This is our go-to cream cheese icing for cinnamon rolls. It is an easy recipe made with 5 basic ingredients and in less than 10 minutes.
Want it thinner? Add more milk. Want a different flavor? Add almond extract instead of vanilla. No matter the variation you choose, know that this homemade cream cheese frosting delivers every time!
There is something nostalgic about cinnamon rolls. We make them for almost every holiday and today we’re sharing our go-to icing for cinnamon rolls. It involves one of our favorite cheeses –> cream cheese!
There’s nothin’ like delicious cream cheese frosting on warm cinnamon roll casserole, and this cinnamon roll icing recipe is everything you love about a classic cream cheese frosting, but BETTER. Why? Because we give you more than just one way to enjoy it.
What is in this cream cheese icing for cinnamon rolls?
- Butter: be sure that you use unsalted butter, as we already add salt to this recipe.
- Cream cheese: softened cream cheese will provide a rich and slightly tangy taste.
- Vanilla extract: vanilla always tastes great with cream cheese!
- Powdered sugar: this will sweeten the icing for ultimate decadence.
- Electric mixer: you’ll need an electric mixer to ensure the icing is perfectly whipped.
We love our Hearth and Hand stand mixer! It’s sturdy, works every time, and looks great on the counter!
Variations and Substitutions
Butter: You’re welcome to use salted butter if you prefer it. If it happens to be all you have, add the salt to the recipe to taste.
Vanilla: You don’t have to restrict yourself to only vanilla extract. Almond, lemon, peppermint, coconut, or maple extract would also taste divine.
Powdered sugar: If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, coconut sugar makes a great substitute for powdered sugar.
What is the icing on cinnamon rolls typically made of?
Cinnamon rolls typically have a frosting made up of powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla. We like to add cream cheese into the mix because it gives a nice rich, tangy flavor.
Does cream cheese frosting on cinnamon rolls need to be refrigerated?
Yes. Whether you make the cream cheese icing ahead of time or have already placed it on your sweet rolls, all cream cheese-based frostings should be stored in the refrigerator.
What other toppings taste good on cinnamon rolls?
This cream cheese frosting makes the perfect sticky surface for all kinds of tasty toppings. If you’re looking for something a little more creative than the traditional cinnamon sugar, why not try adding:
Toasted coconut flakes
Storage + Freezer Directions
Store any leftover cream cheese icing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days.
We don’t recommend freezing your cream cheese frosting, as cream cheese does not freeze well.
How to Serve this Cinnamon Roll Icing
We love serving this cinnamon roll icing on freshly baked cinnamon rolls. But, it doesn’t have to be for JUST cinnamon rolls. It can go on just about any sweet treats you’d like! We love how it tastes thinned out on this Monkey Bread Recipe, or spread on these Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies or Cream Cheese Caramel Apple Cookies.
If you’re feeling a little fancy, why not swap out the vanilla extract for peppermint and pipe the cream cheese frosting on these Peppermint Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes? And if you are carrot cake obsessed like we are, we cannot recommend these Carrot Cake Cupcakes enough.
Cream Cheese Icing for Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 8 oz. cream cheese softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, blend until combined. About 3 minutes.
- Use immediately or store in an airtight container.
Tips & Notes
- Change the flavor profile of the icing by subbing almond extract for the vanilla.
- Use up to ¼ cup of milk or heavy cream to thin the icing so it can drizzle.