With birthdays, holidays and general “let’s eat a cupcake” days, every baking parent needs a few go-to recipes in their apron pockets. Even if you’re going box cake (not that there’s anything wrong with that) this easy frosting recipe will give your cake or cupcakes the from-scratch feel. It has a creamy texture that rivals any store-bought frosting and kids can lend a hand (it’s really hard to ruin this frosting). Scroll down for the recipe.

cupcakes by amber & henrikPhoto: Amber Guetebier

Ingredients:

1 stick (real!) butter (that’s 1/2 cup for most kinds)
1 8 oz. box cream cheese
1 cup (or less) powdered confectioner’s sugar (less sugar gives it a tarter, cream cheesier flavor)
1-2 tsp. of vanilla (or other extract)
Food coloring (optional)

Method:

1. Let the butter and the cream cheese sit out until they are soft, about room temperature. (This is the part that takes the longest, we swear.)

2. Once they are malleable, put the butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Use a hand or stand mixer on medium speed, whip the butter and cream cheese together. Beat for about 3-5 minutes.

3. Once the cream cheese and butter mixture is sufficiently blended, add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time until blended, tasting along the way for flavor.

4. Add the vanilla, blend, and then add the food coloring of your choice.

One batch frosts about 6 cupcakes generously or 12 cupcakes lightly.

Tips: To double the recipe (which you probably will) just remember the one to one to one ration. One stick of butter, one box of cream cheese, one cup of sugar.

Add a little less sugar, sub the vanilla for coconut or almond extract and your frosting takes on a whole new personality.

What’s your favorite frosting recipe? Share it in our comments below! 

—Amber Guetebier