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Classic Cream Cheese Frosting

Silky and sweet with a slight tang from the cream cheese, this effortless Classic Cream Cheese Frosting comes together with just four ingredients and complements a variety of cakes and cupcakes!

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting ~ silky and sweet with a slight tang from the cream cheese, this effortless frosting comes together with just four ingredients and complements a variety of cakes and cupcakes | FiveHeartHome.com

Happy Friday, friends! I’m coming at you today with a simple, staple recipe that I make at least once a month. Classic Cream Cheese Frosting is, hands down, my favorite frosting EV-AH. It’s the perfect complement to my famous vanilla sheet cake cupcakes. It’s amazing on pumpkin cupcakes. It’s delicious on carrot cake and Italian Cream Cake and red velvet cake. It’s amazing on chocolate cake and lemon cake. It’s just flat-out fabulous.

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting ~ silky and sweet with a slight tang from the cream cheese, this effortless frosting comes together with just four ingredients and complements a variety of cakes and cupcakes | FiveHeartHome.com

And even though I already shared it on the blog not long after I first started blogging (way back in ’13), I posted it then as part of that aforementioned vanilla cupcake recipe, which means it kind of gets buried on the site. But by golly…my Classic Cream Cheese Frosting needs to stand alone so that people searching for a great frosting recipe have a chance to find it!

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting ~ silky and sweet with a slight tang from the cream cheese, this effortless frosting comes together with just four ingredients and complements a variety of cakes and cupcakes | FiveHeartHome.com

I realize this isn’t rocket science, folks. It’s a really simple recipe with minimal ingredients. It’s done in a matter of minutes. But as a cream cheese frosting connoisseur, these are the proportions that I’ve found to render the yummiest results. That being said, feel free to tweak the sweetness if you like by increasing or decreasing the powdered sugar. I actually prefer that my cream cheese frosting is not overly sweet, because I like the slight tang from the cream cheese to come through. In fact, I think that’s why I adore this frosting so much. I’m not a fan of cloyingly sweet frostings, and this isn’t one of ’em.

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting ~ silky and sweet with a slight tang from the cream cheese, this effortless frosting comes together with just four ingredients and complements a variety of cakes and cupcakes | FiveHeartHome.com In my humble opinion, the key to taking this frosting from good to great lies in the vanilla you use. For the love of all that is good and holy, use pure vanilla extract! No imitation stuff here, please. And to take it up a notch more, invest in high quality pure vanilla extract. I’m telling you…it might cost a bit more, but it will make all the difference in your baked goods.

And forgive me if you’ve heard me rave about this before, but my most favorite, most beloved, most obsessed-with vanilla extract is Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. I go through so much of the stuff that I buy it by the jug on Amazon (*affiliate link), which actually renders the price per ounce to be quite reasonable, considering the quality. I feel the need to clarify that the fine folks at Nielsen-Massey are not aware of my existence nor do they pay me to promote them. I just happen to believe that their vanilla will make your Classic Cream Cheese Frosting the BEST that it can be, and that’s the whole point of this post, right? 😉

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting ~ silky and sweet with a slight tang from the cream cheese, this effortless frosting comes together with just four ingredients and complements a variety of cakes and cupcakes | FiveHeartHome.com I made this particular batch of frosting last week to put on cupcakes for my 7-year-old’s school Valentine’s party, and when I did, I shared my quick and easy cupcake frosting method with my Instagram followers (I hope you’re one of them, because it’s my favorite social media for sharing…and over-sharing 😉 ). Rather than slopping on your frosting with a knife, you just need a gallon-sized freezer bag and about five minutes…hop over to read the details if you don’t already know this trick!

Any questions about the yummiest frosting that ever was? Actually, I have one for you…what are you going to use this on? I might have to bake something this weekend just to have an excuse to whip up another batch, and I’m lookin’ for idears.

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting ~ silky and sweet with a slight tang from the cream cheese, this effortless frosting comes together with just four ingredients and complements a variety of cakes and cupcakes | FiveHeartHome.com

P.S. If you have any frosting left over and you decide to take a spoon to it, it’s particularly tasty if you sprinkle some chocolate chips on top. Or so I’ve heard…

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: Approximately 3 cups of frosting (enough to frost 24 cupcakes)

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting

Silky and sweet with a slight tang from the cream cheese, this effortless Classic Cream Cheese Frosting comes together with just four ingredients and complements a variety of cakes and cupcakes!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar (depending on your desired consistency & sweetness of frosting)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and the cream cheese. Slowly blend in the powdered sugar and vanilla, then beat until smooth and well-combined.

