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A sweet and tangy vegan cream cheese frosting that comes together quickly. It’s perfect for frosting cupcakes, carrot cake, and red velvet cake too! All you need are a few simple ingredients to achieve a fluffy frosting that you can pipe.
Growing up carrot cake was my all time favorite cake! It was the sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting paired with the warm spiced carrot cake that did it for me everytime!
At our wedding I requested a carrot cake at our coffee station so that we could nibble on cake all night long!
When I became vegan, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to enjoy this special dessert treat again!
Vegan cream cheeses don’t have the same taste and texture as regular, so making a vegan version can be a challenge.
It’s also essential that you use powdered sugar for your frosting. As you may or may not know, not all powdered sugars are actually vegan!
So, this makes is doubly difficult!
Not only that, but if not done right, cream cheese frosting can turn out too thin and runny which can cause it to run right off your cake, or even make the layers of your cake slide about!
After some experimenting, and testing with different ingredients and methods, I’ve found the absolute best way to make a light, fluffy, and stable vegan cream cheese frosting that has all the sweet tanginess you love!
Why you’ll love this vegan cream cheese frosting…
- Only a few simple ingredients
- Sweet and tangy
- Thick and creamy
- Firm and stable enough to pipe
Recipe Ingredients and Notes
The ingredients you choose to work with are key to making a light and fluffy frosting that will whip up firm and stable enough so that your cakes don’t slip!
Vegan Butter: Use room temperature vegan butter. I recommend Earth Balance or Miyokos. Earth Balance has baking sticks that work well. Remove them from the refrigerator, and give them time to come to room temperature. It’s important that they are not too cold that they won’t whip, but also not too soft, that they melt.
Vegan Cream Cheese: There are many different vegan cream cheeses on the market. They’re not all created equal! My favorite is Violife Spreadable Cream Cheese. It has the closet taste and texture to regular cream cheese that I’ve found. Be sure to drain any extra water before adding it to your mixing bowl.
Vanilla Extract: This gives a hint of vanilla that compliments the cream cheese and sugar.
Vegan Powdered Sugar: If you live in the United States, you may not know that the powdered sugar you buy at the grocery store, may not actually be vegan! I know, I was shocked too! Refined cane sugars are often filtered through bone char. However, if you buy a sugar that uses the words organic, natural, unrefined, or raw, then the sugar is vegan. I use Wholesome sugars, as they are organic, and certified vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free.
Tools and Equipment
Mixing Bowl: If not using a stand mixer with a bowl attachment you’ll need a large mixing bowl.
Measuring Cups and Spoons: To measure out your sugar and vanilla extract.
How to Make Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting – Step by Step
Step 1: Add room temperature butter to your mixing bowl. Beat until creamy, about 30 seconds.
Step 2: Drain any excess water from the cream cheese, then add to the bowl, add vanilla extract. Beat for 30 seconds to a minute but no longer! Beating for too long can cause a runny texture.
Step 3: Run a spatula along the sides of the bowl. Then add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time beating on low speed until it becomes thick. At the very end add the salt. You may need to add a bit more or less powdered sugar depending on on the consistency. When all the sugar is added, turn the mixer to medium high and beat until fluffy and stiff. Be careful not to over beat the frosting. As soon as you notice it thicken and fluff, turn off the mixer. It can quickly become runny!
Step 4: Use the frosting immediately. Or if you’re not quite ready to use the frosting, place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Remove it, stir, and test the thickness. If it’s still not quite as thick as you’d like, put it in the refrigerator for another 15 minutes, and stir again! It should be nice and thick at this point! Or repeat, until desired consistency is reached.
Top Tips for Making Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- Use the best ingredients! It’s important to use quality room temperature vegan butter. The cream cheese can be cold, but you must drain any water that has accumulated. Vegan cream cheese, can have a bit more moisture.
- Add more or less powdered sugar to reach desired consistency. It shouldn’t be off too much by the 4 1/2 cups, but you may need a little more or a little less.
- Don’t over beat your frosting. This is how you end up with runny frosting that is difficult to pipe, or causes your cake to slip!
Your cream cheese frosting is runny if you over whipped it, or if you don’t use a quality vegan cream cheese. Some are more watery, and the kind you buy in a tub is not the same consistency. Use a brick vegan cream cheese, and drain any extra water to prevent a runny frosting.
Your cream cheese frosting could turn out lumpy if your butter was too cold. You need to use room temperature butter so that it whips up creamy. Make sure it is nice and smooth when combined with the cream cheese before adding the powdered sugar.
Use the type of cream cheese that comes in a brick. I recommend the Violife brand. It is most closely similar to regular cream cheese in taste and texture.
The butter must be at room temperature, and the cream cheese cold. This results in the best texture.
Use the whip attachment on your mixer rather than the paddle attachment. The whip attachment will give you a fluffy firm texture, while the paddle attachment can give you a runny texture.
Over whipping can cause a problem! It is important that you whip it enough so that is firm and fluffy, but not too much so that it turns runny. As soon as you notice it fluff up, turn off your mixer!
How to Store Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
It’s best to keep this frosting refrigerated since it uses cream cheese as the main ingredient. It’s fine to keep a cake out at room temperature for a few hours, but longer than that, it should be placed in the refrigerator.
Can you use the vegan cream cheese frosting for decorating a cake?
This frosting can be used to pipe a cake to create a more professional look! However, it can began to melt in the piping bag from the warmth of your hands. If this happens, place the piping bag in the refrigerator to firm up again.
What do you put vegan cream cheese frosting on?
Check out these other vegan frosting and cake recipes!
- Vegan Ginger Cake
- Vegan Strawberry Cake
- Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes
- Vegan Apple Cake
- Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake
- Chocolate Vegan Frosting
- Vegan Blueberry Cake
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- Add room temperature butter to your mixing bowl. Beat until creamy, about 30 seconds.
- Drain any excess water from the cream cheese, then add to the bowl, add vanilla extract. Beat for 30 seconds to a minute but no longer! Beating for too long can cause a runny texture.
- Run a spatula along the sides of the bowl. Then add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time beating on low speed until it becomes thick. At the very end add the salt. You may need to add a bit more or less powdered sugar depending on on the consistency. When all the sugar is added, turn the mixer to medium high and beat until fluffy and stiff. Be careful not to over beat the frosting. It can quickly become runny!
- Use the frosting immediately. Or if you're not quite ready to use the frosting, place it in the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove it, stir, and test the thickness. If it's still not quite as thick as you'd like, but it in the freezer another 15 minutes, and stir again! It should be nice and thick at this point!