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+ servings

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting is a tangy alternative to vanilla buttercream. You only need a few ingredients and about 5 minutes to make this recipe!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep 10 minutes
Total 10 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 211 kcal


  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces cream cheese chilled and cut into 16 pieces


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • 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.

Adapted from Cook's Country.

Nutrition Facts
Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 211 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 111mg5%
Potassium 28mg1%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Sugar 20g22%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 490IU10%
Calcium 21mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.