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A recipe with only 4 ingredients? Yes please! My 4 ingredient cream cheese frosting is a hit with my family come Fall season. With so many delicious baked goods filled with Autumn spices, a 4 ingredient cream cheese icing makes for the perfect Fall frosting! Top it on carrot cake, Autumn Spice Cupcakes, or just lick it out of the bowl, (go ahead, I won’t judge)! This recipe will make a delicious cream cheese frosting for cupcakes and all your Fall desserts!

A closeup of a group of cupcakes with white icing laid out on a marbled countertop.

Why You’ll Love 4 Ingredient Cream Cheese Icing

  • Minimal Ingredients
  • Effortless
  • Can whip up in under 10 minutes
  • Makes a wonderful topper for your Fall desserts!

There are many reasons why cream cheese frosting is such a crowd pleaser! How can you go wrong with the perfect combination of sugar and fat? You can’t! The best thing about it is that it’s a frosting that’s not too sweet and not too tart. There’s a harmonious blend of tangy cream cheese, rich butter, and sweet powdered sugar. My secret weapon is to use almond extract in lieu of vanilla. Obviously you can stick with vanilla if you please, but I can’t resist the wonderful smell of almond extract! It’s a sweet, nutty addition that tastes scrumptious on top of spiced Fall baked goods.

This recipe makes for a delicious cream cheese frosting for cupcakes, as well as many other Fall treats! It’s a tried and true topper for my Simple Autumn Spice Cupcakes. Try spreading it on your next carrot cake, spice cake, or sandwiched between two cookies. Just make sure you have a glass of milk or a cup of coffee on hand!

A closeup of a mixer filled with white icing on a marbled countertop.


  1. Butter – I use room temperature, salted butter since it’s a great contrast to the sugar.
  2. Cream Cheese – Use full fat! The fat adds flavor and you don’t want to skimp on that!
  3. Powdered Sugar – It’s not necessary to sift your powdered sugar in this recipe. By creaming the butter and cream cheese beforehand, your sugar should blend smoothly and without lumps.
  4. Almond Extract – You can easily swap this for vanilla extract if you prefer.
A bowl of sugar, a plate of cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract lined up in rows on a marbled countertop.


  • Make sure your butter is softened at room temperature for best results.
  • Cream cheese should be chilled and mixed straight out of the refrigerator.
  • Don’t over mix your frosting. Doing so will melt the butter and lead to a runny icing.
  • Always store your cream cheese frosting for cupcakes or any dessert in the refrigerator!
  • Cream cheese icing can be left out on the counter for no more than 2 hours.
  • Place your frosting into a piping bag to create fun swirls on your cupcakes.
Cupcakes with icing laid in rows on top of a cooling tray with a napkin all on a marbled countertop.

Frequently Asked Questions

My Frosting is Runny. Will it Firm up?

Chances are, if your frosting is runny, it will firm up with a little time in the refrigerator. If the butter gets too warm, it’s usually what causes the frosting to be runny. Pop your frosting into the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes and it should firm up. Either way, it will still taste great! Remember, practice makes perfect.

What’s The Difference Between Cream Cheese Frosting and Buttercream?

Buttercream frosting doesn’t contain cream cheese and can also include vegetable shortening in many recipes. It typically has a very sweet taste and is commonly used for many cakes and desserts. Cream cheese frosting contains cream cheese, and is slightly tangy in taste. It’s less sweet than buttercream, which makes it a great addition to baked treats that are strong in spice and flavor!

Can I Store My Cream Cheese Frosting in The Freezer?

Yes! Cream cheese frosting will keep in the freezer for 3-4 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours, and then set it on the countertop for another half hour to soften. You many also want to whip it in the mixer before serving as well.

How To Make 4 Ingredient Cream Cheese Frosting

4 Ingredient Cream Cheese Frosting

Creamy, sweet, and tangy! This 4 ingredient cream cheese frosting is a great topper for all your Fall deserts!
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cream cheese, desserts, mixing, seasonal
Servings: 20 servings
Calories: 150kcal


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup softened salted butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract


  • In a mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, and almond extract.
  • Slowly combine powdered sugar, incorporating 1 cup at a time.
  • Mix until smooth and creamy.
  • Serve on top of your favorite treat!
    A closeup of a mixer filled with white icing on a marbled countertop.


  • Be sure to scrape the sides of your bowl as you incorporate your powdered sugar. This ensures a well mixed and smooth frosting.

I hope you enjoy this easy recipe. It’s a great topper for any dessert filled with warm autumn spices!

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