Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

by Cat Sept 2007 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Back in the late ’60s and early ’70s when I was living in Oregon, cream cheese was very popular – in sandwiches, salads, and on sweet cakes made from vegetables. Prior to that, growing up with my parents’ Scandinavian food traditions, I’d not even heard of cream cheese. But I quickly learned to love it, especially as cream cheese frosting on carrot cake.

I provide 2 versions here, one using both cream cheese and butter, and the other without the butter. Both are delicious.

Rich Cream Cheese Frosting, Version 1

This recipe is from my collection and I no longer remember the source. It is richer than Version 3 below, because of the inclusion of butter. It is similar to Version 2, but makes a smaller amount, and is not as sweet.

You could use  Homemade Yogurt Cream Cheese made from cultured yogurt and cream.  Or you could use store-bought organic cream cheese for this recipe.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 3 Tbsp cream cheese, softened at room temperature (preferably handmade from cultured yogurt or cream)
  • 3 Tbsp real butter, softened at room temperature
  • ½ tsp real vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar, just enough for the right consistency and sweetness.  I prefer to use Rapadura powdered sugar (or Make Your Own Unrefined Powdered Sugar) and liquid stevia extract.
  • small bowl
  • hand-held mixer
  • spatula


  1. Whip cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a small bowl until light and fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar by the tablespoonful (and/or liquid stevia extract by the drop), and blend, until you get the desired consistency and sweetness.

 Richer Cream Cheese Frosting, Version 2

This is adapted from the June 2009 LA Times Cupcakes article by Noelle Carter and reprinted in the Daily Inter Lake (1). It is similar to the Version 1 recipe, but makes much more. This one uses both cream cheese and butter, for a richer frosting.

Makes about 6 cups frosting.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  1. Use a stand mixer with whisk attachment and bowl, or hand-held mixer and large bowl; whip together all but powdered sugar until light and airy.
  2. Whip in powdered sugar, one-third at a time, until thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate until needed, but no more than a few hours.

Cream Cheese Frosting, Version 3

This recipe is adapted from the Daily InterLake newspaper, to go with the Carrot Cake with Raisins recipe, but you could use it with the other cake versions. It is a lower-fat version than the above recipes, due to using all cream cheese instead of part cream cheese, part butter. You could use Homemade Yogurt Cream Cheese made from cultured yogurt and cream; or store-bought organic cream cheese for this recipe.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 1 cup (8 oz) cream cheese (preferably homemade from cultured yogurt or cream)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar;* OR ½ cup powdered sugar* and ½ cup raw maple syrup or local honey; OR ½ cup raw maple syrup or local honey plus ⅛ – ¼ tsp stevia extract powder or 1 tsp stevia liquid extract.
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • small bowl
  • whip or small electric mixer
  • spatula

*I prefer Rapadura brand powdered sugar, or Make Your Own Unrefined Powdered Sugar


  1. Whip cream cheese, maple syrup and stevia in a small bowl until light and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla extract and whip 1 more minute.

Assembly or Serving Suggestions

  • Spread frosting over top of the cake


  1. LA Times article by Noelle Carter, June 3, 2009 (, and


About Cat

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