I have been blessed to have this incredible cream cheese frosting that forms a nice crust so it is ideal for decorating cakes. It tastes so good that i’ve been using this recipe more than any other frosting recipe i have.

Decorator’s Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 1/2 cup of shortening
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter @ room temp
  • 1 8oz bar cream cheese @ room temp
  • 1 tblsp white vanilla extract
  • 2 lbs shifted powder sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt


    Cream together shortening, butter, and cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add vanilla into mixture and combine. Sift together sugar and salt, and slowly add to shortening, butter & cheese mixture. Make sure that all sugar is incorporated. Enjoy!

  1. *If to stiff of a consistency use less sugar but all the salt or gradually add milk to make the perfect consistency!


chefjennalee Says... 10 Sep 2009 , 4:58am

How much does it make?

Deb_ Says... 23 Sep 2009 , 1:17pm

This is very delicious. I added about 1T of milk and about 1 dropper full of Lorann's Vanilla Butternut flavoring. Chefjennalee it makes approx 6 cups of icing.

RisasCakes Says... 8 Oct 2009 , 8:14am

WOW! This turned out great, thank you for the wonderful recipe!

chefjennalee Says... 21 Oct 2009 , 7:55pm

very yummy on the pumpkin spice recipe listed on this site!

fairestoneofall Says... 26 Oct 2009 , 11:38am

Love this one! Thanks for sharing. I use it ALL the time with minor tweaks!

ksmith1012 Says... 7 Nov 2009 , 9:13pm

does this need to be refrigerated?

katielb Says... 8 Nov 2009 , 12:08am

can u substitute the shortening? we dont have it here in Australia :(

mom2abc Says... 10 Nov 2009 , 10:24am

I also am wondering if this needs to be refrigerated? I wanted to make these for a bake sale for the school but they will be sitting on a table for a few hours.

mimisunshine Says... 11 Nov 2009 , 10:43am

Does it need to be refrigerated? How long can it safely stay out?

Missellyt Says... 11 Nov 2009 , 12:20pm

Fantastic mix I love it with a bit of nutmeg sooo festive! I left these out for a while on a buffet and they tasted jst as good after a few hours...but it wasn't over hot in the room.

meri1028 Says... 11 Nov 2009 , 12:58pm

Sounds great! Does it need to be refrigerated?

cupcakediva82 Says... 16 Nov 2009 , 9:12pm

Hi there, is white vanilla extract the same as clear vanilla extract? Thanks!

lildutch10 Says... 19 Nov 2009 , 7:31am

cupcakediva82: I used clear vanilla extract and this frosting came out amazing!!! I am not sure if the white is the same as clear or not, but it is sooooo good! I am not a fan of eating cake/frosting (strange I know... I just like to make them!!) but this frosting I always make extra so I can eat it straight out of the bowl... YUMMY!!!!! I was also wondering if it needs to be refrigerated?

sandy5491 Says... 21 Nov 2009 , 6:27am

Hi there, I have one similar but I use sweetex for the shortening and regular white butter. and then I use cream bouqut.

leslie2748 Says... 21 Nov 2009 , 9:39am

Same question....refrigeration?

calicopurr Says... 21 Nov 2009 , 10:39pm

Sandy5491 Can you PM the recipe? I have Sweetex and Cream Bouguet in my pantry.

grantrs1521 Says... 25 Nov 2009 , 10:18pm

how many cups is 2 lbs of sugar?

daisy81382 Says... 26 Nov 2009 , 1:54pm

katielb - you can get some vegetable fat in the butter section at Woolworths or your local grocery store. Just make sure and leave it out to get nice and soft before you use it - and make sure get the vegetable one not beef - eewww yuck! This is what I used while living there as I couldn't find anything else like shortening.

kellycat102938 Says... 3 Dec 2009 , 12:07pm

how many cups of frosting does this make?

katiekonie Says... 7 Dec 2009 , 5:11pm

This was great!!

abra526 Says... 28 Jan 2010 , 12:24pm

Love it! I only added about half the amount of powdered sugar, and left the rest of the recipe the same to use this as a filling for a strawberry cake. It tasted delicious!

