks!

  4. Hello. I love this recipe and I’m about to try it today. Next week I am going to make a cake and cover it with this recipe. And my question is. Can I put the frosting on the cake in friday morning and keep it until saturday lunch without the frosting getting Bad? I’m going away on friday so the morning is my only chanse where I have time enough. I’ll do a “test cake” today to make sure what kind of “frosting” I can use.
    I’m swedish so I apologize for not perfect english hehe.

  5. I have always loved cream cheese icing, so does my husband on a moist Hershey’s semi sweet chocolate cocoa homemade cake, so this is the first time I made homemade icing instead of store bought, and the way I made it was with 2 sticks of unsalted butter, 3 1/2 cups of 10x confectioners sugar and the 16ozs of cream cheese and no vanilla and let me tell you if GOD has cream cheese icing in heaven, this would be the one, so thanks a billion for letting us fellow cooking readers into your recipe secrets and that it, the recipe could be done a little different and it turned out again, heavenly. Bless you and your dedication in cooking because it sure came out in this one recipe for now that I have tried! See I am new to your site and will look here first if I need any help with my recipes or am looking for a new recipe, thanks again!

    1. I’m so happy to have you join me here, KAS! And I’m just tickled that you enjoyed the frosting! So honored that mine was your first homemade frosting and that you enjoyed it so much! I love this frosting too!
      Your comment is so kind and so appreciated and I hope to speak with you again!
      Thank you so very much! xo

  6. In one part of the receipt is asks to blend cream together with cream cheese until light and fluffy. My question to you is what cream is it asking for since it is not in the ingredients? Thank you Gloria

    1. Hi Gloria,
      “Cream” in that part of the instructions is referring to a step in the recipe – a cooking term, like blend or mix. Thank you – I hope you enjoy the frosting! xo

  7. Loved this frosting! The kids and I finished what was left from icing the carrot cake. This is my 3rd time making it and it sure won’t be the last!

  8. Robyn, many thanks for the recipe. I just made a carrot cake with your frosting for my wife’s birthday. She’ll be home any minute now, and I know she’ll love the frosting most of all!

  9. I scrolled through the comments but couldn’t find the answer to my question-what is the three layer cake that is in the picture? It looks like an apple cake. Do you have the recipe for the cake? Thanks

  10. not sure if my comment made it on so I’ll try again. What is the three layer cake in the picture? An apple cake with cream cheese frosting? I would love to find the recipe for it, thanks

    1. Substitute some of the cream cheese with oreo cream filling. Take the cookies, put them in a plastic bag, and crush them with a rolling pin until you have crumbs. Then add the oreo cookie crumbs to the frosting! I haven’t made it like this but it seems like that’s how most oreo themed baked goods I’ve seen around make it.

  11. I’m not sure what cream cheese to buy .. I got quark soft cheese but I don’t think that’s right 🙁 is there any brand names to make it easier for me to find? I can’t find philly in a block anywhere

  12. Hi – 
    I want to frost the best chocolate cupcakes (your recipe) with this cream cheese frosting. 
    Couple of questions: 
    1) do you think this frosting on the chocolate cupcakes would go well together? 
    2) how many cupcakes will this recipe frost? 
    Thank you

  13. This was the absolute best cream cheese frosting I have ever made or had in my life. I used it on a red velvet cake that I took to work and all of my coworkers thought it was divine! Thank you for sharing it!

      1. Hi Karen,
        I’m sorry your frosting was thin. There are a few reasons I can think that could cause this. The cream cheese could have been beaten too much before the butter was added which would cause it to start to separate. The stand mixers are so powerful sometimes they can beat ingredients too hard and you don’t realize it. The butter could have been too soft. It needs to be just at stage where you can barely make a dent in it when you press it with your finger. The butter and the cream cheese both should be full fat. Hope this helps!

      2. Must use full fat cream cheese. I made a different cream cheese frosting and the first time I used a reduced fat cream cheese and it was too soft. Next time I used full fat and it was just right

  14. Do your instructions for beating in the sugar mean to crank up the mixer for each addition of the sugar or just after you have added  all of the sugar.

    1. Hi Martha,
      You’ll mix in with the electric mixer after each addition, then after all additions have been made, then crank it up to highest speed for time noted in recipe. Thanks!

  15. Looks like a good recipe. I’m using it with your Best Chocolate Cake {Ever} recipe since that’s what my friend wants for her birthday. But before I make the cake and since I need to go to the store anyways, what kind of butter do you use for this recipe? I would assume unsalted, but just want to make sure. Thanks!

  16. My frosting was runny as well. I’m so disappointed. The butter and cream cheese were room temperature. I tried adding extra powdered sugar. No luck. I tried freezing it too, didn’t help. I had just taken a cake decorating class and was very excited to use this.  Big bummer….

  17. I made this and it taste delicious. The only problem is that it was too soft. My cream cheese and butter were both room temperature. I saw at least one other person had this problem. Still. easy to make and taste great.

    1. I’m sorry it was too soft. It does sound like the butter and cream cheese got too warm though, Cindy. I am happy though that you enjoyed how easy it is to make and you liked the taste. Thanks!

  18. helped my friend make this last minute though she is not a good baker haha this turned out great thank you so much for this recipe easy and delicious!

  19. Great frosting!  Not too sweet and the cream cheese flavor predominates.  This will be my “go-to” recipe from now on.

  20. Hi! I am making this right now for my granddaughter’s birthday celebration this evening. It is very runny even though I have added quite a bit of extra 10 X sugar. My butter & cream cheese were still very firm when I started. I am very disappointed and upset! I now have to figure out something for this cake! I have no supplies left which means I now have to make a trip to the store! What’s up with this? I have been baking for 55 years & I should have gone with my instincts! Way too much cream cheese & way too little sugar!

    1. I’m so sorry you had problems with this recipe. I’ve not had that issue with the ratio of cream cheese and sugar in this recipe. For reference, I use Philadelphia Cream Cheese and generally use Land O’ Lakes butter. I’ve used other brands successfully as well. Another thought on what may have caused an issue is if you didn’t beat the frosting on high speed as mentioned in step 3 after each addition of the confectioner’s sugar. That makes a huge difference.

    1. That may make a difference, Yvonne, especially since it’s already creamier than the block of cream cheese. I always use the cream cheese in the blocks. I hope you enjoy this! xo

  21. Also making this with butter and not margarine will change the recipe a lot…I found this out when something I was baking said use butter and I used margarine instead and the cookies(I think that’s what I was making) came out runny…the batter was different and so was the cookie after baking them, margarine makes cookie spread out more well cooking….anyways I’m using this recipe tonight on red velvet! I’ll let you know how it goes 😄

  22. Hi, 

    I was wondering how many cupcakes this would frost. I was thinking half of the recipe for 12 cupcakes,

  23. Will this frosting work with Russian Piping tips or will it not be thick enough? If not think enough, any tips on making it a bit thicker?


  24. Hi, 
    Is it possible to make chocolate cream cheese frosting?! If so, do you recommend adding cocoa powder and espresso powder? If so, how much? 
    Thank you!

  25. Hi Robyn,

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for your amazing Carrot Cake with the incredible dreamy cream cheese frosting – since I came across it about 3 years ago it is the ONLY recipe i’ve used and will ever use………the comments that i receive and most times they can’t believe that i baked it and that it was most probably store bought…..are endless!!! So i have to salute you and give credit where it’s due…….MANY THANKS xxx

  26. This is my go to recipe for cream cheese frosting. I love it! If I ice my cake now (Thursday) will it be ok if eaten on Saturday? Refrigerated of course. Thanks for your recipe!

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