Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.
Perfectly balanced lemon cream cheese frosting. It’s silky, slightly tart, and a little sweet. Everything you’d expect with cream cheese and lemon-flavored frosting! Spring has sprung.
As you all know, I love cakes. Chocolate cakes, vanilla cakes, or carrot cakes. I really haven’t met a cake I don’t like.
What’s great about cakes is that the same vanilla cake recipe can taste dramatically different depending on the frosting you use. Use this fresh and bright lemon frosting, or this pineapple frosting, or my strawberry frosting – and each one will taste totally different.
Check out my frosting archive for more of my delicious frosting recipes. Here is a quick hint – people love this 7 Minute Frosting!
My latest and most favorite is homemade 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.
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 tooth-achey.
I needed to make a frosting that was a happy balance of creamy, tangy, and sweet.
I chose lemon curd because it offers the most natural lemon flavor without being too wet. 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.
Taste it here and if you feel like it’s just not lemony enough for you, add the zest of one lemon. But please, trust me on this one – if you want more lemon, resist adding more lemon curd as this could throw off the texture and consistency of the frosting.
Everyone raved about this lemon cream cheese frosting and claimed that it tasted like cheesecake. I’ll agree with that!
- TASTE: Lemony and springy
- TEXTURE: Thick and creamy
- EASE: Super easy
- TIME: Under 10 minutes
What You’ll Need
This creamy, dreamy lemon frosting is made with a handful of simple ingredients. You can buy lemon curd at the store, or choose to make it yourself.
- Cream cheese – One package of full-fat block cream cheese, softened. Adds creaminess, richness, texture, and tang to the frosting.
- Butter – Sweet cream butter, unsalted, softened
- Confectioners’ sugar – Powdered sugar is preferred for frostings because it doesn’t impact the texture.
- Lemon curd – Gives the frosting a delightfully bright and lemony flavor.
- Vanilla extract – Use a high-quality recipe
- Salt– To balance the flavors
- Zest of one lemon – This is optional but will add a burst of flavor
How to Make Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
This lemon cream cheese frosting is a quick and easy way to infuse spring into your favorite layer cake recipe. It is easy to make, and delicious to boot!
Be sure to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below
- Cream the butter and cream cheese Using a handheld mixer (or a stand mixer), beat the cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, .
- Add remaining ingredients. 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.
My biggest tip for frosting success is to make sure the cream cheese, butter, and lemon curd are at room temperature. Softened butter and cream cheese will mix together so much more easily.
Tips For Success
- 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.
- This recipe yields about 2.5 cups which is enough to frost 12-16 cupcakes or one 9×13 sheet cake.
- The lemon zest is completely optional and may not be needed depending on your taste preference.
Storage & Freezing
Store this lemon frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
The most important of my storage tips – if you frost the cake and then freeze it, all will be ok. Though some will say it is ok, I don’t have great luck freezing frostings, thawing them, and then spreading them. So if you must freeze the frosting, make sure it is on the cake when you do it!
More Frosting Recipes
Cakes aren’t just for special occasions anymore – but these delicious frosting recipes will make a cake served midweek feel like cause for celebration!
Did you try this recipe? I would love for you to leave me a 5-star rating or comment. This way, I have a better understanding of which recipes you like and can create more of them.
Please take a moment to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube or sign up for my free newsletter to never miss the newest recipes and blog updates.
You can also shop my favorite baking tools. Thank you so much for your support!
Is this frosting sturdy enough to pipe roses? I am looking for a lemon cream cheese frosting containing lemon curd that is sturdy enough for piping. Thanks.
This frosting is a little softer than my regular cream cheese frosting so it may not pipe well.
This frosting is SO good. Didn’t have to add lemon zest but used it on the top to add contrast
Hi Judith! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the frosting.
what about the lemon curd….can i have its replacement something homemade maybe
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.
I would really love to make this cakes but i dont have the electric kitchen appliances. Do i have another option?
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.
This frosting is one of my favorites! Great recipe!!