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Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting

Creamy, healthy cream cheese frosting…

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?

For more healthy frosting recipes: Over 50 Healthy Frosting Recipes

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, and I modified the recipe yesterday and think this new healthy cream cheese frosting recipe is even better than the original!

healthy cream cheese frosting

Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting

(makes about 3/4 cup)

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, such as TJ vegan or homemade cashew cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp powdered sugar OR stevia to taste
  • 1/4 cup silken tofu OR more cream cheese (For soy-free: Greek Yogurt 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…

View 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.

5/5 (3)

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Published on March 25, 2012

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162 Comments

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  1. jo @ including cake says

    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!

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

  2. Stephanie @ Legally Blinde says

    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 🙂

  3. 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!

  4. 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?!

  5. char eats greens says

    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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  8. HollieisFueledByLOLZ says

    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).

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. katie @KatieDid says

    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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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! 🙂

  14. Kathy says

    I’d hate to eat trans fat, but like you and many others, I don’t really buy store-bought food anymore so I don’t worry about them anymore! I do buy wasa crackers though ;]

    Hm…I wonder if there’s a replacement for cream cheese; I don’t buy cream cheese or else I’d be constantly making the unhealthy frostings out there in the blogosphere.

    http://milk-and-tea.blogspot.com

  15. Nichole says

    Let me start by saying that I FINALLY found mor-nu silken tofu, and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! love it.

    I made this dip to put on some chocolate muffins I made last night (not vegan unfortunately, but probably easy to make vegan…) and it is SO AMAZINGLY yummy! I may never eat regular frosting again! It truly would be a declicious fruit dip as well! yum!

    I must find a better blender because Im having a hard time getting things to be super creamy like yours is! I had a magic bullet, but it just didnt seem to move things too well for me so I got rid of it…. maybe Ill have to try another one! Thanks for your very yum creativity and creating so many healthier dessert things!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Aww yay! I’m so excited you tried it… plus, on chocolate cupcakes ;).

      Hmmm… I adore my Magic Bullet! Maybe you needed to fill it less? Or pulse more? Or maybe you got a defective one! That happened to me once… the blade stopped working :(.

  16. [email protected] says

    Yum, yum, yum! Eating frosting (if even slightly healthy) would be one of my favorite pasttimes. My favorite part of baking is licking the frosting off of the beaters and out of the bowl. As far as transfats go, I’m not too worried because I really don’t eat that many. Most of my food is homemade and rarely do I ever eat packaged goods. Since transfats are hardly a percentage at all of my diet, I’m not too concerned! 🙂

  17. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) says

    Only 200 calories for the entire recipe?! Impressive! Looks delish, too. 🙂

  18. Sara says

    Made this today, and it was AWESOME!

    I definitely DID eat the entire thing in a serving. Just couldn’t help myself! And only 200 cals? I am struggling to lose the baby weight, and your blog is a LIFESAVER!!! It’s gotten my whole family healthier. You should get an insurance break for making everyone so much healthier ;).

  19. Karen says

    Katie,
    I’m not a vegan, but every single one of your recipes I’ve tried has been outstanding, even to my non-vegan palate (and that of my non-vegan family as well)! This recipe was no exception. I frosted some homemade doughnuts (also from your site!) and they are almost all gone already!
    Thanks for another great recipe :).

    • Alanna says

      Im glad to see this comment!! Im not vegan either but the couple things I have made have been delicious ! As I am a chronic dieter for physique competitions these recipes are a life saver! This one had me a little worried about the tofu? But glad to hear someone else not used to eating it likes it! I won’t tell my boyfriend or he won’t even try lol

  20. Moni Meals says

    yummmy Katie! Looks devine.

    Not soooo super worried about trans fats, but they sure are awful that is for sure and they are so sneaky too but I most def try to avoid them.

  21. Robyn says

    Oh, Katie…
    I didn’t make the frosting because I didn’t have any silken tofu in the fridge–but I did make the pumpkin single-lady muffins (with chocolate chips of course!) for me and my daughter for a quick and DELICIOUS dessert. I used Pamela’s flour and it came out perfect!

    Thanks so much for allowing me to eat healthy but not give up treats!

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