5-Ingredient Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe (video)

The easiest and most delicious recipe for creamy cream cheese frosting! It’s the perfect frosting for cakes, cupcakes and other desserts. I make my cream cheese buttercream with just 5 simple ingredients: unsalted butter, cream cheese, vanilla, confectioner’s sugar and just a pinch of salt. This easy frosting recipe also holds its shape well so it’s great for piping and cake decorating! This recipe makes enough frosting for a layered 8-inch cake or 24 cupcakes.

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How To Make Cream Cheese Frosting

This buttercream frosting recipe is super easy to make! You just need to follow a few tips to get the perfect frosting every time with perfect consistency. Here are my tips for making this recipe:

  • Temperature! Make sure your butter and cream cheese are softened at room temperature. This does not mean the butter and cheese need to be at room temperature, just that they both need to be softened, not ice cold. The butter especially cannot be too soft or melted, otherwise the frosting will be too soft. If you butter or cream cheese are too soft/melted, place them back into fridge.
  • Whisk the butter separately first! Whisk the butter for 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl often. Using a whisk attachment adds extra air into the butter, making it really fluffy. Whisk the butter until it’s almost white in color.
  • Add the cream cheese. Mix together the cream cheese and butter for a few minutes, until the mixture is uniform, before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  • After adding the salt, vanilla and confectioner’s sugar, continue whisking the frosting for 2  to 3 minutes, until it’s light and fluffy. For a fluffier frosting, add more confectioner’s sugar.
  • This frosting can be made ahead of time and stored covered in the refrigerator. When ready to use, allow the frosting to soften at room temperature, then whisk again for a few minutes to fluff the frosting.

Flavor Variations

This cream cheese frosting recipe is great with added flavors! For a chocolate version, try adding 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder to the buttercream along with the sugar. For fruit flavors, use a combination of fruit extract and fruit preserves. I love to use Lorann Oils (shop their products on Amazon) – they are concentrated and add great flavor. Add the preserves at the very end of the recipe and whisk for about 30 seconds, just until the preserves are incorporated. Overmixing the frosting once you add fruit will cause it to separate.

Can I Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting?

This is a great question! Yes, you can freeze many different types of buttercreams, this one included. If you need to make this frosting ahead of time, or you simply have some left over, you can freeze this cream cheese frosting for up to 3 months. Simply place the frosting into an airtight container and place it into the freezer. When you’re ready to use it, remove it from the freezer and into the refrigerator 1 day in advance to slowly let it soften. Let it stand at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours when you’re ready to use it, to soften. I recommend beating the frosting for a minute or two to make it light and fluffy again.

Recipe Ideas

You can use this recipe for so many different types of cakes, cupcakes, tarts and other desserts! Here are some recipes that I use this frosting with:

More Recipes!

Looking for more frosting and cake recipes? I have an entire ‘Back to Cake Basics’ series, showing you how to make simple, everyday recipes that you can mix and match to create your own cake recipe!

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Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links):

Get this set of jumbo cake decorating tips, which includes all my favorite tips!
Use the decorating tips with these disposable pastry bags – these are life-changing if you do a lot of cake decorating!
Want to add more cream cheese flavor to this recipe? Add a teaspoon of cream cheese extract!
Every baker needs a classic KitchenAid stand mixer!

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