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Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

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This creamy lemon cream cheese frosting only takes three ingredients to make. It is perfect for spreading over a lemon cake or try it on a strawberry cake if you love strawberry lemonade.

Spatula lifting out piece of lemon cake topped with lemon cream cheese frosting and sprinkles.

If you are looking for a super creamy lemon frosting, you are in the right place. This frosting is perfect for spreading over a 9×13-inch cake for a pop of citrusy zing.

Lemon Treats

There is something so refreshing about lemon treats during the hot summer weather. We just love the sweet tart tang that wakes up your taste buds.

And I know we aren’t the only ones. Lemon condensed milk buttercream has been a reader favorite for years, and the lemon velvet cake is pretty popular, too.

Pink lemonade buttercream has been a hit as well. So, I thought it was time to add a cream cheese frosting to the collection.

Ingredients including lemon juice, cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk ready to be made into frosting.

Of course, the tang of the cream cheese and the citrus pop of the lemon go so well together. The condensed milk adds that smooth, rich, sweetness we all know and love.

So this recipe combines two favorite recipe categories. Frosting recipes and recipes using condensed milk are both really popular recipes among our regular readers.

Making Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting With Condensed Milk

Make sure your cream cheese is good and softened. That will reduce the chance of chunks in your frosting.

Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy. Then, add the condensed milk a little bit at a time to start.

This step also helps to avoid chunks of unincorporated cream cheese.

Once about half of the condensed milk is added, you can go ahead and add the rest of the can. It will mix in more easily at that point.

Stir in the lemon juice and then refrigerate the frosting for about an hour. This step serves several functions.

The first is to give the acid from the lemon juice a chance to react with the condensed milk and thicken it up a bit. It also firms up the cream cheese a bit as it cools.

After about an hour, your frosting should be a spreadable consistency. You can see in the picture above how an hour in the refrigerator helps to change the consistency.

Once it has been chilled, go ahead and put it on your cake and smooth it out. It should still be plenty soft enough to spread, but thick enough to stay where you put it.

Tip and Tricks

This frosting is on the softer side. It is perfect for spreading over a sheet cake.

If you want to stiffen it up a bit, just add some powdered sugar. A cup of powdered sugar would be plenty to make it thick enough to frost a layer cake.

This frosting is not meant for piping. If you would like to make a lemon cream cheese frosting for decorating, I would start with the recipe for decorator’s cream cheese frosting and use lemon juice in place of the milk and lemon extract in place of the vanilla.

For more lemon flavor, stir in some lemon zest or 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract.

The frosting will have a pale yellow color from the lemon juice and condensed milk. Feel free to add a drop or two of yellow food coloring for a more yellow frosting.

This recipe makes enough frosting to cover a 9×13-inch cake. It would be an appropriate amount for a thinner 10×15-inch sheet cake as well.

To frost cupcakes, I would stir in a little bit of powdered sugar to stiffen it up a bit. Then, it would easily be enough to spread on 24 cupcakes.

If you want to thicken the frosting without powdered sugar, you can stir in a Tablespoon of cornstarch.

Close up of a piece of lemon cake topped with creamy lemon cream cheese frosting and colorful sprinkles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use bottled lemon juice?

Yes. This frosting recipe will work with either fresh squeezed lemon juice or some from the bottle.

How do you store cream cheese frosting?

Cream cheese frosting should be stored in the refrigerator. The desserts it is spread on should also be stored in the refrigerator.

I like to use a 9×13-inch pan that has a tight fitting lid to avoid the cake from drying out.

Spatula lifting out piece of lemon cake topped with lemon cream cheese frosting and sprinkles.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Servings: 16 Servings – About 2 1/2 cups
Author: Carlee
Creamy lemon cream cheese frosting with condensed milk only takes 3 ingredients to make. It is perfect for smoothing over a 9×13-inch cake.
5 from 10 ratings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 8 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • cup lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and lump free.
    8 oz. cream cheese
  • Add condensed milk a little bit at a time, mixing as you go.
    14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • Once the condensed milk is incorporated, stir in the lemon juice.
    ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • Chill for one hour to allow the frosting to thicken up.
  • Spread over cake.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

Notes

For a thicker frosting, stir in a cup of powdered sugar.
For a bolder lemon flavor, add lemon zest or 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract.
Use full fat cream cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 158kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 4gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 88mgSugar: 19g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Loved this recipe?Pin this recipe for later & follow @cookingwcarlee for more

Adapted from “Classic Desserts” by Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

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5 from 10 votes (10 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Andrea Nine

Friday 4th of August 2023

Oh friend, you did it! 2 of my favorite things: lemon and sweetened condensed milk! YUMMY!

Carlee

Friday 4th of August 2023

They are so good together!