While we can't prove that Leonardo Da Vinci was referring to cream cheese frosting when he said simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, we probably shouldn't rule it out entirely. Not to sweet, soft and creamy and sometimes, just the right choice over buttercream—this cream cheese frosting is easy to make and always delicious.
This recipe will make enough for one 8" layer cake or 24 cupcakes (or 12 heavily frosted ones). If you prefer a less sweet frosting, reduce the sugar to 3 cups. Your frosting will be a bit "looser" and not as firm as the as-is pipeable version.
250 grams of cream cheese (full-fat brick style) - room temp & soft
113 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter - room temp & soft
4 cups confectioners sugar, spooned & sifted
milk or cream, if needed
Using an electric mixer or hand with the whisk attachment, beat together the cream cheese and softened butter for 2-3 minutes or creamy and totally combined.
With the mixer or electric beaters on low, slowly add the confectioners sugar until everything is combined. Beat the frosting on high for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add milk or cream if you want a thinner consistency.
Pipe onto cupcakes or layer between cakes. Extra frosting can be frozen.
Options: You can add extract or use vanilla bean to flavour this frosting. Citrus zest is also a nice addition.