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The Best (and Worst) Cream Cheeses to Use in Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

The Best (and Worst) Cream Cheeses to Use in Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

What makes the best cream cheese frosting? It’s obvious- the cream cheese! We try three different non dairy cream cheeses available locally to us, and determine which brand is going to replace our beloved original Tofutti cream cheese spread. Let’s get frosting!

The Best (and Worst) Cream Cheese for Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

 

What makes the best cream cheese frosting? It’s obvious- the cream cheese! For years we have relied on Tofutti brand cream cheese for the BEST vegan cream cheese frosting (which we use on our red velvet cake carrot cake , or anything). It’s super smooth, not overly “vegan” tasting (oil blends can sometimes taste strange), forms a nice “hard” layer once piped, is stable at extreme temperatures. It’s the best. And that’s all thanks to the fact that it contains partially hydrogenated soy bean oil.

Hydrogenated oil is a red flag word, we get it. We try to avoid it like the plague in our baking because its often not needed. However, for frosting, especially frosting made with unsaturated oils rather than milk fat, hydrogenated vegetable oils provide the stability and longetivity you need for a tasty frosting.

But, Tofutti stopped producing it. The retail sized packs at least (I’ve heard rumours you can buy 30lbs of it from them). Legislation was passed last year (2017) in Canada that processed foods could no longer contain hydrogenated oils. And slowly, it has been replaced fully with their non-hydrogenated (yellow container) cream cheese. Still decent tasting, but just NOT THE SAME!!

Or so we thought. We tried 3 different non dairy cream cheeses available locally to us, and determine which brand is going to replace our beloved original Tofutti cream cheese spread. Here’s what we found:

 

Daiya Original Cream Cheese Spread Criteria 1: Blendability This cream cheese blended well with our non dairy butter and frosting, making a thick and rich looking frosting that seemed to hold its shape. Criteria 2: How it settles in the fridge This frosting solidified fairly quickly in the fridge, and rewhipped easily once removed. Criteria 3: How it pipes Its texture when piped isn't completely perfect. Using a star tip, it tends to "tear" whereby the edges of the icing seem frayed. This is usually caused by too much icing sugar, but in this case, its the cream cheese.Criteria 4: How stable it is It is seemingly stable for a short period of time, but in the heat, it can melt very quickly and become sticky. Criteria 5: How it tastes The sugar masks the "Daiya" taste, but it creeps up right at the end and ruins everything. Anyone who has had Daiya cheese products knows what we're talking about. I am not sure how they have managed to impose this signature taste on everything. Some love it, others hate it (such as Katarina).  Overall: This cream cheese is mediocre to use in frosting. Would not recommend if other options exist. 2. Cultured Cashew Cream Cheese Criteria 1: Blendability This cream cheese also blended well with our non dairy butter and frosting, making a thick and rich looking frosting that seemed to hold its shape. It looked slightly lumpier than the Daiya due to the nuts, but overall was smooth. Criteria 2: How it settles in the fridge This frosting solidified the most in the fridge. This is likely due to the cashews in it- cashew cheese tends to be "solid" in the fridge. Criteria 3: How it pipes This piped like a dream. No tears in the steam of frosting. Although it looked slightly lumpy due to the cashews, this is at a microscopic level and really doesn't make a huge difference overall. Criteria 4: How stable it is This frosting was the most stable. This is definately related to the cashews and the cheese properties. In a hot environment this would likely hold its shape longer than Daiya cheese. Criteria 5: How it tastes The "cultured" taste of the cream cheese comes through and presents itself in the after taste. Again the icing sugar masks this flavour. It's not bad (alot better than Daiya), but you have to like the cultured taste. If you do not, look for an uncultured cashew cheese. Overall: This cream cheese is great for frosting, especially if you have a soy allergy. Not so good if nuts are your problem. It also is double to triple as expensive to make compared to an oil based cream cheese. Overall, it's not my first pick but it could lead to some interesting flavour profiles in baked goods when used appropriately. 3. Tofutti's Non Hydrogenated Cream Cheese Criteria 1: Blendability This cream cheese blended well with our non dairy butter and frosting, making a thick and rich looking frosting that seemed to hold its shape. I did add some shortening to the mix. I was tipped off by the staff at Tofutti to "replace" the hydrogenated oils somehow to get the same taste as before.  Criteria 2: How it settles in the fridge This frosting was the softest in the fridge compared to the other two icings, but still solidified none the less. Criteria 3: How it pipes This frosting piped the best. It had a very smooth and consistent flow with no lumps or weird textures. It had a nice sheen to it and looked beautiful. Criteria 4: How stable it is This is the only frosting that "hardend", or formed an outer thin shell that holds the piped shape together. This is typical of frostings with hydrogenated oils and the right amount of sugar. If you get this outer shell, your treats will stay piped and beautiful for a very long time. So long as they're not submitted to 40-50 degree heat. Criteria 5: How it tastes This frosting was life changing. It tasted somehow BETTER than the original Tofutti, which says a lot because we SWORE by it. We can't really put our tongue on why it was better, it just was.  Overall: WE HAVE A NEW QUEEN! HAIL THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING QUEEN, AND GO MAKE HER RIGHT NOW!  
Print Recipe
Supreme Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
Cuisine Icings
Prep Time 7 minutes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
Cuisine Icings
Prep Time 7 minutes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat and combine the butter, shortening and cream cheese on a medium high speed in a medium/large mixing bowl. Beat for approximately 2 minutes until soft, light, whiter and fluffy.
  2. Turn the mixer speed to the lowest speed. Add 1/2 cup of sifted icing sugar to the buttery blend. Mix until all combined and no dry patches present. Repeat this until all icing sugar is combined. Add in flavours as desired.
  3. Beat icing for an additional 2-3 minutes on high speed to increase fluffiness of icing.
  4. Use immediately. Best kept in the fridge overnight to let any flavours "sit". It will be a more even tasting frosting the next day.
Recipe Notes

