Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting is a blend of cinnamon-spiced cream cheese frosting and whipped cream. It’s perfect for those who love a frosting that’s not too sweet. It pipes nicely but also makes smooth swirls for a more casual cake. Use it for all of your fall-flavored cakes or wherever you want the warmth of brown sugar and cinnamon.

A side view of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whippped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting in a bowl on a mound of brown sugar with cinnamon sticks by themerchantbaker.com

How many of you belong to the “I like frosting that’s not too sweet” club?

I’m raising my hand high in the air. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 100 times; I’m just not a fan of super sugary sweet frostings.

So, please don’t be offended if you see me scraping said frosting off of a piece of cake or artfully decorated cupcake.

For me, anything that’s too sweet just masks the flavor of whatever lies beneath.

An overhead view of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whippped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting in a bowl on a mound of brown sugar with cinnamon sticks by themerchantbaker.com

I realize that not everyone agrees with me. I think I’ve shared that I have a friend that loves that gritty sugar frosting that makes your teeth ache. That’s one of those, “Hey, that’s cool. You do you,” moments.

That doesn’t mean I’m not cringing on the inside because my teeth hurt just looking at someone eat a mound of that stuff.

Like I said, I usually scrape most of that off my piece of cake/cupcake. I always leave a bit behind, because a little can go a long way, and hey, I still want some frosting on my cake.

A close up side view of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting in a bowl on a mound of brown sugar with cinnamon sticks by themerchantbaker.com

What’s the BEST not too sweet frosting?

Clearly, I’m biased, but today I’m sharing yet another version of my favorite, FAVORITE, not too sweet frosting, Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting.

Yep, that’s been one of the most popular posts on my site since it was first posted. It has almost 500 comments on it and has been pinned almost 700,000 times!

It was so popular that I needed to create a chocolate version. And guess what? That chocolate version is also a super popular recipe on the site.

That’s right. There are quite a few of us out there that prefer a less sweet frosting. And, while the OG version is my favorite, I also have a whipped vanilla frosting, whipped chocolate frosting and a whipped peppermint frosting.

Those delicious, not too sweet frostings are not cream cheese or whipped cream based. They are made with a cooked flour pudding-like mixture that is whipped into softened butter and produces a fluffy, not too sweet buttercream. 

They are sturdier because they are butter based and therefore a type of buttercream. I love them because they are perfect, fluffy, not too sweet buttercreams. They are treasured recipes in my go to arsenal of not too sweet frostings and fillings.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whippped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting piped onto a wooden cutting board by themerchantbaker.com

What I’m saying is that we’ve got choices, my not too sweet frosting fans.

Ok, so we’ve got the OG version of the whipped cream cream cheese frosting and its chocolate counterpart.

(By the way, if you’re worried about the cream cheese in this frosting, I’ve had people who don’t like cream cheese frosting admit to loving this one.)

I’ve used that original version on just about everything including pancakes and oatmeal! You’ll see how I use it in the video on that post. It really is good enough just to eat with a spoon!

I’ve also used it on this Italian Cream Cake, as well as this Strawberry Cake. It’s absolutely scrumptious on red velvet cake and carrot cake. And, I’ve pretty much used it on almost every birthday cake I’ve made because it’s everyone’s favorite frosting.

An overhead view of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting piped onto a wooden cutting board by themerchantbaker.com

How to make Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting

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Now that it’s fall, I figured it was high time for a version that was perfectly suited to fall flavors.

So, I started with the sugar. Instead of regular granulated sugar, I used brown sugar. The brown sugar gives it a nice warm, caramelly flavor.

Then, I added some butter to the cream cheese mixture. The butter adds a boost of flavor and it adds some extra body because of the higher fat content.

I also added some powdered sugar. This helps to balance out the body of the frosting with the additional moisture we’re getting from the molasses in the brown sugar.

Finally, it was time for spice. I added cinnamon. I happen to love using a good Vietnamese Cinnamon, but I’ve also made this with your typical grocery store variety. (aff. link)

An overhead view of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting in a bowl on a mound of brown sugar with cinnamon sticks by themerchantbaker.com

Why Ingredient Temperature Matters

Remember that I said that there are almost 500 comments on the whipped cream cream cheese frosting post? Well, some of them are from readers who are huge fans and love the recipe. And some are from those who’ve struggled with success. 

