Cream cheese frosting has long been a favorite among bakers and dessert lovers alike, and for a good reason. Its creamy and slightly tangy taste adds the perfect finishing touch to any cake, cupcake, or cookie. However, traditional cream cheese frosting is typically made with butter and cream cheese, which aren’t suitable for those following a vegan diet.
If you’re a vegan who loves to indulge in desserts, you’ll want to try this healthy vegan cream cheese frosting recipe. This sweet treat is perfect for any occasion, whether you’re looking to jazz up your baked goods for a party or want to make something quick and easy for a midweek snack.
Ingredients you’ll Need:
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked in water for at least 2 hours or overnight): Cashews are the main ingredient in this recipe, and they are used to create the creamy texture of the frosting. They are soaked in water for at least 2 hours or overnight to soften them, making them easier to blend.
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy yogurt: Non-dairy yogurt is added to the recipe to help achieve a tangy flavor similar to traditional cream cheese frosting. It also helps to create a creamy texture.
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice: Lemon juice adds a tangy flavor to the frosting and helps balance the maple syrup’s sweetness. It is also used to help create a thick, creamy consistency.
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup: This recipe uses Maple syrup as a natural sweetener. It adds a delicious, subtle sweetness to the frosting.
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract: Vanilla extract is added to the recipe to enhance the flavor of the frosting and add a warm, comforting aroma.
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt: A pinch of sea salt is added to the recipe to help balance the sweetness and enhance the flavor of the other ingredients.
- 1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk, as needed: Non-dairy milk is added as needed to adjust the consistency of the frosting. It can be added in small increments until the desired thickness is achieved.
- Blender or food processor: A blender or food processor is needed to blend the soaked cashews into a smooth and creamy texture.
- Measuring cups and spoons: Measuring cups and spoons are essential for accurately measuring out the ingredients for the recipe.
- Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is needed to mix the blended cashew mixture with the other ingredients, such as the non-dairy yogurt, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt. The mixing bowl ensures that all the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the frosting and have a smooth and creamy texture.
- Spatula: A spatula is used to scrape the sides of the blender or food processor to ensure all the blended cashew mixture is transferred to the mixing bowl. Mixing the ingredients in the mixing bowl to ensure everything is evenly combined is also used.
Note: Make sure to soak the cashews in advance to ensure they blend smoothly. You can also adjust the sweetness and tanginess of the frosting by adding more or less maple syrup and lemon juice.
Instructions on How to Make Healthy Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
Healthy vegan cream cheese frosting is a delicious and nutritious alternative to traditional frosting. Not only is it completely dairy-free, but it also incorporates healthy ingredients like cashews and coconut oil. This frosting can be used to top cakes, cupcakes, or even as a dip for fruit.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on How To make it;
Step 1: Soak Cashews
Soak one cup of raw cashews in water for at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the cashews before using them.
Step 2: Blend the Cashews
Add the soaked and drained cashews to a blender or food processor. Blend on high speed until they are smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed.
Step 3: Add the Remaining Ingredients
Add 2 tablespoons of non-dairy yogurt, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to the blender. Blend until all the ingredients are well combined and smooth, adding 1-2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk as needed to reach the desired consistency.
Step 4: Chill and Serve
Transfer the frosting to a mixing bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Chill the frosting in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using it to allow it to thicken and set. Once chilled, use a spatula to spread the frosting over your desired dessert.
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Healthy Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
Vegan Cream cheese frosting is a staple in baking, but it can be difficult to achieve the perfect texture and flavor when creating a vegan version. Luckily, some tips and tricks can help you create a delicious and healthy vegan cream cheese frosting that will impress you.
Follow these tips to ensure that your Healthy Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting comes out perfectly every time:
- Soak the cashews overnight: Soaking them for at least 2 hours or overnight will ensure they blend smoothly and create a creamy texture.
- Use non-dairy yogurt: Non-dairy yogurt adds a tangy flavor to the frosting and helps to create a creamy consistency.
- Adjust the sweetness and tanginess to taste: You can adjust the amount of maple syrup and lemon juice to your desired level of sweetness and tanginess. Start with the recommended amounts and adjust as needed.
- Add non-dairy milk as needed: Add 1-2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk as needed to thin out the frosting to your desired consistency.
- Chill the frosting before using: Chilling it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using it will help it thicken and set, making it easier to spread over your dessert.
- Add 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice for a fall-inspired frosting.
- Use lime juice instead of lemon juice for a slightly different tangy flavor.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder for a chocolate cream cheese frosting.
