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Learn how to make cream cheese frosting with my best ever cream cheese frosting recipe.

How to Make the Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting

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My light and fluffy cream cheese frosting is perfect for cakes, cupcakes, donuts and more. Tried and true, this is the best cream cheese frosting.


Hi Bold Bakers!

My Cream Cheese Frosting recipe is truly the king of all frostings! Add a slather of it anywhere and I think you will agree it improves any cake or dessert. Learning how to make this recipe is a must for you Bold Bakers — spread it on classics like my Best-Ever Carrot Cake,  Crazy Cupcakes, donuts and so much more.

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

Besides being absolutely delicious, my Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting is incredibly simple to make. In one bowl, combine a little butter and cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Then, add in your powdered sugar and a dash of vanilla for smooth and creamy bliss. Once your ingredients have been combined, you’ll discover rich, thick and perfectly balanced frosting. This frosting is light in flavor from the soft and tangy cream cheese and complimentary of any dessert.

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What desserts go well with Cream Cheese Frosting?

I can think of endless ways to use this frosting. Make it for my 3 Layer Microwave Red Velvet Cake, spread it across a slice of my Best Ever Banana Bread, dollop it onto your cupcakes and smear it over your carrot cakes. The frosting is always my favorite part, so if you’re like me, you must give my recipe a go!

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How to store Cream Cheese Frosting?

You will find my Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting recipe is super easy to work with and beautiful. This light, fluffy, and shiny frosting is absolutely convenient as it can be kept in the fridge until ready for use. This can be covered and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can you Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting?

I like to vacuum seal extra frosting and freeze it! You can always transfer your frosting to an air-tight container and pop it in the freezer. This will keep frozen for up to 3 weeks. To use from frozen, allow the frosting to thaw in the fridge until it’s soft. After thawing just give the frosting a good whip up with a spatula then use as directed in my recipes.

Use This Recipe With These Desserts!

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4.19 from 107 votes
Learn how to make cream cheese frosting with my best ever cream cheese frosting recipe.
Gemma's Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

My light and fluffy cream cheese frosting is perfect for cakes, cupcakes, donuts and more. Tried and true, this is the best cream cheese frosting.

Course: Frosting
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • 5 cups (1 lb 4 oz/ 575g) powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
  • 2 cups (16oz/454g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (4oz/115g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high cream together the cream cheese and butter.

  2. Once light and fluffy add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and whip until it is smooth and creamy.
  3. This can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

 

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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189 Comments

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  1. Jah on September 23, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    Hi is it 5 cups of powdered sugar coz I warched the video it looks like its not 5 cups,,, sorry????????????

    • Gemma Stafford on September 23, 2019 at 4:08 pm

      Hi Jah. Thanks for asking! Always follow the amounts in the recipe here for sure. Gemma ????

  2. Almanza Dsouza on September 15, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    Hi gemma, I tried making your cream cheese was simply awesome now I’ll make the frosting of the same

  3. Kathy Bather on August 26, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    Hi Gemma, I’m from the UK. I tried this icing and your red velvet cake for my dads birthday last week. The cake came out lovely and soft, I was pleased as I’ve never baked in the microwave before, but I could get it red coloured. I tried adding more colour, but I still looked like chocolate cake… also I made the frosting, and it was to soft / runny to spread over the cake, I chilled it for over a day but it made no difference. I’m wondering if our cream cheese is different to what you guys get.. as I used a store bought tub which is very soft. Anyway the cake was delicious and I’ll definitely try more microwave bakes. Thanks love Kathy xxx

    • Gemma Stafford on August 27, 2019 at 3:17 am

      Hi Kathy,
      I am glad you tried this microwave cake, haha, it surprises people, but there are no good reasons why it should not work for you, well done.
      Originally red velvet cake did not have any color added, it relied on the cocoa, often organic which has a pink tinge, never truly red back in the day. Some bakers added beetroot to the cake too to enhance the color. The vinegar helped this, though cocoa is also an acid ingredient, the vinegar gives added velvet texture.
      The type of color you use is important here, an old fashioned color will not give you what you want, it will need to be a modern paste/powder to give a strong color. I use Americolor here (https://amzn.to/2NyntJ6) you can research this here.
      You are spot on about the cream cheese frosting. Tubs of cream cheese are designed for spreading, really so soft, they do not work in the same way as the block of dry cream cheese we get here in the US.
      I am noting your email is a UK one – after a lot of trial and error my mum found that Tesco has a tub of Soft Cheese, which is cream cheese, and that the full-fat one is nice and dry and works well in no-bake cheesecakes and frosting. Using real butter will help too, and reducing the ratio of cream cheese to powdered sugar will also help here. 1/2 teaspoon of cornflour added to the powdered sugar will also help to stabilize this.
      Now you have the benefit of trying this, you have learned a lot, onward and upward!
      Gemma 🙂
      Now the colors added are

  4. Yoana on August 20, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Hi Gemma
    The frosting taste amazing
    But however I’m not able to get the stiff peaks
    What do I do for this..it is a little saggy

