When it comes to fruit, I've always been a lover of lemon flavor. Lemonade was my go-to drink for years. And cream cheese frosting has always been at the top of my cake topping list. So it only makes sense to combine the two into this delightful lemon cream cheese frosting.
This frosting is smooth and creamy, made with dairy free cream cheese and vegan butter, plus powdered sugar and real lemon juice. It's tart and sweet all at the same time - the best of both worlds!
This frosting is the perfect topping for my gluten free lemon cake, but it would also go great with my gluten free vanilla cupcakes or even my gluten free strawberry cake - for a strawberry lemonade vibe.
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Why You Should Make This Recipe
This easy buttercream frosting recipe requires only four ingredients.
- Vegan Butter - I use Country Crock plant butter for this recipe. Any vegan stick type butter will work fine. If you're not dairy free, you can make the recipe with dairy butter in the same measure.
- Vegan Cream Cheese - I normally use Miyokos brand cream cheese for my baking. I find that Kite Hill brand and Tofutti brand both are a little more watery in texture. They will work fine flavor wise, but may not provide a smooth result.
- Powdered Sugar - Make sure to sift your powdered sugar so it combines smoothly with the butter. If you don't sift, you may end up with lumps in the finished frosting.
- Lemon Juice - I used fresh squeezed lemon juice for this recipe, but the bottled stuff will work great too.
See recipe card for full ingredient list and quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
- Not Dairy Free - use dairy butter and cream cheese in the same measure.
- Make it Temperature Stable - If you're serving this frosting in warmer temperatures, I recommend replacing the butter with vegetable shortening to keep it from melting.
- Make another flavor - orange or key lime would both work great with this recipe. Just replace the juice.
How to Make Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
A stand mixer or handheld mixer will make this recipe easy to put together.
STEP 1: Add vegan butter and vegan cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until it's smooth and creamy.
STEP 2: Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing it in on the lowest speed.
STEP 3: Once all of the sugar has been mixed in, add the lemon juice. Continue to mix, increasing the speed and beating for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
STEP 4: Once the frosting has been beaten until fluffy, you can add food coloring if you're using it or just go ahead and frost your cake.
Make sure to use room temperature butter and cream cheese for this frosting. You'll want to set out your butter 30 minutes to 1 hour before hand. Using room temperature ingredients allows the sugar dissolve completely and air to get incorporated to make the frosting light in texture.
Tips for Success
- Make sure you use room temperature butter and cream cheese. This will ensure the fat and sugar combines together in a smooth, creamy frosting.
- Sift your powdered sugar. Using sifted sugar will prevent lumps from forming in your frosting.
- When you add powdered sugar, mix on the lowest speed so the mixture doesn't shoot sugar out all over your kitchen.
If your frosting gets too loose or runny, you can add more powdered sugar to thicken it again. Add it ¼ cup at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
Store leftover frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you don't need the frosting right away, you can store it in the freezer for about three months. When you're ready to use the frosting, defrost it in the refrigerator overnight then beat it for a few minutes with your mixer to fluff it up before using.
Yes, for sure. I decorated my cake with tiny lemons using various piping tips. This frosting works great for cake decoration. See my notes in the recipe card if you need it to be more temperature stable.
Other lemon recipes to consider:
If you try this recipe, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
Dairy Free Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Put the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the bowl.8 ounces Vegan Cream Cheese, ½ Cup Vegan Butter
- Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing on low speed.6 Cups Powdered Sugar
- Add 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice to start and mix on low speed.3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- Once all of the ingredients are incorporated, turn the mixer to medium high speed. Beat for 5 minutes until very fluffy. If your frosting is too thick, add a little more lemon juice and mix again until incorporated.
- Frost the cake as desired.
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.