The Best Homemade Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

the best cream cheese buttercream frosting!

Homemade frosting is SO much better than store bought, and once you realize how easy it is to whip up this perfect homemade cream cheese buttercream frosting, I’m pretty sure you will never go back to the canned stuff ever again!  This recipe makes enough to frost a good-sized cake or 3-4 dozen cupcakes, so feel free to cut it in half if you don’t need quite as much.

Here is what you need:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened 
1 1/2 pounds (3 8oz packages) cream cheese
6 cups powdered sugar (about a pound and a half)

Perfect Homemade Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

Step 1: Whip together butter & cream cheese on medium high speed until well blended and fluffy, approximately 1-2 minutes.

Homemade Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

Step 2: Reduce speed to low and slowly blend in powdered sugar.  Once sugar is blended in, increase speed to medium and beat well for another 1-2 minutes until smooth. That’s it!  (Really!)

The BEST cream cheese buttercream frosting recipe!  Only 3 ingredients and SO yummy--you'll never buy the store bought kind ever again!

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Can you believe how easy that is?

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{ 68 comments… add one }

  • Dania June 20,

    How easy!! thank u sooo much!!

  • Susan July 6,

    Can left overs be stored?? I like to ice brownies, and always have frosting left over.

    • Debbie Buck July 6,

      My MIL used to divide hers into Tubberware containers that were aleady colored. It always tasted just perfect.

      • Ann August 20,

        You mean Tupperware right?

  • Gianna Robinson July 6,

    Sounds yummy! No vanilla, though?

  • Anonymous July 6,

    Can we froze the extra for later on.

    • Bev November 24,

      It freezes just great. Also – a little variation to the recipe – add a tub of caramel dip to it and it becomes the best fruit dip you have ever tasted.

  • Ginger July 7,

    I too am wondering if leftovers can be frozen. And if vanilla can be added.

  • Anonymous July 7,

    No vanilla or other flavoring or salt? Isn’t it too sweet?

  • Shell Law July 7,

    I find the above photos rather misleading. I believe the frosting will have a definite yellow color, which makes it not very suitable if you want to tint it pastel colors, pink will have an orange tint, blue will have a green tint, etc.

    • Rose August 6,

      Shell – I just made this frosting (it’s in my fridge now) and the picture is accurate. It is pretty white. Due to the cream cheese and powdered sugar. This would be a great recipe if you wanted to color it. It is so good and easy to whip up! PLUS it does make a ton – which is great because I will be frosting a layer cake tomorrow and hate when there isn’t enough :-) Plus I can make frosting/graham cracker sandwiches!
      Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Anonymous April 27,

      you can always add white food coloring (icing whiter) if you feel like its not white enough Shell, then you should have no problem with your pastel colors.

  • Christy July 7,

    Is this a crusting recipe? Either way, I can’t wait to try it!!

  • Margaret July 9,

    I use a tsp. of vanilla. And I have frozen leftover icing and it has been fine to use again. Just make sure it is stored in an airtight container or in a zip lock baggie.

  • Jess C July 9,

    Yum! Can’t wait to try this! Do you think it would be ok in a food processor? Would I use the whisk attachment or the normal attachment?

  • Anonymous July 15,

    Due to the cream cheese in the recipe I am wondering if it is ok to leave the cake out over night?

  • Anonymous July 29,

    was delicious. made enough for 2 cakes though. next time will cut recipe in half.

  • Claudia August 3,

    I agree…sounds great but a pinch of salt and a few drops of vanilla are in order. Try this sometime…orange extract. OMG!

  • Meg August 12,

    Does this pipe well onto cakes/cupcakes? I have a problem with keeping the form/shape.

    • Sarah September 11,

      I would like to know as well. Has anyone tried piping?

      My cream cheese icing always falls or looks melted.

  • Nancy August 16,

    Can you add cocoa to make it chocolate ? If so, how much?

  • Mary September 5,

    The recipe is spot on! It makes enough to frost two 9 in two layer cakes. And Nancy I added 11/3 c of cocoa, fabulous!

  • Michelle September 7,

    Just made this recipe, found that the cream cheese flavor was extremely overwhelming. It had to be modified considerably. The consistency was good and the color was nice but the flavor was extremely over powering.

    • Amber September 7,

      how did you modify it? I’ve noticed that with a few other cream cheese receipts.

