Perfect Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

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A “perfect” cream cheese frosting recipe is hard to come by, but it does exist.  We grabbed this recipe from Culinary Cafe and frosted a cake and cupcakes for a couple different occassions.  This vanilla cream cheese frosting recipe came out with outstanding results.  As a matter of fact, this has defaulted to our “go to” vanilla cream cheese frosting recipe.  It frosted perfectly on the cake and swirled dramatically on the cupcakes.   As for taste, it was incredible.  We couln’t believe we made this!

Please do keep in mind there is a couple different secrets to creating perfectly smooth cream cheese frosting.

Secret #1.  Do not overbeat!  Overbeating cream cheese will literally brak it down and produce a grain-like appearance that will result to failure of holding it’s shape.

Secret #2.  Do not soften your cream cheese before making frosting.  Cold cream cheese will produce ideal texture.   However, the butter may be room temperature.

We now present to you…

Perfect Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese
5 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Grated lemon or orange zest, ground cinnamon, or liqueur of choice (Optional. We did not use either of these yet; however, we are eager to try grated lemon)

Food Processor Method (we did not try this method)
Have the cream cheese cold. The butter can be cold, but preferably at room temperature, 68 to 70 degrees F. Combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla and sugar in a food processor and pulse just until smooth and creamy. If the frosting is too stiff, pulse for a few seconds longer. Do not overprocess. If desired, stir in additional flavoring to taste.

Electric Mixer Method (this was the method we used)
Have the cream cheese cold and the butter at room temperature. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until blended. Add sugar one-third at a time and beat just until smooth and the desired consistency. If frosting is too stiff, beat for few seconds longer. Do not overbeat. If desired, stir in additional flavoring to taste. This keeps, refrigerated, for about 1 week. Or freeze for up to 3 months. Soften and stir until smooth before using.

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    • Maryann Fetherston

      Thank you for this interesting article. I will be sure to get the word out about this on my site :) Outstanding! Can’t wait to read next article.

    • Vangie

      Can I stack another cake on top of the other with this frosting??

    • Sarah

      So is cold cream cheese the secret? I cannot make it stiffen for the life of me!