Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe (Vegan)

Platter of frosted carrot cake
Brett Stevens/Cultura/Riser/Getty Images
    5 mins
Ratings (16)

Whether you're allergic to dairy, following a vegan diet or simply looking for a twist on traditional frosting, this dairy-free vegan cream cheese frosting is for you. It's thicker and sweeter than traditional buttercream frosting, and can be used in a number of desserts beyond cake. This dairy-free cream cheese frosting isn't what you could call "healthy," but it is so delicious and creamy. In addition to dairy free cakes, use this to frost cookies, cupcakes, muffins and quickbreads!

Makes about 2 cups

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup dairy-free soy margarine
  • 1 8-ounce tub dairy-free cream cheese
  • 4 cups organic powdered sugar

How to Make It

1. In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, blend all of the ingredients until creamy and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

2. Store up to 1 day in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Frosting Tips and Ingredient Substitutions

While most frosting is super sweet, cream cheese frosting has an added savory flavor to it. This allows it a little more flexibility on vegan desserts. Where buttercream frosting would be too sweet, cream cheese frosting is perfect.

For example, cupcakes with veggies are great with this frosting. Zucchini cupcakes, carrot cake, pumpkin spice cupcakes and the like are better off with cream cheese frosting. Some unique recipes to try and top with this frosting include butternut squash cake cookies, homemade cinnamon rolls, and gingerbread loaf.

Add Flavor to Your Frosting

To give your cream cheese frosting a twist, you can also add flavor. While this recipe doesn't call for it, a teaspoon of vanilla extract can enhance the flavor of the frosting. You might also try peppermint extract, or crushed peppermint candies during the holidays, ground ginger, and even lemon zest. To make icing, which is looser and more liquidy than traditional frosting, add citrus juice. Just a couple tablespoons will do. Lemon, lime or even fresh-squeezed orange juice with a teaspoon of zest can enhance the cream cheese frosting flavor.

Make a Savory Cream Cheese Frosting

While traditional frosting is made with sugar, you can make frosting that's great for hors d'oeuvres that's anything but sweet. Top bite-sized foods like mac and cheese cups or corn muffins with a savory frosting that has no sugar. Replace the sugar in the above recipe with a little salt and an ingredient that brings out the savory flavor of the cream cheese, such as mustard, cayenne pepper, chives or even hot sauce. Some add a little honey, but it's up to you to decide what's best. Whether savory or sweet, enjoy.