Cream Cheese Frosting

I’m not going to try to avoid the question on this one, I’ll just start with the honest truth:  I’ve made ONE traditional cake from scratch.  Once.  That’s it.  It was some time ago, and I don’t remember it being that amazing.  Boxed mixes, my friends, is about as far as it gets when it comes to me making cakes.  However when it comes to frosting… I have bought fewer than 5 cans of that junk in my lifetime.  I just can’t do it… I mean, have you read the nutrition label?  Most are chock-full of trans fat, the horrible-nasty-absolutely-no-good-for-you kind of fat.  Steer clear!

But what alternatives do you have to canned frosting?  Making your own isn’t incredibly difficult, and tastes much better too.  If you like the flavor of cream cheese, then this Cream Cheese Frosting recipe is the way to go.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Once you’ve made your own, you’ll never go back.

I had some Red Velvet Cake Mix just begging to be used.  And I had all of the ingredients to make this frosting… and I happen to love both.  Double win!


The ingredients are simple:  cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.

What You Need

Make sure that your cream cheese and butter are nice and soft.  Leave them out on the counter for awhile to warm to room temperature.  You want smooth, creamy frosting, not lumpy frosting!

Cream Cheese & Butter

Beat those two together until they are well-mixed.

Beat It

Then beat in the vanilla and powdered sugar.  Mix it as long as you wish; there’s no danger of over-mixing.  Do be warned that the longer you mix, the more air is incorporated into the frosting, thus the volume will increase.

With Sugar & Vanilla

Now you’re talking.  This frosting is absolutely delicious on Red Velvet Cake, carrot cake, or any cake for that matter.  It’s different from the canned kind, however, in that it MUST be refrigerated.  You can’t keep this frosting at room temperature, as the cream cheese will spoil.


Isn’t it just gorgeous?

If you plan to do any fancy decorations with the frosting (though my decorations do not even come close to fancy!!), refrigerate it a little bit to firm it up, or add a bit more powdered sugar.  If you want the frosting to be thinner, I suggest adding a tablespoon of milk at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

Red Velvet

This recipe really is pretty versatile, as you could also change the extract flavor to suit your taste, or add food coloring to jazz it up.  Have fun!

Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: Frosts a 13"x9" cake, or two 8"-9" rounds, or 24 cupcakes.

1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla extract. Beat in powdered sugar. Continue beating for a few minutes, until light and creamy. Store frosting and frosted items in the refrigerator.

10 thoughts on “Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. This looks like excellent frosting! The only time I’ve had cake mix is at school and birthday parties as a kid, also with grocery store cakes. I loved it, but my mom refused to buy the mix because of the ingredients and the fact that she once found a “surprise” in a box of cake mix. She would let me buy a can of frosting every few years, I loved that stuff as well. My favorite was always the funfetti cake with funfetti frosting, oh I’m so bad.

  2. so i have this amazing recipe for devil’s food cake that i make here. If i can make it in a dutch oven, you should be able to make it in your nice actual oven. when i get back to my house I will look it up and send it on… seriously, amazing!

  3. Wow! I had been wanting to try these for some time and never did for one reason or another…I stumbled upon your site and recipe and i made them last night…I have to say they were so mouthwatering!! I love red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting! Thanks for the inspiration…

    1. Personally, I have never made chocolate cream cheese frosting. I think you could add anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and probably get a nice flavor. I’m curious to see if anyone else has experience with chocolate cream cheese frosting!

      1. I’ve made a chocolate cream cheese frosting plenty of times and I always change it up a bit. Just add your favorite melted chocolate too it, or like Alicia suggested some cocoa powder. Or even perhaps some chocolate syrup like Nesquik/ Hershey’s or some hot fudge sundae topping?! Oh and I even just thought of another thing, make some chocolate instant pudding or some jell-o chocolate mousse and add that in it.

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