Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Cream cheese’s gaminess and gumminess make it a rather odd base for a frosting. Even so, that flavor has become the classic accompaniment to an American carrot cake, and who am I to argue? I just prefer mine cut with butter, that’s all. Is that so wrong? Combine these ingredients in a mixer fitted with a whip:

12 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces soft butter
8 ounces powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip on medium-high speed until smooth. Depending on the temperature of the butter, this frosting can get little lumps in it. Persist in whipping the frosting until they’re gone. Alternately, prepare it in a food processor for a perfectly smooth consistency.

4 thoughts on “Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe”

  1. I have a difficult time in spreading this frosting. When I spread on the carrot cake, it tears away the cake. The cake is completely cool and ready to frost, but the thickness of the frosting tears away small pieces of the cake. Any suggestions mr. pastry. thx. Fantastic, fantastic site. Wish I had come across it years ago. cheers.

    1. Hey Charles! Thanks very much for the compliment! I appreciate it greatly.

      Regarding your question, you can loosen this frosting up by giving it a short zap in the microwave. Apply high power for maybe five seconds. Stir it up and apply. It should be noticeably softer and more spreadable, but not runny. If it’s not soft enough, zap again. If it gets too soft, just give it a minute and stir it, the butter will firm again in no time. Best of luck!

      – Joe

  2. Thanks for this recipe! Just wanted to ask how long this frosting sit at room temperature? Thanks a lot 🙂

    1. Hey Celeste! A full day easily. It can almost certainly sit out longer without anything going bad, but honestly I’m not totally sure. Bugs don’t easily grown in things like cheese and butter, especially when they’re been sweetened. How long do you need to keep it?

      – Joe

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