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Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

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A sweet and barely tart Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting made from scratch. I made it especially for our Three Layer Lemon Cake but you can frost anything you like with this recipe.

Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting on lemon cake

Homemade frostings are always the best. This lemon buttercream frosting with cream cheese is a good example of how easy it is to make a frosting that suits your cake recipe.

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This recipe uses both fresh squeezed lemon juice and lemon extract. The lemon juice alone won’t give a good distinct lemon flavor to the frosting.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel, optional
  • Possibly 1-3 Tbsp. more lemon juice if needed to thin frosting
juicing a lemon in a glass juicer

Have a couple of fresh lemons on hand in case you need that extra juice to thin your frosting. I made mine rather thick for the Lemon Layer Cake because that is how I wanted it. You can easily thin frosting with a tad more liquid or thicken it with a tad more powdered sugar.

Here’s the recipe for the Old Fashioned Three Layer Lemon Cake

Do you sift the powdered sugar?

Sifting your powdered sugar will help it to mix quicker with the other ingredients. It isn’t a required step to sift but old fashioned bakers like myself always feel every so slightly better if we sift. If for some reason your powdered sugar has too many lumps, sift it prior to measuring. Sifting isn’t required though.

Making the lemon buttercream with cream cheese frosting

In your large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese butter, lemon extract, lemon juice and lemon peel if using. Beat on low to medium speed until light and fluffy.

Begin adding the powdered sugar a little at a time mixing between each addition. Adding too much at one time will cause a white cloud of dust and a big mess on the counter. Don’t ask me how I know that. ~wink~

Continue adding the powdered sugar until you have reached your desired consistency for your frosting. If you get it too thick, add about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of lemon juice at a time to thin it out to your desired consistency.

Want yellow frosting?

This frosting doesn’t come out yellow. It’s more of a nice cream color. If you want your frosting to be yellow, add a drop or two of yellow food coloring while you are mixing in the powdered sugar. I did not add food coloring to mine.

lemon buttercream cream cheese frosting in a bowl

Frost your completely cooled cake and enjoy. This recipe makes enough frosting for a three layer cake.

Does cream cheese frosting need to be refrigerated?

Cakes frosted with a cream cheese or butter frosting need to be refrigerated. Store your cake in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap or with a cake cover like this one.

If you are not using your frosting right away, store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

lemon layer cake decorated with cut lemons

Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting on lemon cake
Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

A sweet and barely tart Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting made from scratch. I made it especially for our Three Layer Lemon Cake but you can frost anything you like with this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel, optional
  • Possibly 1-3 Tbsp. more lemon juice if needed to thin frosting

Instructions

In your large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese butter, lemon extract and lemon juice and lemon peel if using. Beat on low to medium speed until light and fluffy.

Begin adding the powdered sugar a little at a time mixing between each addition. 

Continue adding the powdered sugar until you have reached your desired consistency for your frosting.

If you get it too thick, add about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of lemon juice at a time to thin it out to your desired consistency. If your frosting is too to thin, add a tiny dab more powdered sugar.

Once you have reached your desired consistency your frosting is ready to use.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

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