Chocolate–Cream Cheese Frosting

This frosting is delicious, and it spreads beautifully thanks to the cream cheese, which lends an ultra-smooth finish to your cake. As a bonus, the tartness of the cream cheese cuts straight through the rich sweetness of the cake in the most delightful way. Beat down the frosting with a wooden spoon before spreading on your cake to knock out any extra air bubbles. This frosting would also be great with cupcakes or on a classic yellow cake.

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake
Photo: Greg Dupree
Active Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins
8 cups


  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (8 ounces), softened

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 (32-ounce) package powdered sugar

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

  • Pinch of kosher salt


  1. Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. Whisk together powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually add to cream cheese mixture, beating on low speed just until blended after each addition. Increase speed to medium, and beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

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