This quick and easy Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting is bright, creamy, and refreshing. Use it to add tart lemon flavor to cupcakes, layered cakes, cinnamon rolls, and so much more.
The Best Cream Cheese Lemon Frosting
Lemon lovers rejoice - this Lemon Cream Cheese Icing recipe is a quick and easy way to add sunshine to all of your favorite cupcakes, layered cakes, cookies, and bars. You’ll just need butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and fresh lemons to make this bright and tangy frosting. If you want to go colorful, feel free to add a few drops of yellow food coloring, too.
The most important tip when making Lemon Frosting is to make sure that your ingredients are room temperature. If they are too hot your frosting will be runny; but if they’re too cold, you’ll have a difficult time getting everything to mix. You want to be able to gently press your finger into the butter.
If you’re looking for more flavored frosting recipes, you can also give this Mint Cream Cheese Frosting a try.
Ingredients in Cream Cheese Frosting with Lemon
- Butter - you can use salted or unsalted butter depending on your own preference. Just make sure it is soft enough to mix well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Cream Cheese - you will need one 8 ounce brick of cream cheese for this recipe. Make sure that it is softened just like the butter. If you forget to pull it out to room temperature in advance you can warm it in the microwave for about 8-10 seconds at a time. Just be careful not to heat it too much or it will begin to melt.
- Fresh Lemons - you will need both the lemon zest and the lemon juice from fresh lemons. It’s easiest to zest first then juice them.
- Powdered Sugar - this adds sweetness without any grittiness so is a great choice for frosting.
- Yellow Food Coloring - if you want a stronger yellow color for your frosting, you can use either food coloring drops or gel food coloring.
How to Make This Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
- Cream the butter and cream cheese. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the softened butter and cream cheese and beat with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy, or about 2-3 minutes. (Note: you can also do this is in large bowl with a hand mixer)
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Turn the mixer off and add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and yellow food coloring.
- Mix until fluffy. Mix on low until fully incorporated, then beat on high for about a minute or until it is light and fluffy again.
- Use or store. Use immediately (make sure that whatever you use this on has had a chance to cool completely), or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Enjoy!
Recipe Variations for Lemon Frosting
Whether you prefer creamy, fruity, or exotic flavors, these recipe variations have got you covered. So, grab your mixing bowl and get ready to indulge in some lemony goodness!
- Lemon Blueberry Frosting: Add a burst of fruity goodness to your lemon frosting by incorporating fresh blueberries. The sweet-tart flavor of the blueberries complements the citrus perfectly.
- Lemon Coconut Frosting: Add a little shredded coconut either into the frosting itself or sprinkled over the top.
- Lemon Ginger Frosting: Spice up your lemon frosting with a hint of ginger by adding about ¼ teaspoon ground ginger to the recipe.
- Lemon Raspberry Frosting: Combine the tanginess of lemon with the sweetness of ripe raspberries for a truly luscious frosting. The vibrant pink color and the burst of fruity flavors is irresistible.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your cream cheese frosting is a bit on the thin side, first make sure that it isn’t too warm. If your butter and/or cream cheese were more melted than soft when you added them, chances are your frosting will be a little too loose. In this case, toss it into the fridge for an hour or so and then try whipping again. Otherwise, the best thing to do is add a little more powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.
Yes! You can freeze any extra Cream Cheese Lemon Icing for up to 2 months. Either freezer bags or another airtight container will work great. To thaw, just transfer to the fridge overnight.
If you store it in an airtight container in the fridge, your frosting should last for up to 4 days. If frozen, it will last for up to 2 months.
Storing and Freezing
- Refrigerator: store leftover frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To use again, pull the frosting out to room temperature for about 30 minutes before whipping until light and fluffy again.
- Freezer: freeze leftover frosting in freezer bags or another airtight container for up to 2 months. To thaw, transfer to the fridge overnight. Once you are ready to use it, pull it out to room temperature for about 30 minutes and then whip until light and fluffy.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
- ½ cup Salted Butter room temperature
- 8 oz Cream Cheese room temperature
- 4 cups Powdered Sugar
- ¼ cup Lemon Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
- 5-6 drops Yellow Food Coloring
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the room temperature butter and room temperature cream cheese and beat with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy, or about 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the mixer off and add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and yellow food coloring. Mix on low until fully incorporated, then beat on high for about a minute, or until it is light and fluffy again.
- Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Enjoy!
More Of The Best Lemon Dessert Recipes
- Lemon Bundt Cake
- Creamy Lemon Bars
- Lemon Curd
- Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars
- Berry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Icing
- Lemon Raspberry Parfait
- Lemon Meltaway Cookies
- Mini Lemon Blueberry Bread
- Lemon Pound Cake
- Lemon Bars
- More Dessert Recipes
- More Spring Recipes
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This recipe for Cream Cheese Lemon Frosting is super easy and works great on all sorts of cakes, cookies, and bars. It uses fresh lemons to add serious lemon flavor to this creamy frosting.