This simple and easy cream cheese frosting has a light and fluffy texture that pipes beautiful swirls on your cupcakes, carrot cake, or red velvet cake. Use it under fondant for tiered cakes. The best thing is it takes just 5 minutes to prepare.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the cream cheese and butter to remove any lumps.
Add the whipping cream, salt, lemon juice, and vanilla extract– cream another minute
Next, add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Once all the powdered sugar has been used whip for 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.Tip - do not over whip cream cheese as it can separate or curdle
Check consistency – if necessary add more powdered sugar to stiffen or more whipping cream to loosen it.
Flavored cream cheese frosting
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting - replace ¼ cup powdered sugar with cocoa powder - mix together before you add into the mixer.
Lemon Juice - Replace 1 tbsp of the fresh cream with 1 tbsp of lemon juice - more if you like a tart buttercream.
Peppermint - replace 1 tsp of vanilla in the recipe with 1 tsp peppermint extract to the above frosting.
Maple - Replace the cream in this recipe with maple syrup - the syrup will lighten the frosting so you may not be able to pipe firm swirls but it will still be absolutely delicious.
Caramel - Omit the fresh cream in the recipe - Add ½ cup thick caramel sauce (see my homemade caramel sauce recipe here) - and add the caramel sauce at the last stage and you have whipped the cream cheese frosting. The consistency will be softer so you won't be able to pipe firm swirls. Since caramel is added sugar the resulting frosting is rather sweet. You can add salt flakes to cut some of that and get a salted caramel effect. Personally, I prefer to make the classic cream cheese frosting recipe and then drizzle the caramel over the finished cupcake or cake as an added effect which is usually more appreciated than adding caramel into the frosting.