November 9, 2020
Sometimes, I create a recipe, and even I can't believe how amazing it turned out. This frosting is one of those recipes.
As I've mentioned in previous recipes, I used to have a cupcake business many years ago. I've been (slowly) working on creating vegan versions of my old recipes. When I created my vegan carrot cake recipe, I wondered how I was going to recreate a cream cheese frosting to go with it. I wanted to avoid using store-bought non-dairy cream cheese because they vary so widely in their taste and ingredients.
However, after a little trial and error, I've come pretty close to the taste of traditional cream cheese frosting. With raw cashews and vegan butter for creaminess, and lemon juice for a tangy flavor, the results are absolutely delicious!
This vegan cream cheese frosting recipe goes perfectly with my vegan carrot cake, but it can also work with other vegan cakes like vegan lemon cake, red velvet cake, or my vegan chocolate cupcakes. You could also use it as a topping for cinnamon rolls. If you're looking for more vegan frosting recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth, I also have a vegan cookie butter frosting recipe and a vegan buttercream recipe.
I've given a range of measurements for the powdered sugar; start with the lower amount and add more if needed. If you're planning to pipe a lot of frosting onto cupcakes, you'll probably need to add the additional powdered sugar to stiffen it up a bit.
This recipe makes enough frosting for 24 cupcakes with a thin layer of frosting, or 12 cupcakes with more frosting per cupcake (as shown in the pictures).
Prep Time25 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Set vegan butter out in advance to soften. Soak cashews in water for 2 hours (or boil for 10 minutes) before blending, if not using a high-speed blender. Combine cashews and water and blend until creamy, about 2-4 minutes. Remove cashew cream from blender and measure out 1/4 cup to use in the frosting.
With an electric mixer (stand mixer or hand mixer), mix vegan butter and 1/4 cup of cashew cream from previous step until well combined. Add lemon juice, vanilla, nutritional yeast, and salt and mix well.
Sift powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl. Slowly mix in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. If your frosting becomes too dry, you can add a dash of the remaining cashew cream or some non-dairy milk. Turn your mixer up to medium-high speed to whip the frosting for a minute or two.
se an icing spatula or piping bag to spread or pipe frosting onto your cake or cupcakes. Garnish with cinnamon or walnuts. Enjoy!
You will likely have some cashew cream left over, you can keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for use in other recipes.
I've put a range for the powdered sugar measurement; start with less sugar and add more if needed. If you're planning to pipe a lot of frosting onto cupcakes, you'll probably need to add the additional powdered sugar to stiffen it up a bit.
Storage: Keep unused frosting in an airtight container with plastic wrap over the frosting for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer. Return to room temperature before piping or spreading.
Note: This data should be used only as an estimate. Please see the nutrition section of my terms and conditions for more information on how this data is calculated.
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