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Basic Cream Cheese Frosting

This is my go-to recipe for cream cheese frosting. I tend to like mine on the tangier side, because I think it goes better with sweet cakes, but if you like yours sweeter, consider adding more powdered sugar. You can add up to four cups total, but be sure to consider how sweet your cupcakes or cake will be and taste as you go to achieve the flavor you're looking for.


  • 8oz cream cheese, softened

  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), room temperature

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 2 cups of powdered sugar (or up to 4 cups)

  • 2 tbsp milk


  • Cream together cream cheese and butter

  • Add vanilla; combine

  • Add about 1/2 tbsp milk and 1 cup of the powdered sugar and mix to incorporate.

  • Continue adding powdered sugar and milk alternately until desired consistency is achieved. You may not need to use all of the milk indicated if you are using only two cups of powdered sugar.

  • Mix the frosting at high speed until fluffy and smooth

  • If the frosting becomes too soft, you can chill it in the fridge for about 20 minutes before use to firm it up a bit

Makes about 2 cups

Storage: Keep refrigerated and store in a airtight container for up to three days.

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