The Differences Buttercream Vs Cream Cheese Frosting

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Last Updated on May 4, 2022

Cupcakes, cakes, brownies, and cookies all taste delicious topped with frosting. However, you may have wondered, what are the differences between buttercream vs cream cheese frosting.

Both buttercream and cheese cream frostings are delicious. They both have smooth, creamy, irresistible tastes. Though both are delicious, there are some key differences that set them apart.

Buttercream Vs Cream Cheese Frosting

If you have a sweet tooth, you likely love frosting. It is a wonderful addition to many baked goods, providing the perfect addition to your favorite desserts. There are several different types of frostings, each delicious in its own ways.

Two of the most popular frostings are buttercream and cream cheese frosting. Both are popular for their rich, creamy textures. The two start out with a similar base but contain some different ingredients.


When it comes to buttercream and cream cheese frostings, they are both share a similar base and method of preparation. Both buttercream and cream cheese frosting contain powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla. The butter and powdered sugar allow for a rich, creamy texture, with the vanilla proving flavor.

Oftentimes, they contain a small bit of salt. This cuts back on the sweetness and enhances the flavor.


In addition to butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla, buttercream generally contains heavy whipping cream or milk. This provides additional flavor while also making it a smooth, spreadable texture.

Buttercream frosting is commonly used on chocolate, vanilla, and marble cakes. In addition, it is also popular on cookies and brownies.

Cream cheese frosting contains full-fat cream cheese. It uses the block form of cream cheese, not the spreadable kind. This gives the frosting a delicious, tangy taste and creamy texture.

Cream cheese frosting is popular on red velvet cake, carrot cake, pumpkin cake, and other spice cakes. It is also used on brownies and cookies as well.

Types Of Buttercream Frostings

When it comes to buttercream, there are several different variations including American, Swiss, French, and German. Some people even consider cream cheese as a type of buttercream since it has a butter base.

Types Of Buttercream Frostings

American Buttercream

American buttercream is the most popular kind of buttercream. It is generally made of butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, heavy whipping cream or milk, and salt. It is soft and spreadable, with a rich, creamy texture.

There are several flavor combinations you can add to American buttercreams such as chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, lemon, and raspberry. It is a versatile frosting that many people love.

Swiss Buttercream

Swiss buttercream, also known as Swiss meringue buttercream, is a silky, smooth frosting. It is less sweet than American buttercream.

It uses egg whites and sugar heated together over a boiler. Then, butter, vanilla, and salt are added to the egg white and sugar mixture.

French Buttercream

French buttercream has a rich, creamy consistency. It is made with a similar process to Italian buttercream but uses egg yolks instead of egg white. French buttercream has a taste and consistency close to custard and pastry cream.

German Buttercream

Light and decadent, German buttercream has a custard base. The custard base is then combined with butter to make the frosting. It has a consistency similar to whipped cream frosting.

German Buttercream

Types Of Cream Cheese Frostings

When it comes to cream cheese frosting, there are some different flavor combinations. Though traditional cream cheese is the most popular type, there is also chocolate, strawberry, white chocolate, and lemon.

Importance Of Using Room Temperature Ingredients

For both buttercream and cream cheese frosting, it is important to use room-temperature ingredients. Both the butter and cream cheese should be brought to room temperature. Cold butter and cream cheese can cause your frosting to curdle.

Room temperature butter and cream cheese will be much easier to work with. They will incorporate much better into the other ingredients, creating a smooth, spreadable frosting.

Allow your cream cheese and butter to sit out for at least half an hour prior to making your frosting. This will allow it to reach the right consistency to work with when making your frosting. Your frosting will have a creamy, delicious taste when you use room temperature ingredients.

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Delicious Frosting Choices

Both buttercream and cream cheese frosting make for delicious frosting choices for your favorite desserts. Though they are similar in many ways, they also have some differences. Buttercream is sweet, smooth, and fluffy, whereas cream cheese frosting is rich, tangy, and creamy.

Do you have any questions on this article about buttercream vs cream cheese frosting? If so, please ask your questions in the comments down below.

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