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Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

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Cream cheese frosting that comes out perfect every time and is great on top of cupcakes, cakes, cookies, and cinnamon rolls!

Cream cheese buttercream frosting on the whisk attachment of a stand mixer.

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Below you will find tips, tricks and helpful hints for making this recipe including step by step instructions with pictures. If you would like to go directly to the recipe, scroll down to the recipe card.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

I have always had a love/hate relationship with Cream Cheese Frosting. 

I love the way that the tanginess of the frosting compliments sweet treats like cinnamon rolls and cookies.

Cream cheese frosting on red velvet cinnamon rolls

But, I don’t like that whenever I would make it, I could never get it to not be runny.

How to make Cream Cheese Frosting that isn’t Runny

I did a lot of research to figure what was causing my my frosting to be runny and I picked up a few tips:

  • Use room temperature ingredients
  • Don’t over beat the cream cheese
  • Use equal amounts of butter and cream cheese
Cream cheese frosting in a piping bag

Do you have to refrigerate cream cheese frosting?

You should refrigerate cream cheese frosting. It can be left at a cool room temperature for about 8 hours but must be refrigerated after that.

Just make sure to remove the frosting from the refrigerator about 30 minutes to 1 hour before you need it, to allow it to come to room temperature.

Cream cheese frosting in a piping bag

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

*Ingredient amounts are located in the recipe card at the end of this post.

Softened Butter– You can use either salted or unsalted butter to make this frosting.

Softened Cream Cheese– For the best results, use full fat cream cheese.

Powdered Sugar– This is a standard ingredient to make frosting and will give the frosting it’s structure.

Vanilla Extract- Vanilla will enhance the sweetness of the cream cheese frosting.

Milk or Heavy Cream- This is used to thin out the frosting if it is too thick.

How to Make Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

[1] Begin by placing the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. (I like Kitchenaid or Bosch)

[2] Whip the butter for 1-2 minutes.

Butter in a mixing bowl for cream cheese frosting

[3] Add the softened cream cheese to the bowl and beat for another minute.

Cream cheese and butter for cream cheese frosting

[4] Mix in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating in between.

Powdered sugar in a bowl to make cream cheese frosting

[5] Add the vanilla extract then whip the frosting for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

[6] If your frosting is too thick, add milk or cream 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.

Vanilla in a bowl of cream cheese frosting

[7] Serve with your favorite baked goods like cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, cakes, and cookies!

Cream cheese frosting being piped onto red velvet cinnamon rolls.

Helpful Kitchen Tools

Cream cheese buttercream frosting on the whisk attachment of a stand mixer.

Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 3 Cups
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Butter, softened
  • 8 Ounces Cream Cheese, softened
  • 4 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Milk or Heavy Cream

Instructions

  1. Place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
  2. Whip the butter for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the softened cream cheese and beat for 1 minute.
  4. Mix in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating in between.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and whip the frosting for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  6. If your frosting is too thick, add milk or cream 1 tablespoon at a time, until your desired consistency is reached.
  7. Serve with your favorite baked goods like cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, cakes, and cookies.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

The best cream cheese frosting

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MARIANGEL SOTO

Monday 12th of April 2021

How many layers can I decorate with this?

Jasmine

Saturday 23rd of January 2021

I only have salted butter , is that fine to use ?

Ana Alvarez

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

Can I use this for decorating a cake with colors?? Will it work?

Mindy

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

I have colored the frosting before and it works. Just make sure you keep the cake refrigerated after it’s decorated.

Lauren

Sunday 22nd of December 2019

When do you put in the milk?

Mindy

Monday 23rd of December 2019

At the end, if your frosting is too thick, add the milk or cream 1 tablespoon at a time until your desired consistency is reached.

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