Elegant_Design_Cakes Says... 18 Feb 2010 , 8:32am

Does anyone who has made this know if it needs to be refrigerated???

nadia0411 Says... 26 Feb 2010 , 12:45pm

it does require refrigeration as in anything with dairy product else it can go sour, i did a quick search on net and they confirmed it. it makes enough icing to fill and cover two 9x3 inches cakes.

kimmyboo925 Says... 26 Feb 2010 , 9:31pm

I am thinking it doesnt need to be refridgerated... I have been working with someone who makes red velvet all the time with cream cheese frosting.. and i have left it out for 2 days with no refridgeration... but to each is own.... and two pounds is 16 cups of sugar.. someone asked

frankdiabetes Says... 4 Mar 2010 , 8:25pm

Actually, my 2 pound C&H bag of powdered sugar says it contains approximately 7 and 1/2 cups unsifted powdered sugar.

LovinMyLilFam Says... 9 Mar 2010 , 7:56pm

Thank u for sharing this recipe. I tryed it last month for an aunts bday cake. Everyone enjoyed it. Delicious!!!

Linzobean Says... 16 Mar 2010 , 6:40am

So from a professional baker's opinion does a cream cheese frosting have to be refrigerated? When decorating a cake it can be out for a substantial amount of time. Also, who wants to leave their cake in the fridge too long, it might dry out?!?

NikkiB912 Says... 4 Apr 2010 , 2:59am

This is a great recipe! I didn't have any butter so I used 1 cup of shortening and a little butter flavoring...and I only used about 7 cups of sugar (I had an already opened bag and I didn't want to open another one). It was sooo yummy! I used it to make cupcakes with my friend and she couldn't stop eating it! It's delicious on red velvet!

azeboi2005 Says... 8 Apr 2010 , 10:49am

A far as refrigeration, after icing a cake I don't refrigerate...then again my house is always at a cool temp. This icing holds up well to hot temps (essential for south TX) I just wouldn't put it in direct sunlight. Crusts beautifully, glad you all enjoy it as much as I do!!

Grammaonthego Says... 12 Apr 2010 , 2:45pm

What is sweetex...and where can you find it ??

preciosa225 Says... 20 Apr 2010 , 8:35am

While this recipe crusted up BEAUTIFULLY, I found it to be VERY sweet and you can't taste the cream cheese at all. I used hi ratio shortening, Hotel Bar unsalted butter, Dominos powdered sugar and Philly Cream Cheese. I don't know if any of those had anything to do with the outcome.

kacky58 Says... 2 May 2010 , 7:08am

Is this stiff enough so that you can also decorate with it? Or do you just frost the cake and use regular buttercream or royal for the decorations?

rcolson13 Says... 6 May 2010 , 7:11am

My go to creme cheese frosting. It tastes great and crusts nicely. A half-batch makes 2 cups of icing approximately

Manotas Says... 14 May 2010 , 9:17am

I think the recipe is great, when I add 1/2 of the sugar I take a bit to use it as filling.

I also found it to be too sweet but I just use it to crumb coat before applying fondant, so it wasn't too bad.

tonjaa6 Says... 3 Jun 2010 , 5:28pm

Love this recipe but I add another 8oz package of cream cheese as i like the cream cheese flavor to stand out more!

tammycakes58 Says... 6 Jun 2010 , 10:52am

This sounds great going to try it! Ive been looking for a cream cheese frosting, all that I have tried has been to loose, Cant wait to try it!

traci_doodle Says... 7 Jun 2010 , 12:20pm

I love this recipe! I just can't get enough of it! I thought it was too sweet, so I doubled the salt and traded out half the extract for milk. It even tastes great with reduced fat cream cheese!

MsCeci31 Says... 12 Jun 2010 , 11:59pm

Wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing.

dixiechick0225 Says... 15 Jun 2010 , 9:16am

I just made this recipe last night and I love it! I couldn't stop licking the bowl!

erichazann Says... 4 Jul 2010 , 12:37pm

I just made a double recipe of this. My bowl measurements say just over 4 pints or right at 20 deciliters.. which is ~8 1/2 cups. I didn't add any milk, because the consistency is already thin enough for icing. I don't think this recipe makes 6 cups!

cakelace Says... 11 Jul 2010 , 7:41pm

SUPER DELISH!!!! I wish I had this one when I was making a summer wedding cake with cream cheese icing. I opted to use fondant but this would have topped the cake beautifully! Used this with the Waldorf Astoria red velvet- OMG. :) Now I'm tempted t add some cocoa powder to make it Chocolate cream cheese on my pound cake. So yummy, so yummy. :) And it crusts beautifully!

