Cream Cheese Frosting

Sweet and tangy, this velvety cream cheese frosting is easy to make and perfect for topping your muffins and ideal for decorating cakes. Its dreamy cloud like texture will melt in your mouth!

The best frosting recipe for my carrot cake, mango passion fruit cake and banana bread, plus many more.


I want to help you achieve the best cream cheese frosting that you can use again and again. That’s why I have included as many tips and explanations below.

This recipe is full of flavour, plus you can add different flavours and colours to it for variations and it can be made ahead of time!

If you decide to give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment below and rate it – it’s really helpful to me and the other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #thegourmetlarder on Instagram. I love seeing what you come up with! 🙂


RECIPE HIGHLIGHTS

  • EASE: super easy and even more so if you have an electric hand whisk or stand mixer.
  • FREE-FROM: check out my substitutions section for vegan options.
  • GREAT FOR: frosting a variety of layered cakes, cupcakes, tray bakes, loaf cakes and more.
  • TASTE & TEXTURE: smooth, sweet and tangy with vanilla.
  • QUANTITY: 8-10 cupcakes/muffins with a swirl on top or a two-tier 24cm (9.5″) cake. For a three-tier 20cm (8″) cake, I recommend doubling the recipe. Total recipe makes: 525g.
  • TIME: 10 minutes.


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    © THE GOURMET LARDER. All images and content are copyright protected. If you want to share this recipe, please do so using the share buttons provided. Please do not republish the recipe or its content in full instead, include a link to this post for the recipe. Further information can be found in my FAQ’s.


    INGREDIENTS

    For this recipe all you need are these ingredients:

    • The best cream cheese for frosting – the number one reason for runny frosting is accidently using cream cheese spread or low fat versions. There’s a big difference between spreads and real full-fat cream cheese! Choose a quality brand when possible, such as Philadelphia full fat cream cheese and bring it to room temperature, so that you don’t end up with a lumpy frosting.
    • Amount of sugar – to get a smooth velvet texture we use icing sugar that has been sifted to ensure any lumps get removed. You might also find this sugar labelled as powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar.
    • What type of butter? – I like to use unsalted butter at room temperature, it will be much easier to work with and helps to make the frosting light and easy to pipe. Do not use melted butter! If you must soften the butter in the microwave, do it in short bursts on a low setting, rotating the butter every few seconds. But it should only be soft.
    • Vanilla paste or pod – I highly recommend using a vanilla pod or paste. If you use liquid extract you can often taste and smell the alcohol, plus you will need to add a little more sugar to counter balance the liquid. Some people don’t like to see the little black vanilla pearls in the frosting, so feel free to use extract if you would rather.

    Vanilla recommendations: pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste or vanilla pods.

    • Fine sea salt – Also for flavour and to cut down on the sweetness.
    • Cornflour / Cornstarch (optional) – adding 1-2 tablespoons of cornflour can help to thicken the frosting without having to add more icing sugar. Keep in mind, adding too much that you will start to taste it and the frosting will start to be a bit sticky, so don’t add more than 3 tablespoons to this recipe.



    SUBSTITUTIONS

    While I am making recommendations for alternative ingredients, I haven’t necessarily tried them. If you try making any adaptions, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.

    VEGAN OPTIONS


    WHAT VARIATIONS CAN I MAKE?

    Frosting can be flavoured in a multitude of ways, so feel free to have fun with this recipe. Just remember that If you want to add flavour via a liquid you will need to adjust the recipe to account for the added moisture. Often that means adding more icing sugar.

    • Freeze dried fruits: you can even add some “dried strawberry powder” and top these delicious coconut muffins.

    Freeze dried fruit recommendations include: strawberry, passion fruit, raspberry, wild blueberry, blackcurrant, mango, pineapple or kiwi.

    • Citrus: try the grated zest of an orange or lemon.
    • Chocolate: will very quickly become one of your favourites with my double chocolate muffins. Add 3-4 tablespoons (25-35g) unsweetened cocoa powder.
    • Spices – a dash of your favourite spice, such as cinnamon will give a warming comforting feel to banana bread or cupcakes. You can also try adding 1/2 teaspoon of Chai spice or Pumpkin spice with the vanilla.
    • Colouring: for a pop of colour you can also add a drop or two of food colouring.

    Food colouring recommendations: yellow, orange, blue, green, pink, red, purple food colouring gels.

    Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Frosting

    If you experiment, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.


    NUTRITION

    Serving: per 100g

    Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.

    I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.

    I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    STORAGE AND FREEZING

    As the frosting contains cream cheese, it will need to be kept in the fridge after you’ve frosted your baked goods. Most cakes are best served at room temperature and this frosting will hold up for a couple of hours in a cool environment. Anything longer than two hours and you need to consider health and safety. Place any left overs in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days in the fridge.

    Making ahead – You can easily make this frosting 2-3 days ahead and keep it in the fridge until needed.