    • Gemma Stafford on August 21, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      Hi Yoana,
      cream cheese frosting is not like a stiff buttercream or Swiss buttercream, it really does not make stiff peaks in the same way. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/best-ever-carrot-cake/) you will see it here. It really is more like a glaze. It can probably be made stiffer by the addition of cornstarch, just a little will make a difference. you add this to the powdered sugar before sieving. It is also important to use real butter, tubs of margarine are too soft for this application,
      Gemma 🙂
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Nilofer on August 11, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Hi Gemma I hv tried most of ur recipes it’s really a life saver for a new born cook like me.thanks.. I wanted ask if I’m using cream cheese spread to stabilize it u HV mentioned in previous comment about corn starch..how n vn to add cornstarch at wat proportion. N wat will b the spread n butter ratio .

    • Gemma Stafford on August 12, 2019 at 8:18 pm

      I’m really glad you like my recipes.

      Cream cheese will be naturally thick once you blend it so there is no need to add corn starch. I don’t recommend that.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  6. Nicole Green on June 18, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Hi Gemma, thanks for the won recipes! Is this frosting sturdy enough for piping, that is, will it hold its shape or would I have to add more sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 18, 2019 at 12:19 pm

      Hi Nicole,
      what this really depends on is the type of cream cheese you use.
      The one we can get here in the US is a block of cream cheese, dry, and designed for baking as much as anything else.
      The one in a tub is designed as a spread and tends to be too soft to hold its shape. The best idea then is to use less of it with the buttercream, or more sugar. A little cornstarch can also help to stabilize it too. I say take it easy when adding this soft cream cheese, just enough to get the flavor, and a few drops of lemon juice will help to pick that up too.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. aditithakur on June 8, 2019 at 12:18 am

    Hey Gemma! Can we use your homade cream cheese for the frosting ?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 9, 2019 at 4:35 am

      Hi there,
      yes you can, but it depends on how well the cream cheese is made. Use full-fat milk, vinegar makes a larger curd, and that is easier to cream.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. C on April 27, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    Hi Gemma, I’m going to try your best ever chocolate cake with frosting. However, I want to decorate it with white frosting, can i use this to in addition to the chocolate frosting in the recipe? Thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on May 1, 2019 at 8:52 pm

      Yes absolutely you can do that! great idea.

      Let me know how it turns out.
      Gemma.

  9. Rosemary Arriaga on April 22, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Wondering how many cupcakes I can frost with this recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 23, 2019 at 11:26 am

      Hi, this makes a very large batch, you can frost about 12- 14 cupcakes with this recipe.

  10. maisy on March 30, 2019 at 6:06 am

    can i use soft cheese instead?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 30, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      Like farmers cheese? I’m not sure what type of cheese you are talking about.

      Gemma.

  11. Rukshana on March 23, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Hi Gemma!

    I have tried it, but unfortunately it’s juicy. Can you give me any suggestions please?

    Regards,
    Rukshana

    • Gemma Stafford on March 25, 2019 at 12:07 pm

      Do you mean its too runny? Are you using full fat cream cheese?

      • Rukshana on March 26, 2019 at 6:09 am

        Yeah..It’s too runny . Yes, I have used full fat cream cheese.

        • Gemma Stafford on March 26, 2019 at 10:26 am

          Hmm, for this i might suggest sitting it over a strainer to remove the liquid.

  12. CandyGram55 on March 15, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Hi, Gemma. I was searching for a homemade cream cheese frosting recipe, and, well, how could I not try “The Best Ever “?

    This recipe produced a wonderfully mild cream cheese taste with just the right amount of sweetness.

    However, even though I followed the recipe exactly, my frosting came out way too thin for piping. But, I added more powdered sugar and refrigerated it for a while, which worked out fairly well.

    I’ve had nice compliments from people who have tried my St. Pat’s Green Velvet Cake with The Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting. (I’ll post a picture.)

    I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 17, 2019 at 8:29 am

      Hi Candy,
      well, that was an invention! A green velvet cake, now you will have to copyright that one! Haha, never thought of it!
      The cream cheese we get here in the US tends to be in a block, which is rather dry, and I use this mostly for baking. The tub variety is designed for spreading, and tends to be a little too soft. The way to deal with it is to reduce the quantity in frosting in particular. It can be a bit too soft for no bake cheesecakes too, and may need a bit of gelatin to set it up.
      I hope this is of help, next time round. Thank you for the idea!
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Yanil on March 14, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Hi there !!!…. question, as a cream cheese for this frosting ….. can I use cottage cheese???

    • Gemma Stafford on March 15, 2019 at 4:23 am

      hi there,
      sure you can, but you should cream the curd first, in a food processor for best results.
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Rabz Ady on March 11, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I love ur videos and started baking after getting inspired from you.
    Thanks for it.
    I want to ask you that I dont have vanilla extract so can I use vanilla essense in the creme cheese frosting? Im planning to make red velvet cake.

    Thanks in advance
    Love,
    Rabz

    • Gemma Stafford on March 11, 2019 at 9:19 am

      I am delighted to hear that 😀 yes, that works perfectly.

  15. Anandhi on March 1, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    How to make cream cheese at home

  16. Laura on February 11, 2019 at 2:00 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Thank you so much for this recipe, my frosting came out beautiful. It was a little soft when i made it but after refrigerating it overnight it was great the next day.
    However, it wasn’t stiff enough to pipe, do I need to add more sugar?

    Thanks
    Laura

    • Gemma Stafford on February 11, 2019 at 3:32 am

      Hi Laura,
      This is an issue when you use a tub of cream cheese, which is a little softer than the block we get here.
      Try reducing the amount of cheese next time, that will do it. I would not be inclined to increase the sugar. There are suggestions to stabilize it too, using a touch of cornstarch/cornflour, (1 teaspoon) arrowroot, or even gelatin.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Nina on January 30, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Gemma, do we use confectioners sugar (the one with cornstarch in it) or just regular powder sugar would do?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 30, 2019 at 4:12 pm

      For this is suggest confectioners sugar here 😀 Enjoy!

  18. Sal on January 14, 2019 at 4:13 am

    Hi
    Made this icing & it turned out great. Better than icing I’ve tasted on shop bought cakes. Just wanted to know if you can freeze the icing.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 15, 2019 at 1:40 am

      Hi Sal,
      Good, I am happy that this recipe was good for you.
      This type of thing is best made fresh. That is not to say that it cannot be frozen, it can. If you freeze it as a mix then it will be best to whisk it after it has defrosted, that will make it easier to spread.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Cakepoplicious on January 11, 2019 at 2:01 am

    Ma’am can I use homemade cream cheese instead packaged one.?? Which you showed in ur other video.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 11, 2019 at 9:54 am

      Yes, of course, enjoy!

  20. VanessaM on January 6, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Hello Gemma Ma’am… It’s Vanessa here…
    This recipe is over the top… I tried it for the first time and it went really great….I also added a bit of melted bitter sweet chocolate and Everyone loved it…
    I’m making it again but I think I messed up something because it turned out to be very lumpy…. Do you’ve any solution for that because I don’t want to waste all the sugar and dairy….
    Thanks….

    • Gemma Stafford on January 7, 2019 at 12:49 pm

      Hi there, if you find it to be lumpy you can blend it until smooth. Give it a try and let me know how you go!

      • VanessaM on January 12, 2019 at 6:08 pm

        Thank you very much for the advice Ma’am….. It turned out to be great as always…. Thanks to you????

  21. Ashmita Bose on January 6, 2019 at 2:21 am

    Hello
    What are the measurements of butter and
    sugar if using 180gm of cream cheese?

  22. Michelle Sage on December 19, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    How many cupcakes will this recipe cover please?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 19, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      I would say 12-14 ;D

  23. Ritu on November 24, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Hi Gemma!
    I’m looking to make this for your best carrot cake ever(Yummy!) And was wondering if this recipe would yeild enough to frost the cake. I rarely frost my cakes due to lack of required ingredients but his I most definitely can try. Thanks in advance!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 24, 2018 at 6:23 pm

      Hi,

      Yes absolutely. this makes enough to cover a large cake.

      Happy Baking,
      Gemma.

  24. Heather Matthews on November 21, 2018 at 12:03 am

    What is the best Frosting for a Mud cake
    Thanking you Heather.

  25. Anaya on November 12, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Can you use granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar for this frosting?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 12, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Hi Anaya,

      For frosting you always need to use powdered sugar as it dissolves really well and makes a fluffy frosting. Granulated sugar won’t dissolve.

      Hope this helps,
      Gemma.

  26. Charu on November 9, 2018 at 6:38 am

    Hi Gemma,
    How many cups of frosting does this recipe yield?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 11, 2018 at 5:13 pm

      Hi Charu,

      it makes roughly 4-5 cups.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  27. Bhawna on November 2, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    What kind of butter is used in cream cheese frosting? Salted or unsalted?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 3, 2018 at 4:02 am

      Bhawna,
      I use salted butter, but that is not the usual choice. Most people will use a sweet butter, an unsalted one for this recipe.
      Thank you for baking with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  28. Adele van Wyk on November 1, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Hi Gemma. I followed your recipe, but my cream cheese frosting came out runny like condensed milk. Im baking your microwave carrot cake for my Mom’s 60th and made the frosting tonight to keep in the fridge over night. Will it thicken in the fridge and be ready for decorating and piping tomorrow night? Im worried 🙁

    • Gemma Stafford on November 1, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Oh no! Yes it will thicken over night in the fridge. Also tomorrow if you need to you can add more powdered sugar to ticket it.

      Hope it turns out well.
      Gemma.

      • Adele van Wyk on November 2, 2018 at 12:01 am

        Thanks Gemma :). I will upload my final masterpiece picture tonight 😀 Very excited!!

        • Gemma Stafford on November 3, 2018 at 5:35 am

          Haha! Yes, you do that, we love to see your masterpieces, all good!
          Gemma 🙂

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