Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with flowers CU


Cream cheese frosting doesn’t have to be something you long for — even if you’re dairy-free, this vegan cream cheese frosting recipe is the perfect icing on the cake.

Smooth, creamy, just the right amount of sweet. It’s the ideal frosting for gluten free carrot cake (pictured above), healthier gluten free carrot cake cupcakes (pictured below), gluten free chocolate beer cake, gluten free apple butter cake, gluten-free cinnamon rolls … you name it!

Of course feel free to use regular dairy cream cheese in this recipe if you would rather; as written, this recipe works perfectly either way!

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Some brands call their vegan cream cheese “cream cheese style spreads”; don’t let this name fool you — it’s the same thing! So bake boldly and add this yummy vegan cream cheese frosting to your homemade cakes and cupcakes knowing everyone will love it!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to gather:

vegan cream cheese frosting ingredients

Sift the confectioner’s sugar in any frosting recipe for best results. If you don’t happen to have a flour or sugar sifter, just do what I do: use a sieve!

sifting confectioner's sugar

Once mixed, your frosting should hold nice peaks for prettiest results.

Add more confectioner’s sugar if it’s too runny; add a tablespoon or two of your favorite milk (dairy or non-dairy) if it’s too thick.

cinnamon roll icing blendtec

I like to use my Blendtec* Blender with Twister Jar (easy for mixing and for cleanup!) or you can just use a stand mixer or and mixer with whisk attachment.

vegan cream cheese frosting in mixing bowl

And there you have it! Nothing complicated, just purely delicious frosting that will make any cake even better.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 4 cups of frosting
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Smooth and creamy and not too sweet -- this vegan cream cheese frosting recipe is one you can turn to again and again to adorn every variety of confection!


  • 10 ounces cream cheese style spread (Tofutti, Violife, Follow Your Heart®; Go Veggie®) or dairy cream cheese**
  • 8 Tbs. shortening (preferred) OR butter or vegan alternative (I use Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)*
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract or pineapple juice
  • 5+ cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)


Bring vegan cream cheese and butter alternative, if using, to room temperature.

Whip the cream cheese, butter and sugar until smooth, then stir in vanilla.

Sift confectioner's sugar to remove any lumps. Slowly add half of the sugar to the cream cheese mixture. When smooth, add remaining sugar and whip with whisk attachment on electric mixer until smooth and soft peaks form. Add more sugar if the frosting is too thin or stir in your milk of choice, one tablespoon at a time, if the frosting is too thick. You will find that each brand of vegan cream cheese is slightly different in terms of moisture and thickness.

Transfer to a piping bag with large tip or a zip-top bag with a small corner cut out. You may also simply spread in a swirling motion on top of cooled cake or cupcakes before serving.

Refrigerate cupcakes or cake if not serving soon and it's hot where the cake is being stored.


**My preference is Tofutti or Go Veggie brand for best results. Many vegan brands of cream cheese tend to make this frosting too watery, and the frosting will need to be refrigerated or frozen while frosting the cake in order to keep it from being too thin.

* Shortening works best with many brands of vegan cream cheese. Do not use Melt brand vegan butter or the frosting will be watery and will "melt!". If using vegan butter, my preference is Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (not tub spread!).

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment (and maybe even a picture!) below or share a photo on Instagram! Be sure to tag me! @gfJules

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

Pin it for later!

This vegan cream cheese frosting takes the gluten free cake, topping any cake recipe deliciously! It makes any confection sweeter!

*I am a Blendtec Ambassador because I love and believe in the quality of their products. I use my blender for everything from daily smoothies to cinnamon roll icing! As always, all opinions are my own.  See my disclosure policy for more information. Working with select brands I love allows me to keep bringing you free recipes, and I hope that in the process, you’ll learn about some of the safe gluten free products I choose for my family. Thanks so much for your support! (Enter code GFJULES at for 25% off at




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  1. These are delicious, Jules and by far the best gfree cinnamon rolls I’ve had! They are fairly simple too!
    Can I freeze leftover icing?

    • Hi Kimberly, so happy you loved the recipe! And yes, for cinnamon rolls, they’re pretty darned easy to make!
      I’ve never frozen the icing, but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t. Maybe freeze in a freezer bag so when it thaws you can can knead it back to the right consistency if it separates?

  2. dough falls apart , cant even roll it
    sugar does. ot melt during baking
    will try to tweak this receipe since it is not comin out as it is supposed to

  3. The GF beer cake is always requested every place I go. It is so very easy to put together quickly and has a delicious flavor. I find that with my oven it is best to leave cake in the oven until edges just begin to pull away from pan while baking; otherwise the middle of cake may be a little gooey. Overall it is everyone’s favorite. Also, the Cream Cheese Frosring is a must.

    • So glad to hear it’s a favorite for your friends, too. It’s one of the most asked-for recipes among mine as well! It’s so light and not too sweet – perfect with that frosting!!!!

  4. Jules- does cream cheese frosting need to be refrigerated once it is on a cupcake? I don’t know if the high sugar content is enough to act as a preservative, and I don’t see anything about refrigeration at the end of your recipe. Thanks!

    • Hi Gina, that’s a reasonable question but I’ve thus far never needed to know the answer because they’re so darn good, they get eaten right away! I also use soy cream cheese, which helps. I suspect that the sugar is actually enough in this recipe, but if you have any concerns, certainly refrigerate or freeze.
      You make some beautiful cookies, by the way! Nice website! Do you do any gluten free?

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