How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
Even if you use a mix to make your cakes and cupcakes, we guarantee no one will ever comment on your baking skills as long as you learn how to make cream cheese frosting from scratch. This indulgent frosting adds tangy-sweet richness to almost any dessert, and, honestly, making it yourself is almost as easy as opening a can of pre-made icing, only it's so much more delicious.

Cream cheese frosting became popular in the 1960s, when mentions of it started popping up in print alongside carrot cake recipes. It's probably best known as the traditional icing for carrot cake and one of the more popular frostings for red velvet cake. But professional and novice bakers alike have long discovered just how versatile this frosting can be.

Of course, it's not a guilt-free indulgence. Traditional cream cheese has 9 grams of fat per serving; fortunately, there are lower-fat alternatives. This recipe uses Neufchatel, which often is marketed as reduced-fat cream cheese. Neufchatel is named for the small town in Normandy, France, where it originated--in fact, it may well be the oldest cheese in France, dating back to the 6th century. At just 5 grams of fat per serving, it's lighter and somewhat moister, too, but it tastes very much the same.

Hi, I'm Miranda with And today I'm gonna show you how to make a Cream Cheese Frosting. Now this reduced cut recipe will be perfect to top your favorite cookies, cupcakes or other favorite desserts. I have our ingredients all laid out here. So let's get started. We have a half of an 8 ounce package of reduced fat cream cheese which just be softened. A quarter cut of butter also softened. 1 teaspoon of vanilla. 1 to 2 teaspoons as needed of milk and then two cups of powdered sugar. Okay. So we are gonna start by creaming the butter and the cream cheese together two very, very tasty things, in here with the vanilla. I got a little on my hand 'cause I like vanilla so much that's why we have an apron. Okay. So using our hand mixer, We are just on low and let just mix this together unto the vanilla is all the way through and it's nice and soft. That happens super fast. The joys of softening our cream cheese and butter before we start. Okay. Now we are going to slowly mix in our powdered sugar. I like to use as a glass measuring cup like this because it really allows me to spill it like sift a little bit in, mix it together and then keep going. Now, we introduce it slowly so that the butter and cream cheese isn't overwhelmed by the powder. You'll often notice in a lot of recipes that you'll do this, if you just dumped it all in. You may overwhelm the liquid that you have and it won't thicken. It will be a little bit too thick. And we're just gonna keep on going with this until it's all incorporated. Now these team together really beautifully. Look at this. Perfectly spreadable, it's ready to go. If for some reason it's a little bit thicker, that's how we have the milk there. Just like 1 teaspoon at a time kind of two maximum, you could just add this in to make it a little more creamy and spreadable. But we actually didn't have trouble with that here. We are perfect and ready to go. And look how beautiful this is. You are now ready to top anything delicious, maybe a carrot cake, maybe a cupcake but now you know how because you know how to make cream cheese frosting.
What You'll Need
  • 1/2 8  ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened

  • 1/4  cup butter, softened

  • 1   teaspoon vanilla

  • 2   cups powdered sugar

  • 1 - 2   teaspoons fat-free milk

Step By Step
Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. If necessary, gradually beat in milk to reach spreading consistency.

Learning how to make cream cheese frosting is an easy way to increase the decadence factor of your cakes, cupcakes and other desserts (even store-bought baked goods).
More Recipes
Spread this frosting on a citrus-flavored cake or on a plain white cake for extra pizzazz.
This caramel-flavored frosting works best on a 13x9-inch cake because it sets up so quickly.
Love cream cheese frosting? To make it extra fluffy, add light whipped dessert topping. Yum!
This basic frosting recipe makes enough to top the sides and tops of two 8- or 9-inch cake layers.
Use this reduced-fat frosting recipe to top cookies, cupcakes, and other favorite desserts.
Blend five, everyday ingredients to create a finger-licking-good frosting in 15 minutes!
Browned-Butter Frosting tops these soft cake-like cookies. They will be a hit at your house when you bake a batch.
These spicy fall treats are a definite kid-favorite recipe. Enlist your kids to help frost and decorate these adorable treats.
Celebrate Christmas in style with this spectacular cake. Decorating the frosted cake makes it even more special.
The rich caramel and butter frosting hardens while it cools sealing in the moist goodness of this layer cake recipe.
In this recipe, nutty, easy-mix cupcakes are topped with a rich, cooked brown sugar frosting.
Make cupcakes that are the peanuttiest! Peanut butter is in the cake and frosting; crunchy peanuts top all.
It's simple to add variety to these basic cupcakes. From one frosting, you make six flavors--vanilla, lemon, coffee, chocolate, maple, and raspberry.
This classic layer cake recipe is a great way to reap the healthy benefits of carrots. If you prefer, ease preparation and bake this dessert in a single layer and simply frost the top.
Raisins, nuts, and a blend of spices make this dessert a perennial favorite. After icing the cake, pull the tines of a fork through the top of the frosting to create a lattice pattern as shown in the photograph.

shop our favorite products