You’ll only need 3 ingredients for the most perfect vegan cream cheese frosting that’s not runny and actually holds! Perfect for cakes, cupcakes, and more!

bowl of vegan cream cheese frosting

Vegan cream cheese frosting is the way to elevate a cake or cupcake recipe from good to amazing. It’s what makes a red velvet cake a red velvet cake (or red velvet cupcakes too!), and a carrot cake a carrot cake!

Though I love my vegan vanilla buttercream and vegan chocolate frosting, this vegan cream cheese frosting is just incredible.

It honestly goes on just about any cake, cupcake, cookie, or even brownie recipe (my vegan chocolate peppermint brownies with vegan white chocolate cream cheese frosting is *on another level*). 

I also have a ton of recipes in my vegan cookbook you can use it with too!

However, if you’ve ever tried vegan cream cheese frosting before (or even traditional cream cheese frosting), then you know the struggle- cream cheese frosting can be downright finicky. It’s at times not as stable as traditional buttercream, which makes it harder to stack cakes or frost cupcakes.

You’ll no longer have that problem with this recipe 😉

bowl of vegan cream cheese frosting

Why this vegan cream cheese frosting recipe works:

  • Perfect consistency for stacking cakes: This dairy free cream cheese frosting is the perfect for cake recipes- don’t worry, it’s not runny at all!
  • Silky smooth and lush: This frosting is spreadable, spoonable, and creamy!
  • Deliciously tangy: This frosting is not too sweet (just what we want), but also not like eating a block of cream cheese from the container. It’s perfectly tangy without using any lemon juice, and I’m going to give you my favorite vegan cream cheese recommendations down below to help!
  • Easy to make: Because we’ve simplified this cream cheese frosting recipe, it’s really simple and easy to make. Actually, just as seamless as making any other frosting!
  • Versatile for any recipe! Like I mentioned before, you can really use this cream cheese frosting on just about anything. Vegan cakes, cookies, brownies, cheesecakes, or even eating it by the spoonful (you know we all do it!)!

Ingredients for the most perfect dairy free cream cheese frosting:

  • Vegan cream cheese: The main ingredient! I recommend using Tofutti vegan cream cheese or Kite Hill vegan cream cheese. Both of these cream cheeses are perfectly thick and “sturdy,” which makes them great for a frosting. Miyoko’s cream cheese is also good, but at times, I notice it can split. You cannot reverse split frosting, which is super frustrating, so that’s why I look for other cream cheeses!
  • Vegan butter: I recommend using Miyoko’s vegan butter, salted, but if you use unsalted, add in a pinch of sea salt for flavor. Earth Balance is also a good option for nut-free, but please only use the earth balance buttery sticks and not the tub. Stick away from vegan margarine and coconut oil- these both won’t really work here!
  • Powdered sugar: I recommend using a powdered sugar like Florida Crystals- they’re certified organic and certified vegan, which is hard to come by. Make sure to sift the powdered sugar before adding it into the frosting. This will help prevent you from over whipping the frosting because you won’t be trying to get out the clumps of powdered sugar!
  • Vanilla extract: This is optional, but a delicious flavor additive!
stand mixer with frosting

A note about cream cheese: Like with traditional cream cheese frosting, with vegan cream cheese frosting, you really want to make sure you’re not using a spreadable cream cheese. The firmer the cream cheese, the less likely your dairy-free cream cheese frosting will be runny!

A note about vegan butter: Make sure that you’re using room temperature vegan butter as well! This does not mean melted butter. Allow the butter to come to room temperature for about an hour or two. 

How to make thick and spreadable vegan cream cheese frosting:

The full recipe is found down below in the recipe card! However, we’re going to go over the basics here.

If you’ve made frosting before, then you’re in luck- and if you haven’t, don’t worry! It’s still super easy.

I personally recommend a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, but I’ve also made this frosting with a large bowl and a hand mixer. Both work! Just make sure that your bowl is cool before beginning, like when making vegan whipped cream. I recommend placing it into the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.

You’ll start by creaming together the vegan cream cheese and vegan butter. Remember, the butter is at room temperature, while the cream cheese is still cool. 

Then add in the powdered sugar, and mix just until smooth!

The number one tip for preventing your layer cake from slipping with vegan cream cheese frosting:

That is, aside from making sure that your cakes are ABSOLUTELY cool and that there’s no warmth whatsoever in them!

Don’t add any dairy-free milk to help incorporate the powdered sugar! Unlike our other dairy free vegan frosting recipes, we’re skipping the dairy free milk all together here.

This is because adding any more liquid to this mixture, and you’ll definitely have runny frosting. Skip the dairy free milk, and allow the powdered sugar to incorporate into the frosting naturally. 

bowl of vegan cream cheese frosting

Final tips for preventing runny cream cheese frosting:

  • Make sure to use a cold stand mixer bowl or cold large mixing bowl!
  • Keep the cream cheese cold- you really don’t need room temperature for the vegan cream cheese! Just the butter.
  • Sift the powdered sugar
  • If you’re really struggling with the thickness: Add just 1 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch! Start with 1, and then seen how it improves. 

Can this vegan frosting recipe be piped?

As I mentioned earlier, not only is this dairy free cream cheese frosting perfect for cakes, but it’s even better on cupcakes (because of course, you’re getting way more frosting!). However, cream cheese frosting can be tricky to pipe.

This is because our hands are warm, and as we’re holding the piping bag, we’re heating the frosting, which makes it melty. 

This vegan cream cheese frosting can absolutely be piped onto cupcakes, but you’ll need to make sure you’re holding the piping bag correctly! Use any piping tip that you’d like, and grab a piping bag. Fill it about 1/2 way up then twist the top. Now, hold the piping bag from the twisted portion, and apply pressure there to squeeze out the frosting.

This will ensure that your hands are barely touching the bag with the frosting in it!

cupcake with vegan cream cheese frosting

I cannot wait to hear what you think of this frosting! It’s quite popular across all of my vegan dessert recipes on the blog, so enjoy 🙂 If you make it, I’d absolutely love to see it on Instagram or Pinterest! Be sure to also leave a review down below so that other readers know how it went!

Happy frosting making!

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

vegan cream cheese frosting Pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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bowl of vegan cream cheese frosting

How To Make Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (That’s Not Runny!)

  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

You’ll only need 3 ingredients for the most perfect vegan cream cheese frosting that’s not runny and actually holds! Perfect for cakes, cupcakes, and more!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) vegan cream cheese, cold
  • 1 cup (226 g) vegan butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups (540 g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • Optional: 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Chill the bowl for 5 minutes in the fridge or freezer before beginning. Make sure all ingredients are prepped.
  2. Add vegan butter and vegan cream cheese to a large bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, or a large bowl with a hand mixer. Cream together until combined.
  3. Then add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, continuing the beat the mixture until it’s a thick frosting.
  4. Here, you can add in vanilla and continue to beat until desired texture.
  5. Frost your cake immediately, or pipe onto cupcakes!

Notes

See blog post for all tips and tricks!

Keywords: vegan cream cheese frosting, no lemon juice, dairy free cream cheese frosting, vegan cream cheese frosting recipe