Best Ever Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: About 4½ cups


This exceptional buttercream literally melts on the tongue. It is buttery-rich, creamy and smooth with a slight tang from the cream cheese and not overly sweet. Due to the adequate amount of butter, this special buttercream pipes beautifully. It pairs extremely well with white cakes, yellow cakes and chocolate cakes alike—especially Red Velvet Cake—as well as cupcakes, cheesecakes and other baked treats. Quite simply the Best Ever Cream Cheese Buttercream!


  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, slightly softened (or 1 stick salted & 1 stick unsalted)
  • 1 (8-ounce or 226 grams) package chilled cream cheese, such as Philadelphia®
  • 2½ teaspoons (12.5 ml) pure vanilla extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
  • 4 to 4½ cups (480 to 540 grams) confectioners’ sugar, preferably 100% pure cane, such as C&H® or Domino®, spooned in cup, leveled off & sifted


  1. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld mixer and large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until creamy.
  2. Add cream cheese and vanilla; beat until fully incorporated. Gradually increase mixer speed to high and continue beating until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary with rubber spatula.
  3. Gradually add 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, beating on low speed (stir), until well combined. Add additional confectioners’ sugar until desired consistency for spreading and level of sweetness is reached.
  4. Beat on high speed until well combined and smooth while scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, about 1 to 2 minutes. Before frosting cake layers, rebeat buttercream to ensure smoothness.
  5. Yield: Makes about 4½ cups; enough to fill and frost a 9-inch two layer cake, or 8-inch three layer cake, or 18 to 24 cupcakes—depending on amount used to simply ice cupcakes with a knife or icing spatula (in the traditional manner) or pipe elaborate swirls, or decorate with other piping details.

Recipe Notes


If not using immediately, the buttercream can be refrigerated for up to 2 to 3 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature before beating smooth again.

If using the buttercream to pipe details, be sure to use chilled hands when handling pastry bag as warm hands can melt the buttercream.

Cook Time above simply means Active Time for preparing buttercream.

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