If you’re seeking a delectable twist to traditional cream cheese frosting, look no further than brown butter cream cheese frosting. This rich, indulgent topping adds a depth of flavor that elevates any dessert to new heights.

golden brown cream cheese frosting .

Why Cream Cheese Brown Butter Frosting

Brown butter adds a caramelized and nutty flavor profile to the creamy texture of traditional frosting. This combination creates a unique taste sensation that will leave your taste buds singing. Whether you’re frosting a cake, cupcakes, or cookies, this recipe will take your baked goods to the next level.

I love this recipe because it can be made without browned butter. All you need is some browned milk powder (the milk solids in butter), so we add some to the frosting instead of browning butter. It is easy, fast, mess-free, and can be customized to your liking. Add more for a more intense flavor or less for just a hint.  

Don’t have any milk powder? No problem, replace the butter with brown butter. 


The full recipe, including measurements, is at the bottom of the post on the recipe card.

  • Unsalted butter at room temperature.
  • Cream cheese softened at room temperature. Use full-fat cream cheese; light might be too thin for this recipe.
  • Powdered sugar. You can use brown sugar for a deeper flavor, but you might need to mix on low speed for longer and allow the sugar to dissolve.
  • Browned milk powder. Or, use browned butter instead of regular butter.
  • Vanilla extract. Or vanilla bean paste. 
ingredients to make browned cream cheese icing

How to Make Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a quick recipe that can be made using an electric mixer (hand mixer), or a stand mixer (I like the paddle attachment) 

  1. Prepare the Cream Cheese: In a large mixing bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened chese until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the butter. Gradually add the butter in three parts and cream until smooth before adding the next part.
  3. Combine Ingredients: Gradually add the powdered sugar to the mixture, mixing well after each addition. Then, add the vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
  4. Incorporate The Brown Milk Powder: Mix the milk powder and cream until smooth and fully incorporated. If you need, add a teaspoon or two of whipped cream.
  5. Chill (optional): If the frosting is too soft, refrigerate it for 15-30 minutes until it firms up slightly before use.
four steps to make cream cheese frosting.
a bowl with brown butter cream.


  • Use unsalted butter to control the saltiness of the frosting. 
  • Use room-temperature ingredients; if they are too cold, the cheese might be lumpy, and the butter might not be incorporated. 
  • If using brown butter, ensure it has cooled to room temperature before adding it to the cream mixture.
  • When adding the dry ingredients, start with low speed so it won’t spill all over.
  • Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as you go. 
  • Adjust the amount of powdered sugar to achieve your desired consistency and sweetness.
  • The milk powder might thicken the icing; if that happens, add a teaspoon of heavy cream at a time and mix until you have a perfect consistency.
  • When browning butter, use a wide skillet and cook over medium heat until you notice little brown bits. 


The frosting should be stored in the refrigerator within an hour and up to five days. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days (three if whipped cream is incorporated). Before using, allow it to come to room temperature and give it a quick stir to restore its creamy consistency.

What Can I Use Cream Cheese Brown Butter For

  • This creamy frosting is easy to spread and perfect for sheet cake or one-layer cake. Frost your favorite cake and make it the best part of carrot cake or pumpkin cake
  • Spread it over your favorite recipe for cinnamon rolls.
  • Use it as a filling for cake layers, sandwich cookies, or macarons.
  • Pipe your cupcakes or even these carrot Muffins.
  • Dip fresh fruit into it for a delightful treat.


Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted?

While you can use salted butter, be mindful of the additional saltiness it may impart to the frosting. Adjust the amount of added salt accordingly.

Can I freeze the frosting?

Yes, you can freeze the frosting in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before using, and then bring it to room temperature and give it a quick stir before frosting your baked goods. Note that the texture might change.

How can I use this recipe to make a regular frosting?

Do not add the brown milk powder or browned butter.

a frosted cupcake.

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If you enjoyed this post, please leave a five-star review below the recipe. Don’t forget to tag @OneSarcasticBaker on Instagram whenever you bake this recipe. I would love to see your creations!

Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Smooth, creamy, and enriched with caramel-like flavor.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cream cheese frosting recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 1.5 Cups
Author Dikla


  • 1 Cup Cream cheese at room temperature (224g)
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted butter at room temperature (113g)
  • 1 2/3 Cups Powdered sugar (200g)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Cup Brown milk powder (30g)


  1. Beat the cream cheese until smooth in a large bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer.

  2. Mix in the butter in three parts.

  3. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract.

  4. Mix in the dry milk powder.

  5. The frosting is ready to be used or refrigerated.

Recipe Notes

  • The frositing should be refrigerated within one hour and up to five days. Or, three days in whipped cream was incoporated.
  • Opt for unsalted butter to regulate the level of saltiness in the frosting.
  • Ensure ingredients are at room temperature; if too cold, cream cheese may clump, and butter may not blend properly.
  • When using brown butter, it needs to be soft and at room temperature. If it is melted or too warm, it will melt the cream cheese and curdle the mixture.
  • Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as you go.
  • Should the icing thicken due to the milk powder, gradually add heavy cream, one teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.
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