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What is the best cream cheese frosting recipe?

Our The Best Cream Cheese Frosting recipe never disappoints and is very simple to create. A crowd-pleaser!

Three chocolate cupcakes sitting on a white board frosted with swirls of The Best Cream Cheese Frosting.

Every home baker needs a good Buttercream Frosting recipe and a good Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, and Two Sisters offers both. Our Best Cream Cheese Frosting recipe is sweet and creamy, with just the perfect amount of cream cheese tang. And it tastes fantastic in cookies, cakes, and cupcakes! Don’t worry, it’s also really simple to create. Your guests will ask you to make this frosting again and again!

Collage image showing the steps for creaming the Cream Cheese, Butter and Vanilla extract to make a batch of The Best Cream Cheese Frosting.

Step 1: In a mixing dish, combine the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla essence. The butter and cream cheese should be “slightly softened,” which means they are still cold but have been removed from the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
Step 2: On medium speed, blend the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract until fully incorporated (approximately 2 minutes). You want to properly combine the ingredients so that their tastes merge. Before proceeding to the following step, scrape the mixture along the sides of the basin with a spatula.

Collage image that shows the steps for mixing the powdered sugar with the Cream Cheese and Butter mixture to make Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting.

Step 3: In a separate dish, weigh 1 pound of powdered sugar using a food scale. If you don’t have a food scale, just use 4 cups. We usually do not sift the powdered sugar, instead relying on the mixer to do the job.
Step 4:  Add the Powdered Sugar into the mixing bowl.
Step 5:   Two Sisters Tip: Use a cloth to cover the mixer during this phase of the mixing process to prevent the powdered sugar from flying out.
Step 6:  
Begin your mixer (or electric beater) on the lowest level and continue to beat until the cream cheese/butter and sugar are combined. (about 30 seconds). Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for another 30-45 seconds, or until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Close up on a white spatula covered with Cream Cheese Icing that is hovering above a glass mixing bowl that is sitting on a white table.

Step 7: This is the most enjoyable stage of the frosting-making procedure since you get to taste your icing. You’re testing to see how it tastes (does it require additional vanilla?). and thickness (is it too thin or too thick?) (A message from the Two Sisters concerning the cream cheese icing. It’s a thin layer of icing. It will never be a pipeable frosting or crust up like buttercream. Having said that, as you can see in our photos, you can perform a swirl.) The first step is to chill the frosting for an hour or two before using it. This will help the butter and cream cheese firm up. If the frosting is too thin, you may add EITHER 1/2 cup powdered sugar OR 1 tablespoon corn starch. Check to see whether the consistency has improved.

A frosting decorating bag filled with Cream Cheese Frosting sitting on a white table in front of a batch of unfrosted chocolate cupcakes.

Step 8:   How much frosting do you think you’ll need?That varies on how thick or thin you apply the icing and how much you decorate, but here are some recommendations. Our Cream Cheese Icing recipe should provide enough to cover a 9′′ x 13′′ sheet cake or a two-layer 8′′ cake.If you’re baking cupcakes, you should be able to frost 24 of them if you use a knife to apply the icing.If you use a pastry bag to swirl the frosting on the cupcakes, you should be able to frost 15-18 cupcakes depending on the size of the swirl.

Expert Tips and FAQ’s

Does the frosting need to be refrigerated?

Yes. Because of the cream cheese, Cream Cheese Frosting must be refrigerated. You may keep it out for up to two hours before it has to be refrigerated again. And use extreme caution while using it outdoors on a bright day.

How do I store any leftover frosting?

Buttercream Cream Cheese Frosting will only last as long as your Cream Cheese does, so check the expiry date on the Cream Cheese packaging before preparing the frosting. For example, if the Cream Cheese has an expiry date of two days, the frosting will be valid for two days. Any leftover frosting should be refrigerated in an airtight container. If you properly cover the frosting to minimize freezer burn, it should keep in the freezer for 3-4 months.

Closeup on three chocolate cupcakes topped with The Best Cream Cheese Frosting.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup slightly softened butter (We use Salted Sweet Cream Butter)
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1 pound Powdered Sugar (or 4 cups)
  • 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Instructions

    1. In a mixing dish, combine the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla essence. The butter and cream cheese should be “slightly softened,” which means they are still cold but have been removed from the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
    2. On medium speed, blend the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract until fully incorporated (approximately 2 minutes). You want to properly combine the ingredients so that their tastes merge. Before proceeding to the following step, scrape the mixture along the sides of the basin with a spatula.
    3. In a separate dish, weigh 1 pound of powdered sugar using a food scale. If you don’t have a food scale, just use 4 cups.
    4. Add the Powdered Sugar into the mixing bowl.
    5. Begin your mixer (or electric beater) on the lowest level and continue to beat until the cream cheese/butter and sugar are combined. (about 30 seconds). Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for another 30-45 seconds, or until the frosting is light and fluffy.
    6. This is the most enjoyable stage of the frosting-making procedure since you get to taste your icing. You’re testing to see how it tastes (does it require additional vanilla?). and thickness (is it too thin or too thick?) (A message from the Two Sisters concerning the cream cheese icing. It’s a thin layer of icing. It will never be a pipeable frosting or crust up like buttercream. Having said that, as you can see in our photos, you can perform a swirl.) The first step is to chill the frosting for an hour or two before using it. This will help the butter and cream cheese firm up. If the frosting is too thin, you may add EITHER 1/2 cup powdered sugar OR 1 tablespoon corn starch. Check to see whether the consistency has improved.

Related Questions

  • How can I make cream cheese frosting better?

    Try a few at first to find which ones work best for you.

    1. Add a pinch of salt.
    2. Add flavoring.
    3. Add whipped cream.
    4. Add in cream cheese for a lighter flavor.
    5. Whip the frosting.
    6. Add textures.
    7. Add freeze-dried ground-up fruit to add flavor.
  • Which cream cheese frosting is better?

    Duncan Hines Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting is the best cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting, in my view, is the best of the “American-style” frostings, which are produced by beating fat (such as butter or shortening) with powdered sugar.

  • Is milk or heavy cream better for frosting?

    The key to ultra frothy, silky smooth buttercream is to use heavy whipping cream instead of milk and to beat it for many minutes. The explanation is simple: whipping cream incorporates air into the buttercream.

  • Which frosting is one of the most popular types of frosting it is sweet creamy and rich?

    Buttercream Frosting

    Buttercream Frosting
    Buttercream, by far the most popular form of frosting, is produced by blending some sort of fat, such as butter, with sugar. It may also use additional ingredients such as eggs for a fluffier texture or cream to make this vanilla buttercream recipe more creamy and silky.