Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time
Total time
Classic cream cheese frosting is creamy, rich and always a delicious topping for Carrot Cake, or any flavor cake or cupcakes. Not too sweet, this recipe has the perfect balance of sweetness plus tanginess from the cream cheese. Cakes frosted with a cream cheese frosting should always be refrigerated until ready to serve.

The beautiful pictures were taken by our Daughter-in-Law Christie for our Grandson Dallas’s 2nd Birthday. I made delicious Carrot Cake, always a crowd favorite, and frosted with Cream Cheese Frosting in blue ombre for this occasion. See more of Christie’s photography at Christie Hickey Photography.
Recipe type: Dessert | Cake Frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting (For 8 or 9 inch 2 layer cake or a 13 by 9 inch cake):
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
Cream Cheese Frosting (For 8 or 9 inch 3 or 4 layer cake):
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
Cream Cheese Frosting (For 8 or 9 inch 6 layer cake):
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
Cream Cheese Frosting in blue ombre
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla; use an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon and beat together until mixture is smooth. Add powdered sugar; beat until frosting is smooth and creamy. If frosting seems too thick, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk to make the desired consistency.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Using an offset spatula, spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Decorate cake as desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
  3. Ombre: For frosting in this ombre style, I first applied a crumb coat with Crusting Cream Cheese Frosting. Use the largest Cream Cheese Frosting recipe above (for 8 or 9 inch 6 layer cake.) along with adding any left-over Crusting Cream Cheese frosting after applying the crumb coat. After splitting the cake and filling the cake with some of the Cream Cheese frosting, evenly divide the remaining frosting into 4 bowls. Tint 3 bowls of the frosting with food coloring of your choice, with one bowl the darkest color for the bottom of the cake, a lighter shade for the middle of the cake, and an even lighter shade for the upper part of the cake. Leave one bowl of frosting un-tinted for the very top sides of the cake and across the top of the cake. For this blue ombre I used a combination of navy blue and black food color.
Recipe Notes
Method: Electric Mixer or By Hand Storage: Refrigerate

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