Buttermilk Cream Cheese Frosting

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This buttermilk cream cheese frosting is one step up from a traditional cream cheese frosting. It’s perfect on classic carrot cake, gluten free carrot cake cupcakes, or light and fluffy coconut cupcakes! This recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated, 2012 and is my go-to cream cheese frosting recipe.

Buttermilk cream cheese frosting.

Why buttermilk?

Most cream cheese frosting is just a combination of cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar. The problem is that if you want a less sweet frosting, and cut back on the sugar, the consistency of the frosting is too thin. If you add more sugar, you’ll get a thicker frosting, but lose the cream cheese flavor. Adding buttermilk powder gives just the right amount of tang, without being overly sweet! You definitely don’t want to use liquid buttermilk as it will change the consistency. But what I love about this powdered buttermilk is that it’s great to have on hand for buttermilk pancakes or Buttermilk Chocolate Cupcakes.

Coconut cupcakes.

Ingredients for buttermilk cream cheese frosting

Unsalted butter, confectioners sugar, buttermilk powder, vanilla, salt, cream cheese.

buttermilk cream cheese frosting ingredients.

How to make buttermilk cream cheese frosting

Beat butter, sugar, buttermilk powder, salt and vanilla until smooth. Add cream cheese one piece at a time and beat until to smooth. Makes about 4 cups frosting.

buttermilk cream cheese frosting.
Carrot cake cupcakes are miniature versions of classic carrot cake. Moist carrot cake topped with creamy, decadent cream cheese frosting. The perfect gluten free Easter dessert! | @whatagirleats

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting
5 from 54 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 182 kcal



  • In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter, powdered sugar, buttermilk powder, vanilla and salt, on low speed until smooth. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time and beat until well blended and smooth.
  • Makes about 4 cups. Enough for one cake or 24 cupcakes.


Makes about 4 cups.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 182kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 2gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 79mgPotassium: 48mgSugar: 16gVitamin A: 427IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 0.03mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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5 from 54 votes (52 ratings without comment)

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