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Cream Cheese Frosting

Piped Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting is a great icing to have in your baking arsenal because it is less sweet than American Buttercream.  Additionally, it has a delicious tang from the cream cheese, which gives it a different flavor profile than meringue-based buttercreams (like Italian, Swiss, and French).  It’s a fantastic frosting for desserts that are sweet because it helps to balance the sweetness-level. 

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Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting

Equipment:

Making the Cream Cheese Frosting

Beat butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at medium speed until smooth and combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Pour in vanilla and salt and mix to combine. 

Making Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting - Adding powdered sugar

Add sifted powdered sugar in 3 additions and mix well at medium-low speed after each addition until the powdered sugar is completely incorporated.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Increase the speed to high and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap touching the surface so the frosting doesn’t crust.

Do My Ingredients Really Need to Be Room Temperature?

For this recipe, it’s much easier to combine the cream cheese and butter if they are both at room temperature. It will not only take substantially longer if they are mixed directly from the fridge, but you will also have to scrape down the mixing bowl more frequently AND you run the risk of causing the liquid to separate from the butter and cream cheese. If your mixture looks broken (e.g., curdled or very wet), just heat the outside of the bowl with a torch or a hairdryer while mixing. This will help the fat re-emulsify the mixture before mixing in the other ingredients.

How to Store Cream Cheese Frosting

Piped Cream Cheese Frosting

Because Cream Cheese Frosting has dairy in it, it can stay at room temperature for a maximum of 4 hours before needing to be refrigerated.  Store frosting in an airtight container in the fridge.  When using the frosting after refrigeration, allow the frosting to come to room temperature and then re-beat it to ensure a light texture. This frosting can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. 

Recipes that Taste Great with Cream Cheese Frosting

The most common recipes using cream cheese frosting include Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake, anything with pumpkin (e.g., pumpkin cupcakes, bars, or cookies), and thinned down to use as a glaze on Bundt cakes (like my Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake).  If you want to level-up your frosting, you can add any of the following:

Need More Frosting Recipes?

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Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time5 mins
Course: Dessert

Equipment

  • Digital scale (or dry measuring cups and measuring spoons)
  • Stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or hand mixer with a large bowl)
  • Silicone spatula

Ingredients

  • 8 oz (227g) brick of cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup or 1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ tsp (1.5g) salt
  • 2 tsp (8.5g) vanilla extract
  • cups (454g) powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions

Making the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at medium speed until smooth and combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Pour in vanilla and salt and mix to combine.
  • Add sifted powdered sugar in 3 additions and mix well at medium-low speed after each addition until the powdered sugar is completely incorporated.
  • Increase the speed to high and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap touching the surface so the frosting doesn’t crust.

How to Store Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Because Cream Cheese Frosting has dairy in it, it can stay at room temperature for a maximum of 4 hours before needing to be refrigerated. Store frosting in an airtight container in the fridge. When using the frosting after refrigeration, allow the frosting to come to room temperature and then re-beat it to ensure a light texture. This frosting can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.

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