What can I say about Cream Cheese Frosting? It’s the reason I love carrot cake and the reason I tolerate red velvet cake. This recipe is a little different than most others and I like it better.
The internet is funny, isn’t it? When I google “Cream Cheese Frosting” a million recipes come up and almost every one of them is exactly the same. I sometimes wonder if I should bother posting a recipe that’s so ubiquitous. Does the internet really need another Cream Cheese Frosting recipe?
Well, there are two reasons for posting this recipe. First, if I post Cream Cheese Frosting as a separate recipe on the blog it’s easy for me to reference it in other dishes, my Layered Cheesecake or Better Carrot Cake, for example. The other reason I’m posting this as a stand-alone recipe is that I do like it better than the typical recipe that’s out there on the web.
Virtually all the other recipes I’ve seen have twice as much cream cheese as butter and about 3-4 cups of powdered sugar per 8 oz of cream cheese. The procedure is also the same…you start by with creaming the butter and cream cheese together.
How this Cream Cheese Frosting is different…
The first difference between my recipe and the standard is that I use equal parts cream cheese and butter. I use slightly less sugar than average and a hint of lemon juice. I perfected this recipe for my cake decorating business. You can imagine a wedding cake with a very soft filling might not be a great idea. I use equal parts butter and cream cheese because more butter makes a slightly firmer frosting, especially when it’s chilled.
The other difference between this recipe and many others is that I don’t start by “creaming” the butter and cream cheese together. You see, the problem is that butter and cream cheese have different textures. Butter is more brittle, especially when it’s cool. As the butter gets warm it can become very soft and greasy, whereas cream cheese keeps a fairly consistent texture.
I start my Cream Cheese Frosting by softening the butter with the beater, then adding the sugar and finally the cream cheese. This process allows the butter to become similar in texture to the cream cheese before the two are combined, even if the butter is still a little cool. So, no lumps!
Click through this slideshow to see the steps:
This recipe has a pronounced cream cheese flavor (thanks to the lemon juice, which accentuates the cream cheese) and it’s plenty sweet but not cloying. It’s a versatile recipe that I use for carrot and red velvet cake, as a topping for breakfast buns and to decorate cheesecakes.
I hope you like it!
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- 8 oz (1 cup, 225 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 12 oz (2.5 cups, 345g) confectioner's sugar
- 8 oz (1 cup, 225 g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- Cream butter until softened. Add confectioner's sugar and mix until combined with no lumps
- Scrape the bowl and beater attachment
- With the mixer running, toss in the softened cream cheese
- Scrape the bowl and beater completely, add the lemon juice and vanilla
- Switch to the whisk attachment.
- Whip the mixture on medium high until light and fluffy
- Best used immediately after it's made.
Makes enough to fill and frost an 8" cake.
Best if used immediately, but can be refrigerated or frozen. Return to room temperature and re-whip before using.