Ann Reardon

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

cream cheese frosting recipe

Cream cheese frosting is delicious on carrot cakes and red velvet cupcakes. I find the traditional version a bit too sweet and cloying, so here is my recipe.

250g (8.82 ounces) or 1 cup cream cheese  (this should be the block cream cheese – not the spreadable cream cheese that comes in a tub)
90g (3.17 ounces) or 1/3 cupbutter
2 cups or 250g (8.82 ounces) icing sugar
200g (7.05 ounces) or 3/4 cupmascapone (or 125g (4.41 ounces) sour cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla or lemon juice (optional)

Leave the butter and cream cheese out of the fridge to soften for at least an hour. Cut into cubes and place in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth and pale. Add the icing sugar and beat some more. Fold in the mascapone and then pipe onto carrot or red velvet cup cakes

cream cheese frosting recipe

Carrot Crispies

1/3 cup or 70g (2.47 ounces)  Sugar (caster or super fine)
1/6 cup or 40mL (1.35 fluid ounces) Water
1 Carrot peeled and coarsely grated (approx 1/3 cup)

(video directions are in the cream cheese video above)

Place the sugar and water into a saucepan and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the carrot and stir briefly until coated in the sugar syrup and spread out. Wash down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush and boil over high heat until caramelized.
To check – take pan off the heat, place a small amount of carrot on a sheet of baking paper and once cooled it should be like sticky toffee. If it is not yet done return to heat. Once done pour whole lot onto baking paper and spread out into bite sized chunks and leave to cool. Place on top of cupcakes.

Carrot Cake Recipe

500g (17.64 ounces) or 4 3/4 cups carrots peeled and coarsely grated
3 large eggs
1/2 cup or 125mL (4.23 fluid ounces) milk
2 cups or 430g (15.17 ounces) sugar (caster or super fine)
1 cup or 185g (6.53 ounces) oil (canola)
1/4 cup finely sliced candied ginger (optional)
1 cup or 110g (3.88 ounces) walnuts or pecans toasted in the oven for 5 minutes at 180ºC (356ºF)
3 cups or 480g (16.93 ounces) plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon

Combine the carrot, eggs, milk sugar and oil. Mix in the ginger and nuts.
In a separate bowl whisk or sieve the flour baking powder and cinnamon.
Fold flour into the wet mixture until just combined.
Spoon into cupcake cases and bake at 180ºC (356ºF) for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into middle of the cupcake comes out clean.

Check out some other great Frosting recipes in our Frosting TASTE TEST here.


My Cookbook

ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
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All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

80 Comments View Comments

  1. Hi ann , it’s my mums birthday in Friday and she is a massive chocolate lover. I’m making a chocolate cake but wanted to use a chocolate creme cheese frosting instead if butter creme , any ideas or tips on how I can make this and how it will taste- sweet ?? Thanks.
    Ps. Love your recipes !!

    • Hi Jessica, If you melt your chocolate and let it cool so that it is not warm but is still runny and fold through the cream cheese. The more chocolate to cream cheese that you use the sweeter it will be.

  2. Hi
    <3 ur site , but is it possible to use Philadelphia cream cheese?

    • Hi Frah, yes, use the block one not the one in the tubs – tub one has too high a moisture content

  3. HI Ann

    Love this website. got it from a friend when i was asking for advice about birthday cakes for my 2 year old twins. last year i did a butterfly carrot cake and this year i want to make princess cakes. i dont want to use the vanilla cake recipe with buttercream icing so i thought i would make a carrot cake and use the cream cheese icing. can i substitute the 200g mascarpone for regular block type cream cheese or should i just get the tub type in this case?
    thank you in advance

    • hi kirsten yes you can use more of the block type cream cheese

  4. Dear Ann, tried the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting today. Turned out well. The frosting is perfect and to die for. I used the sour cream and its just perfect consistency. Able to pipe using the zip lock bag. Gonna make this as an additional for my daughters birthday next week. Love your tutorials. Thank you! Am going to be your faithful follower, however still not able to subscribe. Can’t seem to find even on the main page.

    • Hi baby pink, at the end of this and every post there is a follow me on… with a symbol for youtube, email, rss, instagram, Facebook etc you can click on any of those to subscribe 😀

      • Thank you so much Ann. Will subscribe now. God bless you 🙂

  5. Hi Ann. I tried the cream cheese frosting today with a red velvet cake(found a recipe on youtube) and I liked it. That’s interesting cos I’m not a cheese person. Thanks.

    I used your recipe for the simple syrup and it’s nice. However I didn’t finish the quantity I made and it’s starting to crystalise. How do I store the syrup?

    Btw, you are super-creative! I like the way you make use of simple, inexpensive tools. God bless.

    • hi valory, i usually store it in a sealed drink bottle, I have not had it crystlaize before, to prevent that next time you make it you could add a tsp of glucose or corn syrup.

      • ok. Thanks.

  6. Hi Ann,

    Can we make perfect cream cheese at home for using in frosting ?

    • Hi Ratika, there are a few recipes out there for making your own cream cheese, i have tried them and the result is a very moist cream cheese, the moisture content is too high for this recipe.

  7. Hi ann, cfor the cream cheese frosting can i change the mascarpone cheese to cream cheese or cream ? Its hard to find mascarpone cheese in my country .. Thx lookin forward to ur answer 🙂

    • Hi Sya, cream will not work as it has too high a water content. You could use all cream cheese if you like

  8. Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes, and the awesome videos! I’m not sure how I found your site, but I’m so excited that I have!!

  9. Hi Ann,
    Yikes! I may have done something wrong, I followed your recipe, but my frosting did not come out creamy, it started to melt fast, I don’t want to waste it, will putting it back into the fridge to stiffen help or should I add more powdered sugar?

    • Hi Davelyn, was the cream cheese you used a thick block type or a spreadable consistency in a container? Unfortunately the soft cream cheese wont work in this recipe and adding more icing sugar will not thicken it either, use the mixture in a cheesecake rather than wasting it.

  10. Love your site! Can I use the cream cheese frosting to make roses? I have an order for red velvet cake with yellow roses.

    • Hi Kathy, this recipe is not firm enough for roses.

  11. Thank you Ann for your reply. I guessed that too. I used it with Red Velvet cake for Mother’s day. Although I didn’t have 200 g of mascapone but the tasted is so delicious. Thank you for sharing great recipes.

    • They look beautiful AJ thanks for sharing

  12. Dear Ann,

    love your website. i have a question re. your cream cheese frosting. we only have philadelphia style cream cheese here in Switzerland and not the more solid one you use. can I use some meringue powder to your recipe to make it stiffer and better for piping?

    many thanks

    • Hi Marina, not with this recipe you need the stiff cream cheese, I will have to look into making a recipe using the soft one (it has a higher water content) it seems that lots of people can’t get the tick one.

  13. Hi Ann, I just found your site and have already fallen in love with your blogs and videos. They are amazing and helpful. I wanna try this frosting for red velvet cake. Mascapone in creacheese frosting would be amazing taste. Did you leave the mascapone at room temp before adding in?

    • Hi Aj, The mascapone came straight from the fridge, make sure your cream cheese is the block type not soft in a tub or it will not be firm enough.

  14. Hello,
    Am your to your tutoring and I really love it. I have one question, I am going to make a wedding chocolate cake, can I cover it with the Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe or do have any other suggestions.

    • Hi Kerline Just a note make sure your cream cheese is the thick block type or this recipe will not be stiff enough for a wedding cake. I would be more likely to use white chocolate ganache for a wedding cake.

  15. Thank you Ann – what a lovely, helpful and inspirational website! I can’t wait to try some of your decorating ideas out!

  16. Love the cream cheese recipe – can i freeze it with the mascapone cheese- i was planning on making a red velvet cake, decorate with cream cheese icing then freeze it – will this work?

    • Hi Mandy, yes that should be fine.

      • Thanks I’m going to make a tester cake this weekend as I’m planning on making the red velvet cake for my wedding – i was planning on adding white chocolate flakes to the cream cheese frosting – hopefully this will freeze well……

  17. Hi Ann

    I really love all your cakes, cookies cake pops, I think its just beautiful, like Sharon I too am in India (Delhi) and I cant find cream cheese here, would you have a recipe for cream cheese ?

    Thanks Tons

  18. Can I use phillidelphia cream cheese instead of using mascarpone cheese?

    • Hi sham, yes you could cream cheese is thicker so you might need to adjust the quantities a little.

  19. Hie Ann
    This is regarding the cream cheese. what is the original taste of the cream cheese? might seem like a silly question but i had bought the same for red velvet cake and it was salty!

    • Hi Chets I have never had salty cream cheese, the brand we use here is called phillidelphia cream cheese, you can get some variations like a cream cheese spread for sandwiches – perhaps that might have salt??

  20. hi ann
    thanks a ton for all your creative ideas. my question is regarding the cream cheese frosting. i live in india and mascapone cheese isnt easily available here. cud i substitute it with something else. thanks ann God Bless.

    • Hi Sharon, you can actually make your own mascarpone cheese if you like. You will need cheesecloth, 1 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice and 500ml of cream. Line a seive with 4 layers of cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan until just boiling, pour in the juice a little at a time, stirring continuosly. Pour into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheesecloth or try and push it through, just leave it. Place it in the fridge for about 12 hours – liquid will slowly drain out the bottom of the sieve and you will be left with mascarpone cheese in the cheesecloth.

    • Hi Sharon, you can make your own mascapone by buying 600ml cream, adding a tablespoon of lemon juice, pour into a cheesecloth resting on a sieve over a bowl and leave in the fridge overnight. Discard the liquid in the bowl.

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