Cinnamon Roll Icing: Cream Cheese Recipe

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The Magic of Cinnamon Roll Icing

There’s something simply magical about a gooey cinnamon roll fresh from the oven, but let’s be honest — the real star of the show is the cinnamon roll icing. It’s the sweet, creamy, and tangy elixir that transforms a plain roll into a decadent treat.

Whether you’re a fan of homemade cinnamon rolls or prefer the store-bought variety, the right icing can take your experience to a whole new level. If you’ve been searching for the perfect cinnamon roll icing to make them even more irresistible, look no further. Here’s an easy recipe for a cream cheese cinnamon roll icing that will make your warm cinnamon rolls the best part of your breakfast or dessert.

Cream cheese and powdered sugar on a wooden table

Choosing the Best Cream Cheese

The secret to the best cream cheese frosting starts with choosing the right cream cheese (or cream cheese substitute). Go for full-fat, block cream cheese that is at room temperature.

Avoid using spreadable or low-fat versions as they can make your frosting too thin and lack the richness of full-fat cream cheese. The cream cheese should be soft to touch, but not melted.

The Importance of Butter in Your Icing

Another key ingredient in the perfect cinnamon roll icing is unsalted butter (or our recommended substitutes for unsalted butter). The butter adds an extra layer of richness and creaminess to the icing, making it the perfect topping for your warm rolls.

Just like your cream cheese, your butter should also be room temperature. This ensures that it mixes well with the other ingredients, resulting in a smooth and creamy icing.

Unsalted butter at room temperature next to a wooden spoon

The Sweetness: Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar, also known as confectioners’ sugar, is the sweet backbone of your icing recipe. It gives the icing its sweetness and helps to thicken it up. Start with a smaller amount of powdered sugar and gradually add more until you reach your desired level of sweetness.

bowl of powdered sugar

Adding Flavor with Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract adds depth of flavor to the icing. It enhances the natural flavors of the cream cheese and butter, making the overall taste of the icing more complex and satisfying. Just a teaspoon of high-quality vanilla extract will make a noticeable difference in your cinnamon roll icing.

Out of vanilla extract? Have a look at our vanilla extract substitues.

A bottle of high-quality vanilla extract next to a teaspoon

Mixing Your Icing

Once you have all your simple ingredients ready, it’s time to start mixing. You can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer.

Start by beating the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until they’re well combined and creamy.

Then, slowly add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, continuing to mix until everything is well incorporated.

An electric mixer with cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl

Perfecting the Texture of Your Icing

The best cinnamon roll icing has a smooth and creamy texture that’s thick enough to cling to the rolls but still drippy enough to ooze down into all those deliciously warm and gooey crevices. If your icing is too thick, you can add a little bit of milk to thin it out. If it’s too thin, simply add a bit more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency.

Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Applying Your Cinnamon Roll Icing

Now comes the best part – applying your homemade cream cheese frosting on your warm cinnamon rolls. The warm rolls help the icing to spread and sink into all the nooks and crannies, creating a divine, melt-in-your-mouth experience. Slather it on generously using a butter knife or spatula, making sure that every bit of the roll gets a good covering of the icing.

While you’re at it, treat yourself with an Artful Latte.

Enjoy Your Perfect Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

And there you have it — the perfect cinnamon roll icing that will take your rolls from good to heavenly. With this easy cream cheese frosting, every bite of your cinnamon roll will be a perfect balance of warm, gooey roll and sweet, creamy icing. So the next time you’re making homemade cinnamon rolls, give this icing a try. It might just become your new favorite recipe!

Creamy Cinnamon Roll Icing Recipe

Creamy Cinnamon Roll Icing Recipe

Yield: Makes enough for 12 cinnamon rolls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

This creamy, sweet, and slightly tangy icing will elevate your homemade cinnamon rolls to a whole new level, making them utterly irresistible. It's the perfect topping for any cinnamon roll, adding a layer of sweetness that enhances the flavor of the cinnamon and dough.


  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Start by placing the room temperature cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat them together on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, half a cup at a time, while continuing to beat the mixture. Ensure each addition is well incorporated before adding the next.
  3. Once all the sugar has been mixed in, add the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Continue to beat the mixture on medium speed until these ingredients are fully incorporated.
  4. Add the milk or cream, one tablespoon at a time, while continuing to beat the mixture. After each addition, check the consistency of your icing.
  5. Once your icing has reached your desired consistency, it's ready to be slathered over your freshly baked cinnamon rolls.
  6. Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool for about 10-15 minutes after coming out of the oven, then generously spread your homemade icing on top. The warmth of the rolls will make the icing slightly melt, seeping into the crevices and covering each roll with sweet, creamy goodness.


If you prefer a tangier icing, you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice or cream of tartar to the mixture. For a dairy-free alternative, use a dairy-free butter substitute and almond milk instead of regular milk or cream.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 105mgCarbohydrates: 22gNet Carbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 21gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 1g
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