STORAGE

Store icing in mixing bowl covered with plastic wrap or an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Can also be frozen for 2 months but must be rewhipped. Rewhip to warm it up for piping or decorating.

 
Naked Rainbow Pride Cake (Vegan + Gluten Free)

Naked Rainbow Pride Cake (Vegan + Gluten Free)

Seven delicious and fluffy layers of rainbow cake frosted with the best vegan buttercream, this cake is pure heaven.  Its gluten and nut free, vegan, and celebrates pride. It’s just the best way to bring a smile to anyone’s face, especially when everyone can share it. 

Naked Rainbow Pride Cake

 

A couple weeks ago, our Chief Dessert Designer Katarina was honoured with her first international catering gig while in Cannes, France. On a business trip to the International Festival of Creativity, Katarina was asked to cater the LadBible Villa Pool Party. The party theme: inclusivity in the creative space.

Given that it was for LadBible, we wanted to do something EPIC. The party was all about inclusivity, it was Pride Month, and since Dolled Up Desserts is all about #inclusivedessert, we decided it was time to take our cake up a notch. 

We created the most inclusive cake in the world. Check our Instagram for a picture of the special day (there is also one at the end of the post!)

 

 

Image

Its gluten and nut free, vegan, and celebrates pride. It’s just the best way to bring a smile to anyone’s face, especially when everyone can share it.

Oh, and it’s completely naked.

The colourful layers serve as a reminder to remove that thick, fake layer of frosting that we present to those around us.

Own who you are and embrace yourself. The world will love you for it.

 

 

Print Recipe
Naked Rainbow Pride Cake Recipe
Seven colourful layers of sweet gluten free and vegan vanilla cake iced with our very best vegan buttercream and topped with delicious multi coloured sprinkles. We believe this rainbow cake is the most inclusive cake in the world. Its gluten and nut free, vegan, and celebrates pride. It's just the best way to bring a smile to anyone's face, especially when everyone can share it.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Passive Time 12 hours
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Passive Time 12 hours
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Prepare our Best Vegan Buttercream frosting. OPTIONAL: remove 20g of milk and replace with 20g of clear vanilla extract for added flavour. Keep frosting in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Remove 6 tbsp of soy milk and set aside. Combine soy milk, apple cider vinegar, clear vanilla extract and oil in a large mixing bowl. Combine using a whisk or spatula.
  4. Add both baking mixes into the mixing bowl and stir until no lumps are present.
  5. Take 6-7 smaller bowls and add 1 tbsp of soy milk and 1/8 tsp of gel food colouring to the milk. Mix well using a whisk or fork.
  6. Evenly distribute cake batter into each smaller colour bowls. Combine cake batter with the colour until well combined and evenly coloured. Add more colour if required.
  7. Take a 13" cookie sheet. Place two half sheet sized parchment paper slices on the sheet. Pour and evenly spread the thin layer of cake batter on each half parchment sheet, ensuring they are large enough for a 6" cake ring to fit on it.
  8. Bake cake on cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch. Let cool slightly, enough that you can confidently move the cake off the pan via the parchment paper. Remove cake carefully from pan by grabbing parchment paper sides firmly. Repeat until all cake is baked.
  9. Once completely cooled, use 6" cake ring or pan to trace a ring of cake. Cut the ring of cake using a sharp knife. Peel away the cake remains, snack on them, and set aside the coloured cake round.
  10. Remove icing from fridge. Re-whip on high speed until it reaches the "mayonnaise" stage. Scoop icing into piping bag and cut off a 1.5 cm diameter tip off of the bottom of the bag. Alternatively, use a round icing tip.
  11. To assemble the cake using a 6" cake tin and parchment paper, refer to our Vegan Birthday Cake recipe: https://dolledupdesserts.com/milkbar-birthday-cake-vegan-glutenfree/
  12. To assemble the cake using a 6" cake ring and acetate paper, place cake board at the bottom of the ring. Line the ring completely with acetate paper. Cut a second piece of acetate paper that is equal in length and stack the paper to increase the height of the cake collar. You can adjust the height as you build the cake.
  13. Place the first layer of cake (red or purple) on the bottom of the ring by carefully lowering and placing it onto the board within the cake ring. It is okay if the cake tears.
  14. Pipe frosting around the circumfrence of the cake until the top of the cake is covered. Repeat this step if desired for extra frosting between each layer.
  15. Add the second layer of cake (either orange or blue) by lowering it into the cake ring on top of the icing and press down slightly. Add another layer of frosting.
  16. Repeat layering rhe cake and frosting until the final cake layer. Adjust the cake collar to ensure that it fully supports the cake.
  17. Place cake in freezer for at least 12 hours.
  18. After freezing, remove cake from cake ring. Remove acetate paper.
  19. Using a star piping tip, pipe small rosettes on the top of your cake. Sprinkle with an epic amount of rainbow sprinkles.
Recipe Notes

