Thursday, 30 July 2009

Cream Cheese Frosting

image courtesy of elana's pantry
No cupcake is complete without frosting, and one of the most popular frosting is cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting is versatile and easy to prepare. It's often seen on red velvet cupcakes and carrot cupcakes, and zucchini cupcakes but gives a nice tang to chocolate cupcakes, too!
It's soft and creamy which makes it a fun consistency to decorate cupcakes with. It's easy to swoop and swirl around the top of your cupcakes. Basic cream cheese frosting can be altered with flavoring such as vanilla and maple to add some extra pizazz, but alone it holds a lot of character.

Here's a great recipe for Cream Cheese Frosting from my own personal collection!

8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter
12 oz cream cheese
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature. In a mixing bowl, mix butter on medium speed until light and creamy. Add cream cheese and mix until fluffy. Slowly add the sugar, one cup at a time. Continue to mix. Finally, add the vanilla extract to the mixture and mix until it has a creamy consistency.

You can store this frosting for up to three days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. When you are ready to use it simply mix it with an electric mixer until it becomes smooth.

This should give you excellent frosting to top your cupcakes with! If you want to alter it to make it Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, simply add maple extract instead of vanilla. You can also play around with this cream cheese frosting by adding a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon. This will spice things up and tastes great on pumpkin cupcakes (Halloween!) or on apple spice cupcakes. Cream cheese frosting tastes great with most every cupcake though I wouldn't recommend topping off vanilla cupcakes with this frosting.

Though this recipe seems easy, it's still produces a very elegant frosting. The best frosting recipes, in my opinion, are easy to make because frosting shouldn't be too complex. Cream cheese frosting is easy to make, save the complexities for the cupcakes.

Other great ideas for your cream cheese frosting is to add some mini chocolate chips to it. Also, I have before experiment with using whipped heavy cream in place of half of the butter and this yields a delicious whipped cream cheese frosting. You can also add some shredded coconut on top of the cream cheese frosting. Finely chopped up mango also adds to this traditional recipe.

Since cream cheese frosting has cream cheese in it, make sure you store it in the refrigerator and don't leave it out too long. Also, don't leave it in the sun for too long because it will melt and become very messy. Aside from that, have fun! Experiment and enjoy your cupcakes, whatever they may be.

This cream cheese frosting recipe is the last one you will ever need.

Good luck and come back soon for more cupcake recipes and frosting recipes!


  1. When you used whipped heavy cream to replace half the butter to make it more whipped, how much did you use?

  2. Hello,

    I loved your website. It is great. This is my first post.
    I tried your recipe for cream cheese frosting but it did not work. I did not get it. I am really upset. When I tried to decorate my dark chocolate cupcakes, the frosting was melting and the sugar seprated from butter. Can you tell me why??

  3. Hi Fattto,

    Sorry it didn't work out for you. The only way to explain melting frosting is if the frosting was warm or kept out in the sun. There are no actual liquid ingredients in this recipe so it shouldn't be runny. Cream cheese and butter will always stay in a solidified form unless kept at too high a temperature.
    It seems like you may have not thoroughly mixed the frosting. Did you use confectioners sugar? If so there's no reason for it to separate from the butter and I've never heard of that happening before.
    Sorry again it didn't work out and I wish you luck on your next attempt!

  4. Hi, will Philadelphia substitute as cream cheese for this recipe?

  5. I always use Philadelphia wherever cream cheese is required and it turns out perfect every time.

  6. I love your site. I love how everything goes into detail... it is fabulous.. Thank you!!! I made this frosting today and the taste was amazing, but a touch runny for my taste and decorating style. I am putting it in the fridge to see if I can get it to set up a little since it is a bit warm here today! Thanks so much... PS .. also made the red velvet cupcakes and LOVE them!!

  7. I love it just looking at the recipe. Im making the frosting for my mom on mothers day i hope it works!:)

  8. I made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Since it is a soft frosting, I am not sure how I can transport it without making a mess.

  9. Philadelphia is cream cheese, so yes, it'll work.
    If it's too soft, put it in the fridge for a bit. It tends to soften when you mix it but will firm up in the fridge.
    You can transport cupcakes in a cupcake box, or a cake tin will work if you pack the cupcakes well. I usually put my cupcake boxes in a bag with something cold, like those ice-packs from cooler-boxes, but I still wouldn't take cream cheese frosted cakes anywhere on a hot day unless it's only 5 minutes away.
    My major tip for cream cheese frosting would be not to put any sprinkles until just before serving. I've had the colour leak out of various sprinkles and turn into paint in top of cream cheese frosting, which kind of ruins all your hard work!
    Does anyone know how to get rid of that horrible gritty texture that confectioner's/ icing sugar gives to this and buttercream? Even when I sift everything thoroughly I can still feel the sugar and it makes my teeth feel scared :-)