Notes

The longer you whip this frosting, the lighter and fluffier it will become.

Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.fivehearthome.com/2015/02/19/classic-cream-cheese-frosting/

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S'mores Dip ~ melted chocolate and toasty marshmallows bake up in a skillet; scoop up with graham crackers for a perfect party dessert! | FiveHeartHome.com

Fluffy Chocolate Fruit Dip
Fluffy Chocolate Fruit Dip ~ made with cream cheese, melted chocolate, and real whipped cream, this dessert tastes just like dipping fresh fruit into chocolate cheesecake! | FiveHeartHome.com

Snickerdoodle Mug Cake
Snickerdoodle Mug Cake ~ bakes up in the microwave in just one minute, yielding a warm, cinnamon-sugary treat that will satisfy any sweet tooth! | FiveHeartHome.com

{5-Minute, 5-Ingredient} Homemade Caramel Sauce
{5-Minute, 5-Ingredient} Homemade Caramel Sauce ~ a jar of this makes a perfect gift! | {Five Heart Home}

Easy Strawberry Cream Cheese Pastries
Easy Strawberry Cream Cheese Pastries ~ made with crescent roll dough and fresh sliced strawberries | FiveHeartHome.com

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Comments

  1. I am so happy to see some people are using salted butter. In recipe likes this the little bit of salty flavor makes the icing taste even sweeter in my opinion. My motto is “any cake is a good conductor for cream cheese icing”!

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I agree with you, Linda! I’ve made this frosting many times with unsalted butter, but I think that the tiny bit of salt from salted butter lends an extra depth of flavor. And you are so right…I can’t think of a cake that wouldn’t be good with cream cheese frosting! Thanks for stopping by and hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

  2. Try this cream cheese frosting on a cold oven black walnut cake you will love it

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Oooo…I haven’t tried that combo before, Agnes. Sounds delicious…thanks so much for the suggestion! 🙂 Hope you have a great week!

  3. OH.MY.STARS! I.WANT.SOME! I’m not real fond of cake, but I’m all about the frosting…especially if it has cream cheese. Lovely recipe…love the way you frosted them too. Pinning! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Weekend Potluck!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I have to admit that I do love cake, Marsha…but if we’re talking about cream cheese frosting, all I require is a spoon! 😉 Thanks so much for hosting your fun party and for stopping by…hope you’ve been having a fabulous weekend!

  4. I don’t need the cupcake; I’ll just have the frosting, please! YUM! Thanks for linking up with Best of the Weekend! Pinning this!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha, Amy…me too! 😉 Thanks so much for hosting BOTW, for hopping over, and for pinning. Hope you’re having a nice weekend!

  5. Yum! I love cream cheese frosting. Stopping by from the Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party. Pinning for later.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much for hopping over, Brandi, and for the pin! Hope you’re having a wonderful week! 🙂

  6. Tracy Hale says:

    I NEVER comment on stuff like this, but I had to tell you that I just made this for the first time and it is hands down the BEST cream cheese frosting recipe I have EVER made (and I’ve made a LOT of frosting)! It is 2:55 am. I have to be at work in five hours. That’s how strongly I feel about this! LOL Thank you so much, and SO pinned!! : )

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha, Tracy…your comment was awesome! Made my night. 😉 I’m SO happy that this frosting was SUCH a hit! And I hope that it provided the extra energy boost/sugar rush that you needed after getting less than five hours of sleep before you had to be at work — ha. 😉 Thanks for taking the time to enthusiastically share that you enjoyed this recipe, and I hope that you’re having a great week!

  7. My cream cheese frost always comes out tasting amazing but soft and runny. How do you make it more solid? More powdered sugar?

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Kenna! I’ve never had a problem with runny frosting made using these proportions, but you are correct…to thicken it up, you can always add more powdered sugar! Good luck! 🙂

  8. McKensie says:

    Hi! How long ahead can I frost my cupcakes with this frosting? I have birthday party in the morning, do you think it will last through-out the night on the cupboard or do refrigerate the cupcakes frosted or just the frosting 🙂

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi McKensie! Since this frosting contains cream cheese and butter, it shouldn’t be left at room temperature indefinitely. So I would go ahead and frost the cupcakes right after making the frosting and then refrigerate the frosted cupcakes. Then you can take them out shortly before serving to come to room temperature a bit. (The frosting would get too soft if you made it ahead of time and left it out at room temperature overnight…and it would be too cold/hard to frost your cupcakes if you refrigerated the whole bowl of frosting overnight.) Hope that helps and that this recipe is a hit at the birthday party! 🙂

  9. My husband wanted browning today with frosting. So I tried your Classic Cream Cheese Frosting. I only made 1/2 the recipe and whipped it a good while. It came out wonderful. In fact I had to chase after my husband to get the bowl of frosting back, so there would be enough to frost his brownies with. I think it is safe to say….he loves it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha ha, Te-Ann…having to chase down your husband and the bowl of frosting is a good sign that he liked it! Hope there was enough left for the brownies. 😉 And I think I’m going to have to make some of this frosting for my next batch of brownies…what a great idea!

