According to the creator of this recipe, the white chocolate adds vanilla flavor to cream cheese frosting. So what exactly does white chocolate—or rather, “white confection,” seeing as we all know white chocolate isn’t truly chocolate and is, thereby, a misnomer—taste like? Not like milk chocolate. Not like dark chocolate. Maybe a little like vanilla, as the author above explains. Although we’d venture to say that this white chocolate cream cheese frosting’s vanilla-y smack is due to the ample amount of vanilla extract in the recipe. Which leaves us at something of a loss, even after slathering swoops and swirls of this frosting onto white chocolate cupcakes and demolishing, uh, thoughtfully tasting several for the sake of research. During the sugar-induced mania that ensued, David was able to describe white chocolate as “a creamy, milky flavor.”–Renee Schettler Rossi

A double layer cake on a cake stand frosted in white chocolate-cream cheese frosting

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

4.75 / 4 votes
This white chocolate cream cheese frosting from Tate’s Bake Shop is ideal for cakes, cupcakes, or just spooning directly from the bowl. We won’t tell.
David Leite
Servings12 servings
Calories311 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time15 minutes


  • 8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (4 oz) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, (be sure to check the label if you need it to be gluten free)


  • Place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a skillet filled halfway with water to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat, place the bowl in the hot water, and let it stand, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Be careful not to let any water get in the bowl or the chocolate will seize and clump.
  • Remove the bowl from the water and let cool until tepid.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. (If you find little lumps in your frosting, continue to beat until the lumps dissipate.)

    ☞ TESTER TIP: When we're saying the butter and cream cheese ought to be at room temperature, we're not just saying it for the heck of it. If your cheese and butter aren't all squishy and squidgy, they may leave annoying little lumps in the resulting frosting. 

  • Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Beat in the tepid chocolate and then the vanilla just until combined.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: If you prefer a dense, creamy frosting, use the frosting immediately. For a lighter, fluffier frosting, beat it for 1 to 2 minutes longer. If the frosting seems too thin, refrigerate it until chilled through and thickened slightly.

Tate's Bake Shop Baking for Friends

Adapted From

Baking For Friends

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 311 kcalCarbohydrates: 33 gProtein: 3 gFat: 19 gSaturated Fat: 11 gMonounsaturated Fat: 5 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 46 mgSodium: 139 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 32 g

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2012 Kathleen King. Photo © 2020 Sarah Menanix. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I cut the original recipe in half and still generously frosted a dozen cupcakes. The flavors of this icing meld beautifully after a short rest. I found it to be the perfect complement to the white chocolate cupcakes. I think this icing would be wonderful on a dark chocolate layer cake. A full size recipe would generously frost a layer cake.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also 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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4.75 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. Hi Notice the recipe call for 2 cup confection sugar, and white chocolate is normally very sweet, can we cut down the sugar? And will the cream cheese icing be too thin if I add in melted white chocolate? It will be great if you can share your views. Thank you

    1. Felicia, we tested the recipe exactly as it appears, and we had spectacular results! Although you’re right, confectioners’ sugar is pretty sweet, so you could cut down the sugar a little, although that will alter the consistency a little. I think maybe start by adding a little less sugar than the recipe suggests at first and then see how it goes with the texture, noting the tip in the recipe about how to make the frosting fluffier if that’s what you desire. Good luck!