|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 3g||4%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||10%|
|Total Carbohydrate 28g||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 27g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Whether it's atop red velvet cupcakes or a deliciously moist carrot cake, cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement for a wide variety of desserts. In this recipe, the cream cheese flavor comes through beautifully, as it's made with all cream cheese and no butter. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature so it blends in easily and makes for a smooth and creamy frosting.
This recipe makes enough frosting to generously frost a 9-inch cake, a dozen cupcakes, or the top of a 9 x 13-inch cake, and it's easily scaled up for multilayered cakes.
1 8-ounce package cream cheese (softened)
1 to 2 tablespoons cream (or milk, or as needed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
Pinch of salt
Gather the ingredients.
In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of cream and the vanilla until smooth and creamy.
Into a bowl, sift the powdered sugar and measure 3 cups (about 12 ounces). Gradually add the powdered sugar to the cream cheese along with a pinch of salt and beat until smooth and fluffy.
Add more cream or milk if needed for spreading or piping consistency.
Use frosting on cake or cupcakes.
- Softened cream cheese should be soft to the touch and still slightly cool. If cream cheese is used right out of the refrigerator, you will probably end up with lumpy frosting. To soften cream cheese, take it out of the refrigerator for about 30 to 40 minutes before you begin to make the frosting. You can speed the softening process up a bit by cutting it into small pieces. In a pinch, you can use the microwave to soften (some models even have a setting for softening cream cheese), but be sure to keep a close eye on it so it doesn't get warm.
- For a two-layer cake, use 12 ounces of cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of cream or milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla, and about 4 to 4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar.
- For the very best flavor and texture, use full-fat cream cheese. If you decide to use reduced-fat cream cheese, however, choose Neufchâtel. Neufchâtel cheese is lower in fat, but it isn't as low as the one-third less fat cream cheese.
- If you want a more balanced flavor with a softer cream cheese flavor, replace 2 to 4 ounces of the cream cheese with softened unsalted butter.
- Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting: Replace 1/4 cup of the confectioners' sugar with unsweetened cocoa powder, or beat about 2 ounces of cooled, melted dark chocolate into the cream cheese. Because of the additional moisture, you may need extra powdered sugar.
- Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting: Add 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon or orange zest and about 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lemon or orange juice along with the vanilla. You may need to add extra powdered sugar because of the additional moisture.
- Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting: Add about 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract along with the vanilla.
- Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting: Replace about 1/4 cup of the cream cheese with 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter (not reduced fat).