Cream cheese frosting is a baking classic!
It’s perfect for practically any cake and any leftovers are great dolloped onto some freshly cut fruit.
Easy To Make
This is the basic recipe, you can reduce the amount of butter if you want a bit more tang, and increase or decrease the sugar according to your taste.
Dress up with ginger, vanilla bean, or coconut flakes. I’ve listed some of my favorite variations at the end of the recipe.
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
This recipe makes enough frosting to frost one single layer round cake, a 9x13 quarter sheet cake, or 12-18 cupcakes.
To frost a double layer cake, use 3/4 cup butter, 12 ounces cream cheese, 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
- 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick, 4 ounces, 115g), room temperature
- 8 oz of Philadelphia cream cheese (1 package, 224g), room temperature
- 2 to 3 cups (360g) of powdered sugar (also known as confectioner's sugar), sifted
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 Beat the cream cheese and butter together: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until completely smooth, about 3 minutes on medium speed. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure that the mixture is mixed evenly.
2 Beat in vanilla extract and powdered sugar: Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer running on low speed to start, slowly add in 2 cups of the powdered sugar.
Powdered sugar has cornstarch in it that will thicken the frosting as well as making it sweet. Add more powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time to the frosting until you get your desired level of sweetness and thickness.
3 Spread or pipe the frosting to decorate: Use a blunt knife or spatula to spread the frosting, or spoon the frosting into a piping bag to decorate your cupcake or cake.
Here are some fun variations:
- Add 1/2 a cup of unsweetened cocoa powder and a pinch of salt for a chocolate cream cheese frosting
- Mix freshly grated or dried, flaked coconut to the frosting to make a coconut frosting
- Intensify a vanilla frosting by adding some scrapings from a fresh vanilla bean to the frosting
- Add some blueberry syrup for blueberry cream cheese frosting
- Add a tablespoon of Amaretto or a quarter teaspoon of almond extract for an almond flavored cream cheese frosting
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