This Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting recipe is a light and fluffy cream cheese frosting flecked with yummy vanilla bean specks. Cream cheese and butter combine for a gourmet cream cheese frosting that’s a showstopper on cakes and cupcakes alike!
Homemade Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
If you’re a cream cheese frosting lover, this simple recipe is for you! I recently made Carrot Cake Cupcakes frosted with this Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting recipe for Jon’s birthday. We toted a picnic late on a Sunday afternoon to one of our fave spots by the wooden boardwalk along the Merrimack River in Newburyport, Massachusetts. It was springtime and windy, and after walking and exploring for a bit, we ended up tailgating with his cupcakes in the back of our suburban. (That was so the candles would stay lit just long enough so he could blow them out again.) The cupcakes were excellent, but it was this vanilla bean cream cheese frosting that everyone raved about.
The vanilla bean flecks give wonderful, gourmet vanilla bean flavor to this creamy frosting. The easiest and most inexpensive way I know to get this great vanilla bean flavor is to use vanilla bean paste. It comes in a small plastic jar with a cap, and is thick like honey. I buy Nielsen Massey vanilla bean paste at my local grocery store in the baking section. (You’ll find it with the vanilla extracts.)
This creamy and luscious Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting recipe elevates cakes and cupcakes, but also transforms the humble graham cracker into a spectacular treat!
You only need 4 ingredients to make this velvety smooth Homemade Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Cream Cheese: One 8-oz. package softened to room temperature (to prevent lumps)
- Butter: Half a cup of unsalted also softened to room temperature
- Powdered Sugar: You’ll need four and a half cups total.
- Vanilla Bean Paste: This is what gives this homemade frosting the vanilla flavor and classic black flecks. You’ll need 2 teaspoons total.
How To Make Cream Cheese Frosting
- First, beat softened cream cheese and butter together until fluffy and there are no lumps.
- Then, gradually (and slowly so you don’t make a mess) add the powdered sugar to the butter and cream cheese mixture until smooth.
- Fold in vanilla bean paste until all of the frosting is flecked.
- Tightly cover, and refrigerate leftovers until you’re ready to use. Pipe onto cupcakes, cakes, or even just graham crackers with some sprinkles!
Tips and Variations
- Make sure your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature before whipping together with an electric hand mixer until light and creamy. This prevents lumps!
- Add the powdered sugar very gradually so you don’t make a mess. (Speaking from previous experience, here!)
- I like using vanilla bean paste to get that gourmet taste, but you can substitute pure vanilla extract if you don’t have vanilla bean paste on hand.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
- Store leftover frosting in an airtight container in your fridge for up to one week.
- Freeze this homemade cream cheese frosting in an airtight, freezer-safe container or plastic bag for up to 6 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge before using again.
More Dessert Recipes To Try
- Homemade Chocolate Frosting
- Fresh Red Tart Cherry Compote
- Ritz Carlton Lemon Pound Cake
- Sugared Pecans
- King Arthur Birthday Cupcakes
Gourmet Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
- softened 8 oz. package cream cheese
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- Beat softened cream cheese and butter together until fluffy and there are no lumps.
- Slowly beat in 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar until smooth.
- Stir in vanilla bean paste.
- Tightly cover and refrigerate leftovers.
*To restore creamy consistency to refrigerated frosting, allow to come to room temperature first. Then whip with electric hand mixer. Add a small amount of milk or cream if needed to restore consistency.