How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 3 votes

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This is the BEST Cream Cheese Frosting recipe! Creamy, sweet, slightly tangy, and so easy to make. Delicious on cakes, cookies or even by the spoonful!  Cream cheese frosting on a whisk

Cream Cheese Frosting

Light, fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect topper to many of our very favorite desserts. From cinnamon rolls to cakes, this rich icing takes regular sweets to the next level. Plus, it’s really easy to make! Read on to find out how to make cream cheese frosting perfectly smooth and creamy every time.

What to do if Cream Cheese Frosting is Too Runny or Too Thick

Just like Goldilocks, you want your cream cheese frosting juuuuust right. If you’ve followed the recipe below and it’s still too runny, add a bit more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick, just add milk, one teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

Why is My Cream Cheese Frosting Lumpy?

To be clear, cream cheese frosting should NOT be lumpy. Believe me, it’s taken some trial and error to figure it out, but here’s the secret to velvety smooth frosting: room temperature cream cheese and butter! It is important that you give your butter and cream cheese time to rest on the counter before mixing. Once they’re softened completely, whip them together for at least thirty seconds before adding any sugar. You’ll have delicious, silky cream cheese frosting every time!
Cream cheese frosting being made in a stand mixer

Can Cream Cheese Frosting be Piped?

Yes! We pipe this frosting recipe often, on cupcakes, cakes, sugar cookies and more. Just make sure it’s firm enough to not run everywhere. To achieve this, you may want to add a bit more powdered sugar. Also, don’t whip the mixture for too long, as over-beating can cause the frosting to lose its shape.
Chocolate Chip Nothing Bundt Cake on a Serving PlateChocolate Chip Pumpkin Sheet Cake

Can I Use Fat Free Cream Cheese?

This is not the time to skimp. Life’s all about little indulgences after all! For the best tasting frosting, use regular cream cheese. You can use reduced fat or nufachel cheese in a pinch, but fat free just won’t taste right. Enjoy the tasty treat and eat veggies tomorrow. Everything in moderation, right?

Is Cream Cheese Frosting Gluten Free?

Absolutely! For gluten free friends and family, you can use this frosting to top all sorts of delicious GF treats.

How to Store Cream Cheese Frosting

Once prepared, this frosting can sit at cool room temperature for up to eight hours before it needs to be refrigerated. Then it should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Plus, you can freeze any extra frosting in the freezer for up to a month! However, no frosting of mine has ever lasted that long. I tend to keep a spoon nearby and sample this decadent frosting straight from the fridge!
Close up of cinnamon roll on plate with frosting

How Much Cream Cheese Frosting Does This Recipe Make?

This simple recipe makes about 3-4 cups of cream cheese frosting, so you should be able to easily frost 24 cupcakes or an 11×13 sheet cake. If you only need enough for 12-14 cupcakes, you can half this recipe but more often than not I prepare the recipe as-is or even double it, especially when making a double layer cake or cinnamon rolls. Then I have plenty for spoon sampling (ahem, see above).

Recipes that use Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe elevates so many of our favorite recipes from ordinary to extraordinary! Try a few and see for yourself.

…and SO many more!

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting on a whisk

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 3 votes
This is the BEST Cream Cheese Frosting recipe! Creamy, sweet, slightly tangy, and so easy to make. Delicious on cakes, cookies or even by the spoonful!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 (¼ cup) servings



  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric stand mixer until smooth. 
  • Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing constantly, until desired consistency is reached. 
  • Add more powdered sugar to thicken, add a little milk (a teaspoon at a time) if needed to thin.
  • Serve over cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, cake, or cookies (see links to recipes above).


Note: If you prefer your cream cheese frosting to be more on the tangy side, only use 2 cups of sugar.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 280kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 1gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 129mgPotassium: 26mgSugar: 38gVitamin A: 490IUCalcium: 21mgIron: 0.1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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  1. We love this on bundt cakes! I had some frozen, I just let it thaw in the fridge and then whipped it again with the hand beater and it came out so good!

  2. I like to make stuffed cookies and am brainstorming a “red velvet cake cookie” stuffed with the cream cheese icing. Do you think this would survive baking inside a cookie?

    1. I just stick it in the fridge overnight and then when I am ready to use it, I whip it with an electric mixer for a bit until it is softened.

    1. I keep reading to add powdered sugar to make it thicker, but it’s only making it thinner. What do I do?

      1. I’m not sure, I haven’t had that problem before. Were all the other ingredients added as instructed? I want to help, but I think I might need a little more information.