Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting

The CREAMIEST and easiest cream cheese frosting recipe! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The most common frosting used in my kitchen is cream cheese frosting. I use it on everything from spice cake to pumpkin cupcakes, carrot cake to red velvet cake, chocolate cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies, banana cake and more. This particular recipe is my favorite cream cheese frosting.

It’s pretty straightforward with only 5 ingredients required.

The best cream cheese frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The CREAMIEST and easiest cream cheese frosting recipe! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The most important part? Make sure you’re using a block of cream cheese, not cream cheese spread. Cream cheese is sold in 8 ounce blocks– and you’ll need 1 block of the full-fat stuff. I’ve gotten many questions about cream cheese frosting being too runny and the #1 reason is because bakers have accidentally been using the spread instead of the block. There’s a HUGE difference!

This frosting is creamy and velvety smooth with the perfect balance of tangy and sweet. And it’s also easy to spread and pipe.

Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (360g) confectioners' sugar, plus an extra 1/4 cup if needed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add 3 confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar (I add it).
  2. Cover and store leftover frosting for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes:

This recipe is enough to frost 12-18 cupcakes or one 9x13 quarter sheet cake. 1.5x the recipe for a double layer cake. (Doubling the recipe would be far too much.)

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20 comments

  1. Hi Sally. Will using fat free cream cheese also make your frosting too runny? I just made some with fat-free and could not get it to a piping consistency no matter what I tried :-(.

    • Yes. Make sure it is full-fat. Fat free cream cheese is barely cream cheese– in fact, I don’t think you can find fat free blocks of cream cheese. Just reduced fat. Did you use block cream cheese?

      • Yes, I buy fat free cream cheese blocks all of the time. But I rarely make cream cheese frosting so it works fine in other things lol. I appreciate your response. I have definitely learned my lesson.
        Congrats on your baby :-), I have been following you for a few years and I am so happy for you. I have both of your cookbooks and look forward to the next. It has been great to see your success. I pray it continues on for many years to come!

      • thank you so much for the congrats!

  2. Hi Sally,

    Can I just use a regular white sugar? I dont have confectioners sugar on hand. Been wanting to try this out for my banana cake! 🙂
    Congrats on your book, I’ve already preordered!

    Thanks,
    Kate

    • Hi Kate! Confectioners’ sugar is one of my most important ingredients and shouldn’t be subbed with coarser granulated sugar. Though you can process/pulse granulated sugar in a food processor until it turns into confectioners’ sugar! There are tutorials online if you give it a search 🙂

      • Yes, I’ve already searched. I don’t own a food processor as well. I’d better buy a confectioners sugar then! Thanks for your reply ❤️

  3. Would it work to add the freeze dryer strawberries to make strawberry cream cheese frosting?

  4. “Freeze Dried”

  5. Hi Sally, When using cream cheese frosting on cupcakes. Can they sit out at room temperature until the next day after frosting? or should they be put in fridge? I feel they would sweet after taking out of fridge. Thank you for your  help and I enjoy your page.

  6. I’m just wondering if you think this frosting would stand up well to piping? Does it hold it’s shape over time, even if the cupcakes can’t be refrigerated the entire time? Thanks in advance!

  7. Hi Sally! Such a huge fan! Ok on to the question. What is the difference between salted butter and unsalted butter in a recipe? Could I subsitute one for the other? Thank you in advance.
    Barbara Cruz

    • Hi Barbara, I always use unsalted butter because I like to be able to control the amount of salt in a recipe. The amount of salt in salted butter can vary between brands so you don’t know exactly how much you are adding.

  8. Hello Sally! You are perfect! In Greece we don’t have block cream cheese only spread.. we can not make it somehow?

  9. I’m frosting 68 dozen cookies.  Approximately how many 2 in cookies would this recipe frost?

    • This recipe as written should be enough for all 68 cookies. You can 1.5x the recipe just in case, but I think the recipe as written will be plenty.

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