Cream Cheese Frosting

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Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve shared my Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting and my Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, and now it’s time for my absolute go-to cream cheese frosting that will make all of your cake, cinnamon, muffin, bread, and cookie dreams come true.

This easy cream cheese frosting recipe is luscious, perfectly sweet, and has that delicious cream cheese tang that makes it ever so slightly different from a traditional buttercream frosting. I love using it on all of my carrot cake-flavored recipes (you can check them all out here!) and even dipping fresh fruit, pretzels, and graham crackers when I have a little left over.

Oh, and I use a slightly tweaked, glaze version as the perfect topping for my internet-famous cinnamon rolls, so you know it’s legit. Whip this up soon and tell me your fav way to use it!

healthy gluten free carrot cake on a cake stand

Everything you’ll need to make perfect cream cheese frosting

As I mentioned, this delicious, silky cream cheese frosting requires just 5 simple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Butter: I like to use salted butter because it adds a boost of flavor to the sweet frosting.
  • Cream cheese: you’ll, of course, need some plain cream cheese!
  • Powdered sugar: this frosting is sweetened using powdered sugar (aka confectioners’ sugar).
  • Vanilla: a little vanilla extract brings out that extra sweetness. Learn how to make your own vanilla here!
  • Milk: you’ll just need a little milk to thin the frosting. I typically use unsweetened almond milk, but feel free to use any milk you’d like.

ingredients for cream cheese frosting in bowls

Easy vegan & dairy free substitutes

Yes, this cream cheese frosting can easily be made vegan and dairy free! Simply use a vegan butter stick like Earth Balance in place of the butter, and your favorite dairy free cream cheese like Miyokos for the cream cheese. Then be sure to use a dairy free milk as well.

butter and cream cheese whipped in a bowl to make cream cheese frosting

Can I make it refined sugar free?

Feel free to use my paleo powdered sugar instead of regular powdered sugar in this cream cheese frosting recipe to keep it refined sugar free. Note that it will likely turn the frosting a darker color because it’s made with coconut sugar.

mixing cream cheese frosting in a bowl

How to make the best cream cheese frosting

  1. Whip the butter. Add softened butter and room temperature cream cheese to the bowl of your electric mixer. Whip them together on high until they’re light and fluffy.
  2. Mix the frosting. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk and beat together slowly at first, then increase the speed to high and beat for 2-3 minutes. That’s it!

No stand mixer? No problem.

If you don’t have a stand mixer, feel free to whip up this cream cheese frosting in a large bowl using a hand mixer.

easy cream cheese frosting in a glass bowl

The key to fluffy frosting

To get the perfect fluffy consistency, you’ll want to whip together all of the ingredients using an electric mixer on low speed and then increase to medium-high speed. This will create beautiful peaks in the frosting and make it easy to frost your favorite treats. Don’t forget to add a little bit of milk at a time to reach your desired consistency. This will also help to make the frosting easier to spread.

Add a hint of cinnamon

I LOVE making a cinnamon cream cheese frosting by adding 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the frosting. You can use it on my Blow Ya Mind Pumpkin Cake, my Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins, and my Spiced Apple Zucchini Bread! You may have some frosting left over, so see below for more delicious ways to use it.

How much frosting will you get?

This recipe will make enough frosting to frost 3 6-inch round cakes or 2 8-inch round cakes. If you’d like to frost cookies, muffins, a bread, or an 8×8 or 9×9-inch square cake, I recommend halving the recipe.

fluffy cream cheese frosting in a bowl with a spatula

Delicious ways to use cream cheese frosting

Each of these incredible recipes (besides my Healthy Carrot Cake) uses a slightly tweaked version of this cream cheese frosting, so be sure to check out the full recipe when you click over!

the best cream cheese frosting in a bowl

Storing tips

  • At room temperature: this cream cheese frosting will stay good at room temp for about a day on a cake.
  • In the fridge: feel free to keep the frosting in the fridge for up to a week if you’re looking to prepare it ahead of time. Let the frosting come to room temp before using it. After you’ve frosted your cake or another dessert, I also recommend storing the cake in the fridge after one day.

Freeze it for later

You can freeze this cream cheese frosting for up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer-friendly bag. When you’re ready to use it, simply let it thaw in the refrigerator, let it come to room temp, and then re-whip it in your electric mixer.

carrot cake bread with cream cheese frosting sliced on parchment paper

Cake recipes you’ll love

Get all of my cake recipes here!

I hope you love this easy cream cheese frosting recipe. If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it (and how you used it). Enjoy, xo!

Cream Cheese Frosting

carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Prep Time 10 minutes

Total Time 10 minutes

Serves16 servings

The best cream cheese frosting recipe you’ll ever make! This easy cream cheese frosting requires just 5 simple ingredients and 10 minutes to make. Whip it together and use it on cinnamon rolls, cakes, cookies, breads, and any other baked treats your heart desires.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup salted butter, at room temperature (or sub vegan buttery stick)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (or sub dairy free cream cheese)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk (any milk will work)

Instructions

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the softened butter and cream cheese and whip on high until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk, and beat slowly at first, then increase speed to high and beat for 2-3 minutes. Use on cinnamon rolls, cakes, breads, and more!


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