cream cheese frosting on red velvet cupcakes close up (1)
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Easy Cream Cheese Frosting

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Incredibly creamy and flavorful, this cream cheese frosting is so simple, yet so versatile!

I feel like cream cheese frosting doesn’t get as much love as classic buttercream frosting! But it’s super flavorful and just as versatile as regular buttercream!! Plus I find cream cheese frosting isn’t as fussy as buttercream.

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    5 ingredients, and 5 minutes of your time, and you’ll have a bowl of cream cheese frosting for all of your red velvet, carrot cake, and cinnamon roll needs! Or whatever else you like cream cheese frosting on.

    cream cheese frosting complete in bowl overhead (1)

    Cream cheese frosting ingredients:

    • cream cheese: of course!
    • butter: helps give the frosting some structure. Using 100% cream cheese would leave you with a soupy frosting! And, no thank you to that!
    • salt: to balance out the sweetness
    • vanilla extract: for flavor!
    • powdered sugar: for sweetness and structure. This recipe uses 4 cups, but if you want a less sweet frosting, you can take it down to 3 cups. I wouldn’t go any less than that because a lot of the body of the frosting does come from the sugar!

    cream cheese frosting cream cheese and butter creamed together overhead

    How to make cream cheese frosting:

    1. Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add salt and vanilla and whisk in as well.
    2. Add powdered sugar. Beat until all the sugar is dissolved.
    3. Frost away!

    red velvet cupcakes on marble serving board head on view

    Cream cheese frosting variations:

    Here’s how to make this same recipe into:

    • cinnamon cream cheese frosting: add between 1 to 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon (depending on your taste) to the frosting!
    • cream cheese lemon frosting: add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of lemon zest to the frosting!
    • strawberry cream cheese frosting: add a 1/4 cup strawberry jam. Or (if you want to use fresh strawberries) cook 1 cup of strawberries on your stovetop until it reduces down to a 1/4 cup. Cool down the mixture completely before adding to your frosting at the end!

    red velvet cupcakes on serving tray topped with frosting and cake crumbs

    How long does cream cheese frosting last?

    Cream cheese frosting actually lasts a decent amount of time. It’ll keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can even freeze it for up to 3 months.

    Whichever method you choose, make sure to store your frosting in an airtight container or plastic bag to keep it as fresh as possible.

    Check out these other frosting recipes!

    chocolate buttercream frosting
    vanilla buttercream frosting
    whipped chocolate ganache frosting

    Easy Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

    Incredibly creamy and flavorful, this cream cheese frosting is so simple, yet so versatile!
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 0 minutes
    Total Time 5 minutes
    Servings 3 cups (approx.)


    • 1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese softened to room temperature
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 4 cups powdered sugar * see notes


    • In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Beat together using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until fluffy, smooth, and lump free. Add your vanilla and salt, and mix to incorporate.
    • Add your sugar to the cream cheese and butter mixture. Beat together again until the sugar is fully dissolved in your frosting.
      *TIP: If you find your frosting is not firm enough for what you plan on using it for, pop it in the fridge for 10 to 20 minutes. It should firm up. The longer it sits in the fridge, the firmer it will get.
    • Frost away!


    * For a less sweet frosting, you can take the amount of sugar down to 3 cups. I wouldn’t go below 3 cups just because most of the frosting’s body does come from the sugar. Using 3 cups will give you a slightly looser frosting, but nothing a few minutes in the fridge won’t fix!


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