  10. kimberly says:

    I have a question how many days can the frosting be made I need it for Sunday. I want to get ahead of a few things done before then so it less for me to do

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Kimberly! I apologize for my delayed reply…I’ve been out of the country. You can make this frosting several days or even up to a week ahead of time. If you refrigerate the whole bowl of frosting in order to use it later, you’ll need to let it soften to room temperature and stir it well before spreading it on anything. If you frost your cake/cupcakes immediately, they’ll need to be stored in the refrigerator until shortly before serving (but I only recommend making cake/cupcakes a day or two ahead of time or it/they may start to dry out). Hope that helps!

  11. recipe is a bit too cream dominated, would not put as much cream cheese

  12. Made this 9/25/15 for cupcakes. Used 4 cups powdered sugar, unsalted butter, plus about a teaspoon of salt. Very good!! Had enough left over to frost an 8 x 8 cake (we don’t pile the frosting on too high for cupcakes). Everyone loved the frosting and the baked items I made.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      So happy to hear that this recipe was a success for you, Kalani…I bet all of your baked treats were delicious! 🙂

  13. Will an electric hand mixer work for this recipe? I can’t wait to try it.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      An electric hand mixer should work just fine, Kris…it just might get a little messy, so use a big bowl! 😉 Enjoy!

  14. I typically don’t review recipes, but this one is fantastic. I was franticly looking online for a cream cheese frosting recipe, to frost cupcakes for a birthday party tomorrow and ran across this one. I love it! It turned out perfect, Thank you!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      So happy to hear it, Michelle! I could pretty much eat this frosting with a spoon…and maybe I do occasionally. 😉 Hope it was a hit at the birthday party!

  15. Samantha could you please advise me.. I am making a huge carrot cake and want to frost it with your recipe. Will this frosting hold up to being applied the day before the wedding and being transported a few miles to the venue Please could you advise me. Many thanks.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Maria! Gosh, I’m really nervous giving advice about a wedding cake! I’ll tell you what I know about this frosting after making it a bazillion times, though. This frosting firms up when chilled but it gets pretty soft at room temperature, particularly if the room is warm. I often frost cupcakes or cakes the day before serving them without a problem, though. So I would say that you could definitely apply this frosting to your carrot cake the day before the wedding as long as it was going to be refrigerated afterwards. If your cake is very stable, it should be okay for the few miles during transport. If it could be refrigerated again until the wedding starts, that would be ideal…not because the frosting will go bad, but because if your cake is large and heavy with stacked layers, I’m afraid the layers could start to slide a bit over time if the frosting is at room temperature? If you have dowels or supports in your cake, however, that may not be a problem. So I don’t know if any of this helps you! Honestly, if you have time, I would make a batch of cupcakes or something ahead of time and use this frosting as a test run to see how it behaves for you and if you think it would be suitable for your wedding carrot cake. 🙂 Good luck!

  16. kancommons says:

    Why is my frosting yellow?! Help!

  17. kancommons says:

    okay, nevermind. its white now, but i have tiny chunks from the powdered sugar. how do i get them out?

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi there! If I have really lumpy powdered sugar to start with, I sift it first. Otherwise, I just keep beating my frosting until any little lumps disappear. Hope your frosting worked out! 🙂

  18. This recipe was a little sweet for my taste: to me, the sweetness overpowered the tang of the cream cheese, and I only added 3 cups of sugar. I also only added one teaspoon of vanilla and thought it was plenty (although I don’t like a strong vanilla flavor.) My fiancé couldn’t get enough of it, though, and nobody at church complained! Also, when I was researching other recipes, a lot of people complained that those recipes were too runny–this one was not at all. I put it in the fridge while I made another type of frosting, and when it came out I could barely pipe it! It’s definitely a great frosting for piping!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Sydney! Thanks for your feedback…I’m glad that this frosting worked out for you overall. 🙂

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