Made with cold cream cheese and whipped cream, this cream cheese frosting is especially light and perfectly sweet. It comes together in no time and complements many a cake from this American Flag Sheet Cake to this One-Bowl Birthday Cake to this heavenly Carrot Cake.

Beaten whipped cream - cream cheese frosting in a stand mixer.

My friend Sally, an avid baker, passed along this Stella Park’s recipe for whipped cream cheese frosting several years ago. She told me it had become her go-to for all sorts of cakes and urged me to give it a try.

A few things struck me about the recipe, namely the use of granulated sugar as opposed to confectioners’ sugar, the use of cold cream cheese as opposed to room temperature, and the absence of butter.

For years I had made Ina’s cream cheese frosting recipe, which calls for confectioners’ sugar and equal parts softened butter and cream cheese. As you can imagine, no one complained.

But I loved the idea of a lighter, more whipped-textured frosting, and I loved the idea of not having to soften anything.

Though I knew Sally would never steer me wrong, I questioned every step of the process: Will the granulated sugar dissolve? Will the cold cream cheese lighten? Will the heavy cream work in place of butter?

It turns out: yes, yes, yes.

Friends, I have never posted about a frosting recipe on its own but I think this one really deserves its own space. It’s especially light and perfectly sweet, and it comes together in no time. Every time I make it, either for this flag cake or this birthday cake, or this carrot cake, someone asks for the recipe, always calling out its texture.

Many of you likely already have a tried-and-true cream cheese frosting recipe in your repertoire, but if you are willing to take a leap on something new, I have no doubt you will approve.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting, Step by Step

Gather your ingredients: cold cream cheese, cold heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt.

Ingredients to make whipped cream - cream cheese frosting on a countertop.

Start by beating the cold cream cheese and sugar together until…

Cream cheese and sugar in a stand mixer.

… soft and creamy.

Cream cheese and sugar beaten together in a stand mixer.

Add a pinch of salt, the vanilla, and the heavy cream.

Adding the vanilla and heavy cream to the stand mixer.

Beat until light and whipped in texture:

Just-beaten whipped cream - cream cheese frosting in a stand mixer.

Taste, and adjust with more cream, if necessary, to lighten the texture further. I always add a splash more cream and often another pinch of salt, too.

Finished whipped cream - cream cheese frosting in a stand mixer.

Use as desired! I love it on this American Flag Sheet Cake:

A baked cake with topped with whipped cream-cream cheese frosting.
A just-baked flag cake.

And on this One-Bowl Birthday Cake:

And this heavenly carrot cake:

A frosted carrot cake.
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Beaten whipped cream - cream cheese frosting in a stand mixer.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (Lighter, Better)

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Adapted from this Stella Park’s recipe. I use a slightly different method: I beat the cream cheese and sugar first; then add the heavy cream. And I use slightly more cream, too. 


  • 8 oz  (226 g) cream cheese, cold
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (187 g) heavy cream
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Beat the cold cream cheese and sugar together until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. 
  2. Add the heavy cream, a pinch of salt, and the vanilla. Beat again until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  3. Taste. Adjust with more heavy cream, if desired, and beat again to lighten. I often add a pinch more salt, too. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stand Mixer
  • Cuisine: American