Luscious Cream Cheese Buttercream is smooth and spreadable. It holds its shape and can be piped. Perfect for cookies, cupcakes, and cakes.
There are several desserts that simply beg for cream cheese buttercream such as carrot cake, banana cupcakes, and pumpkin cookies! This frosting will bring your desserts from delicious to outstanding.
Cream Cheese Buttercream Ingredients
Cream cheese buttercream is made with only five ingredients that are readily available. Once you make your own buttercream you’ll never want to use the store-bought kind again! Scroll down for the complete recipe with ingredient measurements.
- Butter: We used salted butter in this cream cheese buttercream recipe since we always have it on hand and it allows us to skip adding the salt separately. If you want to use unsalted butter, be sure to add a pinch of salt to the buttercream. Allow the butter to soften at room temperature for the smoothest buttercream.
- Cream Cheese: Look for a full-fat, high-quality cream cheese for the best results. Allow the cream cheese to soften at room temperature. Softened cream cheese will give you the smoothest frosting.
- Powdered Sugar: Measure out eight cups of powered sugar (this is about one 2-pound bag) and then sift it after measuring. Sifting the powered sugar gets the lumps out and makes the buttercream smooth.
- Half-n-Half: We used half-n-half for the liquid in this recipe because we always have it on hand. If you prefer using heavy cream, you may need a little more. Or if you want to use milk, you may need a little less.
- Vanilla: The vanilla extract adds flavor to the buttercream. It also makes it a little creamier in color. Look for pure vanilla extract for the best results.
How To Make Cream Cheese Buttercream
Cream cheese buttercream is easy to make as long as you have a little patience and follow all of the steps. Allow the butter and cream cheese to soften at room temperature, sift the powdered sugar, and add the powdered sugar a little at a time. Scroll down for the printable recipe card and complete instructions.
- Sift the Powered Sugar: Once you’ve measured out 8 cups of powdered sugar, it needs to be sifted. You can use a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl or a sifter. There are small clumps of powdered sugar left in the sieve after sifting it. Use your fingers or the back of a spoon to press the clumps through the sieve. Set the powdered sugar aside.
- Beat the Butter and Cream Cheese: Use a mixer to beat the softened butter and softened cream cheese. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as need and continue beating until the mixture is smooth.
- Add Powdered Sugar: You’ll need to add the powdered sugar to the cream cheese mixture gradually for the smoothest frosting and to prevent a powdered sugar mess in your kitchen.
- Pour in Half-n-Half and Vanilla: When about half of the powdered sugar has been added to the cream cheese mixture, you may notice it getting really thick. Add the half-n-half and the vanilla and stir until combined. Then, continue adding the remaining powdered sugar gradually.
Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, cream cheese buttercream needs to be store in the refrigerator since it contains both butter and cream cheese. Therefore desserts topped with cream cheese buttercream also need to be stored in the refrigerator.
Cream cheese buttercream has more butter and on the other hand, cream cheese frosting has more cream cheese. As a result, cream cheese buttercream hold’s its shape and is pipeable while cream cheese frosting is looser and spreadable.
Both buttercream and cream cheese frosting are excellent dessert toppings. Cream cheese buttercream is used when you want a more structured look that will hold its shape such as frosting on a layer cake or piping on cupcakes. On the other hand, cream cheese frosting is often spread over sheet cakes and bars.
There are several things that could cause your cream cheese buttercream to be runny. First, make sure you use high-quality, full-fat cream cheese and butter that you allow to soften at room temperature but not melt. Second, only add a little half-n-half at a time, when needed. Third, you need to measure the powdered sugar BEFORE sifting it to make sure you are using the right amount.
Ways To Use This Frosting
This frosting can be used on cakes, cookies, bars, and cupcakes. It’s also fantastic on graham crackers and it’s hard to resist sneaking a spoonful from time to time when it is stored in the refrigerator.
- Pumpkin Cookies: The only thing that makes pumpkin cookies even better is cream cheese frosting!
- Carrot Cake: I’m making my carrot cake recipe for a friend’s wedding cake. Instead of using the light, fluffy frosting as I did in the original recipe, I’m using this cream cheese buttercream.
- Banana Bars: This buttercream recipe would be perfect on these banana bars instead of the maple frosting I used in the original recipe.
Want more frosting recipes? Try these next:
Here’s a recipe for Buttercream Frosting that’s perfect for cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. Once you make homemade buttercream, you won’t go back to store-bought frosting!
This Cream Cheese Frosting recipe is so smooth, creamy, and spreadable. It is easy to make and perfect on baked desserts from pumpkin cake to banana bars.
This easy Powdered Sugar Glaze recipe has only three ingredients! It is the perfect icing for cookies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, and donuts.
Glace Icing is simply made with powdered sugar, half-n-half, corn syrup, and vanilla. It can be poured over cakes or used to decorate cookies.