Learn how to make lusciously creamy, sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting at home! It’s so easy. This recipe as written yields 1 2/3 cups, or enough frosting for one 9″ round or square cake layer, or 12 cupcakes. Multiply as needed (times two for a double-layer cake or 9×13″ sheet cake, and so on).
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4cups powdered sugar*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
You can make this frosting with a hand mixer or stand mixer, in a food processor, or by hand with a whisk in a mixing bowl (don’t skimp on the size).
To start, combine the cream cheese and butter. Beat the cream cheese and butter together until they are fully blended.
Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, then stir the mixture with a spoon until the powdered sugar is incorporated (or else powdered sugar will fly everywhere!). Finally, whip the frosting until it’s nice and fluffy.
Use the frosting immediately, or store it in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. Before using, let it warm to room temperature for about 15 minutes and briefly rewhip before using.
*Powdered sugar note: If you’d like to be absolutely certain that your icing is lump-free, sift your powdered sugar before mixing. You can also make your own powdered sugar out of regular granulated sugar.
Chocolate version: For chocolate cream cheese frosting, blend in 1/3 cup cocoa powder with the powdered sugar. If desired, sweeten to taste with 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup.