Whether you call it frosting or icing, my decadent vegan cream cheese frosting recipe is perfect to pair with carrot cake, red velvet cupcakes and many other baked goods. Quick and easy to make, it is creamy and smooth with just the right amount of tang.
Why You Should Make This
Being dairy free doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on cream cheese frosting. With many stores now selling allergy-friendly options, you can easily swap out traditional cream cheese for one that suits your dietary requirements and still enjoy this type of frosting.
This frosting is decadent, easy to make and pairs wonderfully with cupcakes, cakes and even donuts!
Ingredients and Substitutions
My decadent cream cheese frosting is vegan as we are using a coconut based cream cheese and plant based butter. You can easily swap out the ingredients if you are not vegan to use dairy based alternatives.
Icing Sugar: I highly recommend sifting your icing sugar before making this frosting to ensure that there are no lumps. We want our icing to be nice and smooth so that it spreads and pipes easily.
Cream Cheese: Coconut-based cream cheese is the perfect alternative for dairy cream cheese. While it is made with coconut, that does not overpower the taste of the icing as we are adding additional flavouring. Sub with your preferred cream cheese if you are not vegan.
Butter: I am using room temperature unsalted plant based butter. If you want to cut down on the sweetness of the icing, you could either add a pinch of salt or use salted butter instead. I do not recommend using tub butter as it can have a tendency to be too oily for frostings. Sub with dairy butter if you are not vegan.
Flavouring: I like to add a dash of vanilla bean paste to enhance the flavour of the cream cheese frosting. Feel free to omit it if you do not want to include it.
How to make Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
This recipe makes 500 grams of cream cheese frosting which is ample for an 8 inch layer cake. Before making your cream cheese, ensure that your icing sugar is lump free and that your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature. I like to take mine out of the fridge about 20 minutes before I am ready to use them.
I am using a tub of coconut based cream cheese (227 grams). If your tub of cream cheese is a slightly different size, adjust the recipe accordingly. Let’s start by adding the cream cheese, half of the icing sugar, vanilla bean paste and 50g plant based butter to a mixing bowl. You can make this in a stand mixer if you prefer or even mix by hand.
The ingredients may not look much but this will make a generous-sized batch of frosting.
Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Don’t panic that the consistency seems a bit too runny at this stage. It will thicken up nicely once we add the rest of the icing sugar.
Add the remaining icing sugar and mix until smooth.
The cream cheese icing will be slightly runny and easily spreadable, which is ideal if you want to use it on cakes or donuts. If you want to thicken it up more to pipe it on cupcakes or cakes, add another 50 grams of icing sugar and pop it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
I included the video for this frosting in my ultimate full carrot cake bake along. To skip to the frosting section, click here.
Look how wonderful this vegan cream cheese frosting looks on my carrot cake. Oh so yummy!
My decadent vegan cream cheese frosting is heat sensitive and as such should be stored in the fridge. Store in an airtight container and use within 1 week. You can also freeze it if you have spare frosting.
How to use Cream Cheese Frosting
If you love cream cheese, check out my ultimate carrot cake recipe and my red velvet donuts, which can also be turned into red velvet cupcakes! This frosting is perfect to spread on top of cakes, muffins and donuts and compliments the carrot and red velvet flavours really well.
Feel inspired to try this recipe? Let me know what you think of it in the comments below.
Decadent Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cream Cheese Icing:
- 227 grams Plant Based Cream Cheese
- 400 grams Icing Sugar
- 50 grams Plant Based Butter (unsalted)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
- Gather your equipment and ingredients. Butter and cream cheese should be at room temperature.
Making the Cream Cheese Icing:
- Add the cream cheese, half of the icing sugar, vanilla bean paste and 50g plant based butter to a mixing bowl. Mix to combine.
- Add the remaining icing sugar and mix until smooth. The cream cheese icing will be slightly runny and is the perfect consistency for spreading on cakes. If you want to thicken it up more to pipe it on cupcakes and cakes, add 50 grams extra icing sugar and chill for 20 minutes.
- This cream cheese icing recipe makes 500 grams and will crust over when refrigerated. It is the perfect consistency for spreading on cakes and donuts, such as my ultimate carrot cake and my red velvet donuts.
- To pipe on cakes and cupcakes, refrigerate for 20 minutes before using. This will help the icing hold its shape
- Additional icing should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
- I always weigh my ingredients rather than use cup measures. This ensures accuracy for every recipe and perfect results every time. I will be adding a more detailed post on this method of weighing soon as well as my handy conversion guide for US cup measurements.