Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Creamy vegan cream cheese frosting made with only a few basic whole food ingredients.

Vegan "Cream Cheese" Frosting made with cashews | #recipe #dessert #sugarfree


Frosting lovers, you may want to throw on your eye-muffs, because this one’s gonna be a doozy…Growing up, I was one of those kids who scraped the frosting off of my friends birthday cakes and straight up discarded it. Just…wasn’t having it. Rubbish.

If you’re a frosting lover, you may find this type of behavior to be absolutely uncalled for, but if you’re like me, and you’ve never really enjoyed sweet sweets, you can appreciate my habitual cake-in-the-buff  tendencies. So you can probably surmise that the ENTIRE cupcake craze? Totally lost on me. There is one, count em, ONE type of frosting I’ve always strongly embraced, and that is – you guessed it – cream cheese frosting.

There’s something about the tang. The richness. The cream. The not-as-sweet-as-regular-frosting-ness. The essence. I can dig.

Given the fact that I’m not so into processed foods, you can probably guess I don’t typically eat traditional cream cheese frosting, even if its homemade with fancy organic cream cheese, unicorn sighs, and puppy dog stretches. It just doesn’t do a body good, as much as I want it to. BUT, over the last few years, I’ve been making my own healthified version of cream cheese frosting – the likes of which you’ve already seen on this blog.

But, you guys, this shit is special. It deserves its own recipe, so I’m calling it out… spreading it around, hoping it goes viral, but in the very least if you’re a sweet-toothed cautious eater like me, perhaps it will make its way into your own heart and home slash birthday cake.

This recipe requires only a few basic ingredients – all of which you may already have in your pantry! Raw cashews, pure maple syrup (or liquid natural sweetener of choice), lemon juice, almond milk, and pure vanilla extract. Prep-wise

As a side note, if you don’t mind working with store-bought vegan cream cheese, there are definitely recipes for vegan cream cheese frosting out there that use this product, along with powdered sugar. While this will yield a cream cheese frosting that’s closer in consistency to the real deal, for whatever reason, the idea behind using raw cashews is more appealing to me.. Probably because it feels fresher and more controlled.

The only thing about this recipe that requires a little forethought is soaking the cashews. You can get away with soaking them for a few hours, but the frosting will turn out creamier if you can soak them overnight (up to 12 hours).

Vegan "Cream Cheese" Frosting made with cashews | #recipe #dessert #sugarfree

Couple note about tang: I like my cream cheese frosting with a little extra pizzaz, so I typically use 3 tablespoons of lemon juice rather than the 2 I put in the recipe. Depending on your tang preference, you can start small with the lemon juice then go bigger from there. In addition, because I’m not vegan, I’ve made this recipe more often than not using raw honey..I think the flavor turns out closer to actual cream cheese frosting when you use honey, because it adds to the tang factor. You can use any natural liquid sweetener you’d like here.
Stay tuned! I’ll be posting a recipe on Friday that uses this frosting. It’s going to be oh-so-predictable, but also the best cake you’ve ever laid mouth on…so there is that. 😉

Vegan "Cream Cheese" Frosting made with cashews | #recipe #dessert #sugarfree

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 cups



  1. Soak the cashews in water overnight, or at least 3 hours. Drain cashews and pat dry.

  2. Add the cashews to a food processor and process until a thick paste has formed. You'll need to stop the food processor and scrape the sides several times - this will take a couple of minutes!

  3. Leaving the food processor on, slowly stream the pure maple syrup and lemon juice through the opening.  Add the pure vanilla extract and sea salt, and continue processing until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Taste the frosting for flavor and add more pure maple syrup and/or lemon juice if desired.

  4. Transfer frosting to a sealable container or jar and refrigerate until ready to use. Frosting will keep for up to 1 week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.



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  1. Ashley@CookNourishBliss

    Ahhhh I love this!! I was just thinking about how I wanted to make something for easter with cream cheese frosting but since I now seem to have major issues with dairy I was trying to figure out another way. You totally solved my dilemma! 🙂

  2. Jane Davidson

    While I’m not vegan, I definitely eat healthy and a lot of what I eat ends up being vegan. This is definitely a recipe I can’t wait to try out! It would be perfect for Easter!

    1. Julia Post author

      I’m in the exact same boat. I do try to avoid dairy whenever possible, and thankfully it’s pretty easy to do so with various substitutions. So happy you’re looking forward to trying it! xo

  3. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

    Those too-sweet sweets have never been my thing either–give me the cake sans frosting any day. I’ve made a frosting with cashews similar to this and it was UNREAL. I had to make two batches because I ate most of the first one with a spoon. I’ll definitely give your recipe a try the next time I need a dairy-free frosting 🙂

    1. Julia Post author

      YESSSSAH! I’m definitely in the same boat. It took every ounce of my self-control to not eat the frosting by the spoonful and save it for frosting a cake, lol! Let me know if you do end up trying it! xo

  4. Joanne Bruno

    I’m so intrigued! One of my best friends is allergic to dairy so I’m always looking for vegan treats to bring her on her birthday (and just all year-round lol). I’m a cream cheese frosting addict, so definitely going to have to try this for her!

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