Dairy Free Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Dairy Free Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
318 Calories
16g Fat
44g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 318
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 19mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 43g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 4mg 0%
*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.


  • 1/2 cup dairy-free soy margarine

  • 1 (8-ounce) container dairy-free cream cheese

  • 4 cups organic confectioners' sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Dairy Free Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Add margarine, cream cheese, and confectioners' sugar to a large mixing bowl.

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

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

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

    cream cheese frosting beat together

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

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

    Dairy Free Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting in a container

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

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.