Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

March 15th, 2009 by katie

Wow.  Have you ever made something so good you even impressed yourself?  Like, “Wow I can’t believe how good this is, it’s even better than I thought it would be-and I knew it would be great!”  That’s how I feel about this frosting.  Of course it helps that my super favorite chocolate stout cupcakes are underneath.  Talk about a fantastic flavor combination.  This is just my usual cream cheese frosting ramped up with the addition of the innards of a vanilla bean.  By the way, this is not a recession post but I bought my vanilla beans at Costco-and nobody died.

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

24 cupcakes, prep 10 min
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  1. Slit your vanilla bean in half and use the tip of your knife to scrape the vanilla bean paste from each side of the pod.
  2. Whip cream cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth.
  3. Add butter and beat to combine.
  4. Add vanilla and vanilla bean paste.
  5. Beat in powdered sugar a little at a time until frosting is as thick and sweet as you’d like.

Normally I don’t quibble about salted vs. unsalted butter but in frosting it does make a significant taste difference since the butter is a major player.  Also, I use this tipto frost my cupcakes and it couldn’t be easier to have pretty cupcakes.  It may seem silly to get out your decorating tips just to cover some cupcakes but let me tell you, pipping thick swirls of frosting onto the cupcakes is waaaay easier and prettier than trying to cover them with a spatula or butter knife.  Also the great part about this tip is you don’t even need a coupler or decorating bags, just the tip and a ziplock bag with a corner snipped off-high class!

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Posted in Desserts, Easy

22 Responses

  1. Michele

    Oooooooo….look at all of those little flecks of vanilla bean!! I’m thinking of what I can put your frosting on. It looks and sounds amazing. I can almost taste it from here.

  2. Steph

    I agree, piping is faster and way prettier!

  3. noble pig

    What a great idea. I bought my beans there too.

  4. Kevin

    That vanilla bean frosting looks so good!

  5. Jordon

    These look so yummy! C’mon lets get a cost breakdown!!! 🙂

    I would totally do the cost breakdown but I can’t remember how much the vanilla beans cost, they were like $10 for 5 or $17 for 5 or something…. Sorry! -katie

  6. Tami Lyn

    That looks so good. I need a good homemade frosting recipe. The last one I tried was way too stiff and flavorless.

  7. My Sweet & Saucy

    Wow…these look sooo good!

  8. Dijana

    These cupcakes look great! I have had a look through your site and found the onion idea for burns something i MUST try!

  9. redmenace

    What an amazing frosting. That’s a great idea! Nice pics too!

  10. RecipeGirl

    I get my vanilla beans at Costco too. Totally fine!! This looks great. Bookmarking it so I don’t forget!

  11. Hannah

    I usually don’t like cream cheese frosting, but with fresh vanilla?! I’m definitely bookmarking this!

  12. MsGourmet

    Love it!

  13. Michelle

    SO goood thanks for the recipe. OHHH so good!!!

  14. Katie S


    I don’t even normally LIKE cream cheese type frostings; and this is SOOOOOO fluffy and smooth and delicious. I couldn’t resist adding just a touch of orange zest to it…but I am using it to top a passionfruit cake.

  15. Dianne

    Absolutely delicious and fabulous on red velvet cupcakes — which I made yesterday for a friend of our (her birthday). Everyone raved. Using real vanilla bean is expensive but worth it!

  16. DessertObsessed

    how gorgeous! i am definitely going to try this!

  17. MamaD

    Perfect! My almost-3-year-old told me she wants “white cake with white frosting” for her luau-themed birthday party. Easy for most, but I’m looking for something memorable – this definitely fits the bill!

  18. Sheyla


    it looks amazing 🙂 my question is tho does it stay put in hot weather? im in the Caribbean (Dominican Rep to be exact) and it still kinda hot around here (you just get 2 seasons here: hot and Hotter with some rain trhown in for good measure) so I wonder if it wont melt all over my cake wich would suck…

    tnx for answering and sorry for the long winded post 🙂

    It is going to melt if left out at hot temperatures for a long time. I usually frost then refrigerate until serving time. The frosting will soften up during serving but it will take it awhile before it gets too soft. -Katie

  19. Nicki


    Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I made it twice now and it turned out awesome!!! 1st time for red velvet cup cakes and 2nd for pumpkin spice cup cakes. I put a little sprinkle of cinnamon on the of the icing when I did pumpkin. I also cut back the the sugar, since I like my icing a little less sweet. I did about 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 of sugar. Perfect every time. THANK YOU!!!

  20. Dawn

    “By the way, this is not a recession post but I bought my vanilla beans at Costco-and nobody died.”

    Cracked me up! Oh yeah, going to try this recipe today. Thank you! (Your cupcakes look very pretty.)

  21. Tiffany

    I made this tonight for a cake on Sunday! The taste-test went well ;). I’ll be back once we try it on the cake 🙂

  22. Heather

    Yum…found you thru foodgawker and made this today to top strawberry cupcakes. I used vanilla bean paste instead of the pods since I had it on hand and its perfect. This is my new go-to cream cheese frosting recipe!

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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