Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

How to Make Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

When Jack said he wanted carrot cake with coconut frosting for his birthday cake, I knew it had to be cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese adds that signature tanginess and luscious texture. The coconut flavor keeps things fresh!

how to make coconut cream cheese frosting

Cake flavors to pair with coconut cream cheese frosting

While we paired this frosting with carrot cake (a match made in heaven), there are so many cake flavors that make the perfect pairing with this frosting:

How to make coconut cream cheese frosting

ingredients for coconut cream cheese frosting

The ingredient list is short and simple. You'll need cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, coconut extract, and a little salt. Covering the frosting with shredded coconut is a bonus but not required. 

coconut extract

You'll find coconut extract right in the grocery store by the vanilla. I used it most recently in these Coconut Spritz Cookies

Beat the cream cheese and butter until completely combined and no lumps remain. It's important to have both of these ingredients at room temperature. Otherwise, you're likely to have lumps in the frosting. 

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Next, mix in the powdered sugar. The sugar gets mixed in a cup at a time on low speed. You'll want to stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally to incorporate stray sugar. 

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Next, the coconut extract and salt get added. Increase the mixer speed and let the frosting get really creamy. It won't get super fluffy like buttercream. You're looking for a thick, creamy consistency. 

Once the frosting is finished, it'll need to be refrigerated a bit before using. The room temperature cream cheese and butter, plus the mixing, make the frosting a little too loose to frost a cake, especially the sides. 

Hint: this is also a good time to chill the cake layers as a chilled cake is easier to frost. 

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

If you love coconut (raises hand), cover the frosting with shredded sweetened coconut. I reserved some of the frosting, popped it in a piping bag, and did a quick frosting accent using a 1M icing tip.

After frosting, I always pop my cakes back in the refrigerator so the frosting can set up. If you store a cake in the fridge, always remove it at least 10 minutes before serving. 

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

3 8-ounces packages cream cheese, room temperature
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
2 pinches fine sea salt
sweetened shredded coconut, if desired

Beat the cream cheese and butter for several minutes until completely combined, and no lumps remain. On low speed, mix in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Add the extract and salt, increase the speed to medium and mix for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth. 

Refrigerate for 30 minutes before frosting a cake. For a three-layer cake, use 1 cup of frosting between layers and the remaining for the top and sides. Cover with sweetened shredded coconut, if desired. 

coconut cream cheese frosting

How will you use coconut cream cheese frosting? If you swoon over coconut, you might love this Coconut Cream Bundt Cake!
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