Chef John's Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe -
Chef John's Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
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Chef John's Cream Cheese Frosting
See how to make an easy cream cheese frosting. See more
  • READY IN 15 mins

Chef John's Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe by  

"This is the frosting I use on delicious red velvet cupcakes. Is this the easiest recipe I've ever done? Maybe!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 2 cups Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins

    15 mins


  1. Place butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and lemon juice into the work bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment; beat mixture on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Scrape down the attachment and sides of bowl; add confectioners' sugar to butter mixture. Mix at low speed until confectioners' sugar begins to incorporate into butter mixture. Raise mixer speed to high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, scraping sides occasionally, about 3 minutes. Frosting will set up and become firmer when refrigerated.
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  • Cook's Notes:
  • Start with 1 cup confectioners' sugar and add more to taste, up to 3 cups. Double recipe if you like a thicker layer of frosting.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 18, 2013

Very tasty and creamy frosting. I'd probably use half the sugar next time, or twice the cream cheese. As written I only got about a cup so double the recipe for a 9" round 2-layer cake.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 04, 2014

Not sure what I'm looking for, just know this isn't it.


29 Ratings

Oct 10, 2013

This comes out great and exactly like the video ones. I did everything accordingly. But personally i feel that it is a little too sweet for me. Can lesser the icing sugar to a cup.

Aug 08, 2014

Absolutely wonderful! This recipe I would recommend to my friends. I only thing I did was adjust the sweetness of it, thanks Chef John

Jan 14, 2014

Very good frosting that can be used on different cakes because its so basic & simple. I doubled the recipe and adjusted the sugar to taste for my Lemon Cupcakes, therefore I did not add the optional lemon extract. The cream cheese is definitely more pronounced then the sugar and butter, which is exactly what I wanted. Kudos to the trusty Chef John who wisely points out that the amount of sugar would vary. Other recipes I looked at list a specific amount of sugar which is a no-no for frosting (IMO). It all depends on your preferred taste palette. Of course, the trick is to add a little at a time, taste and repeat. Thanks Chef John!

May 13, 2014

This Cream Cheese Frosting is verry yummy! I have been making various cream cheese desserts for years now and this is the first one I have found that can be used on any type of dessert, like carrot cake, cheese cake, desserts withc cheese cake fillings, etc. Do yourself a huge favour and try it, its fail proof!! It's number 1 in my kitchen, and as Chef John said add the confectioner's sugar in increments and you will get just the amount of sweetness/cream cheese balance you want. Thanks Chef John!!!

Mar 29, 2014

This is so delicious I can't say enough. I made this recipe with the lemon juice the first time and the second time I used fresh juice from an orange. It is so good.

Jan 30, 2014

very very good exactly what I was looking for perfect blend of sweetness and cream cheese will definitely make again


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  • Calories
  • 139 kcal
  • 7%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 18.6 g
  • 6%
  • Cholesterol
  • 21 mg
  • 7%
  • Fat
  • 7.1 g
  • 11%
  • Fiber
  • 0 g
  • < 1%
  • Protein
  • 0.8 g
  • 2%
  • Sodium
  • 55 mg
  • 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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