This cream cheese buttercream frosting is the perfect icing for cakes, cupcakes, and cookie sandwiches. It isn’t runny at all and can even hold still while piped on cupcakes. There are only a few simple ingredients in this versatile recipe, it will be your new go to!

Cream cheese frosting in a bowl on a blue surface with spoons next to it.

I love that tangy taste from a good cream cheese frosting. It’s delicious on red velvet cake, or on top of pumpkin cupcakes. Honestly you cant go wrong. Iv’e also put this cream cheese frosting as a topping on this easy chocolate cake and it’s absolute heaven.

The only thing that did bother me with this kind of frosting was that it always seemed too runny and didn’t pipe very well like other buttercream recipes did.

As a trained pastry chef, I am super used to playing around and tweaking recipes. I thought even if it didn’t work out, there was no way any cream cheese was going to waste; so I got to work to make a super versatile cream cheese frosting recipe that would be great for piping.

Most of my frosting recipes are made with about 3 cups of confectioners sugar. This one is made with 4 so that it is more stable! If you want something chocolatey, try this chocolate cream cheese frosting or if you dont have any butter you can make this cream cheese frosting without butter. In the fall, definitely make this cinnamon cream cheese frosting to enhance your cinnamon baked goods!

Lastly, for this and most baking recipes that call for cream cheese, youll need to use it at room temperature. If you forgot to leave it out you can learn how to soften cream cheese quickly!

Ingredients you need

  • Cream cheese – well duh. You need 1 8oz block for this recipe
  • Unsalted Butter – this helps with hardening and stabilizing the frosting
  • Confectioners Sugar– the bulk of the frosting
  • Vanilla Extract– flavor!
  • Milk or cream– to thin it out.
Ingredients for stable cream cheese frosting

How to make this recipe

Make sure that your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature before creaming. This will make the frosting much smoother and it will be easier to mix. Learn how to soften butter quickly!

  1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in a stand or hand mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip on medium speed for 2 minutes until incorporated.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the confectioners sugar.
  3. Mix on low speed working up to medium for 2-3 minutes.
  4. With the mixer on low add in the vanilla, and milk.
  5. Gradually lift to medium speed and beat 2-3 minutes more.

Seriously this is so easy to make!

Piping and Frosting Instructions

Before you pipe or frost, chill the buttercream in the fridge for 20 minutes. It will help harden it up a bit and will pipe much better!

A cupcales with cream cheese frosting piped on top


I like to store my frosting in plastic wrap instead of bowls because bowls take up too much space and plus I dont want to wash them!

All I do is dump the icing onto a square of plastic wrap and close up it on all sides. Store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Keep your desserts that are frosted in the fridge otherwise the cream cheese can spoil.

Ways to use this frosting

Recipe tips and faq’s

  • Why is my frosting runny? Because it doesnt have butter or enough powdered sugar to stabilize it. You can put it in the fridge to help harden it up but it might need more sugar or less milk and vanilla to keep it thicker.
  • Whats the difference between cream cheese frosting and cream cheese icing? To me icing is more of a glaze so that is going to be super runny and something you put over these cookies. A frosting is going to be thicker and is better for cakes and cupcakes.
  • Add lemon zest for an extra zing!
  • Color the frosting with food coloring for a pretty color.
  • This recipe makes enough frosting for 12 cupcakes or to fill and ice an 8″ 2 layer cake.
Cream cheese frosting in a bowl on a blue surface with spoons next to it.
4.67 stars (3 ratings)

Ultimate Versatile Cream Cheese Frosting

This cream cheese frosting is stable enough to pipe onto cakes and cupcakes making it super versatile. Not runny at all, it's fluffy and light, and made with only a few simple ingredients.


  • 1 8 oz cream cheese block, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp milk



Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • Make sure your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature for easy mixing.
  • In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer, add the 1 block cream cheese and the 1/2 cup unsalted butter and mix on low- medium speed for 2-3 minutes until fully creamed.
  • Stop and scrape down the mixer. Add in the confectioners sugar. Mix on low speed working your way up to medium speed as the sugar mixes in. Mix for 2-3 mins more until fully mixed.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add in the 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tbsp milk. Mix again on medium speed for 2-3 more minutes until super light and fluffy.
  • Pour the cream cheese out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes before using.


This recipe makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes or to fill and frost a 2 layer 8 inch cake. 
Serving: 1portion, Calories: 224kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 3mg, Potassium: 4mg, Sugar: 39g, Vitamin A: 237IU, Calcium: 4mg, Iron: 1mg
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