Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe [4 Ingredients!]

Imagine a frosting so beyond delicious and so perfect in its flavors that it goes well with almost anything: that’s our homemade cream cheese frosting recipe!

Top down view of a bowl full of cream cheese frosting surrounded by sprinkles on a blue background.Cream cheese frosting is truly the icing that’s there for you. Need it for pumpkin cupcakes, ultra-chocolatey brownies, banana bread, red velvet cakes or cupcakes or a spice carrot cake? This is it! Need something that isn’t as sweet as buttercream (which is wonderful, but can totally be too sweet)? This is your recipe! Need one you can pipe that still has a gloriously thick consistency? Here it is!

Beater from the stand mixer is removed and shown in this photo with the cream cheese frosting on the end!And – get this – the recipe is very, very easy. We know it sounds too good to be true, but check it out below! You need just four ingredients and a few minutes. It’s a simple enough recipe that, in our opinion, it’s a great place for the little ones in your life to start helping out substantially in the kitchen.

If you can keep them away from the bowl that is. Or yourself! Yum!

Ready to try out this heavenly homemade cream cheese frosting recipe? Read on.

All the ingredients needed to make the best cream cheese frosting recipe laid out before the recipe is started.Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients & Utensils


  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar), sifted
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Utensils & Other Items

  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 whisk

Homemade cream cheese icing recipe stepsHow To Make Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Sift powdered sugar to remove any large pieces. (Note: you do not have to do this, but we think it makes a creamer icing!)
  2. Place softened cream cheese in a large bowl and beat until smooth. It’s much easier in a stand electric mixer but a good hand mixer will do.
  3. Add butter and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  4. Gradually add powdered sugar and – yes! – beat until smooth.
  5. Frost cupcakes or whatever other delicious sweets you’ve made (we recommend our Pumpkin Cupcake recipe with this icing)! Top with sprinkles.
  6. Store leftover cupcakes (or other sweets) in the refrigerator.

Close up shot of a finished cupcake with cream cheese frosting on top.Tips About Our Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Got questions about this cream cheese icing recipe? Want to know how to take it from good to better? Read on!

Using This Frosting

We totally recommend our Pumpkin Cupcake recipe with this frosting, but get creative! It’s delicious on cakes, brownies, banana bread – really, use it anywhere you need some tangy-sweet flavor.

What Kind Of Cream Cheese To Use

The kind of cream cheese you use is very important! Use full-fat cream cheese, not low fat cream cheese, and get a block of it – not the spread. If you use the spread, you’ll get runny icing. Not fun! You want the thickness. However, remember the butter – this frosting will be way TOO thick without it! Smooth and creamy is the name of this game!

Close up of a bowl full of the best cream cheese frosting recipe there isWhat To Do If The Frosting Is Too Runny

If you make a batch of this cream cheese frosting and find it too runny, add more powdered sugar to your next batch – it will thicken it right up. (We’re saying ‘thick’ a lot in this post…but the consistency of this frosting is so important, and one of its best features!) It needs to be perfectly thick to pipe on cupcakes but able to be spread easily.

Icing Storage

You can store in the fridge for up to 5 days, and it freezes well, too.

About Food Coloring

If you want to get festive or creative, food coloring works well in this recipe!

A Piping Secret

I know it seems like you can’t pipe this because of its consistency. Here’s a secret though-you can! If you want to use this frosting to make pretty little cupcakes: put in the piping bag – tip included – then refrigerate it for a half hour before you pipe it. It should be good to go after that, although buttercream frosting is generally better for really detailed work.

How To Flavor This Icing

If you want to add more flavors to this frosting, go for it! We haven’t tried anything personally, but we’ve seen people use pumpkin spice, lemon extract, cinnamon, coconut extract, and more to jazz up this cream cheese frosting. Of course, if you like it the way it is…that’s fine, too!

Top down view of finished cream cheese frosting recipe on cupcakes with piping bag and bowl of frosting nearby.Let’s get baking!

We’d love to hear what you used this cream cheese frosting for – it’s perfect in so many ways, and perfect on so many sweets! Definitely leave us a comment about it below. We know you are going to love this recipe!

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