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Carrot cake frosted with vegan cream cheese frosting on a white cake stand.
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4.96 from 44 votes

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Creamy and tangy vegan cream cheese frosting made with homemade vegan cream cheese! Smooth and delicious and perfect on vegan cakes or cupcakes.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dessert, How To
Cuisine: Vegan
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 16
Calories: 194kcal

Ingredients

For the Vegan Cream Cheese:

  • 1 ½ cups Raw Cashews (225g) soaked in hot water for 1 hour
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • ½ cup Coconut Cream (120ml) Canned, Full Fat, Unsweetened
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Distilled White Vinegar

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces Homemade Vegan Cream Cheese (226g)
  • ¼ cup Vegan Butter (56g)
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar (480g)
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  • To make your vegan cream cheese, soak the raw cashews in hot water for 1 hour. Add the cashews to a bowl, pour boiling water from the kettle over it, cover with a cloth and leave to soak for 1 hour.
  • Then drain the cashews and add to a blender jug with the lemon juice, coconut cream, salt and white vinegar. Blend. If you have a stick attachment for your blender then use this to push the mixture down onto the blades as you blend for easier blending. If you don't have this attachment, then just be patient, and stop regularly and scrape down the sides, give it a stir and carry on until you have a smooth texture.
  • Transfer the cream cheese from the blender to a storage container.
  • Now you're ready to make your cream cheese. Weigh out 8-ounces (226g) of the cream cheese and place it into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Then add the vegan butter, sift in the powdered sugar and add the vanilla extract.
  • Starting at slow speed gradually increase speed until the frosting is thick and smooth.
  • Place the bowl of frosting in the fridge to firm up before using, or use it right away and then place the cake into the fridge for the frosting to firm up on top of the cake. The frosting is a little on the soft/runny side when first made but firms up a lot in the fridge. You can also add more powdered sugar if you want to, but this will effect the flavor balance.

Notes

  1. If you don't want to make your own vegan cream cheese first, and have a store-bought brand that you like then you are free to use that instead (in the same quantity). It's better not to let your mixer go to top speed if you're using a store-bought brand as it can cause it to get too runny. But with the homemade cream cheese you can go at top speed without an issue.
  2. With the leftover cream cheese that is not needed for the frosting (you'll have around 5-ounces leftover), add in ¼ tsp white vinegar, ¼ tsp onion powder and ⅛ tsp dried dill and stir it in and use this to spread on crackers or bagels or bread.
  3. You might be wondering why we can't just make a batch of vegan cream cheese that is the perfect amount for this frosting and have nothing left over? It's actually hard to make too little as it gets very hard to blend if you make too small a batch of something, so just make the full batch and enjoy the leftovers savory style!
  4. There is enough frosting here to frost a 3-layer 6-inch cake or a 2-layer 7-inch or 8-inch cake. For a larger cake you may want to increase the recipe or it might just be a thinner layer of frosting.
  5. The prep time does not include the time spent soaking the cashews or any time for the frosting to firm up in the fridge.
  6. The homemade cream cheese recipe is an adaptation from our recipe for vegan cream cheese. The cake featured in these photos is our vegan carrot cake.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serve | Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.8g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 6.8g | Saturated Fat: 2.3g | Sodium: 105mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 29.6g