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Learn how to make the Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting for frosting cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. Recipe includes instructions for both vanilla as well as chocolate cream cheese frosting. 

Cream Cheese Frosting in a cupcake liner

How do I make my cream cheese frosting thicker?

Cream cheese frosting can vary in consistency based on temperature. The easiest way to thicken up cream cheese frosting is to pop it in the refrigerator. As the fats from the cream cheese and butter cool, the frosting will change consistency and become much thicker. No extra powdered sugar required!

Can you use cornstarch to thicken cream cheese frosting?

Yes, you can add up to 1/2 cup of cornstarch to the frosting mixture to thicken. This will not impact the flavor of the frosting.

Can cream cheese frosting be used for piping?

Yes! Cream cheese frosting is perfect for piping onto cakes, cupcakes, and more.

Piping bag with Cream Cheese Frosting and chocolate cream cheese frosting

Can you add food coloring to cream cheese frosting?

Yes! You can add food color to cream cheese frosting. Gel based food colorings are the easiest to work with and will not add as much liquid to your frosting.

Does cream cheese frosting need to be refrigerated?

Yes. Cream cheese frostings need to be refrigerated for food safety reasons. A baked good frosted with cream cheese frosting should also be refrigerated. Cream cheese frosting can sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours safely.

Can cream cheese frosting be made ahead of time?

Yes, you can make cream cheese frosting ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator. The frosting will thicken significantly in the fridge and may become too difficult to work with. To soften, let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

This cream cheese frosting can be used with the following recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting
Learn how to make the Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting for frosting cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. Recipe includes instructions for both vanilla as well as chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Use a hand mixer to beat cream cheese and butter together for 1 minute until light and fluffy.
  • Add in vanilla extract and mix until combined, about 10 seconds.
  • Slowly add in powdered sugar, one half cup at a time until smooth, mixing between additions.
  • Use to frost cooled cakes, cupcakes or cookies. Store frosting and frosted goods in the refrigerator.
***For Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting, add in 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder with powdered sugar.


Calories: 1147kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 84g | Saturated Fat: 51g | Cholesterol: 246mg | Sodium: 771mg | Potassium: 156mg | Sugar: 91g | Vitamin A: 2940IU | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cream Cheese Frosting
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September 5, 2019 12:43 am

is the frosting sturdy enough to hold its shape? wont it deflate after sometimes?

Kim A
May 9, 2019 8:06 am

5 stars
This is the BEST frosting! It was a huge hit with my husband and his co-workers! We couldn’t stop licking the spoon! I made this frosting with your banana cake recipe yesterday. Now the cake is almost gone!! So delicious!!!! This is my favorite cream cheese frosting, not too sweet and tangy!! Thank you!!! 🙂

Catherine McLain
March 21, 2019 3:14 pm

Can you make roses with this recipe?

Shirin Najdi
January 17, 2019 1:47 am

Great video thanks!

Janet Day
December 26, 2018 7:14 pm

It was a perfect cream cheese frosting. Thank you!

Linda baker
November 15, 2018 9:13 am

First time here am going to try it with an Apple Cake with some spices. Thank You for the recipe

June 3, 2018 11:30 am

Is this stiff enough for an ombre rosette cake – ie. vertical rosettes?

May 27, 2018 7:46 am

For a three layer cake, how many recipes of icing should I make?

Geraldine Pierce
March 27, 2018 2:49 pm

Would this pair well with Butterscotch cake??

March 23, 2018 8:02 pm

I can’t wait to try this. I’m going to make a. Utter pound cake using this frosting.

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