Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting

This rich, thick, delicious Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting perfect for creating beautiful swirls on cupcakes!

Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I will be honest with you… I have never been a fan of cream cheese frosting.  I know, I said it.  I’m a crazy person because everyone loves cream cheese frosting, right?

The main reason I never liked it is because every recipe I tried was too soft, messy, and I couldn’t pipe beautiful swirls the finished frosting. Doing a bit of research, I found that cream cheese frosting becomes too soft with a few things are done to it.

Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Tips for Perfectly Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting

  • First, when too much sugar is added, the cream cheese frosting becomes very soft.
  • Second, when the frosting is over-mixed the cream cheese gets soft and loses its shape and firmness.
  • Third, use butter that is soft enough to cream, but that is still a bit cool and not all the way room temperature.  (Does this make sense? It needs to be soft, but still a bit cold so that the cream cheese doesn’t get too warm while mixing.)
  • Finally, do not add milk unless your frosting is too stiff.  And even then mix a bit more before adding milk.

With all four of those things in mind, I set off to make the perfect pipeable cream cheese frosting.

Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

And you know what… I think I did!

This frosting is firm, yet still creamy and smooth and is packed full of delicious cream cheese flavor!  My daughter has never been a fan of this kind of frosting, but after having this she requested it for her next birthday!

Let me know how this recipe works for you!

Solid cold cupcake liners from Sweets & Treats Boutique.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time
Total time
Rich, thick, delicious cream cheese frosting that's the perfect consistency for piping on cupcakes!
Serves: 3-4 cups
  • 8oz full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp for 30 minutes before using
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp heavy cream (as needed)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the slightly room temperature butter and cream cheese just until combined.
  2. Sift the powdered sugar then measure out 2½ cups. One cup at a time, add the sugar and slowly mix to combine. Do not mixer longer than it takes to combine.
  3. Pour the teaspoon of vanilla evenly over the frosting and mix slowly to combine.
  4. Scrape the sides of the bowl then mix on high for 5-7 seconds. STOP MIXING!
  5. Test the consistency of the frosting, if it is too thick add a teaspoon of heavy cream and mix only until incorporated.
  6. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip with frosting. Pipe swirls of thick, rich frosting onto cupcakes or a cake.


24 thoughts on “Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Godsend you are my dear. I dislike cream cheese frosting for the same reasons you stated. Certainly wasn’t because I didn’t think it isn’t tasty. I would make it “perfect” every now and then, but I would forget what I did differently. Lol Can’t wait to put these tips to practice next time I make it. xox

    1. Seriously. I HATED making it. I think my biggest mistake was trying to beat it like you do with American buttercream. The cream cheese does NOT like that. The cooler you can keep it while still beating it smooth, the better! Happy Baking, my friend!

  2. Thank goodness I found your recipe in the nick of time!! I was baking for an international school function (live in France but originally from America) and my usual well loved recipe failed big time… runny and liquidly! Panic!! I googled some other recipes and found yours! Worked perfectly!! THANK YOU!!! My new go to icing recipe!!

  3. Can you use regular whole milk if you don’t have heavy cream? What does heavy cream do for the frosting? Also will this be good for making a rose type swirl on red velvet cupcakes? Thank you!

    1. Hi Shauna – The heavy cream has more fat in it which makes it thicker and fluffy up more when whipping. You could use whole milk, I’d suggest starting out with less milk and adding until you get the consistency you need. And yes, swirl away!! 🙂

      1. Thank you! This recipe is awesome! I’ve been using it since February 2017. It freezes well too! Just take it out the freezer and place it on your counter top to defrost and put it back in the mixer and whip it. One more question, can this be used to frost a red velvet cake?

    1. Noemi – It depends on the weather. If it’s a warm day, no. Cream cheese frosting is very soft already and adding heat to any recipe will make it run. I’d suggest leaving the cupcakes indoors where it’s cool until ready to serve.

      1. Thank you for your quick reply … One more question will it work for a naked layered cake it won’t get too soft and run down for a five tier cake I will putting frosting in between each layer.

    1. Whatever attachment you have for your stand mixer will be okay (except the dough hook – don’t use that). If you’re using a hand mixer, the attachments on there should work just fine. Might take a little longer mixing by hand, but yes… you can do it! 🙂 Happy Mixing!

    1. In the fridge… then bring it to room temperature before you’re ready to pipe it. You may need to whip it a bit again before piping.

    1. If it’s too hot in your house, it may not work will with a large round tip. However, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with any tip if it’s cool in your house and it doesn’t get too soft!

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