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
Stores that sell my book listed by country:
All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

80 Comments View Comments

  1. Hi Ann Im in year 7 i have been watching your videos for a while and looking at some of your recipes for my assesment and found some inspiration through your cake tutuorials

    • That’s great Liv! All the best with your study!

  2. Hi Ann I love your recipe for cream cheese frosting, the marscarpone is so delicious, unfortunately here in the UK it’s difficult to get block cream cheese, and when I made this recently although it tasted delicious it was way too soft, I now have a bowl of it in the fridge and would love to know if there is any way I can stiffen this up a bit to make it more spreadable for cakes.
    Thanks for all your wonderful videos, and the book was great !! When will there be another one ?

    • Hi Carole, The best way to stiffen it would be with more icing sugar but it will become super sweet.

  3. My go-to cream cheese recipe everytime! Thanks Ann!

    • Hi Valory, Thanks for the great feedback.

  4. Hi ann
    do I use pure icing sugar or icing sugar mixture

    • Hi Tara, Ann usually uses plain icing sugar, but the mix would work fine here.

  5. For the first time ever, I watch one of Ann’s videos and she is not upbeat. Sad. Anyways, Do we have to add the mascarpone cheese?

  6. Hi Ann,
    For the life of me I cannot find the block cream cheese, only the tubs. is there anyway I can reduce moisture? Or do you know of another brand other than philadelphia that might be available in the UK?

    • Hi Nur, The block cheese is available in some places. I did find a Tesco product that looked similar by hunting online. Some bakers suggest replacing block cram cheese with a whipped version as long as you use an equivalent weight. I haven’t tried that myself so you would need to experiment to see if you are happy with the texture and form of the finished frosting.

    • Hi Nur,
      Try the sainsbury’s own (blue tub/foil) as it is thicker than philadelphia. I have used it in normal CC frosting and it works really well

  7. I ABSOLUTELY love this, it is my very favorite frosting that I use it whenever I can. Love this and all of your other recipes~

    • Thanks for the feedback Heather!

  8. hello, i make the frosting and it wanderfull,but it was very liquid, it was running from the cupcake ,i was waiting the cupcake to cold first,and i also put the frosting in the fridge a day long ,then i put it in the cup cake. and was still runing no to much but still….. is it because i put some gel color in the recipy or because i beat it a lot of time? my ingrediense was at room temperature.Thank you!!

    • Hi Anna, Were you using block cream cheese? Or the cream cheese in a tub? It needs to be the block that is very thick.

      • Hi Ann,
        I used block cream cheese (Philadelphia brand) and the result was very runny too. I put it back to the fridge (after beating it with butter and sour cream) for a few hours and it was still too soft to pipe firmly (it was pipeable but VERY soft)…not too sure why that is….? It was very very tasty though!
        Thanks heaps >_<

  9. I tried the icing with a banana cake and it was terrific. Thanks very much

  10. Can I use any brand of mascarpone cheese? Or is there a specific one needed for this recipe?

    • Hi Noemi, Use what ever brand is good quality and available in your local area.

  11. Hi Ann! Me and my friends love this cream cheese frosting. So much so, they want me to use it on their wedding cake that I volunteered to make in August. The outside will be all piped buttercream roses using a piping tip, but I’m worried this frosting is a bit too soft to hold its shape. Is there anything you would recommend that I do to the recipe to make it firmer but still retain a similar flavour? Thanks in advance, Elise

    • Hi Elise, The cream cheese frosting is one of the more stable frostings. You can see this in Ann’s frosting test: . Using it for a wedding cake in a warmer time of year is risky, so make sure your bride is not wanting to have the cake outdoors and you can keep it relatively cool. Ann is in LA at the moment, so we chat through some ideas that might work but in the mean time, I have heard that if you mix a batch of cream cheese frosting with a batch of meringue frosting, it works a treat. I personally have not tried this but some subscribers have recommended it. Why not experiment with that (well in advance) and see how you go.
      Ann has just sent through her thoughts (She is in the U.S.A. at the moment) and her recommendation is that you use the cream cheese frosting in your layers for the cake to provide the lovely flavour, then use buttercream on the outside. The Cheesecake frosting is really not ideal for decorative work that has to sit for any time.

      • Hello! Okay, great – I’ll use the cream cheese on the inside and buttercream on the outside in that case. Thanks so much for your reply, I’ll be using all recipes from Ann’s site/channel so will post a photo of the finished result.

        Thanks again, Elise

  12. How many cupcakes will this cream cheese frosting ice? Plan on making it later today as a tester for my sister in laws baby shower. I though i’d put it on my favourite lemon and coconut cupcakes 🙂

    • Hi Connie, Did you try this recipe? How did it go? This makes a good quanity of frosting but how many cupcakes it will ice will depend on how it is used of course.

  13. Hi ann can i use condensed milk in the cream cheese frosting

    • Hi Russel, Ann wouldn’t use it as it changes the flavour completely and would be very sweet.

  14. Hi there

    Can I prepare these 1 day prior to hosting a birthday?

  15. (Cream cheese frosting)

  16. How many days do cream cheese last??

    • hi bea, It will last frozen in the freezer for a month or in the fridge for a week

  17. hey its me celine your avid fan!

  18. love to watch the videos..more power!

  19. Hi
    Your cupcakes look really good. I was just wondering how many cupcakes this recipe makes?

  20. Hello Ann!
    I just want to know how long will your cream cheese icing last in the fridge if I do it in advance before my cake making?
    Many thanks! 🙂

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