    Freezing: Cream cheese frosting can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
    Defrost for one day in the fridge before allowing it to come to room temperature on the counter.
    Give the frosting a good whip for about one minute before using.

    © THE GOURMET LARDER. All images and content are copyright protected. If you want to share this recipe, please do so using the share buttons provided. Please do not republish the recipe or its content in full instead, include a link to this post for the recipe. Further information can be found in my FAQ’s.


    TOOLS YOU’LL NEED

    Here is some kitchen equipment that I use and recommend for this recipe. An electric mixer, either hand-held or standing, makes quick and easy work of creating a light and fluffy frosting.

    I like the sturdiness of this bowl and its 4 litre capacity means I can use it for mixing just about everything in the kitchen. It is also microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe.

    These different size mixing bowls are really useful depending on the amount of food you are preparing. They also have airtight lids that fit snugly to seal and keep food fresh, so this set can be used as dry storage bowls with lids on. The plastic lid of the largest bowl has a removable centre. Where one of 3 graters can be used.

    I do own a plastic mixing bowl but I am personally not a big fan of them. These 3 bowls are on the smaller size but good for the odd cake making.

    These spatulas are so useful for baking. I use them everyday and not just for baking. Good rigid handles, excellent for scraping out bowls, dishes and frying pans. The large spatula is not flat, it has a raised centre, which makes it very strong.

    Not everyone is lucky enough to have one of these but they are useful if you do a lot of baking or making bread.

    I like this model of electric hand mixer because it comes with a large stand, meaning you don’t have to always hold it.

    The Gourmet Larder is an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    TIP: I highly recommend using metric measurements and a digital kitchen scale, rather than cup measurements. If you have ever ended up with dry, dense or crumbly baked goods, it might be because of inaccurate volume measurements, not all measuring cups are made equally. All my recipes on this blog are carefully developed so that you can easily recreate them in your own kitchen with success, using metric measurements. It is also a lot easier, less messy and you will get far better, consistent results. 🙂
    If you are interested in understanding conversions, here you will find the best conversion chart.


    RECIPE TIPS

    Room temperature ingredients – ensure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature before mixing, so that the frosting will mix effortlessly and lump-free.

    Cream cheese – I highly recommend getting a good quality cream cheese. Some generic brands of cream cheese may not be as thick and are meant for spreading on bagels. Real full-fat cream cheese will give you a sturdy frosting that will not run off your cakes or cupcakes.

    Icing sugar – remember to always sift your icing sugar to avoid getting lumpy frosting and use enough in the recipe. I know you don’t want tit to be too sweet, but you also don’t want it to be too thin, that it runs off the cake or cupcakes.

    There are lost of concerns over the amount of sugar used in frostings and icings. And while the amount can be reduced it almost always jeopardises the consistency of the frosting. One of the key requirements for me is that I am able to pipe the frosting and for it to hold its shape.

    icing powder

    Frosting – allow the baked goods to cool completely before frosting them. This is important because it will prevent the frosting from melting when applied to a warm cake or cupcake. If you find the frosting is running or difficult to work with chill for 30-60 minutes.

    Decorating – don’t expect this frosting to be as sturdy as buttercream. Cream cheese isn’t super stable, so keep piped designs simple and save intricate shapes for buttercream.

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    Preparation:10 minutes
    Total:10 minutes
    Servings: 525 g
    Sweet and tangy this velvety cream cheese frosting is easy to make and perfect for topping your muffins and ideal for decorating cakes. Its dreamy cloud like texture will melt in your mouth!

    INGREDIENTS LIST
     

    • 150 g full-fat cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
    • 150 g unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
    • a pinch of fine sea salt
    • 300-375 g icing sugar (sifted)
    • 1 pod of vanilla or ¼ tsp pure vanilla paste
    • 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) (optional)

    Preparation
     

    • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, salt and butter until well combined and smooth. Alternatively use an electric mixer, either hand-held or standing to make it easier.
      Cream Cheese Frosting
    • Sift in about half of the icing sugar and mix until well combined and smooth. Then add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
      Cream Cheese Frosting
    • Add the remaining sugar until the desired consistency is achieved and it is well combined and silky smooth.
      Cream Cheese Frosting
    • It is now suitable to pipe onto cakes or muffins, it will firm up once chilled. Otherwise, keep in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week. Allow it to come to room temperature before using to frost baked goods.
      Cream Cheese Frosting
    • 8-10 cupcakes/muffins with a swirl on top or a two-tier 24cm (9.5″) cake. For a three-tier 20cm (8″) cake, I recommend doubling the recipe. Total recipe makes: 525g.
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    KEYWORDS cream cheese, frosting recipes

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    PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW IT TURNED OUT FOR YOU!

    If you tried this Cream Cheese Frosting or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you got on in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you’re there!

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    Cream Cheese Frosting

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