Cream Cheese Frosting

Problems making cream cheese frosting? Does it always turn into a lumpy, runny disaster? Trust me, I’ve been there! Finding a U.K recipe that actually works can be tricky, but believe me when I say that this one will not let you down.

It’s taken me years of failed attempts to finally develop a recipe for cream cheese frosting that is spreadable, pipe-able and silky smooth. I actually jumped for joy when it worked!

cream cheese frosting

Success tips for cream cheese frosting

  1. Use Full-fat Philadephia Cream Cheese
    In the U.K our cream cheese is more like a spread and thin in texture. I’ve found that low-fat versions or any other brand of cream cheese isn’t thick enough and results in a runny frosting.
  2. Beat the butter on its own for 1-2 minutes first.
    This will break down any lumps and make sure the frosting is completely smooth. You also want to beat the butter until it is really pale so that the frosting comes out a lovely bright white colour.
  3. Sieve the icing sugar.
    Making sure the icing sugar is really fine in texture will keep the frosting smooth and lump-free.
  4. Keep the cream cheese in the fridge.
    This is THE most important tip. You want the cream cheese to be as thick as possible, if it’s kept at room temperature it will start to loosen and become soft. Therefore only take the cream cheese out of the fridge when you are ready to use it in the recipe.
  5. Gently fold the cream cheese into the mixture
    At this step swap the electric mixer for a wooden spoon or spatula. Very gently fold the cream cheese into the mixture until it has JUST combined. Be really careful not to over-mix as the frosting can very easily turn to liquid.
cream cheese frosting

Recipe ideas for how to use cream cheese frosting

There’s plenty of ways you can use cream cheese frosting, it’s really versatile and pairs particularly well with vegetable or fruit cakes. Want some recipe inspiration? Check these out:


Makes enough cream cheese frosting to decorate 12 cupcakes or the top and sides of a two-layer 8inch cake.

  • 150g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 150g full-fat cream cheese frosting (cold from the fridge)


Step 1

Cut the unsalted butter into chunks and put it in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric whisk or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on a medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes until super soft, fluffy and pale in colour.

step 1, beat the butter

Step 2

Sift half of the icing sugar into the bowl. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently mix the butter and icing sugar together first for 30 seconds (this will help stop the icing sugar from going everywhere when using the electric mixer). Now turn the electric mixer on a medium-high speed and beat together until smooth and fluffy.

step 2, sieve the icing sugar

Step 3

Sift the remaining icing sugar into the bowl. Repeat the same step as above, using a wooden spoon or spatular to first mix the butter and icing sugar together, then the electric mixer to beat together until you have a smooth mixture.

step 3, beat together

Step 4

Take the cream cheese out of the fridge and add it to the bowl. Use a wooden spoon or spatula (not the electric mixer), to gently fold the cream cheese into the mixture until smooth and just combined. Be careful not to over mix at this stage.

step 4, fold in the cream cheese frosting

Step 5

Use straightaway to decorate your bakes, or cover with clingfilm and store the cream cheese frosting in the fridge for up to 3 days. I used it to decorate these gorgeous Strawberry Cheese Cupcakes

strawberry cheesecake cupcakes

Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Velvety in texture and rich in flavour, whipped chocolate ganache frosting is a delicious alternative to traditional buttercream.

The ganache calls for a few simple ingredients; chocolate, double cream and butter. I prefer to use a mix of milk chocolate and dark chocolate so that the flavour doesn’t end up being too bitter. The butter is optional, but personally, I feel that it adds richness to the ganache and gives it a lovely shine.

After the ganache has had time to set, it is whipped using an electric mixer for a couple of minutes. Whipping the ganache makes it light, fluffy and creamy, it also holds its structure really well making it perfect for piping or spreading onto cakes.

Use the ganache frosting to decorate cakes, brownies cookies or whatever you fancy! To give you an indication, this recipe will make enough frosting to decorate a two-layer 8-inch cake (top and sides), or about 12 cupcakes.

Whipped chocolate ganache frosting

Ingredients (makes enough to decorate a two-layer 8-inch cake)

150g good quality 70% dark chocolate
150g good quality milk chocolate
50g butter
300ml double cream


Chop the two chocolates and butter up into small pieces and place in a bowl.

Pour the cream into a small saucepan and heat on low until the cream is steamy and bubbles start to form around the edge. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and butter. Leave for 30 seconds and then stir together until the ganache is smooth. Put the ganache in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up.

Put the ganache in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer, to whip the ganache on medium/high speed until light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes.

Use straightaway to decorate your bakes or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.