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close up view of cream cheese frosting spread on a cake

Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Allison Ferraro
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: About 2 1/4 cups frosting 1x


This ultra-creamy, classic cream cheese frosting recipe is easy to make from scratch and includes 4 flavor variations: brown butter, cinnamon, vanilla bean, and honey.


  • 8 oz. (224 grams) full-fat cream cheese block, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (114 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. (5 grams) vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 1/3 cups (378 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer), beat cream cheese and butter on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
  2. Add vanilla and salt and beat to combine.
  3. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add confectioners’ sugar until all the sugar is added. Then beat on high speed until the mixture is well combined and creamy.


Storage: Store leftover cream cheese frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let the frosting sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes to soften slightly before spreading or piping.

Make Ahead: Cream cheese frosting can be made ahead (I recommend making it up to one day ahead so it's still fresh when serving) and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. When you're ready to use the frosting, let it sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes to soften slightly before spreading or piping the frosting onto your dessert.

Flavor Variations:

  • Brown Butter: To make brown butter frosting, brown the butter and let it cool to room temperature before mixing the frosting. You can also brown the butter ahead of time, refrigerate it, and then bring it to room temperature just before you're ready to use it.
  • Cinnamon: To make cinnamon frosting, simply add ½ tsp. ground cinnamon in with the confectioners' sugar.
  • Vanilla Bean: To make vanilla bean frosting, replace the vanilla extract with 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste.
  • Honey: To make honey frosting, add ¼ cup honey when adding the vanilla. Note that the extra liquid in this recipe will make the frosting slightly softer than the other flavors. I recommend keeping this frosting well chilled and letting it sit at room temperature for a shorter period of time (15 to 30 minutes) before spreading or piping.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cream cheese frosting, classic, brown butter, cinnamon, vanilla bean, honey