Can I Use Cream Cheese Spread Instead of Cream Cheese for Frosting? (Explained!)

  • Cream cheese spread can be used for frosting, but it may be too runny until powdered sugar is added properly
  • The consistency of the frosting improves when powdered sugar is mixed with butter first, and then added to the cream cheese spread
  • This method makes the spread suitable for piping on desserts and between sponge cake layers without altering the taste
  • Directly adding powdered sugar to the cream cheese spread makes it runnier because the liquid is drawn out
  • Cream cheese spread is a viable alternative for traditional block cream cheese in desserts, ensuring the desired texture and flavor

Would Cream Cheese Spread Work for Frosting?

There have probably been times when you have thought of using cream cheese spread for frosting and wondered if it would work.

Maybe you realized at the last minute that you had no block of cream cheese, only the spreadable version.

Surely, they are pretty similar in taste and texture?

The first thing that you will notice is that the cream cheese spread is a bit softer and fluffier.

Of course, that makes sense because you need to be able to spread it easily!

But that factor will probably make it difficult to pipe, especially if you want to do some fancy swirls.

Unfortunately, when you add the necessary powdered sugar to the cream cheese spread, it will become runnier and difficult to work with.

That’s because the sugar draws the liquid out of the cheese spread.

Thankfully, there is a solution.

Start by adding the powdered sugar to the butter and combining it thoroughly.

Now, when you add this mixture to the cream cheese, this time, the sugar will not liquefy the spread.

It may be better to do this by hand rather than use an electric mixer, as the machine could overwork it and make it runnier.

It will now be perfect for spooning into your piping bag, ready to decorate your cupcakes!

And, of course, you can pipe it between layers of sponge for a delicious cake.

Can Cream Cheese Spread Affect the Taste of Sweet Dishes?

You may be concerned that using cream cheese spread for frosting, or desserts in general, will change the taste.

Maybe it will be just too cheesy!

However, rest assured that it will be fine.

After all, when you think about it, you wouldn’t use the block of cream cheese directly on its own.

You would typically add confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar to create the sweetness you need for desserts.

It’s the same method if you use a cream cheese spread.

The sugar counteracts any taste of cheese.

This means that it won’t be a problem to use cheese cream spread for cheesecake, either. 

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

My Final Thoughts

Cream cheese spread works fine for frosting, but the method is slightly different.

The powdered sugar should not be added directly to the spread as it will draw out any liquid in it.

Add the sugar to the butter before mixing it with the cream cheese.

By using sugar in the recipe, the spread will not taste like cheese.

So, no need to panic; you can still use cream cheese spread to make delicious desserts!

If you also use other cheeses for desserts, you may be interested in whether you can use Dairylea in place of mascarpone.

how do you adapt your frosting recipes to maintain the desired texture and flavor when substituting cream cheese spread for block cream cheese?

Let us know in the comments below!

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