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Cream Cheese Frosting

Once you're done, use the frosting to dazzle friends with your very own Hummingbird Cake.

  • Yield: Makes 1 1/2 quarts (enough for one 9-inch layer cake)
Cream Cheese Frosting

Photography: Alan Benson

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2003


  • 1 pound (16 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and vanilla until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add butter, beating until incorporated.

  2. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add sugar, beating until incorporated.

Cook's Note

Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before using.

Reviews (12)

  • amaneceres 12 Jan, 2014

    great recipe! i used less than half of sugar and it turned out amazing.

  • GeneKelly 3 Feb, 2013

    I also used about only 1/2 a cup of sugar and it was enough. Delicious!

  • Juanita Larocque 23 Aug, 2012

    Made this and the Humming bird cake for my wedding cake everyone loved it and wanted the recipe.

  • KsaraM1 15 Jun, 2012

    I used about half the amount of sugar than this for the frosting on my fiancé's birthday cake and everyone loved it.

  • ThePrrfectBite 26 Mar, 2012

    Great Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe. Used it on the Coconut Cloud Cake yesterday - the cake was a big hit! I agree with some of the other reviewers. Half of the amount for powdered sugar is plenty. My suggestion, add small amounts of powdered sugar at a time. Stop at desired taste. I used a little less than 1/2. Happy baking!

  • britnym 23 Jan, 2011

    I have made this frosting a few times and it always turns out great. I don't use quite all of the sugar the recipe calls for, too sweet for me. This time I turned it into a carmel cream cheese frosting and used it on an apple cake recipe on this site and it was spectacular. I used a 1/2 cup of brown sugar and melted it in a pan with 8 tbs of the butter and let cool, then added to the butter-cream cheese mixture before adding the confectioners' sugar ( I used a little more than 2 cups).

  • lissawashburn 28 Apr, 2010

    I love that frosting. It is a huge hit every time I make it. I like to spread it on banana cupcakes, it is delicious.

  • meredithjean 16 Apr, 2010

    I really liked this recipe. Great quick desert!

  • blackreddarktrinity 2 Apr, 2010

    Ditto. I added all the sugar and by half way through it was the perfect consistency so I should have stopped there. By the time I added the whole 2lbs it was difficult to beat and the cream cheese flavor was covered by the flavor of the sugar.

  • nightlight 3 Jun, 2009

    what kind of cream cheese do you use? I used mascarpone and it turned out really thick and heavy. (I live in europe) Thanks

  • studiocabral 10 May, 2008

    I found this recipe good but actually used only half of the sugar and it worked just as great.

  • studiocabral 10 May, 2008

    THis recipe is great, but I used just half of the sugar and it worked just as good.

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