This vegan cream cheese frosting is so easy to work with and pipes beautifully! It's smooth and creamy and immediately improves anything you put it on.
Table of Contents
If, like me, you aren't a fan of overly sweet frostings trust me that this one is just sweet enough and has that tangy flavor that you expect from a cream cheese frosting. Use it on carrot cake, spice cake, red velvet cake or sugar cookies. It's simply perfection on vegan carrot cake cupcakes too.
- Vegetable shortening - I like to use Spectrum organic brand. You can use all butter in this recipe, but I find that the combination of the two provides a good structure for this frosting.
- Vegan butter - I typically use butter sticks like Earth Balance or Miyoko's It's best to avoid the tubs of butter because they have a higher water count that often results in a softer frosting.
- Vegan cream cheese - we typically use Tofutti, but other brands should work just as well.
- Powdered sugar - this is sometimes also referred to as confectioners sugar or icing sugar. Make sure to sift this for a very smooth frosting.
- Lemon juice - I like the extra tang that the lemon juice provides, but you could also use lemon zest or skip it altogether.
- Salt - if not using unsalted butter add just a pinch of salt
Step By Step Instructions
It's important that the shortening, butter and cream cheese all be at room temperature, but not melted.
Use a mixer to beat the shortening on low speed for several minutes until it's smooth and creamy.
Then add in the butter and beat for another 2-3 minutes on low speed until it's smooth and completely mixed together.
It's important to avoid overbeating the mixture once the the cream cheese has been added. Drain off any excess water that may be in the cream cheese container and add that to the mixer bowl and beat for 1-2 minute just until everything is mixed together. It will be pretty thick at this point.
Now start adding powdered sugar in ½ cup at a time and mix on low just long enough for it incorporate. Stop to scrape down the sides after each addition.
Mix in the lemon juice, vanilla and salt by hand or if using the mixer for just a few seconds. The frosting can be used right away, but for best results or if you plan to pipe it on place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using to let it firm up.
After being in the fridge for at least 30 minutes this vegan cream cheese frosting is firm enough to pipe onto cupcakes or be used on a layer cake. This recipes makes the perfect amount for piping frosting onto 12 cupcakes or will cover one 9" cake, but go ahead and double it for a layer cake.
I know it's tempting to frost those baked good right away, but unless you wait until they are completely cooled your frosting will get all melty. Be patient - I promise it's worth it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Not really, but the frosting will be firmer if you make sure to use vegan sticks of butter instead of the kinds that comes in a tub.
No, you could replace it with additional butter. However, the final result may be a bit less firm. The shortening provides a little bit of structure to the frosting.
Storing and Freezing
This keeps well in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container. Let it sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes before using.
Make sure to refrigerate any baked goods that have been frosted with vegan cream cheese frosting.
I have not attempted to freeze this yet so I'm not sure how well that will work.