My Go-To Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting makes everything better. This recipe has appears on my blog so many times, I decided it deserves it’s own post. I’ve used it to top cinnamon rolls, Oreo cupcakes, Carrot Cake Cheesecake, and everything in between.

When you’re making cream cheese frosting, make sure you give the cream cheese enough time to come to room temperature. If it’s still cold, the frosting will be clumpy. And no one likes clumpy frosting! I usually set mine out at least 2 hours prior to whipping up the frosting.

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Cream Cheese Frosting

This is my go-to cream cheese frosting. It will make enough frosting for 12 cupcakes and can easily be doubled.

Yield: 1 cup (enough to frost 12 cupcakes)


4 oz cream cheese at room temp
1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) butter at room temp
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar


Place the cream cheese in the bowl of your mixer. Beat on medium-high until completely smooth, 3-4 minutes. Add the butter and continue to cream until fluffy.

Add vanilla extract. Slowly add powdered sugar (1/4 cup at a time) until desired consistency is reached.

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27 Responses to “Gooey Bars (aka Cream Cheese Bars)”

  1. #
    Sunshine — January 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    These look fantastic!

  2. #
    Jess — January 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    my husbands family calls them butter-gooey cake.

  3. #
    Kelly — January 20, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Hi! These are actually called Gooey Butter Cakes, and they are a Paula Deen recipe (hence the butter and cream cheese!) I love making them with a red velvet cake mix….so good.

  4. #
    Andrew's Mom — January 20, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Ooey gooey butter cakes have been around for decades – they started in St. Louis – very close to my hometown. I remember making this recipe years before Paula came on the scene. She just made them more famous! Everyone goes nuts when you make them – I make them with all kinds of flavors – pineapple, lemon etc. Yours look great.

  5. #
    Jen — January 20, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Thanks for all the information about where the bars originate from. Wherever they came from, they sure are good. I saw some comments on the link of variations that people have tried like swirling in some berries and using chocolate cake mix. Kind of like a cheesecake brownie

  6. #
    Dyanna — January 21, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Here in Kentucky they’re called Chess bars and have been around for a very long time. I’m not a native to KY and a coworker introduced me to these. I looked at them and thought “What the heck is that?” but once I tried one I was HOOKED! I just love how simple they are to make.

  7. #
    kitchen koala — January 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Whatever you call them, they’re pretty darned good!

  8. #
    Katie — January 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    YUM! Those look really delicious. And I love the colors you always put in the background.; The blue with the orange tint of the abrs is just perfect!

  9. #
    Ingrid — January 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Yours looks like how my first and only batch turned out but I think I’d like them better gooey and with a little less sugar.

  10. #
    Julie — January 21, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Yum…I love these things!

  11. #
    Colleen — January 29, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    These look delicious! And I love using boxed cake mix!

  12. #
    Kasey — March 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I made these for a friends birthday this past weekend and they were a big hit!

  13. #
    Tyler — September 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    I just made these today and they are delicious! I left mine slightly gooey and it’s so good!

  14. #
    Lisa @ Cents to Save — April 1, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I love these bars!

  15. #
    Lindy S — March 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    ust made these, yum! But I am curious to know where I can find some variations, i.e., with nuts, chocolate, fruit flavored, etc……I love to experiment!

    • beantownbaker — March 16th, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

      I haven’t had a chance to play around myself with this recipe. I’m sure if you searched online, you’d find some other variations. Let me know what you try!

  16. #
    Britanny — May 13, 2013 at 6:31 am

    My mom used to make them for us when I was little. I am 25 now. And I am pretty sure they have been around for quite some time. Paula Deen probably only highlighted the fact that they were around. But yes Yum!

  17. #
    Stephen — July 28, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.

    It’s always interesting to read through articles from other writers and practice something from other sites.

  18. #
    Kathy — September 26, 2013 at 9:43 am

    How can you make these to taste like pumpkin? If you add in pumpkin, do you need to cut back on something else??

    • beantownbaker — September 26th, 2013 @ 10:33 am

      Oh that’s a great thought… What about using a box of pumpkin cake mix? And then throwing some pumpkin spices in the cream cheese mixture? If you try this variation, definitely let me know how it turns out!

  19. #
    jonay — June 2, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Omg these look amazing cannot wait to try! I will experiment though!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:08 pm

      If you do, let me know how it goes!

  20. #
    Sheryl — August 21, 2014 at 8:16 am

    This has been around for years and yes it came from a Philly box. Was a family tradition for holidays at our house, but you can make with lemon as well

  21. #
    Judy Seggerman — February 14, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    I have been making these for years…but I dust with powdered sugar when cool. I can’t go to a family function without taking them.We call them Butter Cheese Squares.

  22. #
    bida — December 7, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    I have made these for over 20 some years. I mix pecan pieces in the crust. Family just loves them. Making them tomorrow.

  23. #
    Leisa McCannon — July 1, 2016 at 9:54 am

    I make mine with Butter Pecan Cake mix and they are awesome. I am trying lemon this weekend.

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