Crusting Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

A delicious cream cheese buttercream that is sturdy enough to pipe or frost and fill your cakes. 
↓ Recipe Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 20 mins
Serves: 3 lbs
cream cheese frosting recipe

Crusting Cream Cheese Frosting That Is Silky Smooth, Creamy And Stable Enough To Use Inside And Outside Your Cake

Crusting cream cheese frosting is made with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and extract and pairs with just about any cake flavor you can imagine. Think about it. Cream cheese basically equals cheesecake. Cheesecake goes with ALL THE THINGS. Crusting cream cheese frosting is most often paired with old-fashioned red velvet cake, carrot cake, chocolate cake and even lemon cake!

cream cheese frosting recipe

Basically, you can’t go wrong with using crusting cream cheese frosting for everything including cupcakes and sugar cookies.

The best part about this cream cheese frosting is that it is a crusting recipe. That might sound a little odd to you but basically that means that the sugar content in this frosting is high enough that the granules of sugar turn into tiny little crystals and form a thin and crispy outer layer to the cake.

Crusting Cream Cheese Cake Frosting Recipe

Why is this awesome? (trust me, it’s AWESOME!)

If you’ve ever worked with cream cheese frosting before you know it has a horrible tendency to be a little wet, a little soft and a whole lot unstable in warm weather.

This crusting cream cheese frosting crusts so that it’s very stable and can be used as a filling for cakes, frosting for the outside, cupcakes and even on cookies. I would still stay away from using this frosting under fondant though, cream cheese and fondant just do not get along and you end up with a melting layer of gooey sugar under the fondant.

How To Make Crusting Cream Cheese Frosting

To actually make the crusting cream cheese frosting you can get it done in about 10 minutes flat.

  • Cream your room temperature butter with the paddle attachment until it’s nice and smooth with no lumps (on low).
  • Add in your room temperature cream cheese and cream until smooth with the butter.
  • Start adding in your powdered sugar (sifted) one cup at a time while mixing on low. Don’t add the next cup until the first is incorporated fully.
  • Once your powdered sugar is incorporated and the frosting is smooth you’re done! This is a THICK cream cheese frosting so that it is stable and won’t’ melt all over your cake.

cream cheese frosting recipe

I admit that crusting cream cheese frosting really eluded me for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I loved eating it on cupcakes and a nice slice of carrot cake from one of my favorite bakery but when I would try to make it myself to use with my client cakes, I never really felt it would work. It was either too soft or tasteless.

Most of the time when I see a cream cheese recipe, it has added liquid to it like milk or cream. I feel like this really causes the frosting to be too soft. Ok for cupcakes but not great for cakes. So why add it?

cream cheese frosting for cupcakes

You’ll notice that this recipe has more butter to cream cheese ratio than a typical cream cheese recipe. Butter helps with stability, flavor, and creaminess. There’s just enough cream cheese to add a nice flavor to the frosting but not so much that it breaks down the frosting and makes it too wet.

Tips For Successful Crusting Cream Cheese Frosting

cream cheese frosting recipe

  1. Did you forget to bring your cream cheese to room temperature? I’ll tell you a secret, I never ever do. I simply take the cream cheese out of the packet, cut it up into cubes and microwave for 10 seconds. By the time I get my butter and sugar measured, the cream cheese is at room temperature
  2. Speaking of butter, I usually have butter at room temperature at all times but if you have forgotten, you can microwave your butter in 10-second increments until you can press a fingerprint in the surface of the butter and the cube still holds it’s shaped. You don’t want the butter too soft or it will be hard to incorporate with the cream cheese successfully.
  3. Sift your powdered sugar for a super smooth buttercream but I admit, I hardly ever do this
  4. Need your buttercream to be whiter? Add in some white food coloring!
  5. You can switch out the vanilla extract for any extract to compliment the cake (think orange for citrus or almond for spice cake)
  6. Do you really have to use unsalted butter for cream cheese frosting? The short answer is yes. If you use salted butter you MIGHT feel like the frosting literally tastes salty. By using unsalted butter you can control the level of saltiness in your buttercream. If all you have is unsalted butter, don’t fret. Just use what you have and leave out the extra salt listed in the recipe.

