This easy Lime Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect blend of sweet and tart flavors. Swirl it on cupcakes, muffins, bundt cakes, or quick breads – it goes with practically everything!

Piping bag with silver tip piping a big mound of cream cheese frosting on a cupcake.
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Easy Lime Frosting Recipe

Cream cheese frosting is already a beautiful blend of sweet and tart flavors, but today we’re really taking it over the top by making a lime cream cheese version. This easy frosting has both fresh lime juice and fresh zest, for a double dose of tangy citrus flavor.

What can you do with this frosting? You mean, aside from eating it with a spoon from the mixing bowl? Welllllll how about using it to frost my uber-moist zucchini cupcakes? Or maybe a few loaves of zucchini bread, banana bread, or an orange bundt cake? The beauty of this frosting is that it’s super versatile — you can add more powdered sugar to make it stiff and pipe-able, or add more liquid and use it as a drizzle on cakes or quick breads.

Note: like many cream cheese frosting recipes, this is a softer frosting, and I do not recommend using it for intricate piping designs, tall layer cakes that require a lot of stability/structure, or any recipe that needs to withstand hot environmental temperatures.

Hand holding a mini spatula, spreading cream cheese frosting on a loaf of zucchini bread.

Table of Contents

🧾 What You’ll Need

Overhead shot of ingredients needed to make Lime Cream Cheese Frosting.


This lime cream cheese frosting is a super simple 6-ingredient recipe! (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)

  • Butter:Room temperature, please! I recommend letting your butter sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before making the frosting, so it’s easy to blend.
  • Cream cheese: be sure to use a full-fat brick of cream cheese so the frosting has a nice, creamy texture. Anything with a lower fat content will yield a runny frosting. I always use and recommend Philadelphia cream cheese.
  • Lime zest and juice: fresh lime is the key to this frosting! Using both the zest and juice of a lime gives you the perfect amount of tangy lime flavor. I do not recommend making this with bottled juice and powdered zest–you will probably be disappointed in the results. Regular limes or key limes will work for this recipe. Check out my detailed post about the difference between regular and key limes so that you can choose the flavor that’s right for you!
  • Powdered sugar: adds sweetness and thickens the frosting.


You don’t need a whole lot to pull off this simple lime frosting. Here’s what you’ll need in terms of equipment. (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)

  • Citrus juicer: a citrus juicer makes it super easy to get all the lime juice out the fruit.
  • Microplane: I like to use a microplane to zest the lime. If you don’t have a microplane, a cheese grater will work too. Be careful not to grate your knuckles!
  • Hand Mixer: a hand mixer makes it super easy to get the batter nice and mixed without over-mixing. A stand mixer also works well.
  • Piping Bags and Tips: you can use piping bags and pastry tips to pipe this frosting onto whatever dessert you wish.

📋 Instructions

This lime cream cheese frosting is ready in just 10 minutes! Full instructions in the recipe card below.

Two-photo collage showing how to whip butter and cream cheese for cream cheese frosting.
  • Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat until creamy.
  • Add in the cream cheese and mix again until combined.
Two-photo collage showing adding powdered sugar to cream cheese frosting.
  • One cup at a time, add in powdered sugar. Beat between each addition.
Two-photo collage showing adding lime juice and zest to cream cheese frosting.
  • Add in the lime zest and lime juice, then beat until combined.
  • Add more powdered sugar or lime juice, as desired, until you have the perfect texture for your project.

💭 Variations

This recipe is delicious as-is, but there are a few ways you can switch the flavor up a bit.

  • Swap the citrus. You can totally experiment with different citruses to give this frosting a different flavor. Try lemon, orange, tangerine, or grapefruit!
  • Make coconut lime frosting. Add a couple drops of coconut extract for a lime coconut frosting.
  • Make vanilla lime frosting. Mix in a couple of drops of vanilla extract for a vanilla lime frosting.
Slices of zucchini bread with gooey lime cream cheese frosting on top.

💡 Tips  

  • Frosting amount: This lime frosting recipe makes enough to frost 20 cupcakes, 2 loaves of quick bread, or 1 large bundt cake.
  • Use full-fat cream cheese. It’s super important to use full-fat cream cheese bricks for the frosting. Otherwise the frosting will be too runny.
  • Soften the butter and cream cheese. You don’t want them melting at all, but having the butter and cream cheese more pliable helps them blend together for a creamier texture.
  • Add the powdered sugar gradually. Adding a little at a time means you won’t end up with a cloud of sugar.
  • Texture tip: As written, this is a soft frosting, perfect for spreading. If you want something firmer for piping, you can tweak the powdered sugar amount to adjust the texture. Add powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until you have the texture you want–you can add up to an additional 1.5 cups if you’d like. You can also refrigerate it for half an hour or so after making it to help it firm up.
Cupcake with cream cheese frosting and half a lime slice on top.

🍽️ Serving Suggestions

You can serve this lime frosting on any cupcakes, muffins, or sweet breads. Try pairing it with one of these recipes:

Piping bag piping a big swirl of lime cream cheese topping on a cupcake.

💭 FAQs

Close-up of zucchini cupcake with big dollop of cream cheese frosting on top.
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Don’t miss the step-by-step tutorial showing how to make Lime Cream Cheese Frostingcheck out the web story here!

Leave a Review!

If you make this recipe, let us know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on the recipe below, and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram @elabau, or use #sugarhero on IG!

Close-up of lime frosting on top of a cupcake with half a lime slice embedded in top.

Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 2 votes
This Lime Cream Cheese Frosting is made using fresh lime juice and zest and works well on cupcakes, muffins and sweet breads. This lime frosting recipe makes about 2.5 cups — enough to frost 20 cupcakes, 2 loaves of quick bread, or 1 large bundt cake.
Texture tip: As written, this is a soft frosting, perfect for spreading. If you want something firmer for piping, you can increase the amount of powdered sugar. Add it 1/4 cup at a time until you're happy with the texture. You can also refrigerate it for half an hour or so after making it to help it firm up.
Prep10 minutes
Chilling time30 minutes
Total40 minutes
Yields20 servings


  • 4 oz unsalted butter, (1/2 cup), softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, (1 block), full fat
  • 2 TBSP fresh lime juice, fresh juice recommended
  • 3 TBSP fresh lime zest, (from ~2 limes)
  • 20 oz powdered sugar, (5 cups), or more
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  • Put the butter into the bowl of a hand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to beat until creamy.
  • Add the cream cheese and mix again until combined.
  • Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well between each addition.
  • When the powdered sugar has been incorporated, add the lime zest and lime juice, and mix until combined.
  • Add one more cup of powdered sugar, and mix it in. At this point, the frosting is perfect for spreading on breads or cakes. If you want a stiffer frosting for piping, you may want to add up to an additional cup of powdered sugar.
  • If you want to use it for piping, chill the frosting for 30 minutes to help it firm up. Otherwise, you can use it right away.
  • Cream cheese frosting should be kept in an airtight container and refrigerated. It will stay fresh for 4 days in the fridge. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw it overnight in the fridge, then stir to restore its creamy texture.

Recipe Notes

Halve this recipe if only using one loaf of sweet bread.  

Measuring Tips

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?


Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 0.03g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.04mg
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Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

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5 from 2 votes

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    1. Hi Leana! You might be thinking about tablespoons. 4 tablespoons does equal 1/4 cup. There are 2 tablespoons in each oz. So 4 oz of butter = 8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup. I hope that helps!