A quick and easy recipe for the best Cream Cheese Icing for Cinnamon Rolls. It’s made with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and heavy cream (or milk) and will elevate store bought and homemade rolls!

cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing
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What could be better to remember a special day than by waking up to the smell of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven? A mouth-watering layer of thick cream cheese icing covering the top?

Add a cup of coffee or orange juice to round out the perfect breakfast or brunch!

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

One of my absolute favorite breakfast treats is a thick, decadent cinnamon roll. We all know, it’s the icing that makes the roll! Whether it’s a birthday, holiday, or just the weekend, mornings are made special by waking up to a heavenly cinnamon roll with Philadelphia cream cheese frosting!

Even our kids who claim to despise cream cheese love this delicious and delicate cream cheese icing! Now if you still have naysayers to cream cheese, you’ll also love this cream cheese free cinnamon roll icing recipe!

If you prefer a glaze to icing you’ll love this cream cheese glaze recipe, too! In fact, I have frostings and glazes for just about everyone’s taste and every recipe!

Cream Cheese makes everything better!

cinnamon rolls cream cheese icing

Cream Cheese Icing for Cinnamon Rolls

This Cream Cheese Icing for cinnamon rolls adds a subtle tang to balance the sweetness of the roll. It’s rich, creamy, smooth, and oh so good! It gives an ambrosial taste to remember any special occasion.

This recipe provides the perfect icing-to-roll ratio and will have everyone raving! Whether you are making the best cinnamon roll recipe, my easy cinnamon rolls or just topping a store bought can of Pillsbury rolls, this classic philadelphia cream cheese frosting will take them over the top!

This homemade cream cheese frosting is made with staple ingredients you already have in your refrigerator and pantry. It comes together quickly by combining cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and heavy cream (or milk). It’s perfect to whip up on a whim to top sweet treats.

cream cheese icing drizzled on cinnamon rolls

Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients

  • Cream cheese – softened. Learn how to soften cream cheese right here.
  • Butter – softened. I like salted butter here but you can use whatever you have on hand.
  • Powdered sugar – also known as confectioner’s sugar.
  • Heavy cream – can substitute milk.
best cream cheese icing for cinnamon rolls

How to Make Cream Cheese Icing

It’s so easy to make! Just combine softened ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend until smooth. You can drizzle it over your cinnamon rolls, pound cakes, muffins, scones and more. Then use a spreader to smooth it on.

  1. Combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and heavy cream in a stand mixer or mixing bowl.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour over cinnamon rolls and serve warm.

Get the full printable recipe in the card below!

cinnamon rolls covered in cream cheese icing

Tips for Making Cream Cheese Icing

  • Philadelphia cream cheese can be used to make this icing but any store brand will work just as well.  
  • The butter and cream cheese can be left out on the counter to soften before whipping this icing together.
  • The butter or cream can be optional but the icing will lose a bit of that decadent flavor and thickness.
  • This frosting can easily be doubled to accommodate a large crowd.
  • Try adding a dash of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt!
  • In this recipe I use powdered sugar because granulated sugar will give the icing a more gritty texture.
  • For a thicker icing leave out the cream. I like to use a spreader or pipe the frosting over the top for a more finished look.
  • For a light drizzle add more heavy cream and pour at an angle over pound cake, scones, and muffins, for an elegant finish.
cream cheese icing for cinnamon rolls

Cream Cheese Icing is NOT Just for Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe is tailored for cinnamon rolls, but it’s not the only breakfast item or dessert you can top with this frosting!

Carrot Cake (or Carrot Bread) and cream cheese frosting were made for each other! Other ideas include Red Velvet Cake, Banana Cake, Strawberry Cupcakes, and even Brownies.

Try this cream cheese icing on my incredible orange rolls, too!

cream cheese icing drizzled on cinnamon rolls

Storage and Reuse for Cream Cheese Icing

  • Extras can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. I’d recommend not freezing this icing.
  • Sometimes refrigerated frosting can become a bit runny but allowing it to soften and mixing again will bring it back to its original creaminess.

Curious about freezing your cream cheese recipes? Read more in Can you Freeze Cream Cheese to learn all about what works and what doesn’t!

cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing

When we have overnight guests it’s easy to make up a batch of cinnamon buns the day before.  

Usually I make the cream cheese icing in the morning. It takes me under 5 minutes, but the frosting can be made ahead of time. In the morning I let the icing come to room temperature  and whisked again to perfection.

I can bake the rolls and allow the philadelphia cream cheese to soften before I mix together the frosting. I either use an electric mixer or whisk and give the icing an extra stir before I drizzle it over the warm cinnamon rolls. It’s the perfect welcome to the day!

cream cheese icing for cinnamon rolls

Don’t skip our incredible pumpkin cinnamon rolls if you’re in the mood for a taste of fall.

cream cheese icing on cinnamon rolls

You’ll note that this cream cheese icing for cinnamon rolls is only drizzled on here, but this recipe makes enough to cover them completely. I say the more, the merrier! You can even dip cinnamon rolls in warm cream cheese icing! I won’t judge!

If you love a little cream cheese flavor in your fall dessert line-up, don’t miss this incredible cream cheese pie crust! It makes pies SO EASY – you’ll never go back to a store bought crust again!

cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing
5 from 43 votes

Cream Cheese Icing for Cinnamon Rolls

Easy recipe for the best Cream Cheese Icing for Cinnamon Rolls that is creamy, smooth and the perfect complement to rolls.
Prep: 3 minutes
Total: 3 minutes
Servings: 10
Pin Rate Print



  • Blend ingredients together until smooth.
  • Smooth onto cinnamon rolls.


Substitute the heaviest milk you have if you don’t have heavy cream.
Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 15mg | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 480IU | Calcium: 16mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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  1. 5 stars
    I made this and added vanilla bean paste. I’m obsessed with vanilla bean paste and add it to most deserts, this was so good and hard not to eat by the spoonful. Definitely will be using many more times with many more recipes.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! It really is hard to refrain from over-indulging on this one…I appreciate your willpower!

    2. I haven’t made it yet, but I, too, love vanilla bean paste. Did it detract from the cream cheese? I mean, was it cream cheese flavored or vanilla flavored? My husband and I like cream cheese; our son does not. But, Julie’s simple icing sounds perfect to add a generous spoonful of vanilla paste. Great idea!

  2. 5 stars
    Very easy, and very good! I added 2 tsp lemon juice, and it gave it a little bite! Might use another tsp or a little sour cream next time for tart

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe was amazing! I just added a little bit of vanilla extract because I love adding vanilla to most things I bake. 🙂 will be making this every time.