Cream Cheese Frosting

 Cream Cheese Frosting

I love to use this as a frosting or filling in strawberry, chocolate, spice cakes & red velvet (just to name a few!) .  It is so delicious and very simple to make. Enjoy the recipe!


1 cup (2 sticks) (226 g) unsalted butter, softened
8 oz. ( 226 g) cream cheese, (cool, do not soften to room temp.)
2 teaspoons (8 g) vanilla extract
4 cups (420 g) powdered sugar, add additional powdered sugar if needed

In the bowl of your mixer beat the butter beat and cream cheese until just blended. Add the vanilla, and with the mixer on low speed gradually add the powdered sugar and salt. Beat until smooth.

This makes 4 cups frosting and will cover a 2 layer 8 inch round cake.

This frosting should be refrigerated.

Category: Blog Tutorials, Fillings, Frostings and Glazes, Recipes


  1. Karen Reeves says: #1

    How long do you think a cake can safely sit at room temperature with cream cheese frosting?

  2. Tara says: #2

    I would say a day….it’s just the butter. How many times have we left butter out all day. I have never heard of anyone getting ill from room temp butter. I think things with egg/mayo in it are the dangerous foods.

  3. Melissa Diamond says: #3

    It’s actually the cream cheese that I worry about with this one…rather than the butter. In “regular buttercream”, at least the traditional American Buttercreams (rather than Swiss Meringue) the proportions of sugar to butter are so high, that the sugar acts as a preservative & there’s not much worry for leaving it out for a day or so.

    With cream cheese frosting, you still have that sugar acting as a preservative, but the proportions of perishable ingredients to sugar are now higher than they are with regular buttercream, with the addition of the cream cheese. I wouldn’t risk leaving it out for hours (unless it was for someone I didn’t like) :0)

  4. BeBe says: #4

    Hi Donna, there was a discussion on the message board recently on this topic, click on this link, I think you will find it helpful .link to

  5. Tammy Guarderas says: #5

    Hi Melissa, will this frosting freeze well or at least stay fresh in the fridge for a week?


  6. BeBe says: #6

    Hi Tammy, it will be fine in the refrigerator for a week. You can also freeze it.

  7. Ansa Hogan says: #7

    I just wanted to say thanks for suggestion of using cold cream cheese and using a little shortening. It worked like a charm.
    Now, I made this today (sunday) if I freeze it and take it out next monday….how do I defrost it? In the fridge or on the counter? and then will it still be good for a week from when I defrost it?

  8. Melissa Diamond says: #8

    Hi Ansa, glad that it worked so well for you. I would defrost the cake in the refrigerator the night before you need it. We usually recommend eating within 3 to 4 days… time goes by the cake tends to dry out.

  9. Ansa Hogan says: #9

    Hi Melissa,
    Do you mean the frosting? That’s what I was asking about, how to defrost cream cheese or butter cream frosting.

  10. Melissa Diamond says: #10

    Oh okay–yes, I misunderstood. Yes, defrost in the refrigerator and just keep in the fridge—a week will be fine (assuming the cream cheese, etc. are not about to expire) –good luck!

  11. Tremblay Mélanie says: #11

    Allo! 1 stick butter = how much cup or gramme tanks

  12. BeBe says: #12

    1 stick butter is 113 g

  13. Tami says: #13

    Would this frosting be okay to use on Carrot Cake with Fondant over top?

  14. BeBe says: #14

    Hi Tami, I haven’t tried it but I think it is so soft it might cause problems under fondant. I think you would be ok with a crusting cream cheese frosting. We don’t have that recipe in the recipe section but this is a link to a recipe that several members have said was good from cake central link to

  15. Tami says: #15

    Thank you so much BeBe. If this frosting doesn’t work out, which frosting on your site would work best with Carrot Cake covered in fondant?
    Thank you for the super fast response!!

  16. BeBe says: #16

    Cream cheese is my favorite with carrot cake, but if not using that I would use either the Classic Vanilla or Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream recipe under the fondant. Be sure your layer of buttercream is not too thick and chill your frosted cake 5 – 10 minutes to firm up the buttercream before laying on your fondant. Hope it turns out great.

  17. BeBe says: #17

    I haven’t tried meringue powder with the cream cheese recipe but I think it would still be very soft.

  18. Tami says: #18

    Thank you for the clarification BeBe!

  19. Linda Ellis says: #19

    I am going to make this cream cream recipe today … Can I pipe cream cheese frosting thru a piping bag? I’m thinking it will be a little on the thin side?? Just asking before I start my cake. Thanks so much!!

  20. Linda Ellis says: #20

    PS, My goal today is to frost a ‘basket’ cake. It will be my first time. (thanks to your fabulous video!!).

  21. Melissa Diamond says: #21

    Hi Linda, our recipe is a little too soft for piping. This is a link to a cake central crusting cream cheese frosting that some of our members like to use for piping.

    link to

  22. Kari Healey says: #22

    LOVE this recipe! I won’t use any other one!!

