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!
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:
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!
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.
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.
And there you have it! Nothing complicated, just purely delicious frosting that will make any cake even better.
- 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!).
Pin it for later!
*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 https://www.blendtec.com)