16ouncescream cheesechilled and cut into 16 pieces
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt on low speed until smooth, then mix for an additional 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Increase the speed to medium-low and add the cream cheese one piece at a time and mix until smooth, then mix for an additional 2 minutes.
Butter: Unsalted butter + added salt is my preference, but you can use salted butter and omit the salt in the recipe.
Cream Cheese: Be sure to use full-fat block-style cream cheese and now low-fat or spreadable cream cheese. Either of the latter will contribute to a runny frosting.
Yield: This frosting recipe makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes, fill and frost an 8" or 9" cake, or generously frost a 9x13-inch cake.
Storage: Cakes or cupcakes with cream cheese frosting can sit at room temperature for a few hours, but for any longer should be stored in the refrigerator. You can serve cold if you'd like, or allow to sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.
Make-Ahead: You can make the cream cheese frosting and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Allow to come to cool room temperature and then stir vigorously with a rubber spatula before spreading or piping.
Freezer Option: The cream cheese frosting can be kept in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then proceed with using as instructed above for making ahead.