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Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Perfectly balance Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. It's silky, slightly tart, and a little sweet. Everything you'd expect with cream cheese and lemon-flavored frosting!

Lemon cream cheese frosting over cupcakes.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

I've been working hard to build up my frosting archive. So far, the most post popular frosting is the pineapple frosting. You guys love it! It's creamy and full of pineapple bits.

My 7 Minute Frosting has also been a huge hit!

My latest and most favorite is lemon cream cheese frosting. This one took several tries to get right. It's finicky because cream cheese frosting is already soft. It's not a frosting that holds up well against intricate piping. Then, if you add lemon curd to the mix, it can get all sorts of soupy.

To counterbalance the soupiness, you have to add a billion pounds of powdered sugar. Then you end up with a frosting that's overly sweet and toothachey.

Lemon cream cheese frosting in a glass bowl.

I was on a mission to have a happy balance of creamy, tangy, and sweet.

I chose lemon curd because it offers the most natural lemon flavor without being too wet. Lemon juice simply wouldn't work here. You can add some lemon zest if you find the frosting isn't quite lemony enough, but I was pleased with the lemon curd alone.

My biggest tip for frosting success is to make sure the cream cheese, butter, and lemon curd are at room temperature. It's so much easier to get them mixed together that way.

What you'll get with this Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Creamy & silky
  • Not too sweet
  • Real lemon flavor
  • Kind of tastes like lemon cheesecake!
Jar of lemon curd being spooned out.

 Let's go over the full list of ingredients and how to combine them.

Cream cheese and butter. Mix these two together first. Make sure they are at room temperature and beat them together until they are smooth and creamy.

Powdered sugar, lemon curd, vanilla extract, and salt. Toss all of these in at the same time once the cream cheese and butter are smooth. Start the mixer on low speed so the powdered sugar doesn't go flying all over the place then once it's almost combined, turn the mixer up to high and beat for a couple of minutes.

Lemon cream cheese frosting in a piping bag next to cupcakes.

Get the flavor just right:

Taste it here and if you feel like it's just not lemony enough for you, add the zest of one lemon. But, resist adding more lemon curd as this could throw off the texture and consistency of the frosting.

Everyone raved about this frosting and claimed that it tasted like cheesecake. I'll agree with that!

The cupcakes pictured with the frosting are my favorite vanilla cupcakes. They pair so wonderfully with lemon cream cheese frosting. I bet these lemon cupcakes or lemon cake would also be to die for with this frosting!

Lemon cream cheese frosting being piped on top of cupcakes.

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Lemon cream cheese frosting over cupcakes.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Perfectly balance Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s silky, slightly tart, and a little sweet. Everything you’d expect with cream cheese and lemon flavored frosting!


  • 8 ounces (226 g) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup (56 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (360 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup (56 g) lemon curd, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • zest of one lemon


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the sugar, lemon curd, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low until just incorporated then turn the mixer to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Mix in lemon zest if desired.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


This recipe yields about 2.5 cups which is enough to frost 12-16 cupcakes or one 9x13 sheet cake.

The lemon zest is completely optional and may not be needed depending on your taste preference.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 110mgCarbohydrates: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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Judith Boyd

Wednesday 26th of December 2018

This frosting is SO good. Didn’t have to add lemon zest but used it on the top to add contrast

Jen Sobjack

Wednesday 2nd of January 2019

Hi Judith! I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed the frosting.

Esther Mband

Thursday 1st of March 2018

what about the lemon curd....can i have its replacement something homemade maybe

Jen Sobjack

Friday 2nd of March 2018

I'm sorry I don't currently have a recipe for homemade lemon curd but you're more than welcome to use any other curd as a replacement.

Esther Mband

Thursday 1st of March 2018

I would really love to make this cakes but i dont have the electric kitchen appliances. Do i have another option?

Jen Sobjack

Thursday 1st of March 2018

Well, considering this is a frosting recipe, you technically don't need electric appliances. Just use a wire whisk and some arm strength to whip it up.


Thursday 1st of March 2018

This frosting is one of my favorites! Great recipe!!

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