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    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 πŸ™‚

    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 14 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
    • 4Β½ cups (570 g) icing/confectioners sugar - use more for a thicker frosting (see note 1)
    • 1Β½ cups (335 g) cream cheese - cold, firm type (see note 2)
    • 1Β½ tsp vanilla essence/extract
    • 1Β½ 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 it's too soft, simply place it back into the fridge for 20-30 minutes, rewhip it and then use for piping. 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 you're happy with the level of sweetness. More thickening options are in the blog post above.Β 
    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.Β 
    Note 3.Β 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.Β 


    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 πŸ™‚

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    • Fatima

      Hiii, can i also add melted chocolate to the froasting?πŸ₯°

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Fatima! I haven’t tried that myself so I’m not so sure how the frosting will hold up or taste but would love to know how you go if you decide to try it out πŸ™‚

    • Marie

      5 stars
      I made this today and it received rave reviews from my picky family! Thank you for sharing and making so easy to follow!!!

    • Reemah H

      5 stars
      Made it yesterday for a family lunch, it was an absolute hit!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

      • Cakes by MK

        Yay! So so happy to hear that Reemah πŸ˜€ thanks so much for trying out the recipe πŸ™‚

    • Mohaddisa

      I made this today and its absolutely delicious !Thank you for the recipe .

      Can I store the remaining in the fridge ir the freezer?


      • Cakes by MK

        So happy to hear that Mohaddisa πŸ˜€ And yes you can totally do that, just let it come to room temperature and rewhip it once you’re ready to use it again πŸ™‚

    • Dalia

      Hello l, I just want to say I LOVE your videos!!! I wanted to also ask about this frosting paring with your Swiss meringue buttercream. I’m making my own wedding cake and am wanting to make a two tier wedding cake while using the Swiss meringue buttercream for the filling and the cream cheese buttercream as the outside frosting and piping designs. Do you believe the two would hold up well for the two tiers?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Dalia! So so happy to hear you’re enjoying the videos and congratulations on your upcoming wedding! πŸ˜€ The cream cheese buttercream isn’t as stable as the SMBC, so what I normally do is use the cream cheese frosting as a filling and the SMBC for my crumb coat and final coat, along with any piping decorations required πŸ™‚

        • Dalia

          Omg amazing can’t wait to use these frostings!!!! Thank you for the reply and amazing videos will always be keeping up with your content!!

    • Ashu

      I want to have this frosting in blue colour, Can i add blue liquid colour in it? Or would it make it runny…
      I am left no time for experimenting it first πŸ™

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Ashu! Yes you can make it blue πŸ™‚ you want to use a gel colour and add it in when mixing the icing sugar and butter πŸ™‚

    • Pj

      Can I use cream cheese frosting to sandwich my cakes?

      • Cakes by MK

        Yess absolutely! Only thing to be cautious of is the frosting is soft at room temp so for any cakes that are 3 or more layers I would only use this frosting as a filling and use a more stable frosting for the outsides of the cake πŸ™‚ hope that helps!

    • Sakeena Daniels

      5 stars
      I can’t wait to try it…. Super Excited!!!

      • Cakes by MK

        Hope you enjoy it Sakeena! πŸ™‚

        • Linda

          Thanks alot.what type of cream cheese you used.the brand .
          Can you share vanilla frosting recipe..

      • Ogochukwu

        I like the way you bake please where do you base. And your online school

        • Cakes by MK

          Hi Ogochukwu! So glad to hear you’re enjoying the videos πŸ™‚ I am based in New Zealand and at this stage don’t have an online school sorry! I do have a few courses on my website you can check out, otherwise all my video tutorials can be found on YouTube πŸ™‚

    • Ola

      Hi, can you share the brand of cream cheese you used please? I can only seem to find spreadable cream cheese here in the UK.

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    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!

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