How to Make Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

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Stirring a bowl of our homemade Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Using a butter knife to spread Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting onto a cake

How to Make Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

3-ingredient Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting perfect for cakes, cupcakes, quick breads, cookies, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
Stirring a bowl of our homemade Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
4.62 from 77 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 (1/4-cup servings)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 5 Days


  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (softened to room temperature // such as Earth Balance // butter sticks are best, not the spreadable tub // 1 stick yields 1/2 cup)
  • 1 8-ounce container vegan cream cheese (slightly softened // such as Tofutti or Trader Joe’s brand // out of the fridge for 1 hour)
  • 3 – 5 cups sifted organic powdered sugar


  • To a large mixing bowl, add softened butter and beat or whisk vigorously to combine. Then add vegan cream cheese and mix again until creamy and smooth.
  • Add sifted powdered sugar in 1 cup (100 g // amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) increments until thick and spreadable and to desired sweetness.
  • You want this frosting to be pretty thick so it won’t slide around, so keep adding powdered sugar until it reaches the right consistency.
  • Perfect for frosting cakes, cupcakes, muffins, and more! Refrigerate after frosting to keep fresh (up to 5 days).


*Recipe makes ~2 cups frosting.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 quarter-cup servings Calories: 280 Carbohydrates: 41 g Protein: 0.3 g Fat: 13 g Saturated Fat: 4.6 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 163 mg Fiber: 0 g Sugar: 37.3 g

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  1. T says

    This is a great recipe. It is so easy to adjust for finished volume. This recipe was used for a two layer carrot cake (no icing on the side of cake). Thank you for notation that final product should be thick in consistency. Tastes delicious.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Fran, That won’t work, unfortunately! But you could blend up granulated sugar to make powdered sugar (check the internet for instructions/guidance on that). Hope that helps!

  2. Laura Newton says

    I used Miyokos cream cheese frosting, 2.5 cups of sugar, and about a tablespoon of lemon juice. Love the sweet tangy frosting to go on my carrot cake.

  3. Suzzanna says

    I made this recipe using margarine and vegan cream cheese. I added 1 cup chopped pecans and 2 teaspoons vanilla, which my regular cream cheese frosting recipe calls for. After I mixed everything together, the frosting separated and was too runny to frost my layer cake. I’ve never had that happen using my regular cream cheese frosting recipe. I improvised and added 2 teaspoons of xanthan gum, which worked very well, so I was able to salvage the frosting. Whew! I would have hated to throw it out, since vegan cream cheese and pecans aren’t cheap! Do you think the vanilla and/or nuts made the frosting runny?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Suzzanna, it’s possible that the margarine and vegan cream cheese were just more “watery”, or that they tend to not do as well at room temperature? Glad you were able to salvage it!

    • Udoka says

      This recipe worked great! I used it as a base and added passion fruit pulp and a hint of yuzu to flavour it. I didn’t have enough vegan cream cheese so I just subbed with a little extra vegan butter and it worked fine.

  4. Keren Warner says

    I have made this twice now, both times for the Crazy Carrot Cake recipe. It all got rave reviews. I do add a bit of orange zest to the cake and the frosting recipes and found it gave just the right bit of something extra. Thank you.

    • Sammie says

      LOVE this recipe. I’ve made this about 5-6 times now (with your carrot cake recipe). People rave about it for days on after. Only thing is it’s always a little runny — though it’s so tasty people say they don’t even mind. On different attempts I’ve tried adding more sugar, some corn starch, some tapioca starch, refrigerating before using. It’ll comes out ok when frosting. But then the cake sits out for 30-60 mins and it starts to get drippy. I use violife (out for an hour) and earth balance (room temp), with a paddle attachment. Thoughts?

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        So glad this is a staple recipe for you, Sammie! You’re right to add more sugar/starch for a thicker, sturdier texture, but even traditional cream cheese frosting gets a bit “weepy” when out at room temperature, unfortunately it’s just the nature of frosting!

  5. Tania says

    Hi, just wondering if maple syrup instead of sugar would work in this recipe? Or if you have a sugar alternative? Thanks :)

      • Nooshin says

        I was wondering the same thing. I feel like I did this last time and used tapioca or coconut flour and maple syrup instead? I’m trying to recreate but don’t remember exactly what I did.

  6. Rosalie says

    This is an excellent recipe. I used slightly less than 3 cups of sifted powdered sugar and added a pinch of vanilla as suggested by another commenter, and I used it to top the first vegan chocolate cake that I made from scratch for my daughter’s birthday. Thank you so much for this easy, delicious recipe.

