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:

  1. 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!

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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.

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