This vegan cream cheese frosting is rich, creamy and tastes just like the real deal! Perfect for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and eating by the spoonful.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting being piped onto a vegan pumpkin cupcake.

Cream cheese frosting use to be my favorite frosting. That’s saying a lot from a girl who generally favors chocolate anything. But there’s just something about cream cheese frosting…it’s so rich, so creamy, and that tangy flavor!

So why did it take me this long to create a vegan cream cheese frosting recipe, you ask? I mean, I’ve covered vegan chocolate frosting and vegan vanilla buttercream frosting.

The thing is, dairy-free cream cheese frosting is tricky! For years I tried it and got it wrong. Cashews, while amazing in so many cheesy vegan recipes, always turned into ended up making a sloppy, gloppy, unusable frosting.

Vegan cream cheese works much better, but is still tricky. It may seem simple to simply swap out conventional cream cheese with vegan cream cheese in a classic cream cheese frosting recipe, but it never really works. You need to make some adjustments. Don’t worry though! I’m here to guide you through all the steps and tricks!

Jump to:

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Vegan cream cheese. Many stores sell this in refrigerated area of the natural foods aisle. Ideally you want an 8-ounce container, but some brands only sell 7-ounce containers, and that’ll work. I’ve tested the recipe with Kite Hill, Tofutti, and Violife cream cheese, so use one of those brands if you can. And make sure it’s cold! Unlike dairy-based cream cheese, room temperature vegan cream cheese is too soft for making frosting.
  • Vegan butter. This ingredient does need to be at room temperature, so make sure to set it out a few hours in advance. I recommend using Earth Balance or Miyoko’s brand for this recipe. I do not recommend using Melt, which I found really lives up to it’s name and is too soft for making good frosting.
  • Lemon juice. This is totally optional, but a friend recently told me that it makes cream cheese frosting taste cheesier, and she was right! Keep in mind that you might need some extra powdered sugar since we’re using more liquid.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • Powdered sugar. Use organic powdered sugar to keep the recipe vegan. Conventional (non-organic) powdered sugar may be processed using animal bone char, so it’s not considered vegan.
  • Salt. Just a pinch is needed to enhance the flavor of this frosting.

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

Vegan butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl, unmixed.

Place your vegan butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and salt into a large mixing bowl. You can add the lemon juice too, if you’re using it, or you can add it later after taste-testing the frosting.

Creamed mixture of vegan butter, cream cheese, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl with electric mixer.

Use an electric mixer at high speed to beat the ingredients together until the mixture is creamy.

Tip: Make sure to combine the ingredients completely at this stage, but don’t overdo it. The challenge when making this frosting is to keep the cream cheese cool, and the more you beat it, the more it will warm up.

Powdered sugar sitting on top of mixture of vegan butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl with electric mixer.

Begin adding powdered sugar to the mixture, about one cup at a time. Beat in each addition before adding more.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting in a mixing bowl with electric mixer.

Keep adding powdered sugar until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.

Tip: The more powdered sugar you add, the thicker your frosting will be. But it will also be sweeter. Try to find a balance between sweetness and consistency that works for you, keeping in mind that it will probably soften a bit when you spread or pipe it.

How to Use Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Slice of Vegan Carrot Cake on a Plate with Additional Slices, Coffee Cup and Strawberries in the Background

This recipe makes enough frosting to frost a two layer cake, a 9 x 13 sheet cake, to generously frost sixteen cupcakes, or to lightly frost a dozen cupcakes.

Keeping the frosting cool is crucial, particularly if you’re piping it. If it starts to get sloppy, pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Always make sure your cake (or whatever you are frosting) is 100% cool before frosting it.

Shelf-Life & Storage

Vegan cream cheese frosting will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days.

What to Top with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Like this recipe? If so, please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you try it! Also be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for more recipes like this one!

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting being piped onto a pumpkin cupcake.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

This vegan cream cheese frosting is rich, creamy and tastes just like the real deal! Perfect for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and eating by the spoonful.

Ingredients

  • 8
    ounces
    vegan cream cheese,
    chilled (Note 1)
  • ½
    cup
    vegan butter,
    room temperature (Note 2)
  • 1
    teaspoon
    lemon juice
    (optional)
  • 1
    teaspoon
    vanilla extract
  • Pinch
    salt
  • 4 ½
    cups
    organic powdered sugar,
    plus more as needed, up to 5 ½ cups

Instructions

  1. Place the vegan cream cheese, butter, lemon juice (if using), vanilla and salt into a large mixing bowl. Beat them together with an electric mixer at high-speed until fully mixed, about 1 minute.

  2. Begin adding the powdered sugar, about cup at a time, fully beating in each addition before adding more. Scrape the sides of a bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

  3. Continue adding powdered sugar until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.

  4. Use immediately or place in an airtight container and chill for later (Note 3).

Recipe Notes

  1. Some brands of vegan cream cheese use 7 ounce containers. This will be enough to make this recipe.
  2. Earth Balance and Miyoko’s brands are recommended. I don’t recommend using Melt brand.
  3. I recommend chilling the frosting for 15 to 30 minutes before using.
  4. This recipe makes about 3 cups of frosting, or enough to frost a two-layer 9-inch cake, a 9 x 13-inch sheet cake, or to frost 16 to 24 cupcakes.

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Amount Per Serving (3 tablespoons)

Calories 151
Calories from Fat 58

% Daily Value*

Fat 6.4g10%

Saturated Fat 2.4g12%

Sodium 90mg4%

Potassium 1mg0%

Carbohydrates 23.4g8%

Fiber 0.7g3%

Sugar 22.4g25%

Protein 0.7g1%

Calcium 7mg1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.





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