    • Sonya September 21,

      I just made this frosting today. I did modify it a little. I use 3 sticks of butter and two 8 oz packages of cream cheese. One full tilt and and 1/3 less fat. I added 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon. The frosting was very light, and had a nice suttle flavor . I made it to put on a cinnamon cake. It turned out great! My family said it was a keeper.

  • Andrea September 10,

    I made this frosting last night and it is YUMMY, however it doesn’t hold its shape?? I know it is a lot smoother than butter cream but Im having difficulty crumb coating my cake… it doesn’t stay on the cake at all its too smooth??? I put the frosting in the fridge over night and the half messy cake hoping it would firm up a bit but it still seems to be the same consistency. How can I fix this?? I had wanted to make a ombre petal cake but now i think it will just have to be simple swirl cake :/

    • Jennifer September 7,

      Andrea, I have had this issue too. If you are set on a cream cheese frosted cake try this recipe:

      1/2 lb butter
      1 cup vegetable shortening
      2lb powdered sugar
      8 oz cream cheese

      Mix the butter and shortening together. Cream until smooth. Turn mixer to low, and add sugar a little at a time. If it gets too thick, add just a little milk, but not too much! After it is all mixed well together, add the cream cheese and mix well. Allow to mix for about 5 minutes on medium to get that nice fluffy texture. It pipes great and it doesn’t lose its shape unless it gets very, very hot.

  • Rhonda September 11,

    Made this Monday night to put on dark fudge chocolate cake. It was a hit! Made brownies tonight for the left over icing! And I did put vanilla in it.

  • Anonymous October 4,

    I just made this frosting and it came out runny and not thick.

    • Ruth Soukup October 5,

      That definitely shouldn’t have happened. Was your cream cheese or butter too soft? The butter should still be solid, but just slightly softened, (set out on the counter for an hour) and the cream cheese should be cold, not softened.

  • Jan November 6,

    I know this tastes delicious because I actually use a version of this as my go-to buttercream for any cake I decorate. Mine calls for 2 sticks of butter, one 8 ounce pkg cream cheese and 2 lbs of powdered sugar. No you don’t need the vanilla, yes sometimes it may call for a touch of salt. Mine is a crusting buttercream that has a cream cheese base but its not the typical cream cheese frosting so it holds up to whatever fondant decor I use. Both recipes are great for other frosting types…just add extracts or fruit zests…or cocoa to make it chocolate (you do need vanilla for the chocolate). I freeze mine all the time so you can certainly freeze this one. I let mine thaw then beat it again and it comes out great. You really need to try it without the vanilla first…you can always add it later. I use room temp cc and room temp butter and beat the dickens out of it until its well combined…the more you beat it, the whiter it gets, then slowly add the powdered sugar. Though it will never be a true white this colors beautifully…no yellow tinge like another poster suggested it might. And let’s face it…it’s got real butter and cream cheese….SO much better than shortening based frostings! Try it…you’ll love it!

  • kat November 18,


  • Barb burrows November 21,

    Now that Christmas is quickly coming soon us, does this work well for sugar cookies?

  • Dianne November 24,

    You left out vanilla…

  • Joan Smith January 10,

    Never heard of powdered sugar

    • Ruth Soukup January 10,

      It is sometimes called confectioner’s sugar. :-)

  • Joan smith January 10,

    Would icing sure be a substitute

    • Lisa July 24,

      Yes, in the US it’s called powdered sugar, and in the UK we call it icing sugar.

  • anonymous February 10,

    Real butter? If so, salted or unsalted?

    • Ruth Soukup February 11,

      Yes, real butter. I always use salted.

  • judy February 15,

    After icing cake does cake have to be refrigerated.

  • Anonymous February 19,

    will the frosting go bad if cake is left out? Cream cheese, you know…. should the cake be refrigerated in other words?

    • Ruth Soukup February 20,

      It is up to you to refrigerate your frosted cake or not. If you do refrigerate, make sure to take it out with enough time for the frosting to come to room temperature and soften.

  • Anonymous February 26,

    How much does it make? I am making 250 cupcakes how many times should i double it?

    • Ruth Soukup February 27,

      This recipe makes enough to frost about 3-4 dozen cupcakes. I would suggest doubling the recipe twice.
      This really is the best!