Even though this is the easiest frosting I make, some readers still have issues.  

Ingredient temperature is one of the culprits of not achieving success. Here’s why:

This is essentially a whipped cream frosting. Whipped cream needs to be cold to stay whipped. Otherwise, because of its fat content, it will soften or melt when warm.

We need to keep the mixture cold to get a good piping consistency.

A common mistake is allowing the cream cheese to come to room temperature. I know that’s typical when making cheesecake, but it is neither necessary nor recommended in this recipe.

The cream cheese needs to be cold. You’re going to mix it with sugar which will help break it down. Don’t worry. You won’t get lumps and your cold whipped cream will thank you.

A side view of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting in a bowl on a mound of brown sugar with cinnamon sticks by themerchantbaker.com

What temperature should the butter be?

  1. The addition of butter is new to this particular type of frosting. Super cold butter is hard to beat into submission, so I use slightly cool butter. In other words, butter that’s still firm-ish, but soft enough to break down and beat with a mixer.
  2. If you’re worried about breaking it down, the sugar will help, but you can also cut it into smaller pieces. There are only 4 Tablespoons to beat up. Cut it in four and throw the pieces in the mixer. You should be good to go. 
An overhead view of batter in a bowl to make Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting by themerchantbaker.com

Butter and sugar just before cream cheese is added

What’s the “One Bowl Method?”

  1. In the “One Bowl Method,” everything happens in the same bowl. The butter is mixed with the sugar, then the cream cheese and other ingredients are mixed in until fluffy. You need this mixture to be fluffy so that it doesn’t weigh down the whipped cream in the next step.
  2. Finally, the heavy cream is drizzled down the side of the bowl and whipped to stiff peaks.
  3. This is the easiest way to make this frosting, but may pose challenges for some.

What’s the “Two Bowl Method?”

  1. In the “Two Bowl Method,” the butter/cream cheese mixture is mixed as directed in one bowl until fluffy.
  2. Then, the whipped cream is mixed in a separate bowl to stiff peaks.
  3. Finally, the two mixtures are folded together and beat to fully combine.
A overhead view of badder in a bowl to make Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting by themerchantbaker.com

Butter and cream cheese mixture just before heavy cream is added

My frosting was runny. What’s the problem?

  1. Make sure your ingredients are cold.
  2. Make sure you didn’t whip the cream cheese mixture for so long that the mixture became runny before you added the cream. It should be fluffy. See photos above.
  3. Make sure you whip long enough for the heavy whipping cream to whip to stiff peaks.
  4. If you’re using a stand mixer, make sure you’re using the paddle attachment for the butter and cream cheese mixture, then switch to the whisk attachment when you add the heavy cream. 
  5. Use block cream cheese, not whipped cream cheese.
  6. Still trying to troubleshoot a problem? Use the “Two Bowl Method.” Then, you can ensure your cream cheese mixture is fluffy and your whipped cream is whipped to stiff peaks.
  7. Fluffy plus fluffy should equal fluffy. Making the two mixtures separately should help you identify where your issue lies. Once you’re more confident, move to the one bowl method.
An overhead view of batter in a bowl to make Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting by themerchantbaker.com

Frosting once heavy cream has been added and whipped to stiff peaks

How do I keep the frosting cold if my kitchen is hot?

  1. Use the “Two Bowl Method.” Chill all bowls and beaters.
  2. Once you make the cream cheese mixture, put it back in the refrigerator to stay cold while you whip the cream.
  3. Chill the item you want to frost, then work quickly with piping and frosting and get the frosted item back into the refrigerator.
  4. If making a double batch for a large cake, I’ll make one batch to fill the cake layers and do a crumb coat. Then, I’ll allow that to chill in the refrigerator and wait to make the final batch of frosting for decorating until the cake is thoroughly chilled.

