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Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting

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Creamy healthy cream cheese frosting…

pumpkin cupcake

Shown above, on top of a Single Serving Pumpkin Cupcake.

It’s both fluffier and creamier than Pillsbury cream cheese. And if you’re counting calories: you could eat the entire recipe for just 200 calories. Who wouldn’t want to eat an entire container’s worth of frosting in one sitting?

healthy frosting

But the following recipe is better than store-bought frosting for a reason much more important than the calories: it’s free of unhealthy trans fats. Many packaged frostings contain your entire day’s worth of trans fats in just two tablespoons. I posted a similar frosting recipe—my Cheesecake Frosting—around three years ago (Yes, I’ve been blogging that long.), but I modified the recipe yesterday and I think this new healthy cream cheese frosting recipe is even better… even though the other one was already good!

healthy cream cheese frosting

Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting

(makes about 2/3 cup)

Healthy Frosting Recipes

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp cream cheese – such as Tofutti or homemade cashew cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch stevia, or 3-4 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup Mori-Nu tofu OR more cream cheese (or try this soy-free cream cheese frosting)
  • up to 2 tbsp milk of choice, as needed for desired thickness

Blend everything together in a small food processor (I used a Magic Bullet). If you’re using this recipe to top cupcakes, I’d recommend frosting them just before serving, or frosting earlier and then storing the cupcakes in the fridge, due to the perishable nature of the ingredients. Leftover frosting can be stored for a few days in the fridge, covered. Variation ideas: Add pumpkin, or shredded carrot and pineapple for a carrot cake dip, or cinnamon and walnuts…

Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting Nutrition Facts

cream cheese dip

Or you can go crazy: Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Dip.

Do you worry about trans fats?

Do you think they really are as bad as all the hype says they are? I don’t “worry” about them, but that’s pretty much because I don’t have to—most of the foods containing trans fats are pre-packaged snack foods (often not even vegan) I wouldn’t seek out anyway. Sure, every now and then I’ll grab a handful of chocolate Teddy Grahams if I’m at a friend’s house and they’re sitting out. But for the most part, I don’t buy anything with “partially-hydrogenated oils” listed in the ingredients (a really easy way to tell if a food has trans fats).

By the way, I just noticed: You can totally see my head and camera in the reflection of the spoon in the photo above Smile.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. looks amazing…so white! that might sound odd but most of my white frostings made in a similar way never look so white! i have also tried using tofu quite a lot but i can always make out a slight tofu taste no matter what i mix it with….hmmm, i will persevere!

  2. I don’t necessarily worry about transfats, but that’s because I try and eat all natural food, where trans fats don’t exist in the first place!

    1. Full-Flavored Life says:

      Same here 🙂

      1. Kit-Kat says:

        Me too

        1. Trajayjay says:

          But doesn’t butter contain like a trace of trans fat. Actually, I hear that the “trans fat” in butter is sort of beneficial.

          1. Anonymous says:

            Chemically, trans fat is a molecule with double bonded carbons. Trans (meaning opposite) is the most stable form this molecule can be in (as opposed to cis). That means that our body finds it hard to metabolize the fat (because it is so unreactive) so it remains solid, leading to clogged arteries and other complications.
            I have never heard that trans fats are beneficial.

          2. Tammy says:

            If anyone wrote/said that trans-fats are healthy, that person is receiving a sizeable check from Big Food/Big Ag.

            Pity, just once I would like to see a sub cream cheese frosting/icing that does not rely on packaged non-dairy cream cheese. It all has trans-fats or palm, and I think we would all be better off avoiding those.

          3. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

            If you have Katie’s cookbook, try the cream cheese frosting recipe listed on the page with the carrot cake bars. It is fabulous, and no cream cheese subs required! http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/faq-page/chocolate-covered-katie-cookbook/

  3. Whoa, I just read Kath’s blog post this morning and was craving a pumpkin muffin because she had one for breakfast, and then I clicked onto your post and the first thing I see is a pumpkin muffin! And a single-serving one, at that! I’m pretty sure that’s the universe telling me it’s time to bake a pumpkin muffin 🙂

    1. Shelley says:

      oh it definitely is. seeing as I just bought pumpkin, I think it’s telling me the same thing. 😉

  4. Shelley says:

    mmm frosting…

  5. L. says:

    How do you do it???! You always manage to go inside my head and figure out exactly what I’m craving. How did you know I was craving a healthier recipe for my favorite creamy, luscious cream cheese frosting? 😉
    I am definitely going to have to make this ASAP!

  6. Yum! Looks wonderful!!! This is perfect just for me!! But I bet I’ll make two!! I can’t wait to try it!!

  7. Lisa C. says:

    That first photo is just WOW!