MicheleG Says... 15 Jul 2010 , 6:58am

Can this icing be frozen? I have to make 300 cupcakes for a wedding in three weeks. I would like to go ahead and make my icing ahead of time so I can already have it ready to ice the cupcakes. This sounds like this recipe would be awesome for the Red Velvet cupcakes.

jenate04 Says... 23 Jul 2010 , 9:05pm

Does anyone know if I would need one or two batches to ice and decorate a 11X15 sheet cake? I've used this recipe before but it's been so long I don't remember! Thanks!

MommaDukes Says... 8 Aug 2010 , 6:01am

I made this and it is so YUMMY.

margeann Says... 30 Aug 2010 , 10:08am

1 pound of confectoners' sugar is approximately 4 dry cups. (8 cups =2 lbs.) Most packages will tell you this on their containers. With all perisable products you have about 4 hours outside of refrigerator. It has alot of sugar and may look good but please be safe and beaware of a foodborne illness. you CANNOT leave cream cheese products out for days.

microbiology1 Says... 3 Sep 2010 , 1:17pm

has any one used food coloring in this recipe? I wanted to use it for a red velvet cake but was hoping it could be tinted green.

lorik19 Says... 5 Oct 2010 , 2:33pm

I made this recipe along with the Straight Up Carrot Cake recipe on cc and it received so so SO many positive reviews. The combination of recipes made a killer cake – fantastic! I did add an extra bar and a half of cream cheese as I wanted the frosting to have the cream cheese taste. It crusts nicely and did a great job with adding coloring for decorating. I did, however, have to add an extra pound of confectionary sugar to have a stiffer consistency. Definately use immediately, if you place it in the fridge for storage it hardens up and you'll have to throw it back in the mixer to soften it up - I felt doing this was a mistake of mine as it lost some of the stiffness that was there prior to refrigeration.

chynna301 Says... 18 Nov 2010 , 12:42pm

Ina Garten from the Barefoot Contessa says you should have your ingredients out at room temp before baking and she says she leaves her butter and cream cheese out overnight on the counter before she uses them. I guess its safe to be out for a few hours but you probably have to refrigerate the leftovers.

SweetArt5 Says... 29 Jan 2011 , 7:07pm

DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The only thing I changed was I didn't sift the powdered sugar, i didn't think it was necessary. Also less sugar next time, I had to add water to loosen it up a bit. Overall really, really good!

ginascakes Says... 9 Feb 2011 , 12:52pm

This definitely needs two 8 oz. bars of cream cheese in order to taste like cream cheese frosting (in addition to the shortening and butter). As the recipe is written, it tastes like a zippy vanilla buttercream :)

Baby06 Says... 20 Mar 2011 , 7:50pm

has anyone tried it with a plain white cake? how did it turn out?

KarolynAndrea Says... 25 Apr 2011 , 11:10am

I'm not a fan of CC icing, but this is really good. Finally, one that isn't too runny. I doubled the recipe and followed the directions and it turned out great. I will use this as a filling, I'm a little nervous to ice with it.

KJF1985 Says... 30 Apr 2011 , 12:34pm

Oh. My. Gosh. I just made this icing to use with an Italian cream cake. Instead of using all vanilla, I used 2 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp cocnut flavor. YUM!! I can't stop eating it!!! This is a keeper! Thanks!

jewordsoflife Says... 10 May 2011 , 10:54am

I'm wondering if this will hold up under MMF? Also, it sounds like I may want to add additional cream cheese to it so that it will taste more like cream cheese (according to some of the reviews) but if I do, would that change the consistency to where I can't use it under MMF? That's providing I can without adding additional cream cheese. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I need to know asap. I have to make a cake this week and I'm REALLY needing a crusting cc bc that will hold up under MMF. I don't have time to try allot of recipes :-) THANKS!

JackieDryden Says... 15 May 2011 , 2:13pm

This was really good on a red velvet(just box mix) for a last minute bridal shower cake. It is a "you wanna lick the bowl clean" kind of icing. I also reduced the sugar content on the second batch just to decrease some of the sweetness and increase some of the cream cheese flavor. Either way-as written, or 2 less cups of PS, it is scrumptious!

sarahaha Says... 21 May 2011 , 11:44pm

oh...my...gosh. i will never buy icing again! i did add an extra half a bar of cream cheese, just to cut some of the sweetness, but this icing is AWESOME!!!