Seriously, even with all of this troubleshooting talk, please know that this should be an easy frosting to make. I can whip up the OG version in under 10 minutes.

Don’t give up if you’re having issues. Read the post for all the tips and I will help you troubleshoot in the comment section if you need it.

A side view of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting in a bowl with a spoon on a mound of brown sugar with cinnamon sticks by themerchantbaker.com

FAQ’s

Can I frost my cake/cupcakes in advance?

  1. Yes. Absolutely. I always frost in advance. Just remember that this frosting is perishable, so store your cake/cupcakes in the refrigerator until serving.
  2. (Bonus tip: try not to store it in a refrigerator that has anything in it with a strong aroma like garlic or onion. You don’t want your stored cake to pick up those flavors.)

How long can I leave my frosted cake at room temperature?

  1. It should be fine up to 2 hours if served in a cool room. I like to set the cake out 30-60 minutes before serving to take the chill off the cake.
  2. I don’t recommend letting a cake with this frosting sit outside at a hot picnic. The frosting will get very soft and if too hot, will melt, just like you’d expect with whipped cream.

Can I dye this frosting?

  1. Yes, but this question generally comes up with the original vanilla version. In most cases, you’re probably going to use this brown sugar cinnamon version, as is, in all its beautiful natural color glory.
  2. If you do decide to dye it, use gel colors to prevent adding too much liquid.

A side view of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting piped onto a wooden cutting board with a spoon by themerchantbaker.com

So, are you one of my diehard fans of the original Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting or its chocolate counterpart? Then, I know you’re going to love this new Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting.

It’s creamy and wonderful just like the original, but all dressed up and ready for fall! I even created a new fall cake with this frosting in mind. Stay tuned for that post. It’s coming soon! 

Oh, and lest I forget to mention it, this version is still good enough to eat with a spoon! 

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 1 batch will frost a 2 layer 9" cake or 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting is a blend of spiced cream cheese frosting and whipped cream. It's perfect for those who love a frosting that's not too sweet. It pipes nicely, but also makes smooth swirls for a more casual cake. Use it for all of your fall flavored cakes or wherever you want the warmth of brown sugar and cinnamon.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package full fat block cream cheese, cold
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold

Instructions

  1. Beat butter and brown sugar together until thoroughly combined with no bits of butter remaining.
  2. Add the cream cheese, powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and beat mixture until fully combined and creamy. See post for photos of this step.
  3. Slowly pour the cold heavy whipping cream down the side of the bowl (to prevent splashing) into the butter/cream cheese mixture and whip to stiff peaks.
  4. Use immediately to pipe or frost.
  5. Store frosted cake in the refrigerator.

Notes

*If you're using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment for the butter and cream cheese mixture. Then, switch to the whisk attachment for the whipped cream.

*The butter should not be room temp and mushy. It should still be somewhat firm and cool to the touch. It should be just soft enough to beat with your mixer. A stand mixer with the paddle attachment works well for this since the paddle will beat down the structure of the butter. If you're using a hand mixer, you might want to mash the cool butter a bit with a fork or cut it into smaller pieces before beating it.

*If you use unsalted butter, increase salt in recipe to 1/4 teaspoon or leave at 1/8 teaspoon if you're sensitive to salt.

*The directions are for the One Bowl Method. To do the "Two Bowl Method," mix the butter and cream cheese as directed in steps 1 and 2. Then, in a separate bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture, then briefly beat them with an electric mixture to combine.

*I used cinnamon for this recipe which is an easy and classic flavor for frosting all kinds of cakes. But, have fun and experiment with apple pie spice or pumpkin spice, maybe a pinch of cardamom?

*You must pipe this frosting immediately after making it. Once you pipe it, store the decorated cake in the refrigerator, it will firm up. But, if you try to make the frosting and pipe it later, it will not give you as crisp of an edge as when you first make it. However, I will happily softly pipe leftovers on pancakes or oatmeal the next day.

*Remember, this is a softer frosting than buttercream, and while you can still pipe it, it will have a different texture. It firms up quite a bit once piped and refrigerated, but does not have the stiff body of a true buttercream.

*See the post for other tips for success.