Cream Cheese Frosting

This super easy Cream Cheese Frosting recipe is a family favorite. My boys love it so much that they use it as a dip for strawberries. I thought that was rather inventive of them, and far better than eating it straight up!

I love this lightly sweetened frosting because it’s not as sweet as other cream cheese frosting recipes, and with just 4 ingredients, it’s so easy to make.

Cream Cheese Frosting

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Servings 2 cups



  • Whip heavy cream until stiff
  • In a separate bowl, whip cream cheese until smooth, then blend in maple syrup and vanilla
  • With a rubber spatula, gently fold whip cream into cream cheese mixture
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Tried this recipe?Mention @elanaspantry or tag #elanaspantry!

I’ve made this easy cream cheese frosting recipe many times. For the sweetener I’ve tested maple syrup, agave, and honey. The recipe is incredible with maple syrup, and worked very well with agave too. If you would like to make it with honey, the recipe will work in terms of consistency. However, we think the flavor of the honey overpowers the entire recipe and is simply too strong. When you make this easy frosting recipe, leave a comment to let us know which sweetener you used!

Here are some of my easy gluten-free dessert recipes that are just begging to be topped with this delicious Cream Cheese Frosting:

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71 responses to “Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Hi I made the carrot cake and cream cheese frosting. I left on the counter about 4 hours and then decided to refrigerate overnight for serving the next night. Guess I should have refrigerated immediately. Is that what you recommend and do you think mine will be fine after leaving out a few hours?


  2. Hi Elana, thank you for the lovely recipe. I have cooked it twice now once with coconut oil and then with olive oil. Both were tasty. Thanks

  3. i love your recipes you are a real pioneer!
    I like to bake or cook and then freeze – i have a large family and this helps a lot. Can I freeze this frosting? will the cream cheese get that grainy texture?


    • You might be able to freeze the cake, but cream cheese and whipped cream will both “break” when you freeze and thaw – freeze the cake, and when it has thawed, make the frosting for it.

  4. Late comment but I made this to frost the carrot cake recipe for Easter. Was worried about the amount of nutmeg but went with everything on recipe and frosting recipe.
    mind blown. the carrot cake was very comparable even better than a regular flour cake recipe. BUT THE FROSTING THOUGH!!! I can’t believe i never made my own whip cream and then to add cream cheese for an awesome cake frosting. I frosted night before and put in fridge overnight to set. It tasted better freshly made the night before but still was a hit the next day. I’m not sure if this would be good for sugar cookies??? I hate to make homemade buttercream frosting with all that powdered sugar and I’m not fond of royal icing either…

  5. Hi, my name is Shirley and I am just getting into the paleo cooking. I love your receipes and they have tasted very good. I am reading a lot about paleo eating and it all eliminates dairy products. I read your cream cheese frosting and see you are using cream cheese. Does this make the icing non paleo? Thanks for helping me understand this point.

    • Hi Shirley, thanks for your great question! Dairy is not considered a Paleo food, thus this recipe is not considered paleo. I have an in depth post on the paleo diet here:

      I also have tabs at the top of my site which you might find helpful; they list which recipes are compliant with which diets.


  6. Hi Elana,
    I am trying to bake a cake for someone’s birthday this week. I would really love to use this recipe for my frosting, but I would just like to know if I can substitute stevia, or maple syrup for the agave nectar. Thanks!

  7. Hi, Mine came out quite runny! Though tastes delicious it won’t frost well. Suggestions thoughts?? Thanks!

    • Cream cheese becomes runny when it is over-beaten. I don’t think there’s a fix for that – but it makes a yummy topping. When this happened to me, I sliced the cake, plated the servings, and then ladled the sauce over the plated cake – as if that’s how it was supposed to be. Everyone loved it.

  8. I made this frosting tonight for a double layer carrot cake, and will be serving this tomorrow for my son’s 2nd birthday party.

    The icing is light and sweet, but not overly so. Traditional frosting with cups of white sugar in it are way too sweet and overpower the taste the of the cake (or whatever else you’re serving it on/with).

    It goes on smooth, holds a nice just off-white color (due to the addition of the vanilla).

    I’ll report after tomorrow how it actually tasted with the cake, how it held up, and what everyone thought as a whole.

  9. I fairly recently have discovered that I am lactose intolerant. I really miss the cream cheese flavor. Does anyone know if there is any substitute?? I know this is a long shot, but I’m desperate! :)

    • Hi!
      My sister in law can’t have any dairy and she makes delicious cream cheese frosting with soy cream cheese. I think the brand is tofutti. It is not healthy (neither is cream cheese, but…) but tastes great, she always makes it for her cakes and cupcakes for parties and get togethers and no one can even tell the different. Just substitute the soy cream cheese for the cream cheese 1:1 and then she uses mocha mix or vanilla soy milk for the liquid but if you can get away with lactose free whole milk you could also do that. She uses powdered sugar also but you could play around with agave or honey if you wanted to go that route.
      Hope that helps!

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Recipes » Desserts » Cream Cheese Frosting