Cream Cheese Frosting for Cinnamon Rolls


In this recipe, we’ll teach you how to make some of the best cream cheese frosting for cinnamon rolls. This is not your average icing. Think of it as more of a high-quality frosting like you would expect to get from an upscale bakery. 

cinnamon roll on plate
cinnamon roll on plate

Extra-Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Thinking of delicious extra-fluffy cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting? We’ve got you covered.

This is a recipe we’ve been asked for over and over. And as a bonus, we’ve included our sweet dough recipe for cinnamon rolls too.

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to get started. . .

Electric mixer with paddle attachment, you can also mix by hand

Baking pan, for cinnamon rolls

Rolling pin, for cinnamon rolls

cream cheese frosting on cinnamon rolls

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

For the frosting, you’ll need the following ingredients. . .

vanilla extract

cream cheese




powdered sugar

cream cheese frosting on paddle
cream cheese frosting on paddle

Cinnamon Roll Dough

For the sweet dough, you’ll need these ingredients. . . 







all-purpose flour

Cinnamon Roll Filling

For the cinnamon roll filling, you’ll need these items. . .

brown sugar



Frosting and Assembly

Be sure your cinnamon rolls are completely cooled before adding the frosting. To speed up the cooling process you can place the pan in the refrigerator, after it has started to cool.

Be careful to not place a piping hot glass pan in a cold location as this could cause it to shatter.

cinnamon roll with frosting
cinnamon roll with frosting


Use our step-by-step instructions below in the recipe card to prepare some of the most delicious cinnamon rolls you’ve tasted.

Why do cinnamon rolls need a different style of cream cheese frosting?

We believe that the absolute best cinnamon rolls traditionally use a better grade cream cheese frosting for these reasons. Our recipe is a light, fluffy, easy to spread recipe, and it isn’t overly sweet.

Recipe Tips

Here are our recipe tips for making this delicious cream cheese frosting for cinnamon rolls.

Use an electric hand mixer for fluffy frosting. We recommend using an electric hand mixer or electric stand mixer for creating fluffy frosting. This will allow you to achieve a whipped effect.

Butter and cream cheese at room temperature. Using butter and cream cheese that are warmed to room temperature will allow you to create a lighter frosting. It makes it easier to whip the frosting.

Use full fat cream cheese in a brick. You’ll want to use full fat cream cheese for this recipe. The kind that comes in the brick works best and gives the best flavor.

cinnamon rolls to bake
cinnamon rolls to bake

10 Minute Cream Cheese Frosting for Cinnamon Rolls

Even though this frosting tastes like you’ve slaved over it for hours, it’s one of those that can be pulled together in about 10 minutes.

The key is, however, to plan ahead so that you can have your butter and cream cheese at room temperature by the time you’re ready to use it.

Ingredients in Cream Cheese Frosting

You will need the following ingredients to make this delicious cream cheese frosting recipe.

vanilla extract

cream cheese

unsalted butter



powdered sugar

frosting and roll
frosting and roll

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting For Cinnamon Rolls

Following are our step by step instructions for how to make cinnamon roll frosting.

Frosting Ingredients

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temp

1/2 cup butter, room temp

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups powdered sugar

Frosting Directions

Using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese and butter using a paddle attachment. Mix until smooth.

Add buttermilk, salt, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.

Spread over completely cooled cinnamon rolls. Serve immediately and enjoy.

cream cheese frosting on paddle
cream cheese frosting on paddle

Why is it important to have room temperature cream cheese?

Using room temperature cream cheese is the key to this recipe because it will allow the texture of your frosting to be light and fluffy.

Using cold cream cheese will cause the mixture to stay dense. And if you’re in a pinch, we don’t recommend microwaving your cream cheese to soften it. This can potentially make it too warm and cause your frosting to melt.

How to Avoid Grainy Frosting

Graining frosting can potentially happen when the sugar doesn’t get mixed in well enough and the butter and cream cheese are too cold.

To fix frosting that’s too grainy, allow it to sit and rest, then mix again. Add more moisture, a little at a time if needed.  

Can Cream Cheese Frosting Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes, cream cheese frosting can be made ahead of time. Be sure to store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. Then let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes and rewhip it before serving.

Made This Recipe and Love It?

Please submit a 5 star review using the comments box below.

A Note on Salt and Oven Temperature

Both the salt and the oven temperature for this recipe can be adjusted as needed. If you’re on a low sodium diet, perhaps you’d rather use a salt substitute, decrease the salt, or eliminate the salt completely.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

We think you’ll love this cream cheese icing for cinnamon roll recipe because it’s light, fluffy, and isn’t too sweet.

