Can You Make Cream Cheese Icing Without Butter?

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Last Updated on May 29, 2022

Cream cheese icing is tangy, rich, and flavorful, making it a popular choice. However, you may wonder, cream cheese icing without butter? Fortunately, there are several delicious variations to this classic frosting recipe.

Cream cheese frosting goes well with many different desserts. It is tangy and sweet, while not being too sweet, making it a popular choice. It is simple to make and is sure to be a hit with any dessert you serve it with.

What Is Cream Cheese Frosting Traditionally Made Of?

Cream cheese frosting is now one of the most popular types of frosting. It gained popularity in the 1960’s when packaged cream cheese became readily available in grocery stores throughout America.

Traditionally, cream cheese frosting consists of cream cheese, powdered sugar, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Typically, the butter and cream cheese are beaten together with a stand mixer until smooth and creamy. Then, the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt are mixed together until the frosting becomes smooth and creamy.


Can You Make Cream Cheese Icing Without Butter?

You can make cream cheese frosting without using butter. Though it will have a slightly different texture and flavor, it will still be delicious.

Adding butter to cream cheese frosting gives it a similar consistency to buttercream frosting while also enhancing the flavor. Cream cheese frosting with buttercream is rich, creamy, and smooth, making it great for piping.

Instead of butter, you can use margarine for your cream cheese frosting. However, many people prefer to use butter over margarine when baking.

Instead of using butter in your cream cheese frosting, you can use heavy whipping cream. Using heavy whipping cream will give it a lighter consistency, while also still giving it a wonderful flavor. This is a great option if you are wanting to skip out on butter but still want a light, flavorful frosting.

You can also make cream cheese frosting with simply just cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. However, the cream cheese frosting will be very rich and heavy with this method. It is also not as spreadable as other variations.

Variations of cream cheese frosting

Though cream cheese frosting on its own is amazing, you can also make different variations from classic cream cheese frosting. For summer, you can add fresh lemon juice to your frosting for a refreshing, creamy frosting. For fall, you can add cinnamon or pumpkin spice, as both will pair amazingly with pumpkin, spice, or carrot cake.

If you are wanting an extra special treat, you can add cocoa powder to your frosting to make chocolate cream cheese frosting. Chocolate cream cheese frosting goes great with chocolate cake, white cake, and yellow cake.

What Does Cream Cheese Frosting Go With?

Cream cheese frosting is a versatile frosting that pairs well with many different desserts. It is particularly good with cake, including red velvet cake, carrot cake, spice cake, pumpkin cake, and white cake.

Cream cheese frosting also goes great with brownies and cookies as well. In addition, it makes an excellent choice for freshly baked cinnamon rolls as well.

Tips For Making Cream Cheese Frosting

Though cream cheese frosting isn’t hard to make, there are several ways it can go wrong. Be sure to always use block cream cheese instead of tubs of spreadable cream cheese. Spreadable cream cheese has a higher water content, so it will not work well.

In addition, be sure to always bring your cream cheese and butter, if you are using, to room temperature before making your frosting. If cream cheese is too cold, it may cause it to curdle. When this happens, you won’t achieve the smooth and creamy texture cream cheese frosting is supposed to have.

Is butter necessary for frosting

How To Store Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting is perishable, so it should be stored in the fridge at all times when not serving. Desserts with cream cheese frosting can last for up to five days in the fridge in an airtight container.

Store any leftover cream cheese in an airtight container for up to five days. When ready to use, re-whip it for around 20 seconds to give it a creamy, smooth texture in case it settled at all.

Can you freeze it?

Cream cheese frosting can be frozen for up to three months in an airtight container. When ready to use, thaw it in the fridge overnight and then let it sit on the counter until it reaches room temperature. Once it has reached room temperature, use a mixer to re-whip your frosting to make it smooth and creamy again.

Making Cream Cheese Frosting Without Butter

Cream cheese frosting is a versatile, flavorful frosting. It is a great alternative to buttercream, as it is not as sweet, but just as delicious. Though it traditionally uses butter, you can also use margarine or heavy whipping cream instead, or simply just leave out the butter with no replacement.

Do you have any questions regarding making cream cheese icing without butter? If so, please ask your cream cheese frosting recipe questions in the comments below.


Is Butter Necessary for Frosting?

No, butter is not necessary for frosting. You can make cream cheese frosting without butter or you can make whipped cream frosting as well, as it doesn't require any butter.

Can I Use Oil Instead of Butter in Frosting?

You can use coconut oil instead of butter in frosting, but it is generally not recommended. It will not have the same texture as it would with butter and it will have a slight coconut flavor. In addition, it tends to not hold up as well, especially in heat.

Why is My Buttercream Not Fluffy?

If your buttercream frosting is not fluffy, you probably did not mix it for long enough. Try mixing it on high speed with your mixer for an additional one to two minutes. You can also add in more powdered sugar if necessary to your buttercream.

Is Cream Cheese Frosting Better with Butter or Cream?

Cream cheese frosting tastes delicious with either butter or heavy whipping cream. With butter, it will be creamier and more similar to buttercream, with whipping cream it will be lighter and fluffier.

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