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Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

This vegan cream cheese frosting is super sweet, slightly tangy and beautifully creamy. It tastes just like the real deal and can be made quickly and easily. Perfect for topping cakes, brownies and other sweet treats!

close up of a frosted vegan cake

Who doesn’t love cream cheese frosting?

It’s sweet, tangy and a perfect match for any baked treat. And this one tastes just like the traditional version except it’s dairy free!

It’s a super simple recipe and only requires 3 ingredients:

  • Vegan cream cheese
  • Vegan butter
  • Powdered sugar

Want more vegan frosting recipes?

Anything with sweet cream cheese on top is the epitome of an amazing dessert to me. I could literally eat it on its own by the spoonful, and I may or may not have actually done this on more than one occasion…

Guilty!

Following on from my vegan red velvet cupcakes post, I wanted to make a completely new post for this frosting because I use it in quite a few of my recipes.

The best thing about this is that it goes with almost any cake flavour you can imagine. It would even taste great spread on top of cookies!

And depending on what you’re having it with, you can add any sort of flavourings to the frosting itself such as lemon or strawberry. So easy and adaptable!

Try pairing the frosting with these vegan treats?

Here are some of my favorite recipes to pair it with:

vegan cream cheese frosting in a bowl

How to Make Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting:

Before you start, you’ll (obviously) need some vegan soft cheese. Homemade or store bought is fine- just whatever you prefer!

In my opinion, Violife is the best vegan cream cheese for frosting as it tastes delicious, perfectly smooth and has given me great results every time!

I like it because it’s coconut based, meaning that it firms up when cold, but it doesn’t have that overwhelming coconut taste that a lot of vegan cheeses do. It’s the closest thing taste-wise that I’ve found so far.

Step 1:

In a large bowl, add 100 grams (3.5oz or ~half a standard package) of vegan soft cheese along with 60g (1/4 cup) of vegan butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix it together well using a wooden spoon.

Be careful not to over-beat it at this point or the finished icing will become runny. It’s best to mix it until it’s JUST combined.

Step 2:

Now add 2 + 1/2 cups (315 grams) of powdered sugar a little bit at a time. Make sure to mix it little by little to prevent mess.

You can sift the sugar first if you prefer but I’ve found it’s not really necessary. After a good mix, the lumps usually disappear completely.

Note: Do not attempt to immediately whisk the powdered sugar into the other ingredients. You will end up covered head-to-toe in powdered sugar (can you tell I’m talking from experience?!).

It’s best to mix the ingredients together gently with a wooden spoon first then give it a whisk at the end if you so desire.

mixing ingredients together in a bowl

Step 3:

Once all of the ingredients are combined, pop the frosting into the fridge for an hour or two. This part isn’t essential but it will make it easier to work with.

After mixing, the wet ingredients become a bit softer and a little runny. But as they firm back up in the fridge, the frosting will become more stable.

Refrigerating the frosting before using it will prevent your cakes from sliding as you stack them and will also allow you to pipe it without it losing its shape.

How to use this frosting for cupcakes

After you finish making the frosting, transfer it to a piping bag before refrigerating for an hour or so.

When it is firm enough, pipe it onto your cupcakes and return them to the fridge to prevent the frosting from melting. Cream cheese frosting is much more fragile than buttercream!

cupcake with frosting

How to use it for layer cakes

To stack larger cakes with this frosting, I’d recommend refrigerating the cakes after spreading it on each layer. This will prevent the next layer from sliding off before the frosting is fully set.

You can add the next cake layer without refrigerating first but it is very likely that the frosting will drip down the sides and pool at the bottom.

Top tips

  • Use a coconut oil or tofu based cream cheese such as Violife or Tofutti for best results.
  • Use the cream cheese and vegan butter while cold, straight from the fridge, rather than at room temperature- they will soften as you mix them.
  • Refrigerate the frosting for an hour or two to let it firm up and make it easier to work with.
  • When spreading or piping it onto your cakes, work in a cool room if possible to prevent it from melting.
  • Refrigerate layer cakes for 30-60 minutes after frosting before adding the next layer. This will prevent them from sliding around as you stack them.
  • After frosting, store the cakes in the fridge for the best texture.
  • Different brands of cream cheese can yield different results. If the frosting is still runny after an hour of refrigeration, add more powdered sugar until you get your desired consistency.
cream cheese frosting in a bowl with a frosted cake in the background

FAQ:

How much cream cheese frosting does the recipe yield?

This recipe will frost ~8 cupcakes (depending on wether you’re piping or spreading it) or the centre and top of two 8″ cakes.

For larger layer cakes that might need it spread up the sides, simply double the recipe.

How should I store it?

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for at least a week. To be really honest, it probably lasts a lot longer. I just tend to use it all up within that time frame!

It will keep well for a few day once it’s piped or spread onto cakes. So just to be on the safe side, I’d recommend frosting your cakes on the day or the day before you plan to serve them.

Pinterest pin

That’s it for now! I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make it yourself, please leave a comment to let me know what you think- I love hearing from you!

xo

vegan cream cheese frosting on a single layer cake
5 from 2 votes
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Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Fluffy, tangy frosting made with dairy-free ingredients. Perfect for topping cakes with!

Course Dessert
Cuisine vegan
Keyword vegan cream cheese frosting
Prep Time 5 minutes
Chill time 1 hour
Servings 1 batch
Calories 224 kcal

Ingredients

  • 100 Vegan soft cheese (3.5 oz, or around half a standard-sized package)
  • 60 g Vegan butter (¼ cup)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 315 g Icing/powdered sugar (2+½ cups)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the vegan cream cheese with the butter and vanilla using a wooden spoon. It's best to use these ingredients straight from the fridge.

  2. Add in the powdered sugar, mixing it in a little at a time, until JUST combined. For thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar. For thinner frosting, add more soft cheese until you reach your desired consistency.

  3. Place the frosting into the fridge for at least 1 hour to firm up. Refrigerating it first will help it to hold its shape and prevent it from dripping down the sides of your cake.

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe will frost ~8 cupcakes or the centre and top of a 2-layer cake. To frost more cupcakes or a larger layer cake including the sides, double the recipe. 
  • When frosting layer cakes, refrigerate each layer for 30-60 minutes before frosting the next to prevent sliding.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • Store any cakes that have been frosted in the fridge as the frosting will become softer at room temperature.
  • For thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving (1 8th)
Calories 224 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Sodium 101mg4%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Sugar 39g43%
* All values are an estimate only and will vary depending on the food brands used.
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Recipe Rating




Michelle

Friday 25th of September 2020

Hi I love Violife too. I wanted to know when you make this frosting does the cream cheese end up breaking into little pieces? This seems to happen every time I try to make cream cheese frosting. Do you have any tips to avoid this? Thx Michelle

Chloe

Saturday 26th of September 2020

Hey Michelle!

That has never happened to me before. Sounds like it's splitting, which might be because the ingredients are too warm (I always use the cream cheese and vegan butter straight from the fridge for this recipe). Another thing that could cause this is over mixing. Mix it enough so everything is just combined and no more. It'll still be quite runny at first but will firm up after being in the fridge for a bit.

Hope that helps, let me know how you get on! xo

Casey

Thursday 6th of February 2020

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