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Cream Cheese Frosting

Versatile, tangy, and quick to prepare, cream cheese frosting has a soft consistency that's ideal for swirling or swooping. It's the classic choice for topping many cupcakes, including carrot, red velvet, zucchini-spice, and applesauce-spice.

  • Yield: Makes 4 cups
Cream Cheese Frosting

Source: Martha Stewart Living


  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and then vanilla; mix until smooth.

Cook's Note

Frosting can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; before using, bring to room temperature, and beat until smooth.


Reviews (12)

  • Ginny Loverde 8 Jun, 2013

    ok..this is a question not a review......I don't have unsalted butter, can i still use regular butter?

  • John Goodemoot 2 Feb, 2013

    Best frosting ever! Maybe it was the double splash of bourbon I substituted for the vanilla...either way, it's super smooth, creamy and oh so good.

  • CarmelinaCAN 14 Jul, 2012

    delicious! you can taste the decadence!

  • Gotfilm 29 Jun, 2012

    I substitute "Raspberry" flavoring in place of the is really yum, with either Red Velvet or chocolate!

  • Kimyko31 23 Dec, 2010

    At first my icing was a little heavy. But then the second time around, I wipped it more with my electric mixer and it came out so SOFT AND FLUFFY!!!And it seemed to give me more icing than before! I would recommend to anyone that if you want it to hold shape, and if you want it to be fluffy and creamy, put it under the electric mixer for longer and you will QUICKLY see the difference.

  • YesImAbel 22 Nov, 2010

    Wasn't sure how it would turn out since I read the comment about consistency and agreed with it after making?

  • littleredstrawberry 21 Feb, 2010

    I had to add cream cheese, because it was too sweet for me!! I also did not like the consistency of it. :(

  • eew 19 Feb, 2010

    If you half this Icing recipe, does it still come out okay, or do you need to add more of one ingredient?

  • nic29nic 12 Feb, 2010

    I meant: I mixed my cream cheese straight from the fridge :) Oops!

  • nic29nic 12 Feb, 2010

    I mixed my frosting straight from the fridge. I think that helped the consistency. Add sugar sparingly. I had to add cream cheese bec it was too sweet for me.

  • dfoster87 25 Dec, 2009

    Really great frosting. I used about 4 cups of confectioner's sugar and the frosting was just the right consistency, but if yours is too soft, just add more confectioner's sugar. I paired this frosting with gingerbread cupcakes and they were a hit with my party guests!

  • GardenMomma 23 Oct, 2009

    Very good flavor, but frosting is very soft. You'll need to add twice as much powdered sugar in order to get it to hold a decorative shape

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