Classic Cream Cheese Frosting (the best ever)

Whether it’s for carrot cake or red velvet this is my favorite cream cheese frosting! Only 4 ingredients; cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.

It takes a lot for me to claim a recipe is “the best” but to me and Malloree (my anti-fan-of-frosting daughter) this recipe is all that and then some.

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I think what makes it so special is that it has the perfect balance of tang and sweetness and with a touch of vanilla. If ever a frosting is super sweet I tend to leave it behind and just eat the cake around it, but that isn’t the case when it comes to homemade cream cheese frosting. Nuh-uh. I could eat it with a spoon, on a shoe… on basically anything.

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As you may know, my cream cheese frosting recipe isn’t new to this blog. I first shared it back in 2012, when I frosted my classic red velvet cake. However in that post there wasn’t step-by-step photo instructions, plus I wanted it to be easily found if searched, so I’m giving it it’s own post so it can shine.

Tomorrow it will be frosting a different cake.My mother’s cake recipe that’s perfect for spring! Okay, that’s all the hints I’m giving… now let us make frosting!

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The ingredients are simple. Two bricks of cream cheese and a stick of unsalted butter (both are softened and at room temperature), pure vanilla extract (none of that fake imitation bizz) and confectioners sugar.

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Drop the softened bricks of cream cheese into the bowl of your stand mixer (that’s fitted with the paddle attachment!).

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Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy.

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Add in the butter and blend together…

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Then scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl…

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…add two teaspoons of pure vanilla extract and mix together.

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With the mixer on low, gradually add 1/3 to a 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar at a time.

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Until mixed through, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as you go.

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Then I replace the paddle with the whisk attachment and beat on high for 10 to 15 seconds (or longer for a more whipped frosting). Stop once the frosting is thick, creamy and without little lumps.

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Now you just need a cake to frost. Coming soon…


My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Yield: enough for a 9-inch two-layer cake, one 9x13 cake or roughly 2 dozen cupcakes

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting
A delicious and easy cream cheese frosting!
Prep Time 1 hour
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 2 (8 ounce) bricks room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar


Pull the cream cheese and butter out of the fridge and place on your counter 1 hour or more before making frosting.

Place the softened cream cheese into the bowl of your stand mixer. Blend on medium speed until creamed.

Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides before adding in the butter and vanilla. Blend on low speed until combined with the cream cheese.

Gradually add the 4 cups of confectioners sugar (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup at a time) mixing well after each addition.

Once combined,scrape down the sides and switch over to the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed for 10 to 15 seconds.

This recipe yields enough frosting for a 9-inch two-layer cake, 1 9x13 cake or roughly 2 dozen cupcakes.

Note: For more of a whipped frosting beat (with the whisk attachment in) for 10 seconds longer.

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6 Responses to “Classic Cream Cheese Frosting (the best ever)”

  1. #
    danielle — March 29, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    i wasn’t paying attention and made the whole recipe for the carrot cake. what should i do with the extra frosting? does it freeze well? any other cakes or recipes (or cake balls?!) i should make with it? =)

  2. #
    Ashley — April 3, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    I made this last weekend and it was delicious. I added a little lemon zest, but otherwise made it as written.

  3. #
    Barb — April 12, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Anytime you have excess frosting, make frosting sandwich cookies using graham crackers…just spread the frosting on the cracker and top with another one…they’re delish!

  4. #
    Abby — December 26, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    I JUST got a stand mixer for Christmas ( i have been fawning over them for years) and I am putting this on top of my recipes I finally get to make!

  5. #
    Abby — January 12, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Well, my first attempt is nowhere near as pretty, but I did it and it’s yummy!

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