You know those frostings that feel like the sugar overpowers you. Not this one. Yes, it’s sweet, but it’s not likely to throw you into a sugar coma.

Cream Cheese Icing is NOT Just for Cinnamon Rolls

If you’re thinking this cream cheese icing is so delicious, we’d say we agree with you. And it doesn’t just have to be used on cinnamon rolls.

You can also use it on cookies, sweet breads, cupcakes, cakes, and anything else until your heart’s content. It just might be your new favorite frosting.

pan of cinnamon rolls
pan of cinnamon rolls

Storage and Reuse for Cream Cheese Icing

Refrigerator. This recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It should be kept in an airtight container.

Freezer. We don’t recommend freezing this recipe as the results are not as good as when it’s fresh.

The Perfect Cinnamon Roll Icing

We believe you’ll save this as one of the perfect cinnamon roll icing recipes. It’s delicious and quite straightforward to make. It makes an excellent topping for your cinnamon rolls!

Nutrition Facts

Following are the nutrition facts based on our frosting recipe above. Please note that nutrition information can vary according to the brand of ingredients, so be sure to calculate nutrition facts based on the ingredients you intend to use.

Calories 226
Total Fat 17.2g
Saturated Fat 10.8g
Cholesterol 49mg
Sodium 194mg
Total Carbohydrate 16.8g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 1.9g
Calcium 25mg
Iron 0mg
Potassium 36mg

Why I Love This Cream Cheese Frosting for Cinnamon Rolls

There are several reasons why we love this cream cheese frosting recipe for cinnamon rolls and we believe you will too. It’s tried and true, cinnamon rolls need frosting, it’s easy, and the most important aspect is it tastes good.

Be sure to follow our tips & ingredient notes when making this recipe.

pan of rolls with frosting
pan of rolls with frosting

Other Brunch Recipes

Here are some other brunch recipes you’ll enjoy.

Ultimate Wildberry Pancakes
Tasty Mexican Tres Leches Pancakes
Cinnamon Swirl French Toast
Double Dip French Toast
Blueberry Morning Cereal Easy Baked

Flavor Variations for Cream Cheese Frosting

There are many potential flavor variations for cream cheese frosting. Here are some ideas if you’re looking for a way to mix things up. 

Coffee. Add a bit of brewed coffee to the mix for a subtle coffee flavor.  

Maple. Use a bit of maple syrup in your cream cheese frosting to give it a subtle maple flavor.

Brown butter. If you like the flavor of delicious brown butter, we recommend creating some and adding it to your frosting recipe. 

Maple Frosting or Vanilla Frosting
Maple frosting or vanilla frosting, that is the question. What flavor will you try first. Check out our other flavor variation recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Following are frequently asked questions related to cream cheese frosting for cinnamon rolls. If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to drop it to us in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.

raw cinnamon rolls
raw cinnamon rolls

How many rolls does this recipe frost?

The number of cinnamon rolls this recipe frosts varies depending on the size of cinnamon rolls being frosted. We estimate this recipe frosts up to 12 cinnamon rolls, depending on the thickness of the frosting.

How do you make cinnamon roll icing without using cream cheese?

There are a few different ways you can make cinnamon roll icing without using cream cheese. The simplest way to do so is to use powdered sugar and mix in a small amount of milk, stirring until it’s smooth. The thicker you can make it, the better.

Do cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting need to be refrigerated?

Yes, if stored longer than 2 hours cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting should be refrigerated. Because the frosting contains dairy, it should be stored at 40F degrees or less for food safety reasons.

Can I freeze cream cheese frosting?

Yes, you can freeze it, but it’s best fresh. We don’t recommend freezing it, but if you choose to, you’ll want to transfer it to a zipped freezer bag and place it in the freezer for up to two months.

roll of sweet dough
roll of sweet dough

Can I make cinnamon roll icing without cream cheese? 

Yes, it’s possible to make cinnamon roll frosting without using cream cheese.

What is the frosting on cinnamon rolls made of?

Frosting on cinnamon rolls can vary. Some recipes are plain simple icing of powdered sugar and milk, while others use more of a whipped buttercream style, and cream cheese frostings are also popular with cinnamon rolls.

Other Cinnamon Roll Ideas:

How to Reheat Cinnamon Rolls
Copycat Bojangles Cinnamon Biscuit Recipe
Copycat Panera Bread Cinnamon Roll
Copycat McDonald’s Cinnamon Melts

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cream cheese frosting for cinnamon rolls Pinterest Pin

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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