The Best Cream Cheese Frosting

I get asked a lot about my cream cheese frosting recipe, and I’m finally sharing it! A lot of cream cheese frosting recipes taste great, but don’t hold their shape.  This can be super frustrating when you’re trying to get super smooth sides on a cake, or pipe some fun designs onto a cupcake!! That’s what makes this frosting recipe so fantastic; it has the tang of a cream cheese frosting, but is sturdy like my classic american buttercream! It’s great for piping on cupcakes, and smoothing on cakes. The recipe and tutorial are included below:

When using this recipe to frost my favorite vanilla layer cake recipe (which is amazing and bakes flat!!), which can be used to make four 7 inch or 8 inch cake layers, I usually make 1.5 – 2 batches, depending on how I’m decorating the cake.

Cream Cheese Buttercream Ingredients: 

  • 3 sticks or 1.5 cups (325 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese frosting (115g), room temperature
  • 8 cups (907 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (3 grams) salt
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 grams) heavy cream
  • 1 tsp (4 grams) vanilla


Beat the butter and cream cheese on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

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NOTE: If you are making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

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17 thoughts on “The Best Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Can the butter cream frosting be made 2 weeks in advance, placed in frig with air tight container; then remove letting come to room temp, and adding the cream cheese- blending well; before decorating?

  2. Can this frosting be left unrefrigerated for 1 or 2 days? Would you recommend this frosting to stacked, tiered or sculpted cakes?

    1. While buttercream can sit out for a couple days, I’m always hesitant to let cream cheese frosting sit out! I’d put it in the fridge until a few hours before you need it. This frosting slightly more elastic than my regular buttercream recipe, which makes it slightly less stiff! It can still be used for stacked and tiered cakes, but a bit more difficult to get perfectly smooth sides with.

    1. it will hold a rosette design, and can be made up to a month in advance! You can store it in an airtight container in the freezer or fridge. I usually made it the day before, and leave it out on the counter overnight. If you do make it in advance, be sure to give it a good stir to ensure it’s nice and smooth for piping!

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