This lemon cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement to your summertime desserts! The rich frosting gets balanced out with a delicious bright lemon flavor made from fresh lemons.
Delicious Lemon Frosting
There’s something truly special about lemon-flavored desserts. They add a freshness and zing to sweet treats that is hard to achieve with other flavors, and the same goes for frosting!
When you combine lemony goodness with tangy-rich cream cheese frosting, it’s a match made in heaven! Lemon cream cheese frosting is the perfect topping for cupcakes, layer cakes, and even cookies. It adds an irresistible brightness that will make your desserts stand out from the crowd.
Plus, it’s unbelievably simple to make and doesn’t require a ton of ingredients. After a taste, you won’t be able to resist making this frosting a staple in your baking repertoire. You’re welcome!
why you’ll love it!
- Has a wonderful lemon flavor that will brighten up any dessert.
- It’s a great recipe to make for citrus season!
- It’s a super easy frosting recipe made with a few steps and minimal ingredients.
- Perfect for lemon lovers!
- Cream cheese: it’s SO important to use room temperature cream cheese! Be sure to allow yourself some time for it to thaw before starting.
- Butter: unsalted softened butter at room temperature is key to getting the desired consistency.
- Vanilla extract: vanilla works great for balancing out the tangier flavors of the cream cheese.
- Lemon: we used both lemon juice and lemon zest to give this frosting that delicious, fresh lemon flavor.
- Powdered sugar: necessary for adding sweetness to the frosting so that it goes well with whatever dessert you’re using it for.
How to Make Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
WHIP CREAM CHEESE & BUTTER
Place the cream cheese and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip together until well blended and fluffy.
BLEND IT ALL TOGETHER
Next, add the vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and powdered sugar to the bowl.
Starting on low, mix together until well blended. The speed can be increased once the sugar has been incorporated.
SERVE & ENJOY
There you have it! A bright and tangy frosting using cream cheese and fresh lemons. Spread it on your favorite desserts, whether that’s vanilla cupcakes, red velvet cake, or a lemon sheet cake. Enjoy!
How to soften cream cheese
Looking for a quick method to soften cream cheese? Check out our post – How to Soften Cream Cheese – 4 Ways! Here you’ll learn 4 unique (and quick!) methods to soften cream cheese to the perfect amount for baking and cooking.
What to Use it On
Cupcakes: lemon cream cheese frosting is delicious on cupcakes. Try it on this Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!
Cakes: this recipe could easily frost an 8-inch 2-layer cake. Try this frosting on:
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cake (featured on our sister site, Fit Foodie Finds)
- Limoncello Marsarpone Cake
- Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Cinnamon Rolls: try this lemon cream cheese frosting on these Sweet Orange Rolls — another Fit Foodie Finds favorite!
Bars: Whether it’s used as a filling or icing on top, these Lemon Cream Cheese Bars are the perfect fit for your lemon cream cheese frosting.
Cookies: frost your Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies or Cream Cheese Heart Cookies with this yummy lemon frosting!
Absolutely! However, because the frosting thickens after being in the fridge, let it sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before use. This will ensure that the texture and consistency remain just right when it’s time to frost your dessert.
Yes, definitely! While both frostings use sugar and flavoring, their main difference is the type of fat used: butter for buttercream and cream cheese for cream cheese frosting.
If you need something a bit richer than buttercream, go ahead and try cream cheese frosting. And if you want extra creaminess, throw in a pinch of salt or splash of heavy cream to take it up a notch!
No, it won’t. If you find that your frosting has curdled or ‘split,’ the likely culprit is temperature. To fix this issue, try warming up the frosting if it’s chunky and continue to beat, or refrigerate the frosting if it’s overly runny and beat again.
Transfer your lemon cream cheese frosting into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz. cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter (~1 stick) room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest ~1 small lemon
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Place the cream cheese and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip together until well blended and fluffy.
- Next, add the vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and powdered sugar to the bowl. Starting on low, mix together until well blended. The speed can be increased once the sugar has been incorporated.
- Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Tips & Notes
- This will spread perfectly if you use it immediately after making it. If you make it ahead of time, let it sit out for 5-10 minutes before using it.