Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

By • October 19, 2013 • 26 Comments


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Author Notes: Simple but unbelievably delicious, refreshing, and addicting. Lime and cream cheese were meant to go together.cynthia | two red bowls

Food52 Review: This icing was worth breaking down and buying a Microplane zester for (albeit a clearance one from Target). The lime-y flavor was great but not overpowering. I essentially used the cupcakes I baked for this recipe as frosting vehicles -- arguably the best way to eat cupcakes. The recipe is very easy. I highly recommend it. Rachel

Makes enough frosting for about a dozen cupcakes if frosted; about a half-dozen if piped.

  • 4 ounces cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoon lime juice, or more depending on resulting thickness of the frosting
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  1. If using an electric mixer, simply combine all the ingredients and beat until fluffy and smooth.
  2. If making by hand, cream together cream cheese and butter until very smooth. It will help greatly if the cream cheese and butter are quite soft beforehand.
  3. Add confectioners' sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition.
  4. Finally, add lime juice and lime zest and beat again until smooth. If the frosting is too soft, add more confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until frosting is the right stiffness. If it is too stiff, you can add more lime juice a few drops at a time.

Comments (26) Questions (0)

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17 days ago cwya

Thanks for the suggestions. i think you're right about over beating it. I'm going to try the butter suggestion too and use only zest. More will be revealed!

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20 days ago cwya

HELP! I've tried sseveral times to make a creamcheese frosting using orange instead. It NEVER sets up no matter how long I've beaten it. I've added meringue powder, starch, twice as much sugar. Nothing works. I am at 7200 ft. Could that do it? Or the type of cream cheese. This is baffling.

Tworedbowls2

20 days ago cynthia | two red bowls

That's so strange, and I'm so sorry you've had so much trouble with it! Here are my thoughts off the top of my head ... I should say first that I have no experience with baking at high altitudes, so I can't speak to that, unfortunately. :( But I've read that actually the longer you beat cream cheese frosting, the more runny it gets (unlike things like Swiss meringue) so maybe beating by hand or at a lower speed might help? Second, I'm baffled that adding double the sugar didn't help. Was this after you had beaten it for some time? What if you tried something like 3 ounces cream cheese instead of 4, and 3 tbsp butter instead of 1 tbsp to compensate? Butter adds structure, so that could help, though it would reduce the cream cheese taste somewhat. Finally, have you tried refrigerating the frosting after you've beaten it? Chilling will go a long way in firming it up, as well.

I hope this helps! :( It shouldn't be the orange that's the problem -- I made an orange version a few weeks ago. Although you could try omitting the juice altogether and simply using zest, which would help firm up the consistency as well.

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25 days ago Chef_Karla

i want to try this frosting recipe but what kind of cake flavors have you tried with it and liked? thank you!

Dsc00426

25 days ago vvvanessa

It's great with coconut cupcakes! Also a lemon or orange cupcake.

I haven't tried it with a vanilla rum cake, but I would totally give that a shot.

Tworedbowls2

25 days ago cynthia | two red bowls

All of vvvanessa's suggestions sound amazing! My favorite pairing is a zucchini cake -- but I think any of the above would be fantastic, too.

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20 days ago Chef_Karla

thank you!

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5 months ago JanetFL

Tried it and knew you would be a winner!

Tworedbowls2

5 months ago cynthia | two red bowls

You are so kind! Yay! :)

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5 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Congrats on the CP! This is so appealing. ;o)

Tworedbowls2

5 months ago cynthia | two red bowls

Wow, I'm so surprised and honored! Yay! :) Thank you, I really did love it (and just like that review says -- I pretty much used the cake as a vehicle for this frosting!)

Junechamp

5 months ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm not a big fan of cream cheese frosting -- too heavy, but I'll bet the lime cuts that nicely! Going to try this.

Tworedbowls2

5 months ago cynthia | two red bowls

I am usually the same way! Exactly -- the lime just makes it perfect. I usually use Neufchatel in this, as well, which helps.

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6 months ago JanetFL

Love your combination - lime and cream cheese....yum!

Tworedbowls2

5 months ago cynthia | two red bowls

Hope you like it if you try it :)

Dsc00426

6 months ago vvvanessa

That sounds super excellent!

Tworedbowls2

5 months ago cynthia | two red bowls

Thank you so much!

Dsc00426

5 months ago vvvanessa

I loved this recipe, and it will be in frequent rotation for sure. I needed about 3 times the amount of lime juice to make the frosting come together and spread, but it was the best thing I could have put on the coconut cupcakes I made.

Tworedbowls2

5 months ago cynthia | two red bowls

Oh, that's so interesting to know. Isn't it funny how sometimes the same proportions just yield different consistencies? I also wonder if Neufchatel versus full fat cream cheese affects the softness of the frosting... Anyway, so glad that it still worked and sorry that my measurements weren't exact! And PS I LOVE the idea of a coconut cupcake base -- GENIUS.

Tworedbowls2

5 months ago cynthia | two red bowls

Edited to reflect your feedback! :)

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6 months ago dymnyno

This sounds delicious and looks very pretty!

Tworedbowls2

5 months ago cynthia | two red bowls

Thank you so much!!

Mrs._larkin_370

6 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Sounds amazing!! Great flavor combination.

Tworedbowls2

5 months ago cynthia | two red bowls

It is one of my favorites ever :) Thanks so much!

Ashley

6 months ago Ashley Marie

This sounds delicious - can't wait to try it out!

Tworedbowls2

6 months ago cynthia | two red bowls

Oh, thank you! Let me know what you think if you try it! I love it over zucchini cupcakes -- or just with a spoon :) It's my favorite!