This dairy-free cream cheese frosting is almost too good to be true. It’s ultra-creamy and tastes remarkably similar to cream cheese frosting, without using nuts or tofu.
The secret to this creamy frosting? Sweet potatoes.
White sweet potatoes, to be exact.
Did you know that sweet potatoes come in a variety of different colors? For years, I had no idea. There are sweet potatoes with white flesh, purple flesh, and the traditional orange flesh that we probably think of most often. (In the U.S. we often call orange sweet potatoes “yams,” though, technically, they are still just sweet potatoes.)
I used white sweet potatoes in this recipe for obvious reasons– I wanted this frosting to look like traditional cream cheese frosting!
Because this recipe doesn’t call for powdered sugar, it’s not as thick or grainy as a traditional frosting. Instead, it’s silky smooth and a lot “lighter” in texture.
It’s sweetened with pure maple syrup and gets it’s signature tangy flavor from a combination of freshly squeezed lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. I find that this acid combination tastes more like “cream cheese” than if you were to just use one or the other alone.
I recommend that you make this frosting the night before you plan on serving it so that it can thicken in the fridge. It’s a little runny straight out of the blender, but it thickens up quite a bit more when chilled and tastes even MORE authentic when you spread it on a batch of Vegan Pumpkin Bars or Coconut Flour Carrot Cake.
This recipe makes a little over 2 cups of frosting, and would nicely cover a sheet cake baked in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. I used it over a 9-inch square pan in these photos with plenty of icing leftover. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (Nut & Soy-Free!)
- To prepare the sweet potato, peel and cut it into 1-inch chunks. In a pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring 1-inch of water to a boil and steam the potato chunks until fork-tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer the steamed potato chunks into a 1-cup measuring cup and mash them with a fork to tightly pack the cup all the way to the top. (Reserve any remaining sweet potato for a future smoothie or salad topper.)
- Transfer the mashed sweet potato to a blender, and add in the maple syrup, coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Blend until silky smooth.
- If the mixture isn't blending well, add more water 1-2 tablespoons at a time until very smooth. Be careful not to add too much water or the frosting will be too runny. Once smooth, transfer the frosting to an airtight container to store in the fridge.
- This frosting will thicken overnight and can be spread over your favorite cakes, bars, or cookies. Be sure to keep the frosting refrigerated for best texture, though it can sit out at room temperature for several hours for serving. It should last up to a week when stored in the fridge.
Per serving (roughly 1.5 tablespoons): Calories: 53, Carbohydrates: 5, Fat: 3, Protein: 0
- If you don’t care for coconut oil, you can reduce the amount used to 4 tablespoons and increase the water by 2 tablespoons for a slightly thinner/runnier frosting. I use unrefined coconut oil, which does leave a hint of coconut flavor, but you can use refined coconut oil for less coconut flavor. (I’m sure vegan butter would work here, too, but I haven’t tested that myself.) If replacing the coconut oil, you must use another fat that is solid at room temperature so that the frosting will thicken up.
- If you can’t find white sweet potatoes, another variety will probably work, the color just won’t be the same. (Purple sweet potatoes would be fun for a naturally-colored frosting, too!)
- Feel free to use another liquid sweetener in this recipe. Keep in mind that honey is not vegan, and is sweeter than maple syrup, so you might need to use slightly less than this recipe calls for.
- If you’d like a more tangy frosting flavor, feel free to add more lemon juice or vinegar, just 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the flavor is to your liking.
As always, if you make any modifications to this recipe please leave a comment below letting us know what you tried so we can all benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite type of frosting? I’ve always been partial to white or chocolate buttercream, and I have more dairy-free & nut-free options in my cookbooks!