Traditional Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Serves: Yields about 6 cups of icing; enough to fill and frost three, 9 x 2-inch layers
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Variation: Tradition Cream Cheese Frosting

This velvety frosting is rich, tangy, and easy to spread. We love it on our Hummingbird Cake. Be sure not to overbeat cream cheese frosting after all the ingredients are added or it may become overly soft and even slimy. If that happens, I can show you how to fix it below! Because cream cheese frosting is perishable keep it and anything frosted with it refrigerated until serving time.


If you accidentally overbeat cream cheese frosting or anything that contains cream cheese, and it becomes overly soft and/or slimy, I've found that the best way to fix the texture is to add small chunks of cold cream cheese to the frosting and beat it on low speed until incorporated. The frosting will thicken up and become more spreadable.

18 ounces (2 1/4  8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened; I prefer Philadelphia Brand
1 1/8 cups (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoons salt
8 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted; sift after measuring
3/4 cup cocoa (we used Hershey’s Special dark cocoa)
1. Sift the powdered sugar into a large bowl. Then remove 1 cup of the sifted powdered sugar from the bowl and sift it together with the cocoa powder into a medium bowl.

2. Beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-low to soften, in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.

3. Add the vanilla extract and salt.

4. Add the powdered sugar / cocoa powder mixture and beat, on low speed, until combined.
 Stop the mixer.
Scrape down the side of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.

5. Add the rest of the powdered sugar, and beat on low until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Correct with milk or powdered sugar if it is too stiff or soft. DO NOT add too much cream, or the frosting will get too soft to pipe!
NOTE: It is helpful to cover the mixer with a kitchen towel, to keep clouds of powdered sugar from going all over your kitchen.

Store the cream cheese frosting in the refrigerator where it will keep for a few days. Cream cheese frosting does not freeze well.

Traditional Cream Cheese Frosting 

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