Easy Cream Cheese Frosting

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Every baker needs an easy cream cheese frosting recipe as a basic tool for making delicious desserts. Pair it with everything from chocolate cakes to carrot cake, easy cupcakes for kids, topping homemade brownies and so much more!

Vanilla cupcakes have been topped with a swirl of cream cheese frosting and sit on a cake plate. There's a frosting piping bag on the counter in front.

Cream cheese frosting is hands-down the most requested dessert topping in our family.

Whether or not a birthday cake calls for cream cheese frosting, my kids and husband will often beg me to swap it in as their favorite substitute.

I never mind that request because homemade cream cheese frosting is so easy to make from scratch. I often have everything I need in the pantry.

Once you've tasted the tangy sweetness of real cream cheese frosting and discover how quick it is to make, you'll never be able to go back to canned frosting again.

Ingredients

You've got to love the short list of real foods that go into homemade frosting. However, with so few ingredients, you'll want to make sure they're the best:

The ingredients to make easy cream cheese frosting are on the counter.
  • Cream Cheese: I usually use Philadelphia brand original but have had success with store brands and low-fat cream cheese bricks, too.
  • Powdered Sugar: Buy a big bag at the store, it keeps well in the pantry and has a million uses.
  • Salted Butter: I'm picky about my butter. I've been using Land o'Lakes butter in my frosting for years. I haven't had as much luck with store brand butters in frosting because their formulas tend to be more watery. For a special occasion, splurge on the better butter.
  • Vanilla Extract: I LOVE Mexican vanilla extract but homemade vanilla extract works or any nice quality vanilla you love. If a bright white frosting is important to you, you'll want to buy clear vanilla extract because regular can give the frosting a mild yellow hue.

Variations

To mix things up, you can add whatever color food dye or gel to make your frosting a pretty color for your design.

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However, if you find you need brown frosting, I highly recommend making this easy chocolate cream cheese frosting instead! So yummy!

Cream Cheese Frosting Desserts

When I want to do a fun birthday cake design, I love using cream cheese frosting because it holds the shape well and is even more delicious cold from the fridge.

However, you can also use cream cheese frosting for so many other baked goodies and desserts! Here are some of my favorites to pair with it:

If you’ve tried this easy buttercream frosting or any other recipe on PeanutBlossom.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
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📖 Recipe

Vanilla cupcakes have been topped with a swirl of cream cheese frosting and sit on a cake plate. There's a frosting piping bag on the counter in front.

Easy Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 46 votes
This easy cream cheese frosting is the perfect dessert topping for everything from chocolate cake, carrot cake, cupcakes, brownies, bars, tarts, and more!
TOTAL TIME 10 minutes
PREP TIME 10 minutes
YIELD 1 Frosting for 12 cupcakes or one 9 x 13 sheet cake

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (8 oz) brick of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Add the cream cheese and butter to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until they are combined and smooth. Pause to scrape the sides of the bowl a couple times as it mixes.
  • Add the vanilla to the mixing bowl and blend it in on medium speed.
  • Add the powdered sugar to the mixer. Blend on low speed until most of the dry powder has been incorporated.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl and then mix on medium-high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 4 - 5 minutes.

Recipe Notes

A Note About Salt:
Our family loves sweet-salty treats. I sometimes add a small pinch of Kosher salt to the cream cheese frosting to enhance that flavor.
Storage:
The frosting should be refrigerated once your dessert has been decorated.
Make-Ahead Tips:
You can make the frosting ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Let the container come to room temperature and stir it with a spatula to fluff it up a bit before using to decorate.
COURSEDessert
CUISINEAmerican

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Fun Baking with Kids

Cream cheese frosting is one of the essential recipes I included in The Ultimate Kids' Baking Book.

There are tons of delicious, easy recipes for kids included that the cream cheese frosting would be just perfect with:

A batch of cupcakes is being frosted with vanilla cream cheese frosting.

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5 from 46 votes (46 ratings without comment)

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