- Try using different types of non-dairy yogurts, such as coconut or almond-based, for a different flavor profile.
Nutritional Benefits of Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
Vegan cream cheese frosting is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional cream cheese frosting. Made with plant-based ingredients, it provides various nutritional benefits not found in conventional frosting.
Here are some of the nutritional benefits it offers;
- Plant-based protein: This recipe includes cashews, a great plant-based protein source. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.
- Healthy fats: Cashews are also high in healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats can help to lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Low in saturated fat: Unlike traditional cream cheese frosting, which is made with cream cheese and butter, this recipe is free of saturated fat, which can contribute to high cholesterol levels and heart disease.
- Vitamins and minerals: Cashews are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, zinc, and vitamin K. These nutrients are essential for maintaining healthy bones, immune function, and nerve function.
- Lower in calories: This recipe is lower in calories than traditional cream cheese frosting, making it a healthier option for those watching their calorie intake.
Healthy Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting Is Best Served With?
- Carrot Cake: A classic pairing, carrot cake and cream cheese frosting are a match made in dessert heaven. The moist and spiced cake complements the creamy tang of the frosting perfectly. Spread a generous layer of vegan cream cheese frosting or sandwich it between the layers for a delightful treat.
- Red Velvet Cake: Top your red velvet cake with vegan cream cheese frosting for a luxurious and visually stunning dessert. The vibrant red cake and creamy white frosting combined are irresistible.
- Cinnamon Rolls: Upgrade your homemade cinnamon rolls by slathering them with a generous amount of vegan cream cheese frosting while still warm. Combining the sweet cinnamon-infused rolls and the tangy frosting creates a heavenly breakfast or brunch treat.
- Cupcakes: Whether vanilla, chocolate, or any other flavor, cupcakes are taken to the next level with a dollop of vegan cream cheese frosting. Pipe or spread the frosting, and add decorations like sprinkles or crushed nuts for extra texture.
- Brownies: Surprisingly, the creamy tang of vegan cream cheese frosting pairs wonderfully with rich, fudgy brownies. Drizzle or spread the frosting over the brownies and savor the delightful contrast of flavors.
Storage Tips for Healthy Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
If you’ve ever made vegan cream cheese frosting from scratch, you know how delightful it can be. However, one challenge that many face is how to store this delectable frosting without compromising its quality.
- Store in the Refrigerator: The refrigerator is the best place to store your vegan cream cheese frosting. The cool temperature helps to preserve its texture and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. Make sure to find a spot where the temperature is consistent, such as the middle shelf or the vegetable drawer.
- Use a Protective Layer: To prevent your vegan cream cheese frosting from drying out or absorbing any odors from other items in the fridge, consider using a protective layer. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the frosting before sealing the container. This will create a barrier and maintain its freshness for a longer period.
- Avoid Freezing: Unlike some other frostings, vegan cream cheese frosting does not freeze well. The texture can become grainy and the frosting may separate when thawed. It’s best to avoid freezing it if possible. However, if you have leftover frosting and need to freeze it, be prepared for some changes in texture when you defrost it.
- Proper Thawing: If you have frozen your vegan cream cheese frosting, it’s important to thaw it correctly. Transfer the container from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw slowly overnight. Once completely thawed, give it a gentle stir to help restore its original texture. It’s important to note that thawed frosting may not be as smooth as freshly made frosting, but it should still be suitable for use.
Healthy Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- Blender or food processor
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowl
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked in water for at least 2 hours or overnight)
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- Soak one cup of raw cashews in water for at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the cashews before using them.
- Add the soaked and drained cashews to a blender or food processor. Blend on high speed until they are smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add 2 tablespoons of non-dairy yogurt, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to the blender. Blend until all the ingredients are well combined and smooth, adding 1-2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk as needed to reach the desired consistency.
- Transfer the frosting to a mixing bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Chill the frosting in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using it to allow it to thicken and set. Once chilled, use a spatula to spread the frosting over your desired dessert.
Healthy vegan cream cheese frosting is a delicious and guilt-free alternative to traditional frosting options. With its creamy texture and tangy flavor, it offers a delightful topping for cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. What makes it even more appealing is its nutritional profile, as it is free from animal products, cholesterol, and excessive amounts of sugar.
By using wholesome ingredients such as cashews, coconut milk, and natural sweeteners like maple syrup or dates, you can create a frosting that not only tastes fantastic but also provides essential nutrients. Cashews, for example, offer healthy fats, protein, and minerals, while coconut milk adds a rich and creamy texture along with its own nutritional benefits.