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Cream Cheese Frosting being piped on cupcake
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Cream Cheese Frosting

Using only 4 ingredients, one bowl, and 10 minutes, this cream cheese frosting is the perfect icing for red velvet cake, carrot cake and other cupcakes and desserts!
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 20
Calories: 147kcal

Equipment

  • Mixer
  • Spatula

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature, see notes for salted butter
  • 8 ounces full-fat brick cream cheese room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Using a whisk attachment on a standing mixer or using a large bowl with a hand held mixer, beat softened butter until pale yellow about 2-3 minutes. Add in cream cheese and mix until completely combined, another minute or two.
  • Slowly add powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time and mix on medium speed until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add vanilla and salt and continue mixing until combined. Serve on your favorite dessert.

Notes

  • If using salted butter, omit added salt or reduce to just a pinch. 
  • Make sure both the butter and cream cheese are room temperate. If they’re not, they will not combine and you’ll have unmixed bits of butter and/or cream cheese. 
  • Use full-fat block cream cheese. Low fat cream cheese or cream cheese in a plastic container can turn the frosting runny due to the water content. Check out the section on runny frosting for more info on why this is. 
  • Sift the Powdered Sugar. This is especially true if your powdered sugar is old or has visible lumps. If the sugar has lumps, you could end up with lumpy frosting. 
  • If using a standing mixer, use a whisk attachment. The beater attachment can lead to runny frosting.
  • Try not to overmix the frosting. Once you add the sugar it is very easy to break down the cream cheese so it starts to get watery. Try not to let it get to this point as once it breaks you can’t fix it. 
  • If adding extra liquid like lemon juice, additional extracts, or food coloring, be sure to add them at the end and mix very briefly until just combined.  
  • This makes 2 to 3 cups frosting and can easily be halved or doubled. 
  • This frosting will last up to 5 days in the fridge or 2-3 months in the freezer. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tbsp | Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 34mg | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 148IU | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg