The most basic recipe for cream cheese icing combines butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract. The exact proportions may vary. The butter, cream cheese and vanilla are beaten together, then the sugar is added gradually until the frosting reaches the ideal consistency.
Martha Stewart's recipe for cream cheese icing calls for 8 ounces of cream cheese, 8 tablespoons or one stick of salted butter, 1 cup confectioner's sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. The cream cheese and butter should be at room temperature for easier mixing. Cream the butter and cream cheese together. Once they are well blended, add the sugar gradually before adding the vanilla and stirring until combined.
Kraft's cream cheese icing recipe is similar but uses much more sugar. This recipe calls for 8 ounces of cream cheese, 1/4 cup of butter, 4 cups of confectioner's sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. The creamy ingredients are blended, then the sugar is added gradually. Because of the extra sugar, this recipe should make a firmer frosting than Martha Stewart's recipe.
To add texture or flavour to a traditional cream cheese frosting, extra ingredients such as shredded coconut, chocolate chips or flavor extracts can be mixed with the prepared frosting to taste.