Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting (Vegan)

Platter of frosted carrot cake on a white background

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  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
313 Calories
13g Fat
49g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 313
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 144mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 1g
Calcium 23mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Whether you're allergic to dairy, lactose-intolerant, following a vegan diet, or simply looking for a twist on traditional frosting, this dairy-free vegan cream cheese frosting is for you. It takes just minutes to whip up and only requires a few ingredients. You can find dairy-free "butter" and "cream cheese" in most supermarkets near the dairy section. These vegan alternatives tend to be soy-based and taste remarkably like the real thing.

To make this frosting easier to mix up, let the margarine and cream cheese come to room temperature. If it is too soft for decorating, let the frosting chill in the fridge to stiffen up.

This cream cheese frosting is thicker and sweeter than traditional buttercream and can be used in a number of desserts beyond cake. Use it to frost cupcakes, decorate cookies, on top of quick bread or cinnamon rolls, or make cake balls.

Ingredients

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

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add the margarine, cream cheese, and powdered sugar to a large mixing bowl.

  3. Use an electric mixer to blend all of the ingredients until creamy and fluffy (about 5 minutes).

  4. Store up to one day in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

How to Use

While most frosting is super sweet, cream cheese frosting also has a tangy, almost savory flavor to it, which allows it a little more flexibility with vegan desserts:

  • For example, cakes with veggies in them (zucchini cupcakes, carrot cake, pumpkin spice cake) are great with this frosting.
  • Moist, not-too-sweet cakes also pair well, such as banana cake, red velvet cake, or a gingerbread cake or loaf.
  • Try using the frosting to top homemade cinnamon rolls or as a filling for whoopie pies.
  • Use to decorate cookies or sandwich them together.

Recipe Variations

  • While this recipe doesn't call for it, a teaspoon of vanilla extract can enhance the flavor of the frosting. 
  • To give your cream cheese frosting a twist, you can also add flavor. You might also try peppermint extract, or crushed peppermint candies during the holidays, ground ginger or cinnamon, or orange or lemon zest
  • To make the frosting into icing, which is looser and more liquidy than traditional frosting, add a couple of tablespoons of citrus juice. Lemon, lime, or even fresh-squeezed orange juice with a teaspoon of zest can enhance the flavor of the frosting.
  • While traditional frosting is made with sugar, you can make frosting that's great for hors-d'oeuvres that's anything but sweet. Replace the sugar in the 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.