  23. Leah Solomon says: #23

    I have a very simple, and delicious cream cheese recipe, that ends up being perfect for piping.. I use 1 block of cream cheese (softened), 1/2 stick of butter (softened)- blend those good, then I add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Mix until well incorporated. It works like a charm every time, and this recipes covers a 2 layer, 8 inch cake :)

  24. Alexis George says: #24

    Hi. Is this recipe what you would use to do a crumb coat?

    If you use this for the crumb coat then what do you use for the outer frosting?

    Many thanks

  25. Kim Silvers says: #25

    Is a double batch of the cream cheese frosting enough to frost a 9×12 quarter sheet cake? I am using raspberry filling so only need enough to pipe damn in the center of the cake.
    Thanks for this site! It’s so helpful and a lot of fun!

  26. Melissa Diamond says: #26

    Hi Kim– One batch should be enough. We always make more frosting than we need and freeze leftovers for later use though ;0) – As I mentioned above, we usually use this recipe for fillings, and then for outer frosting we either add more powdered sugar or combine with vanilla buttercream since it is a pretty soft consistency. —

    If you are interested in other options, here is a thread on Cake Central’s crusting buttercream (which contains shortening) that several of our members have tried–

    link to

  27. Mallory Farrell says: #27

    Hi Melissa,

    I am making Red Velvet Cupcakes and doing the Bouquet, my customer wants the roses in the cream cheese. Would this recipe be okay to make roses? Or do you have any suggestions for a cream cheese recipe that would be stiff enough to make roses?

    Thank you

  28. BeBe says: #28

    Hi Mallory, the recipe we have on the site would not be stiff enough to make roses. This is a link to a crusting cream cheese recipe from Cake Central,
    link to Some of our member say it works well for them, though we have not tried it. I hope this will work for you

  29. Darlene Veney says: #29

    Hi BeBe and Melissa, I made cream frosting for my red velvet cake that consisted of 2 packs of cream cheese(8oz) 1 stick of butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 1/2 cups of sugar. This recipe made it thick enough for me to ice the outside of my cake before covering with fondant. However while adding the decoration to the cake I noticed that it started to bulge from the middle layers where I created the dam. Do you have any recommendations for creating a stable dam when making a tier cake with this frosting?

  30. Melissa Diamond says: #30

    Hi Darlene– Adding additional confectioner’s sugar is a sure fire way to stiffen your buttercream. So, you could reserve some that will be for the dam, and add sugar until you are happy with the consistency. Using a thinner layer of filling or only carrying the filling to approx 1/2 inch from the edge is another way to keep things under control.

    Also, did you allow the cake to settle? My bulging problems were solved when I started allowing time for my wrapped cake layers to settle under a weight of some sort (like a thin book or thick magazine) for several hours. You can do this to the crumb coated cake, or you can settle the filled, assembled layers (wrapped with plastic wrap) before crumb coating.

    Most of the time we don’t even use a stiff dam anymore, unless we are working with a very soft filling. We’ve just found that the settling solved the bulges for us. I hope this helps!

  31. Darlene Veney says: #31

    Hi Melissa,
    I didn’t settle it but I will from now on. Thank you so much for the advice!

  32. Tanya Cummings says: #32

    Hi there, just wondering if the extra icing can be frozen as needed for tastings? thanks

  33. BeBe says: #33

    Hi Tanya, Yes, I do freeze cream frosting. I have frozen it for at least 2 months……thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

  34. Lena says: #34

    Please I need you help and advice – my family thinks the cream cheese frosting is too sweet when I use 4 cups of icing sugar and if I use less it becomes too runny
    Please advise
    Thank you

  35. BeBe says: #35

    Hi Lena, You might like this recipe for a less sweet recipe. The cream cheese comes through as the dominate flavor and I like that.
    2 (8 ounce) packages cream (452g. total) I use full fat cream cheese, you can use reduced fat but the frosting will be softer
    1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 g) unsalted butter
    3 cups confectioners sugar (measure then sift)
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    Have the cream cheese and butter slightly cool, just under room temperature. Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla at medium speed until just blended. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until the confectioners sugar is blended in, do not overheat or it will become too soft. Refrigerate until ready to use. I hope you like it.

  36. miriam says: #36

    I just made this recipe and I think I have ruined it. I dont know if I have to beat it for a long period of time or not. It seems not too smooth, but the taste is good. Thank you

  37. BeBe says: #37

    Hi Miriam, Don’t give up, it is not ruined. If you think it is too stiff, you can add a bit of milk. I would add a teaspoon at a time until it is the consistency you like. If it becomes too thin, more powdered sugar can be added.

  38. miriam says: #38

    Thanks for you answer.
    Its a little curdled. What I have to do next time beat more or what? Thanks again!

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