This basic cream cheese frosting recipe is really easy to remember: Just beat together 2 sticks of butter, 2 packages of cream cheese, 2 cups of powdered sugar, and a splash of vanilla extract. It has just the right balance of sweetness and tang, so you can spread it on almost any sweet, from pumpkin cupcakes to ginger cake, or sandwich some between oatmeal cookies.
Game plan: Refrigerate the frosting in a zip-top bag or an airtight container with a tightfitting lid for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months; when you’re ready to use it, defrost it in the refrigerator, place it in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat until fluffy.
This recipe makes enough frosting to cover one 13-by-9-inch sheet cake, an 8-inch layer cake, or 18 to 24 cupcakes.
- 1Place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and fully incorporated, about 3 minutes.
- 2Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer to low and mix until the sugar is incorporated, about 30 seconds.
- 3Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle again. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and mix until the frosting is creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes.