This cream cheese frosting is thick, fluffy, and pipeable. This easy cream cheese frosting is made without powdered sugar and is made with just 4 simple ingredients!
This is the ultimate, light and fluffy cream cheese frosting. It has a nice tang to it that cuts some of the sweetness.
I’ve made a lot of versions of cream cheese icing over the years, but this recipe is my favorite easy, pipeable frosting.
It’s a little different than traditional cream cheese frosting because it’s made without powdered sugar and without butter. Instead, it uses granulated sugar (check out my super popular whipped buttercream frosting recipe that also uses granulated sugar) and all cream cheese.
This frosting is so thick and fluffy and creamy that you’d never guess that it has granulated sugar in it.
It’s perfect for topping cakes, cupcakes, or cinnamon rolls!
- Heavy cream – Heavy cream is also called “heavy whipping cream”.
- Granulated sugar – This recipe uses granulated sugar, not powdered sugar.
- Cream cheese – I recommend using full-fat cream cheese. It’s thicker and richer than reduced-fat cream cheese. I don’t recommend using fat-free cream cheese.
- Vanilla extract – I like to use pure vanilla extract for the best flavoring. However, you can use clear vanilla extract to keep the frosting lighter.
How to make cream cheese frosting without powdered sugar
This frosting is so simple to make!
In a chilled mixing bowl, use either a hand mixer or a stand mixer to beat cream on high until stiff peaks begin to form. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill while you continue.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until well-combined, about 2-3 minutes on high. It’s important that the cream cheese and sugar be well-combined, so don’t cut this step short.
Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until combined.
Yes, the frosting is pipeable.
No, the frosting stays soft and doesn’t crust.
Yes, you can mix it up, covered, and chill it until you’re ready to use it.
Yes, cream cheese frosting should be stored, covered, in the fridge.
Yes, you can use less whipped cream to make a thicker frosting.
Cakes that go well with cream cheese frosting
More cream cheese frosting recipes!
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Cream Cheese Frosting without Powdered Sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened1
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a chilled bowl, beat cream on high until stiff peaks begin to form.
- Cover and chill while you continue.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until well-combined, about 2-3 minutes on high. It’s important that the cream cheese and sugar be well-combined, so don’t cut this step short.
- Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until combined.
- Chill leftovers.
- The cream cheese should be soft and at room temperature. If it’s too cold, it can clump up when mixed with the whipped cream.
- Nutritional values are estimates.
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Comments & Reviews
This is my go to recipe for almost any cake I make. My family and I absolutely love it! I was wondering if I could make this a chocolate frosting? I bought some Dutch processed cocoa powder to make chocolate frosting, but wasn’t sure how to incorporate it into this recipe. Thanks for your help!
Thank you so much! I would try adding the cocoa powder in step 3 along with the sugar. I also have a chocolate cream cheese frosting recipe that uses powdered sugar if you’re interested.
Laura Agigian says
I would like to use lemon extract in this recipe to make a lemon-cream cheese frosting. Do you suggest using it exclusively, or would it taste better to use part lemon extract and part vanilla extract?
Hi! That’s going to depend on how strong you would like the lemon flavor to be. Using a little vanilla with the lemon might be nice, but using all lemon extract would give you stronger lemon flavor.
Lori TenHaken says
What are your thoughts on using coconut sugar in place of granulated sugar?
The coconut sugar that I’ve used has larger grains than granulated sugar. I’m not sure how well it will mix in, but you may have better luck if you give it a few zips in a food processor or blender to help break it down a bit first. If you try it, I’d love to hear how it works out!
Could I add lemon juice or other flavors to this?
Lemon juice may cause the dairy to separate or look curdled. You could try using different extract flavors, like lemon or almond, in place of the vanilla extract.
I love this! I used ½ white sugar and ¼ brown sugar and it tastes amazing!
Really good and suuuuuper easy. Thank you
Hello, I was wondering how to half the recipe. Can I just cut the heavy cream and cream cheese each by half?
Hi! You can just cut the amount of all of the ingredients in half to halve the recipe.
Pamela Holsing says
Do you have to use sugar at all?
Can I just leave it out?
You will have something akin to whipped cream cheese without the sugar, and the frosting won’t be sweet without any sugar. .
I’ve made cream cheese frosting by first making the whipped cream then whipping the cream cheese and folding it in to the whipped cream! There is sugar in the whipped cream but you may not need to add more in the cream cheese! I liked the whipped cream cheese and vanilla mix better before adding sugar. Just a thought. 😁
Have you tried making this recipe with honey instead?
I haven’t. Honey since honey is a liquid, I’m not sure how well it would work in this recipe.
Hi, how much heavy cream would you use if you want the frosting to be thicker ?
Hi! You could try using 3/4 cup heavy cream. If that isn’t thick enough for you, you could try 1/2 cup the next time.
Thanks Kate, I’ll give that a try