This has become my favorite type of frosting to use on any of my cakes, especially a homemade vegan chocolate cake anytime I have a sweet tooth.
Making homemade vegan frosting can be nerve-wracking for some people.
But you don't have to worry with this easy to follow, fool-proof vegan, dairy free cream cheese frosting recipe.
You'll end up with a delicious bowl of vegan cream cheese frosting every single time!
Why you'll love this dairy-free frosting
- It's super simple to make in just 5 minutes with only 4 basic ingredients.
- This homemade frosting is decadent and has the perfect amount of tangy flavor that is loved by anyone who loves regular cream cheese frosting!
- This fantastic frosting is so creamy, just like traditional cream cheese frosting, it's hard to believe it's actually dairy-free making it perfect for vegans and non-vegans alike!
- The vegan frosting is thick, luscious and full of flavor.
- This vegan frosting is perfect complement for your favorite home baked goods such as these vegan vanilla cupcakes, vegan chocolate cupcakes, chickpea flour brownies or vegan brownie bites as well as my favorite vegan carrot cake recipe, pumpkin bread or cookie sandwiches.
- This delicious frosting has the perfect texture and is also great for jazzing up store-bought cake mixes like this gluten-free red velvet mix which is what I used in the photos (FYI - this brand gives instructions on the package for making the cake/cupcakes vegan using aquafaba and coconut oil).
- This recipe is easy to double when you need a lot of frosting for various different baked goods.
Ingredients you'll need to make cream cheese frosting vegan
- Vegan Butter
- Vegan Cream Cheese
- Organic Powdered Sugar
- Pure Vanilla Extract
Get more info on these simple ingredients and the full recipe in the recipe card below.
How to make dairy-free cream cheese frosting
Add vegan butter, vegan non-dairy cream cheese and vanilla to a large mixing bowl.
Beat all of the ingredients together using an electric hand mixer until just smooth, but do not overbeat.
Add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, whipping in between each addition, until your frosting is smooth, creamy, and it reaches your desired consistency.
Use as desired.
How to store vegan dairy-free cream cheese frosting
You can store any leftover homemade frosting in an airtight container, mason jar, or similar container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
When you want to use your frosting again simply remove it from the refrigerator, give it a good stir, and then you're good to use this decadent frosting again.
Frequently asked questions
You can use any brand of vegan butter you'd like, but just be sure it is the stick kind rather than the spreadable kind in a tub. The butter sticks tend to hold up to whipping better than the spreads and they're usually less greasy. I used the plant-based Country Crock sticks with avocado oil for this easy vegan cream cheese frosting. You can also use Earth Balance dairy-free butter sticks in this frosting recipe. Either way, let them sit out at room temperature to soften up so they're easier to whip to make the frosting.
Luckily, there are so many options today for non-dairy alternatives to dairy products including cream cheese. My personal favorite is the Kite Hill brand, but I would also recommend Miyoko's or Violife cream cheese. If you have a good recipe, you can even use homemade vegan cream cheese..
The frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Stir before using. If it is too firm after refrigeration, allow it to sit at room temperature for a few minutes.
Even while following a vegan diet, it's totally possible to thick up your homemade icing if you find that it's too runny or didn't turn out as thick or luscious as you were hoping for. I recommend adding some extra powdered sugar to your frosting mixture and mix it up again. This should help thicken up your vegan cream cheese frosting. Start by adding an extra ¼ cup of powdered sugar and see how it changes the consistency. If needed, you can add up to a ½ cup of extra powdered sugar to your homemade frosting. This will obviously increase the sugar in the recipe and make your frosting sweeter as well. Keep this in mind as you decide if you need to add more to thicken it up. I also suggest doing a taste test as you alter the frosting to ensure you don't end up with something too sickeningly sweet to use.
If you find yourself with runny, weepy cream cheese vegan frosting, this usually happens when you accidentally overbeat the frosting. You don't need to beat the frosting for more than about a minute most of the time. If you need help thickening your frosting see the tip right above in this FAQ section.
This vegan vanilla frosting is a great frosting base to work with. You can craft other flavor variations in the blink of an eye. Trade out the pure vanilla extract for other extract flavors. Try lemon extract for a tangy, zesty lemon cream cheese frosting! Give almond extract, or a dash of maple extract a try to create a few other different, yet fantastic flavored variations of this classic homemade cream cheese frosting recipe.
Best tips and tricks
- If the frosting is too soft, refrigerate in the mixing bowl for 10-15 minutes and stir before using.
- To make this recipe nut-free, be sure to use a nut-free vegan butter and vegan cream cheese.
- To make this recipe soy-free, ensure you are using a soy-free vegan butter and vegan cream cheese.
- If you don't want to use an electric mixer, you can mix this vegan cream cheese frosting recipe in the bowl of your stand mixer. Just be sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to incorporate everything as it mixes.
- To add an extra hint of sweetness add a dash of pure maple syrup.
- I also find that if you find that your frosting is a little too thick to start off with, you can add the extra liquid left in the vegan cream cheese container to help get it to the right consistency.
- If you find that your frosting is thick enough to use on cakes, cupcakes, and other baked goods, but not thick enough to use for piping, you can remedy this by placing the frosting in the freezer for 10-15 minutes and stirring it up a bit before transferring it to the piping bags. This should get it to the perfect piping consistency.
- Some other vegan frosting recipes use coconut oil in place of the dairy-free vegan butter, however, I have not tried or tested that version so can not vouch for it either way.
- Do not melt your vegan butter to make it easier to use in this recipe, just let it sit at room temperature and soften some first.
- If your frosting becomes thinner or starts to get runny as you are using it, pop the frosting container back in the refrigerator to firm up before using it again.
Ideas to put this frosting on
- Vanilla cake
- Vegan red velvet cake
- Homemade cinnamon rolls
- Spice cake
- Other vegan cakes
- Homemade cinnamon rolls
- Vegan carrot cake cupcakes
More Vegan Sweets
Here are some more delicious recipes to give a try if you have a sweet tooth hankering now after reading all about the best vegan frosting!
Now that you see how incredibly easy it is to make your own homemade vegan frosting, gather up these 4 simple pantry staple baking ingredients and get to making the best frosting you've ever had!
Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup vegan butter (room temperature)
- 8 oz vegan cream cheese
- 3-4 cups organic powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Add vegan butter, vegan cream cheese and vanilla to a mixing bowl. Beat using an electric hand mixer until just smooth, but do not overbeat.
- Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, whipping in between each addition, scraping down the sides as needed and continuing to mix until smooth and creamy. Add ½ to 1 cup more powdered sugar if needed to achieve desired consistency, mixing after adding.
(Please refer to the post above for instructional photographs and other helpful information for this recipe)
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very yummy frosting with nice flavor - cannot tell it is vegan! 🙂 however the viscosity was a little off (too low of a viscosity)
Also, recipe yields too much frosting. even 6 servings is a ton
Thanks so much, Zoe! Glad you enjoyed the flavor! 🙂 I appreciate your feedback regarding the viscosity and amount of frosting. We tend to go a little overboard here with the amount of frosting we use lol. I know different brands of vegan butter and cream cheese will give different results as far as consistency goes in addition to other factors such as temperature, but I'm thinking perhaps a bit more powdered sugar might help with that aspect. Thank you for sharing your experience as it will be beneficial for others looking to make the frosting. 🙂
How long does it last once made asking for my mother.
Hi Hannah! The frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just be sure to tell your mom to give it a stir before using. If it is too firm after being refrigerated, it can sit at room temperature for a few minutes. Hope that helps! 🙂