    1. Lisa C. says:

      Then again, they’re ALL wow! 😉

  8. Sarah says:

    Katie, it sounds so good! I am one of those people who could eat cream cheese frosting by the spoonful, so I appreciate this healthy alternative SO much! Thank you!!! I think you made this recipe just for me :).

    Also, how did I miss that chocolate chip cream cheese dip?!

  9. Wow, this looks amazing. I’ve never tried tofutti cream cheese yet (mainly because they don’t have it at my local small health food store lol). But I can just imagine how good it would be. I haven’t had regular cream cheese in so long (I went vegan back October, 2011, and can’t remember the last time I ate ‘reg’ cream cheese before that anyways!), so I don’t think it’d be a huge taste adjustment for trying tofutti. I clearly need to get to a bigger city to get some of that stuff! haha

  10. Michelle says:

    Yum out of tofu but gonna buy some and make some…..I usually buy Traders cream cheese alternative…. I like it better than tofutti..so im gonna try it with that……looks so good….
    I definitely read labels since I have kids and try to avoid trans fat but its there every once in awhile…
    Thx for the recipe

  11. Aja says:

    Oh my goodness, that looks delicious. I could eat this by the spoonful.

  12. ok. i would totally be caught eating this with a spoon. great vegan subsitute for frosting Katie 🙂

  13. Steph says:

    I don’t think anyone should worry about trans fats if he or she is eating a natural diet. That being said, it’s hard to completely eliminate them. Roasted nuts contain a small amount of trans fat, and also, if you’re not vegan, there ruminant animals and their products also contain trans fats. It is not yet clear whether or not the trans fats coming from natural animal products is unhealthy.

    1. Greta says:

      That part about roasted nuts containing trans fats isn’t true, surely? Not unless hydrogenated oils are added. It’s a process oils go through to make them “hard” – not liquid, that is – and that doesn’t happen when just roasting nuts. I do agree, though, that if you’re eating a whole foods diet, it’s not even an issue.

      1. Trajayjay says:

        Well, I’m pretty sure that poly fats are really heat-unstable, and they go rancid when they are heated really high and form trans fat. That’s why I try to eat my nuts raw.

  14. I do agree about transfats as well. I don’t normally worry about them because I’m not eating a lot of food that has them in it. I mean sure-it’s nearly impossible to avoid completely but I’m not going to fast food places or cooking with them most of the time and over eating them (like most of the population).

  15. Ruth says:

    Katie, do you have any ideas about what do replace the cream cheese/tofutti with? I can’t have regular sugar or dairy AT ALL. I wonder if soft goat cheese might work. I do eat that. Maybe I’ll give that I try. I really miss being able to have cream cheese frosting!

    1. Leslie says:

      From Katie’s post: See nutritional info link below, for substitution notes.

  16. Daniel says:

    I do my best to avoid any and all foods with partially hydrogentaed oils in the ingredients list. That said, most of my food doesn’t come with an ingredients list, but it’s still rather difficult to dine out because of how many places use them. Plus the whole “less than .5g = 0” thing is a bunch of BS in my mind; given what I’ve learned about them on my own and in school I could equate them to smoking cigarettes – no useful benefits at all and harmful for the body.

    Ok, I’m off my soapbox now. 😛 Have you ever considered trying this with like, a cashew cream versus the tofu? I’m not concerned about soy or anything, but for those who are (or are allergic), that might be something worth trying.

    1. Lori G says:

      Where would you find cashew cream?

    2. Leslie says:

      But there’d still be the tofu in the cream cheese, so maybe it’s a moot point to try and replace the tofu.

    3. Tiffaney says:

      I am wondering what to sub this with as I avoid all soy, especially tofu…. It looks yummy, I just don’t want the phytoestrogens… :/

  17. yes I avoid trans fats for the most part but not really consciously. Like you, my diet is predominantly real foods so trans fats don’t find there way into my mouth quite often. I also avoid soy though, not sure this recipe would work for me, but just a personal preference!

  18. Amber K says:

    lol, I never would have noticed you in that spoon, but there you are. Hi! 🙂

    1. Haha hi back, Amber!! 🙂 🙂

  19. Sara Dane says:

    BHT, corn oil, aspartame, soy, transfats…There is so much research from all sides it’s hard to know what to believe!!

    I just avoid all processed food unless I can pronounce everything on the ingredient list, like larabars.

  20. LizAshlee says:

    mmm..creamy! Creamy is definitely one of my fav textures in foods! I pay pretty close attention to what type of fat I am eating..I like to get all the good stuff! 🙂