Cream Cheese Frosting

A foolproof, go-to recipe for cakes and cupcakes-it never fails!

The Backstory: Baking is by far, my favorite thing to do in the kitchen. It might have something to do with growing up in my dad’s bagel bakery, surrounded by carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Something about the smell of bread rising, warm water hitting yeast, and that delicious smell of malt….don’t get me started. More of the Backstory after the recipe

Cream Cheese Frosting

This classic frosting is perfect for slathering between layers of carrot cake, topping cupcakes or even as a dip for strawberries. Make sure to refrigerate any leftovers.
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 cups


  • 1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, at room temperature do not soften in microwave
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature do not soften in microwave
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • lemon or lime zest (optional)


  1. In an electric mixture fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add sugar on low speed, one cup at a time, until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla.
  3. If you wish to flavor the frosting, you can add a teaspoon or two of fresh lemon or lime zest. (Taste after adding the first teaspoon of zest and then add more if desired) Otherwise, use frosting immediately. Store leftovers in fridge.

…The Backstory continues: While my father definitely cornered the market on bagels, I’m more of a cake and pastry baker. Pies, cakes, any kind of loaf, cupcakes, cookies, bars…I don’t discriminate. Even the most simple baked good can be a work of art, and likewise, for a simple frosting. This cream cheese frosting is pure perfection. Just a few key ingredients at the exact temperature (room temperature is essential for making perfect frosting) for mixing, and you’ve got yourself a frosting that can be used for cookies, carrot cake, whoopie pies, cupcakes, and even dipping fresh berries.

This is the quintessential cream cheese frosting recipe. Double it if you are making a layer cake with more than two layers or if you want to make cupcakes for a crowd (more than 12).

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Jodi Luber

Jodi Luber

Here goes: Born in Brooklyn. Daughter of a bagel baker with a Henny Youngman soul and a mom who makes Joan Rivers seem tame. Late bloomer. Married the love of my life at 45 and love being a mom to our three kids. I'm a professor at Boston U. Happiest in the kitchen baking and remembering how my dad would melt from a single bite of my cheesecake.
Jodi Luber
Jodi Luber

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