04 December 2011

Allergy-friendly Cream Cheeze Frosting

I'm finally posting the recipe I excitedly tweeted about many days ago. I needed to go back to my laboratory to work out some kinks. I also had to put up my holiday tree.
When I went to recreate that first frosting success, it was absolutely not coming out the same. Grrr... Naturally, then I was obsessed; I couldn't rest until I'd figured it out. Unfortunately, subsequent attempts actually took me even further from the original.1

The initial failed re-creation(s) spurred me to believe that the original recipe was a complete fluke, so instead of starting out with a minor adjustment, I went straight to bigger (and not better) ones. The whole process was rather a good lesson for me.

“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” - Chinese Proverb

To be fair, I honestly believe that in certain situations or at life "crossroads", you sometimes need to take a great leap - tweaking a frosting recipe is not one of those situations.

Small steps...
As a vegan, it's not difficult to find friendly substitutions for just about anything traditionally made from animal products. If I want a cream cheese frosting for my carrot cupcakes, I can have one whipped up in under five minutes. All I have to do is grab a tub of vegan2, non-dairy cream cheese from the grocery store3 pop it open and whip in the other frosting ingredients. Voila!
Well, that's simple enough, if you/loved ones/etc... consume soy.
Another pretty simple idea is to create a cream cheese base using soaked raw cashews. Now you've got a soy-free option plus the added benefit of having less weird ingredients in your food, if you/loved ones/etc... consume nuts.

A bit frustrated with "limited" options, I envisioned the day when a vegan, soy-free, nut-free frosting would exist - a frosting that was also gluten-free4, lower in sugar5 and allergy friendly. 6 7
I think the future is now.8

Allergy-friendly Cream Cheeze Frosting
Frosts 4-6 cupcakes or one single layer cake
  • 1/2 Cup (70g) Tapioca Flour
  • 1/4 Cup (56g) Earth Balance® Organic Coconut Spread (or any preferred vegan spread equivalent9)
  • 1/4 Cup (55g) So Delicious® Plain Cultured Coconut Milk Yogurt
  • 2 generous Tbsp (45g) Coconut or Agave Nectar (or sub 20 drops of liquid stevia and reduce tapioca by 2T, for sugar-free option)
  • Scant 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
Results are best, if a chilled glass or stainless steel mixing bowl is used.
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together tapioca, Earth Balance, agave and salt until smooth. The mixture should be fairly stiff, like a very thick paste. With the mixer on low, (carefully) add cultured coconut milk and vanilla (if desired), and continue to whip until smooth and fluffy.

Spread over thoroughly cooled cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies or whatever your little heart desires.
If you find it's a little too soft after mixing, just pop it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before using.
Like any frosting, it is best served when slightly cool.

Adorning some delicious Carrot Cupcakes
My taste buds thought this was more than sweet enough, but if you prefer sweeter, add a bit more sweetener and balance it out with a couple extra pinches of tapioca. If using stevia, just add a few extra drops; no need to adjust the tapioca.
Coconut-sensitive individuals could experiment with a rice-based yogurt (and sub out the Coconut Spread, of course). If anyone does, I'd love to hear the results!


1. This can also be read as: "The subsequent attempts were posing as really bad frosting impersonators."
2. "Non-dairy" doesn't always mean vegan, but I bet you savvy shoppers always read labels :-)
3. Even your run-of-the-mill, standard grocer carries tons of vegan "alternatives" (I kinda dislike that word).
4. I've seen several frosting recipes that allow you to avoid powdered sugar, but call for unbleached flour.
5. Unrefined, of course.
6. The idea I'm striving for here is healthier. "Healthy Frosting" seems oxymoronic though, so I thought it better left implied. 
7. If you have a coconut allergy, which I sincerely hope isn't the case, I apologize.  
8. Further apologies for the dorkiness of this statement.
9. Solid coconut oil could work; I haven't tried it though.


  1. I for one, am glad the future is now. Your frosting looks sensational! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. We can't wait to try it! Come see your gorgeous photo at the top of our Facebook fan page! We know our fans will "ooh" and "ahh"!

  2. Wow! Thank you for the lovely compliment!! I hope you (and your fans!) enjoy it :-)

  3. I'm literally jumping up and down in excitement! This recipe just made my day. I'm vegan and allergic to wheat, soy, and peanuts/tree nuts so this is truly amazing (I've read and reread the ingredients about 12 times in shock). Thank you so much! :)

    1. This comment made my day! Thank YOU!! This is exactly why I just love sharing the vegan, allergy-friendly love :-)
      I hope you enjoy the frosting!