Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Mmm, frosting. The great divider. Frosting is one of those things you either love or hate, and for the majority of my life I was one of those people who could not tolerate frosting. I was the one scraping the icing off cupcakes onto the edge of my plate. Most frostings are too sweet for my taste, but this vegan cream cheese frosting recipe has been one that I really like! It’s not too sweet, nice and fluffy, and the perfect thing to put on vegan cakes and cupcakes.

* Side note for those inquisitive minds: yes, there is a difference between frosting and icing. I may have just learned the difference 30 seconds ago, but I’m here to share the knowledge with you: frosting is the thick fluffy cream that is commonly used on cakes and on top of cupcakes. Icing, on the other hand, is a thinner glaze that’s more of a coating (like something you would spread on top of a pastry).

I paired this vegan cream cheese frosting recipe recently with my homemade hummingbird cake, but it’s kind of the perfect frosting for any kind of cake, really. The process is easy, all you need is a stand mixer to whip up the ingredients really well, and also a good vegan cream cheese for the base. I love Trader Joe’s vegan cream cheese, I find it to be a great substitute in my baking. I’m not a fan of it by itself so you won’t find me spreading it on a bagel, but I love how it works in cream cheese-based recipes like this one, or in my vegan strawberry cheesecake bars.

Another key component of this recipe: Native Vanilla beans instead of vanilla extract. It’s not a necessary ingredient, especially since vanilla beans can be expensive and hard to come by, but I really noticed the difference when I used it in this recipe (plus I love seeing the speckles of vanilla seeds in the frosting). If you ever have vanilla beans on hand, this is a great time to use them! If not, you’ll be fine using extract.



  • 2 (8-ounce) packages of Trader Joe’s vegan cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 3 vanilla beans, split open


  • Cream the cream cheese with an electric mixer using the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
  • Add in butter and whip until completely incorporated.
  • Add confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time. After each cup has been incorporated, turn the mixer onto the highest speed setting and whip for about 10 seconds to lighten the frosting.
  • Scrape the inside of the vanilla beans and add the seeds into the frosting. Beat until well-blended, light and fluffy.
  • Now, spread it all over your vegan hummingbird cake!

Adapted From: Add a Pinch

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