SheriCakes4u Says... 29 Jun 2011 , 9:21am

Will this icing hold for borders? Does it smooth like Sugarshack's Frosting? I did a cream cheese frosted cake recently and the frosting I used slid down the sides of the cake some! I also wasn't able to smooth it out like I like to because it didn't crust!

Antoinettebc Says... 3 Jul 2011 , 2:41am

Hello....also curious in response to the shortning question....is there any substitute. I also live somewhere a small island to be exact we have no shortening. Sugetions please TKU....Im trying to introduce these peoples to cupcakes

rosscountrygirl Says... 4 Jul 2011 , 8:47am

Made this this morning worked great but did change it up a bit, I added almond flavor instead of vanilla and I added 1 extra block of cream cheese (to a doubled batch) I had enough icing to ice 6 dozen cupcakes and a small single 8in. This frosting is WAY sturdier then normal cream cheese frosting and crusted up nicely. (I have pics of it on my 4th of july cupcakes the red & blue ones)

Aya1 Says... 14 Jul 2011 , 12:09pm

Awesome!!!!!! GReat Taste, Easy to decorate with!!! l

Niki3795 Says... 17 Aug 2011 , 3:33pm

LOVE this recipe, thanks so much!!

nelly78577 Says... 13 Sep 2011 , 6:47pm

Tryed this frosting for a 6 tier wedding cake and it came out great. Easy to frost. Delicious. Although I did make some changes. I added one more stick of butter and 8oz more of cream cheese and added 1/2cup of sugar. Its a great recipe.

Viennagirl Says... 28 Sep 2011 , 4:22am

This is a great recipe and it tastes soo good too. i added a little almond flavoring. Thanks for a great recipe!

Ahma4 Says... 11 Oct 2011 , 7:58am

I do not work in a bakery but love to bake for my family. Is there a way of making this frosting without having to use 1/2 of shortening? All that fat, freaks me out.

Pearl645 Says... 4 Nov 2011 , 6:27am

Has anyone tried this with Margaine? I am thinking of using that instead of butter.

cupcakemeg Says... 8 Mar 2012 , 3:59pm

I have made this frosting a few times and it comes out great every time! My new favorite frosting!

seann11 Says... 15 Apr 2012 , 3:10pm

Does anyone know if this would be good on a brownie cake?

moniel Says... 2 May 2012 , 9:25pm

Frosting turned out great! Soft after being handled too long but has a great consistency while cold. Great recipe

Thea519 Says... 20 Jun 2012 , 1:13pm

I must say, I was very disappointed in this recipe. It was really gritty and you couldn't even taste the cream cheese. It crusted well, but the flavor and texture were definitely subpar. I won't use it again.

littlejewel Says... 1 Jul 2012 , 4:42am

Thank you for this great recipe. It has the great taste of cream cheese frosting with the added ability to decorate with it.

kjdixon_1 Says... 6 Jul 2012 , 9:37am

I have tried countless icing recipes because my husband can't stand buttercream. This is by far his favorite and I love it too! A keeper for sure. I used it with Red Velvet and it was delicious!

Caryn426 Says... 24 Aug 2012 , 4:43pm

I was looking for a cream cheese frosting recipe that wasn't too soft and would actually hold up. This recipe was perfect! Love the flavor and texture! Will definitely be my go to cream cheese frosting!

surgery2 Says... 15 Sep 2012 , 6:27pm

i added 2 TB of meringue powder to this recipe, just for added stability, and it makes it a bit smoother too. Great frosting I use in alot in place of regular BC,

surgery2 Says... 15 Sep 2012 , 6:29pm

Also I use 3/4 c high ratio shortening, 1/4 c softened butter, ( instead of the 1/2c shoretening and 1/2c butter) and the 8oz bar of cream cheese, and 1/2 tsp clear butter flavor, use popcorn salt, it dissolves better

kr1970 Says... 19 Sep 2012 , 11:36am

taste great!- i added 2 tbs of buttermilk to thin it out for smooth icing. Yum!

luckyblueeye Says... 8 Oct 2012 , 4:48pm


Meech46 Says... 26 Oct 2012 , 7:45am

I have a tough time when doubling this recipe....it becomes too soft. I'm not sure why. Does anyone have the answer?

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