Everyone needs an uber reliable, crazy indulgent, easy-to-make cream cheese frosting recipe in their arsenal. This is it.Angie Zoobkoff

A blue bowl half filled with cream cheese frosting and a piping bag filled with cream cheese frosting beside it.

Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 1 vote
This cream cheese frosting, made with cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla, is quick and easy and will be your new go-to frosting recipe.
David Leite
Servings12 servings (makes about 3 cups)
Calories238 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Chilling time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 15 minutes


  • 8 ounces full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar until the frosting is smooth and creamy, 4 to 5 minutes. Mix in the vanilla.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before using so the frosting is firm enough to spread.
  • Store in the fridge, covered, for up to 6 days. If the frosting is too firm after refrigeration, let it sit at room temperature until slightly softened, about 20 minutes.
Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook

Adapted From

Bigger Bolder Baking

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 238 kcalCarbohydrates: 36 gProtein: 1 gFat: 10 gSaturated Fat: 6 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gTrans Fat: 0.2 gCholesterol: 29 mgSodium: 90 mgPotassium: 28 mgSugar: 35 gVitamin A: 370 IUCalcium: 20 mgIron: 0.04 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2019 Gemma Stafford. Photo © 2019 Carla Choy. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

YUM!!! This cream cheese frosting was really quick, easy, and SO good!

It took me all of 14 minutes to whip up this frosting and I popped it in the fridge until I was ready to use it for icing a carrot cake.

I ended up leaving the frosting in the fridge for about 6 hours, and needed to let it sit out on the counter for about 20 minutes to soften up to a spreadable consistency.

This recipe made 2 1/2 cups of frosting and was just the right amount for icing a 2-layer cake.

If I were using this frosting to pipe onto cupcakes, I would use it immediately after making while it’s very fluffy and easy to pipe. It definitely firms up once it’s chilled.

This is a great go-to cream cheese frosting. I’m now trying to convince myself that it’s very healthy to eat carrot cake!

We’re very serious about cream cheese frosting in this house and this is damn good frosting. It’s so good, in fact, that my husband raved about the frosting more than he raved about my famous pumpkin bars that it topped. Which is saying something.

The frosting isn’t cloyingly sweet, is perfectly spreadable, and is buttery and rich. I got 3 cups of frosting and spread it on bars baked in a 13-by-9-inch pan. There was the perfect amount, and I could use it directly from the fridge without worrying it would tear up the cakey bars as I frosted them.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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