Cream Cheese Frosting and Variations

cream cheese frosting
Diana Rattray
  • 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: Enough for 2 Layers (serves 24)
Ratings (13)

This flavorful cream cheese frosting makes enough for a large rectangle or two layer cake. 

This recipe is made with vanilla as the flavoring, but there are many more flavors and possible additions. Take a look at the variations for more.

The amount of confectioners' sugar you add depends on whether you will be spreading or piping the frosting. Use a bit less for spreading and more to make a stiffer frosting for piping. If your frosting turns out too stiff, thin it with a small amount of milk or cream.

What You'll Need

  • 1 (8 tablespoons) stick butter (softened)
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (softened)
  • 3 1/2-4 cups confectioners' sugar (about 1 pound, sifted)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract​

How to Make It

  1. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together until fluffy.
  2. With the electric mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a little at a time; continue beating until well blended. Beat on high speed until very smooth and creamy.
  3. The recipe makes enough cream cheese frosting for a 2-layer cake.


  • Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting: Blend 1/2 cup of sifted unsweetened cocoa into the powdered sugar.Add to the cream cheese mixture.
  • Peppermint: Add 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Decorate the frosting with crushed peppermint candies, if desired.
  • Maple: Add a few tablespoons of pure maple syrup or add maple extract, to taste.
  • Lemon: Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon extract.
    Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
    Calories 146
    Total Fat 7 g
    Saturated Fat 4 g
    Unsaturated Fat 2 g
    Cholesterol 20 mg
    Sodium 31 mg
    Carbohydrates 21 g
    Dietary Fiber 0 g
    Protein 1 g
    (The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)