  7. Liz says

    This is my go-to cream cheese frosting!!! I just made a batch tonight; Violife Cream Cheese and Country Crock vegan (I prefer Myokos, though). Since I was topping pumpkin spice muffins, I added some ginger powder for a little zing – it’s fantastic!!! I love your recipes-thank you so much for all of your hard work!! Om shanti!🙏🏻

  8. Mindy Bence says

    Oops I just realized I made an error. The second time I made this, I added 3 scant tablespoons of tapioca flour/starch (I keep a 2 tablespoon scoop in the bag) and 1 1/2 cups swerve confectioners and I added 1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste. I love vanilla, but I was nervous to add anything else that was a liquid for fear it wouldn’t get thick. Worked great!

  9. Mindy Bence says

    Hi. I have a weird diet because of chronic health issues, so I’ve had to “mix and match” recipes on lots of sites. I can’t have cashew, but I can have almond; I can have eggs, but not dairy, etc. So I’ve successfully made this recipe twice. I use palm shortening (both Nutiva and spectrum with and without coconut) and Kite Hill almond cream cheese. I have a hankering for cake every once in a while, and I’m totally in love with the gluten free palate’s recipe for grain free hummingbird cake (uses fruit and a bit of maple syrup for sweetening) that I’ve used this frosting for (and I made that recipe into muffins without frosting). I have been successful with adding 2 T tapioca flour and 2 cups of swerve confectioners (or erythritol that I’ve put in my Vitamix). Today, I went with 1 1/2 T of tapioca flour and 1 1/2 cups of swerve confectioners (I measure it into my sifter and sift it over the frosting bowl). The last time I made this cake and used this frosting (with the 2 cups of swerve), my husband raved over it – that is saying a lot without real sugar, or without real cream cheese! Even before I put the frosting in the fridge, a heavy tablespoon can stand up in the bowl! Sorry I tried all the ways I know how to include my pic.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Mindy! Sadly you can’t attach pictures with comments, but you can always tag us on Facebook or Instagram @minimalistbaker. xo

  10. Megan says

    Hello, Should I double the recipe to frost and fill a 3-layer carrot cake where I will also be piping decorations? Also, if doubling, should it be done in separate batches to avoid it breaking/splitting or one batch okay?
    Thank you.

  11. David G says

    I made this per directions and it split. Tasted really buttery as well and was a little bit of a turn off. Any tips in getting it smooth?

  12. Cara says

    Hi there, I made this for a party next weekend and put it on the tiered vegan carrot cake and froze the whole thing then saw this frosting says not freezer friendly. Is there a reason why? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cara, we haven’t tried freezing it and we suspect that results will vary depending on the type of butter and cream cheese you used. Vegan substitutes tend to have a high water content, so that could affect the final texture, but if you thaw it in the refrigerator it should be okay. Hope this helps!

  13. Rich says

    I used Myoko’s vegan butter and Violife cream cheese.
    It’s amazing!
    I haven’t frosted the cake yet, but so far, so good!

  14. Raven says

    I doubled this recipe using the Toffuti vegan cream cheese and the consistency and sweetness level was perfect. I personally regret using Toffuti brand cause it tasted like cardboard and kind of affected the taste of the frosting, but it turned out still yummy mixed with the flavor of a vegan red velvet cake I made. Would 100% recommend!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Raven! We’re glad to hear it turned out well overall! xo

      • Leanne says

        I used this frosting for carrot cake and it was perfect. Fluffy, creamy, not too sweet. I did add a pinch of salt and some vanilla powder which enhanced its flavor.

  15. Christine says

    I am going to try this recipe, but I am a very limited sugar diet for health reasons. Is there another sugar I can use to make the frosting besides the powdered sugar. Can I also use home made cream cheese instead of store bought. Thank you for making ppl like me enjoy making meals which are tasty and easy to do. God bless you.

  16. Shannon says

    Tried this for some cinnamon rolls I made. It was perfect! Reminded me a bit of cinnabon! I used Sheese original for cream cheese and Earth Balance for the butter. Amazing recipe! Thanks for sharing ☺️

    • Maddie says

      This is one of those recipes that people say, “Wait, what? This is vegan?” The first time I used it was with the gluten free, vegan cinnamon rolls. People were shocked. My son has all kinds of food allergies, a something that is brand new to our family, and we are continually blown away by (and so grateful to) minimalist baker for providing recipes that make our lives feel normal again.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Woohoo! So glad you can all enjoy this together! Thanks so much for the great review, Maddie!