  • Clara SCB March 1,

    I’m making a 3 9″layer cake for a birthday this weekend and I definitely do not want to run out of frosting; this ia a big cake and a favorite of the family (we like our cream cheese frosting) so I can’t have thin coats. I’m also assuming a pinch of salt is recommended if you are not using salted butter, correct assumption?

    • Ruth Soukup March 3,

      I always use salted butter. This recipe makes enough to frost a good-sized cake or 3-4 dozen cupcakes

  • gina March 28,

    Not EVERYthg needs vanilla! True ur using cream cheese & butter so it can never be white so use for cream tone color cakes or dessert cake. However the longer u whip the creamch & butter it will lighten just by mixing air into it! Yes it does tend to have a tender crust bt thz frosting is not over powering when paired to the right cake, a dense cake Carrot or Zucchini etc or cupcakes (makes thm taste richer)! Salt in my onion is not needed for this frosting bt neither salt or vanilla will hurt bt doesnt add to its goodness. This recipe can frost 2 dessert cakes bt u can for a more commercial or decorated use add Sweeter & more confectioners sugar & it will stand up to decorating better

  • Gina March 28,

    This is a great frosting! Its the recipe I use!

  • Kim April 1,

    Will this icing firm up in fridge over night. I am making a teapot shaped cake and I have to ice the ball and then the next night put the fondant decorations on. I just want to make sure it will work with this icing.

    • Ruth Soukup April 1,

      It definitely firms up in the fridge–you should be okay as long as you will be keeping the cake cool.

  • Lynn April 3,

    Can I use this as a filling for a cheesecake? I’m trying to make a butter cream cheesecake filling.

  • Anonymous April 15,

    Can this be used for an ice cream cake?

    • Ruth Soukup April 16,

      I’ve never made an ice-cream cake before but I’d love to hear how it turns out! :)

  • diane June 6,

    Thanks, I like this frosting…

  • Wanda June 22,

    This is the best cream cheese butter cream frosting ever. I made this for a Rustic red velvet cake and it was just perfect. It spread well and did not slip off. Who ever mention that it came out runny maybe you beat it to much. Everyone raved my cake and it felt so good. The table I was sitting at the people were asking for a second piece because they loved the cake but went crazy over the frosting. And when the word spread that I made the cake people from different tables came to tell me the cake was delicious and the frosting was great. After so much research and trying out recipes this is the best and a keeper for sure.
    Thank you for sharing!

  • kathy June 23,

    For those of you who found the icing runny, make sure you are using full-fat or low-fat cream cheese. Fat-free cream cheese goes watery when you mix it with things. That might be the culprit in the runny icing. Happy Baking!

  • Shannon @ Fox Hollow Cottage June 25,

    I came for the cream cheese frosting recipe… and read your whole Amazing Grace story. I’m deeply moved.

  • ale July 11,

    Hey, I want to frost 100 cupcakes, the problem is here is too hot and the frost always melt down, does this happen the same with this frosting? .. how can I fix it? please help!
    sounds delicious btw!

    • Ruth Soukup July 11,

      You have to wait until the cupcakes are cool. Hope this helps! :)

  • Jess Pruett July 26,

    How well does this work through a piping bag?? Sounds amazing! I’d probably add vanilla though (:

  • Linda September 24,

    Those who are in hot, humid climates need to use shortening instead of butter. That is the only way you can have it firm enough to not lose its shape. You might do 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening, but really, the more shortening, the firmer the frosting.

  • stef November 2,

    what makes this the “BEST”? it seems like every other cream cheese frosting recipe?

  • Anonymous November 30,

    I never add vanilla to cream cheese frosting as it alters the tang of the cream cheese.

  • Darlene Oetgen December 27,

    My grandson asked for white cake with butter cream frosting. Not only did he love it but the other 5 grandsons and parents and my husband loved it. I made a 4 layer cake; but I did add a tsp of vanilla. Very creamy and so yummy! Thank you for such an easy recipe!

  • Rick January 13,

    I was wondering if there are more variations for this frosting? I mean specifically, chocolate,lemon, sour cream, etc…

  • Erika January 28,

    Do you recommend this icing pipe rose shape

  • lollie February 9,

    I made this frosting I added vanilla but I used clear vanilla so it doesn’t tint the frosting, use 1/2 tsp. Of milk to lighten it for piping holds up great, but not in hot outdoor weather.


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