We all know that a cake sometimes needs to come from a mix, but not the frosting! Top your favorite cake with this easy-to-whip-up Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting.
It’s not Easter Dessert without some cream cheese frosting atop The Ultimate Carrot Cake.
Every mom knows that sometimes a cake needs to come from a box. There are times and places for things, and while you would love to be the hostess with the mostest, some times and some places call for a cake mix shortcut.
However, I draw the line at using frosting from a can. I’ve done my time in Frosting Can Land, and I know — yes, sweet sister — I know with every fragment of my being that there’s a better way.
The wonderful thing is that homemade frosting is not hard. Oh no! It’s not hard. It’s so quick and easy that when you slather it on your cake mix cake and serve it at your next party/potluck/PTA meeting, everyone will want to know what in the world you did to make such an amazing cake!
Such is the case with this Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s what I typically use to top my very favorite Carrot Cake. But, I’ve been known to use it on chocolate cake, lemon cake, zucchini cake, and banana cake. It’s just very friendly and versatile like that.
Now let me tell you there are two tricks you need to keep in mind in order to make this Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting quick and easy.
- Your butter and cream cheese MUST be softened.
- Your powdered sugar MUST be sifted.
If you don’t follow these rules, my young Padawan, your frosting will not be Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting, Lumpy Cream Cheese Frosting it will be.
And lumpy does not get you points at the PTA meeting. Sorry.
You want this to be almost like whipped cream, which means you’ll need to prep your ingredients accordingly.
You will note that there’s a range recommended on the sugar content in this frosting. If your cake is very sweet, feel free to use the lower amount of sugar. I find that cream cheese does a great job in “cutting” the sweet. If you prefer a sweeter, but not overly sweet frosting, use the 2 cups of sugar. My boys prefer it with the full 2 cups. Of course.
How to make this good and cheap:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. For this recipe, keeping an eye on the price of butter and cream cheese is important.
- Buying in bulk – I buy my butter in big ginormous packs at Costco. It offers the best unit price in my neighborhood. If you don’t go through butter very fast, just freeze it, packaging and all. Thaw in the fridge or on the counter when you’re ready to use it.
How I make this recipe easy:
This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.
- a large mixing bowl – here’s the Pyrex one I have.
- a hand mixer
- a sifter – The powdered sugar must be sifted!
More Frostings to Try
Love homemade frosting? Be sure to try our other variations:
Tell us what you think!
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Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup butter , cut into ½-inch pieces and completely softened at room temperature
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese cut into pieces and completely softened at room temperature
- 2 cup powdered sugar sifted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese one piece at a time, beating well after each addition.
- When all the cream cheese is incorporated, reduce the speed to medium low and gradually add the vanilla and then the sugar, in 3 to 4 additions. Mix until the frosting is very fluffy. Use as a frosting and keep chilled until ready to serve.
Can you add whipped cream
If you would like, you could certainly fold in whipped cream to the finished frosting. It will be different than what you see here but should be delicious!
Hello! I am a newbie when it comes to baking and this is going to be my very first time making frosting, so I really appreciate your patience as I ask this silly question. Should the butter that I use for this recipe be unsalted? Or is regular butter okay? Thank you so much for the help!
Not a silly question. A lot of cookbooks will insist that it matters, but honestly, I use both and don’t notice a difference.
Okay great! I can’t wait to try out this recipe! Thanks again! (:
I loved the recipe. Do the cake need to be refrigerated after frosting if using it the next day ?
Sorry for the delay in replying. Was out of town. Yes, due to the cream cheese, the cake should be refrigerated.
The BEST!! Was looking for a very fluffy frosting and this is PERFECT! Thank you!
Holy Moly!!!! I just tried this recipe tonight and I am BLOWN AWAY!!! I had some boxed cake mixes and needed to find a frosting recipe. I hate overly sweet buttercream frostings and normally cream cheese frostings are too rich and sweet to me as well. I knew I wanted something fluffy like a whipped frosting, but didn’t have all the ingredients on hand that i would need. So I tried looking up “fluffy cream cheese frosting” to give it a shot. After reading what you said along with the comments, I figured I would give your recipe a shot…and I am SOOOOOO glad I did!! Best frosting EVER! I will never buy store bought frosting again, nor will I be envious of whipped frostings on store bought cakes. THIS will go on EVERYTHING! The box cake mix I tried this on tonight was butter pecan. It is simply to die for and I cannot wait to try this frosting on everything else!! THANK YOU!!!!
Yay! So glad to hear this!
Cream Cheese Frosting – Hi there. What would be your measurements in grams please. I can convert the ounces but the Cups is a little difficult as your cup sizes may be different to ours and it would also depend on how tightly the sugar is packed into the cup. Thanks
I’m sorry, Angela. I’m not familiar with conversions like that. However, my guess is that there’s an online calculator out there to help.
I believe, if I am not mistaken , the recipe should read 16 oz. not 8 oz. , because in ( ) you clarify 1 cup or 2 sticks of butter = 16 oz.
A stick of butter is 4 ounces. Four sticks make one pound of butter, or 16 ounces. The recipe is correct as is.
Each stick is 8 tablespoons; that may be where the confusion is coming in. 😉
1 stick is a half of cup ..
Yes, so you need two sticks for this recipe. We worded the recipe to avoid confusion.
Hai, should we be using 16 oz or 8 oz in total?
You’re going to use 16-ounces of cream cheese.
I don’t know what happened but mine was a little bit salty. Any suggestions??
It could be that the butter or cream cheese you used has salt in it?
Can you use full fat cream cheese instead of neufchatel?
Yes, just make sure that it’s completely softened.
Can you use this icing to pipe rosettes on the side of a cake? Will they fall/melt down?
I’m not sure. I’ve not used this for piping purposes. Sorry I can’t be more help!
Did you try piping with it? Wanting to use it on my sons soccer ball cake, but I’m afraid it’ll run and not be stiff enough.
I did last night and I had to work quick. The cake was small. 8” round. By the end it was almost liquid hahaha. The “rosettes” were very soft. The ones on the top of the cake managed to keep their form but along the sides they did not hold their shape. When I was done, I immediately put the cake in the freezer for 15-20 mins. That did the trick. Then i put it in the fridge overnight. I would say you probably could pipe this icing if the icing sat in the fridge for maybe 20 minutes before using. You’d have to work quick or refrigerate every so often to keep the icing stiff.
Can you freeze this frosting after making it for future use?
I have not done this, but I think it should be okay. You may lose a bit of the texture, though.
Can’t wait to try this. Can this frosting be made ahead?
About a day in advance.
I have made cream cheese frosting no less than 100 times. It is my “go to” frosting for everything. I often joke that I’m going to write a cookbook devoted my belief that it can be used on anything! One thing I have always wished was that the frosting could be a bit lighter, not quite so heavy and cheesy. However, my life has changed tonight. I found this recipe. I tried it, skeptical that it would produce anything better than my recipe. I was so wrong! This frosting turned out the silkiest, lightest cream cheese frosting that has ever passed my lips! It was a bit less sweet than mine and a little bit…saltier, maybe? It is so decadent without being overly sweet. I LOVE it! This IS the best cream cheese frosting recipe.
Yay! So glad you like it!
I made this to top your very favorite carrot cake. The result of the recipes, both of which I followed exactly, was a scrumptious, moist cake with delectable frosting. Yum. My teen daughter and I agree they are keeper recipes.
So glad you loved them, too!
I really just want to make a batch of this and eat it out of the bowl- no cake needed. 🙂
I won’t tell. 😉