• STEP 1

    Beat the softened butter to a soft and even consistency. Add the orange juice, if using, then the icing sugar. Cream until you have a smooth, soft buttercream consistency.

  • STEP 2

    Add the cream cheese and work it in – don’t beat it in, just slowly mix with a wooden spoon. Depending on how soft the mixture is, you may want to put it in the fridge for 10 mins at this point. If it’s runny, it will firm up again. It should be spreadable and not run off the cake.

What is cream cheese frosting made of?

This recipe for a classic cream cheese frosting combines butter, icing sugar and full-fat cream cheese. It’s important to use full-fat cream cheese as the lower-fat options won’t whip as thickly. You can also use a little orange juice for a hint of citrus.

How to thicken cream cheese frosting

If the consistency is too thin or runny you can put the frosting mixture in the fridge for up to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.If it’s still too thin, take out some of the runny mixture and beat in some more cream cheese. Alternatively, if you whisk it with an electric whisk or in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment on high it will thicken after 3-4 minutes.

How to store and freeze cream cheese frosting

  • Store the leftover cream cheese frosting in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days. Take it out of the fridge for an hour beforehand to soften, making sure you stir it before using.
  • Freeze in a container for up to two months. To defrost, either leave it in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for around four hours.

Tips for making cream cheese frosting

  • To achieve perfectly light and fluffy cream cheese icing, let the butter and cream cheese warm to room temperature before whisking together.
  • To avoid a cloud of icing sugar in the air, beat it in little by little into the softened butter (and orange juice, if using).
  • When adding in the cream cheese, it’s best to slowly mix it in to avoid any lumps.
  • Don’t panic if your cream cheese frosting is too runny, use an electric whisk to whip it up for a few more minutes until it starts to thicken.

Cream cheese frosting twists

Give this cream cheese mixture an extra flavour boost by adding the following ingredients:

  • Cocoa powder: 2 tbsp cocoa for a chocolate cream cheese frosting
  • Espresso coffee: 1 tsp coffee granules dissolved in ½ tbsp hot water
  • Desiccated coconut shavings: 20g
  • Almond extract 1 tsp
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • Ground cinnamon: 2 tsp for a spiced flavour
  • Add in an extra 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste to intensify the vanilla flavour
  • Make it boozy by adding a dash of amaretto or other liqueur

What recipes can cream cheese frosting be used in?

Some of our favourite recipes with cream cheese frosting include:

Easy carrot cake
Carrot cake cupcakes
Red velvet cake
Banana traybake with cream cheese frosting
Pumpkin spice cupcakes

Goes well with


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