Subscribe to get new recipes straight to your inbox!

    The Best Cream Cheese Frosting

    Okay this cream cheese frosting is literally THE BEST you’re going to try. It’s rich, creamy, tart and has the perfect level of sweetness. It’s great for piping too!

    Piped cream cheese frosting

    What makes this cream cheese frosting the best?

    Okay I know everyone says their version of something is the best. BUT, I have to say that I don’t think I’ve tried a cream cheese frosting that tastes better than this one.

    The secret? LEMON JUICE! With the addition of fresh lemon juice (yes – it must be FRESH!), there’s an added layer of tartness. It adds an incredible depth of flavour and is the perfect combo with cream cheese for this buttercream!

    Can I use this frosting for cake decorating/layer cakes?

    If you’re making a simple 2 layer cake, then yes it can be used as a frosting for the inside and outside. However, as with most cream cheese frostings it will soften up slightly at room temp making it less stable. Because of this, for cakes with 3 or more layers, I would recommend using this frosting only as a filling.

    Below is an example of my red velvet cake recipe (2 layers), which I frosted with this cream cheese frosting. It held together well as it was only 2 layers, but I imagine if I added more layers then I may run into some problems with layers sliding off!

    Cream cheese frosting piping

    Can I pipe with this cream cheese frosting?

    ABSOLUTELY! So the trick to getting a firm enough consistency is using cold, firm cream cheese (not the spreadable type). This will give you a nice pipeable consistency.

    If it’s really hot where you live, and your frosting is starting to soften up after some time, simply place it back into the fridge for about 30 minutes, and then rewhip it. It should be back at a nice pipeable consistency.

    How can I make this frosting more stable or thicker?

    There are a few ways you can increase the stability of this frosting or make it a bit thicker.

    • Add in more icing/confectioners sugar (if you don’t mind a little extra sweetness). Add in a tablespoon at a time and taste test as you go.
    • Secondly, you can add in some cornstarch to thicken up the frosting. I would add in about 2 tablespoons max, otherwise it can start to impact the taste/texture of your frosting.
    • You can also add in meringue powder or arrowroot powder. About 2 teaspoons of each per batch of frosting.

    How to make this frosting

    This cream cheese frosting comes together SO EASILY! You want to start off by creaming your butter for a few minutes until it’s light and fluffy. This is going to give your frosting a lighter texture.

    Cream cheese frosting step 1 & 2

    Next you want to add in your icing/confectioners sugar in 3 batches, whilst mixing on a low speed. This is going to ensure that our icing sugar doesn’t go everywhere!

    Then add in your cold cream cheese, vanilla essence/extract and fresh lemon juice. Mix on a medium high speed just until the frosting is smooth. Avoid over-mixing as this can result in a less stable frosting.

    Cream cheese frosting step 3 & 4

    Cream cheese frosting step 5 & 6

    And that is it! You should end up with a smooth cream cheese frosting 🙂

    Final cream cheese frosting


    Piped cream cheese frosting

    Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

    This cream cheese frosting is literally THE BEST you're going to try. It's rich, creamy, tart and has the perfect level of sweetness. It's great for piping too!
    5 from 2 votes
    Print Pin Rate Watch Video
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 10 minutes
    Servings: 4 cups


    • 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter - room temp
    • cups (570 g) icing/confectioners sugar - use more for a thicker frosting (see note 1)
    • cups (335 g) cream cheese - cold, firm type (see note 2)
    • tsp vanilla essence/extract
    • tbsp lemon juice - must be fresh


    • Cream your butter for a few minutes until it's light and fluffy. Either use a hand mixer or stand mixer on a medium high speed. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.
    • Add in the icing sugar in 3 batches while mixing on low. Ensure that each batch of icing sugar is mixed into the butter well before adding in the next batch.
    • Next add in your cold cream cheese, vanilla and fresh lemon juice. Mix just until the frosting is smooth. Avoid over-mixing (see note 3).



    Note 1. As with most cream cheese frostings, it will become slightly softer at room temperature and may not be as easy to pipe. If you want a thicker frosting, you can add more icing sugar (I'd add 2 tbsp extra at a time at the end and taste test as I go), until I'm happy with the level of sweetness. More thickening options are in the blog post above. 
    Note 2. To ensure that your frosting isn't too soft, you want to use a firm cream cheese, not the spreadable type. You also want to use cold cream cheese as this will help your frosting stay firmer for longer, particularly if you want to use it for piping. If you stay in a hot climate and your frosting is softening up after some time, simply place it into the fridge for 30 minutes and then rewhip it. This will bring it back to a pipeable consistency. 
    Note 3. Only mix the frosting until it's smooth. Once it's smooth stop mixing as over-mixing can result in a less stable frosting. This is because of the liquid in the cream cheese breaking down the icing sugar. 


    Calories: 1085kcal | Carbohydrates: 150g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 638mg | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 0.02g | Sugar: 145g | Vitamin A: 1546IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 331mg | Iron: 0.3mg

    Nutritional information are estimates only as they are automatically calculated by a third party application. Actual values may differ based on brands and types of products used.

    Keyword: cream cheese, cream cheese buttercream, cream cheese frosting
    Tried this recipe?I love hearing from you! Tag me on instagram so I can see your amazing creations 🙂

    More Recipes


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating

    About me

    Welcome to my blog! My name is Maryam and I LOVE baking! :) I hope to provide you with the tools (i.e. simple, from-scratch, quality tested recipes), so that you can confidently bake up delicious treats to share with your family and friends!

      Tips & Tricks
      Decorating Techniques
      Share via
      Share via
      Send this to a friend