Whether it’s basic buttercream, swiss meringue, chocolate ganache, or whipped cream, everybody has a favorite kind of frosting. (Though we don’t think we’ve ever heard anyone say that it’s that crusty stuff from the grocery store.) Ours is – and forever will be – cream cheese frosting, and we don’t think we’re alone there. Something about how that subtle tang of the cream cheese keeps the sugar from being too cloying. And how the consistency is irresistibly velvety and creamy. To us, it’s the perfectly balanced frosting, and this recipe here is our very favorite.
It’s a simple frosting. All you need to do is leave your cream cheese and butter on the counter for a bit to soften up before beating them together until they’re smooth and well-blended. From there, you add in a little vanilla (orange or lemon zest work great too) and gradually add powdered sugar until you get to a consistency you like. See? Even novice cooks can handle that.
While carrot cake and cream cheese frosting are an iconic duo, it sure makes a perfect partner for so many other desserts. Cinnamon rolls, red velvet cake, pumpkin cupcakes with a little maple flavoring thrown in… we could sit here all day making a list. But hey, it’s also pretty darn amazing right off of the spoon.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Serves 6-8; 15 minutes
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4-6 cups powdered sugar
- In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Gradually add powdered sugar in 2 cup increments until desired consistency is reach, beating until smooth after each addition.