This classic cream cheese frosting is tangy and sweet and is perfect for cupcakes or cakes. This cream cheese frosting uses a high ratio of cream cheese to butter to really let the cream cheese flavor shine through. 

Rubber spatula with a big scoop of cream cheese frosting on it


Cream cheese frosting has very similar ratios to classic buttercream frosting, however part of the butter is replaced with cream cheese. This makes for a softer frosting texture that has a bit of tanginess to it. 

This is a kind of frosting that does not crust over or set the way other buttercream frostings do. It remains soft and also must be refrigerated because of the amount of dairy present. 

This classic frosting can be used for all kinds of things included cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and quick breads. A few of my favorite recipes I use it with are my red velvet cupcakes and my soft pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting

Cream cheese frosting piped into a rose design on top of a red velvet cupcake

Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 8 ounces (225 grams) full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoon (28 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3-4 cups (360-480 grams) powdered sugar
  • large pinch salt


  1. Place the cream cheese, butter, 3 cups of the powdered sugar, and a large pinch of salt in the mixing bowl. Mix with a hand mixer or stand mixer, starting on low speed and gradually increasing until well combined and creamy. You can add up to 1 more cup of powdered sugar for a more stiff frosting that will stand up better to piping.
  2. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Beat for a few minutes to refresh before using.


This recipe makes enough frosting to frost one single layer 8": or 9" round cake, a 9x13 sheet cake, or 12-18 cupcakes.

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