STORAGE

Cake can stay at room temperature for up to 12 hours. Keep in fridge covered with plastic cling film for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.

The BEST Silky Vegan Dairy Free Buttercream Frosting

The BEST Silky Vegan Dairy Free Buttercream Frosting

A butter cream that is silky and whip cream, is dairy and egg free, and pipes and frosts cakes like a dream? The best part: it doesn’t taste like whipped vegan oil?! You can achieve your buttercreamy dreams with the best VEGAN buttercream recipe EVER. 

Silky Vegan Dairy Free Buttercream Frosting

 

What’s your take on buttercream? Do you like it thick, rich and sweet like American buttercream, light and fluffy like Swiss meringue, creamy and slightly tangy like cream cheese frosting, or somewhere in between?

When it comes to vegan and non-dairy butter cream, stability can become a challenge. Our “butters” are made with oils, which were liquids at room temperature at one point, but got processed into a solid. Somehow. However, due to a lack of natural proteins and high saturated fat (like cow’s milk butter), it does not hold up well in extreme temperatures that are above room temperature. It can also be difficult to spread evenly, pipe and colour. Unless you are adding a ton of icing sugar or shortening to the mix for stability, the classic recipe of just “butter” and sugar won’t work out.

This recipe changes EVERYTHING!

Although it is a challenge to make, the result is worth the work. This buttercream is the perfect cross between a Swiss meringue and an American buttercream.

  • Its light and fluffy, but still has a buttery-ness to it that keeps it solid;
  • It doesn’t require a ton of sugar to stabilize;
  • It colours well;
  • It spreads on cakes and pipes like a dream;
  • It’s almost like whipping cream!

The only downfall to this frosting is STABILITY! It requires whipping at least twice with a period of being completely chilled solid partway through the process to ensure it will stay piped and beautiful, no matter what temperature. If you do not freeze it and rewhip it before use, the icing will come apart completely (it’s really quite disgusting).

Nevertheless, this frosting is worth it. So let’s get whipping.

 

Print Recipe
Silky Vegan Dairy Free Buttercream Frosting
A butter cream that is silky and whip cream, is dairy and egg free, and pipes and frosts cakes like a dream? The best part: it doesn't taste like whipped vegan oil?! You can achieve your buttercreamy dreams with the best VEGAN buttercream recipe EVER. Get ready to break up with your old frosting, because this dream boat is coming to a kitchen near you!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
iced cupcakes
Ingredients
Prep Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
iced cupcakes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Using a stand mixer, whip butter for 3-5 minutes on the highest speed until very light and fluffy. The colour will even become paler- the more you whip, the better.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, non dairy milk, soy isolate powder, flavouring and colour.
  3. Once combined, turn the mixer down to a low speed setting and gradually pour the sugar slurry into the butter.
  4. Once completely poured in, turn the speed of the mixer to a medium-high level and let it mix for 8-10 minutes.
  5. The icing will go through three phases: a. Cottage cheese: small little curds that look suspended in goop will form. This is the fats attempting to repel the liquids and sugars. b. Cheese curds: these small curds start to get bigger. The soy isolate protein is binding to the fats and to the sugars, and with the addition of air, the butter is starting to take shape. c. Mayonnaise: this is when the frosting is complete. The frosting becomes shiny, soft, spreadable and airy, just like mayonnaise. Once you reach this point you can stop whipping.
  6. Take the entire icing bowl and place it in your freezer for at least 30 minutes, if not longer. Let the icing solidify completely.
  7. Once solid, remove the bowl from the fridge and place it in a bowl of hot water. We are going to try and quickly melt some of the icing.
  8. Once the icing starts to melt on the side, you can use a spatula to mix the warm edges into the cool centre. You’ll start to notice that the frosting is retreating to the cottage cheese phase again. This is okay.
  9. Once it has softened enough that you feel confident the beater can move through it, place the mixing bowl back under the stand mixer and crank it up to high speed. Whip again until it is mayonnaise again, 6-8 minutes.
  10. Your frosting is ready to be used! Keep in the fridge if not in use and just slightly melt and rewhip again as needed.
Recipe Notes

STORAGE

Icing will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 8 weeks. Icing will keep in the freezer even longer. Check the expiry date of your milk to verify when it could turn.