Cake Batter and Frosting Calculator

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Cups of Batter Needed

8 cups

Cups of Frosting Needed

5 cups

Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
cream cheese frosting recipe

Crusting Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

A delicious cream cheese buttercream that is sturdy enough to pipe or frost and fill your cakes. 
4.91 from 81 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Serves: 3 lbs
Calories: 1989kcal



  • 12 oz (340 g) cream cheese room temp
  • 12 oz (340 g) unsalted butter room temp
  • 48 oz (1361 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp (1 tbsp) clear vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp (1/2 tsp) salt



  • Cream the softened butter with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add in your softened cream cheese and continue creaming on low until fully incorporated and smooth. 
  • Slowly add in powdered sugar one cup at a time, letting fully incorporate before adding the next cup. Add in vanilla and salt. Mix at low for 5-6 minutes until smooth.
  • For a whiter buttercream, add white food coloring. Store leftover buttercream in the fridge for up to a week or freeze up to 6 months. 


This buttercream cannot be left out for more than 4 hours.


Calories: 1989kcal (99%) | Carbohydrates: 305g (102%) | Protein: 5g (10%) | Fat: 87g (134%) | Saturated Fat: 53g (265%) | Cholesterol: 245mg (82%) | Sodium: 788mg (33%) | Potassium: 122mg (3%) | Sugar: 298g (331%) | Vitamin A: 2905IU (58%) | Calcium: 92mg (9%) | Iron: 0.5mg (3%)
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Cream cheese frosting is made with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and extract and pairs with just about any cake flavor you can imagine. Think about it. Cream cheese basically equals cheesecake.

77 comments on “Crusting Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

    1. Yep! Store it in the fridge because of the cream cheese but it will need to come to room temp and re-whipped before you can use it again. Most people put it in a zip-lock bag so that it defrosts evenly and stacks easily in the fridge.

  1. Dear ma’am
    Can i use cheese cream spread instead of cream cheese bar/block? Please do rely

  2. Can this be used under fondant? I have had some hit and misses with cream cheese cakes that have had fondant accents. I believe it’s because I have messed with the butter to cream cheese ratio. The ones that failed, the fondant piece started to “melt” but the one that worked lasted all day perfect!

  3. Hy i Love your recipes!!! Could I colour tris frosting?

  4. I don’t have a stand mixer; is there anyway to make this without one?

  5. Is extract the only way to give this a lemon flavour? Could I use zest and/or juice?

  6. Hi! Can I put gum paste decorations on this frosting? Thanks!

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you! I used some lemon extract and some lemon zest, and used this to ice your rainbow cake for my daughter’s second birthday. It tasted sooo good!

  8. 5 stars
    made it ! it is to die for PERIOD! used it on the WASC doctored white cake mix for a birthday cake for one of my friends who ONLY bakes from scratch! she LOVED them both thank you love your site..

  9. I plan on making this cream cheese frosting along with your doctored white cake mix for my daughter’s birthday next week. I noticed this frosting recipes calls for 48oz of powdered sugar (10.75c), this seems like a lot of frosting, whereas other recipes call for around only 2c of powdered sugar. I’m making three 9″ rounds to stack, I don’t want to have leftover frosting, do I really need that much or can the recipe be reduced and still be enough to frost & fill my three layers?

  10. Have you tried using edible paint on the crusting cream cheese icing? I have a customer who wants rose gold colored flowers on her cake. I was thinking of trying to get a color close to the rose gold then paint the tips of the roses in edible rose gold paint.
    I am wondering how it would hold up in the fridge, the being brought out for the party.
    Thank you!

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