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Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting is a unique twist on an old classic. This creamy, delicious frosting has a subtle maple flavor and is perfect for all your favorite autumn baked goods!

Maple syrup in a glass serving container next to maple cream cheese frosted cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting is almost always the answer when you want to elevate a dessert but this frosting takes that to a whole new level.

I think the reason is because it is so unexpected. Of course cream cheese is delicious with all your favorite warm-spiced baked goods. Of course maple is also delicious with said desserts. Combine the two? Why not?!

The result is this frosting that is creamy, flavorful and layered with interest. It’s the perfect pairing and it’s definitely a frosting you will keep coming back to.

Why Make This Recipe

  1. Unique Flavor Combo: I don’t know of many desserts that combine cream cheese and maple but once you’ve tried it, you won’t want to go back! 
  2. Perfect Texture: This frosting is perfect for piping or spreading and looks and feels beautiful!
  3. So Simple: If you are the type of person who usually opts for canned frosting, it’s time to change your ways. Homemade frosting (even this homemade buttercream) is so easy and tastes a million times better. There’s no reason not to make it yourself! 

Ingredients for Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients shown are used to prepare maple cream cheese frosting.
  1. Unsalted Butter: You can use salted butter if that’s what you have on hand, but using unsalted butter gives you more control over the balance of flavors. Make sure it is softened to room temperature. 
  2. Cream Cheese: Full fat cream cheese will give you the best flavor and texture. Only use cream cheese that is sold in a brick, not in a spreadable tub. Spreadable cream cheese is too soft and will not produce a nice, thick frosting. You also want your cream cheese to be softened to room temperature
  3. Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract helps balance out all the flavors and enhances them as well.
  4. Maple Extract: Maple extract will give you a stronger maple flavor than just using maple syrup, so it’s important to use the extract. If you use only maple syrup you may not notice the maple flavor that really makes this frosting delicious!
  5. Salt 
  6. Powdered Sugar: It’s a good idea to sift your powdered sugar if you notice any lumps. Add more or less based on how thick you want your frosting. 

Tools

  1. Electric Mixer: Hand mixer or stand mixer, either one works fine!
  2. Medium Mixing Bowl

How to Make This Recipe

Step One: Cream Your Butter and Cream Cheese 

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and softened cream cheese on high speed until smooth and creamy 

Step Two: Add Powdered Sugar

Add in the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time, mixing between each addition until just combined.

Step Three: Perfect the Flavor

Maple cream cheese frosting in a mixing bowl whipped to a creamy mixture.

Add in the vanilla extract, maple extract, and salt and mix again.

Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to combine, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes

Once your cake or cupcakes are cooled, pipe/spread the frosting on top or between the cake layers. Enjoy! 

How Can I Make My Frosting Thicker?

To get a nice thick frosting that is perfect for piping, make sure you start with room-temperature butter and cream cheese, not warm or melted. 

If your frosting is not the consistency you would like, you can try two things. The first I would recommend is to put your frosting in the refrigerator for about thirty minutes to see if it thickens up. Mixing butter and cream cheese for too long may cause them to get a bit warm and start melting. 

If that doesn’t work, then you can try adding more powdered sugar. Add about a quarter cup at a time to reach the right consistency, but be aware that adding more sugar may make your frosting more sweet. 

You can also try adding a little bit of cornstarch to help your frosting keep its shape. Add just a tablespoon at a time and mix well.

How Can I Soften My Cream Cheese?

  1. Leave it Out: The key to truly magnificent frosting is starting with room temperature butter and cream cheese. At room temperature, these ingredients melt seamlessly into one another, giving you a smooth and creamy base for the rest of the frosting. Leave the ingredients out on the counter for a few hours to achieve this. 
  2. Don’t Microwave: I do not recommend using a microwave to solve this problem. Butter and cream cheese melt very easily in a microwave and all microwaves are just a little bit different so just when you think you’ve got softening butter in the microwave down, it will change on you.
  3. Warm Water: Put some warm water into a bowl. Place your butter or cream cheese into a smaller bowl and set it inside the bigger bowl so that it can feel the warmth without allowing water into the bowl. Place a towel over it and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. You can also just keep your cream cheese in the foil wrapper and place it directly into a bowl of warm water to soften it. Don’t leave it for too long or it will become too soft!

FAQs

Top view of a cupcake with maple cream cheese frosting piped on top.
Can I Use Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup is delicious but it may get lost in this recipe if you use it by itself. I prefer the more powerful flavor of maple extract. If you use maple syrup, you will need to use more syrup to get a strong maple taste, so make sure to compensate by adding more powdered sugar. 

How to Store Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to seven days or freeze it for up to three months. Allow it to thaw to room temperature and give it a good mix before using.

Recipe Variations

Once you start combining cream cheese frosting with other complimentary flavors the options are endless. Throw in a hint of cinnamon, like in this Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, or nutmeg for even more flavor. You could also thin the frosting out slightly to create more of a glaze for cookies or muffins.

Recipes to use this Frosting With

This frosting is delicious on so many baked goods! Try it with:

  • Apple cake
  • Carrot cake
  • Spice cake
  • Pumpkin cake
  • Oatmeal
  • Banana bars
  • Sugar cookies

Did you enjoy this recipe for Maple Cream Cheese Frosting? If so, check out these other recipes I picked out just for you: 

Maple syrup in a glass carafe alongside maple cream cheese frosted cupcakes.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting is a unique twist on an old classic. This creamy, delicious frosting has a subtle maple flavor and is perfect for all your favorite autumn baked goods!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: maple cream cheese frosting
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 3 Cups
Calories: 1163kcal

Equipment

  • Electric Mixer Hand mixer or stand mixer, either one works fine!
  • Medium Mixing Bowl

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp maple extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and softened cream cheese on high speed until smooth and creamy
  • Add in the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time, mixing between each addition until just combined.
  • Add in the vanilla extract, maple extract, and salt and mix again.
  • Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to combine, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes.
  • Once your cake or cupcakes are cooled, pipe/spread the frosting on top or between the cake layers. Enjoy!

Notes

Recipe copyright The Domestic Spoon. For educational or personal use only.
  • Unsalted Butter: You can use salted butter if that’s what you have on hand, but using unsalted butter gives you more control over the balance of flavors. Make sure it is softened to room temperature.
  • Cream Cheese: Full fat cream cheese will give you the best flavor and texture. Only use cream cheese that is sold in a brick, not in a spreadable tub. Spreadable cream cheese is too soft and will not produce a nice, thick frosting. You also want your cream cheese to be softened to room temperature
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract helps balance out all the flavors and enhances them as well.
  • Maple Extract: Maple extract will give you a stronger maple flavor than just using maple syrup, so it’s important to use the extract. If you use only maple syrup you may not notice the maple flavor that really makes this frosting delicious!
  • Salt
  • Powdered Sugar: It’s a good idea to sift your powdered sugar if you notice any lumps. Add more or less based on how thick you want your frosting.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Cup | Calories: 1163kcal | Carbohydrates: 164g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 57g | Saturated Fat: 35g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 274mg | Potassium: 120mg | Sugar: 160g | Vitamin A: 1961IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 0.2mg
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