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    Vegan cream cheese frosting (2 ways) Fitnessnacks

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    vegan cream cheese frosting bowl

    People who are new to veganism tend to get really worried when making cakes without eggs, but I personally never found that to be an issue. What is far trickier is my opinion is certain types of icing that we are used to having with certain types of cakes. I realised that while I have several carrot cake recipes on the website, they all use alternative ingredients and I have not yet made one that is as close as possible to the traditional – layered and topped with vegan cream cheese frosting – so I decided that it’s high time I did that (the recipe is coming…)

    While the cake part is fairly straightforward, I found the frosting to be a little tricky. Yes, you can simply make a vegan cream cheese frosting by replacing dairy cream cheese with its vegan equivalent, but I found that you need to tweak the ratios quite a bit to compensate for the fact that vegan cream cheese is less firm than the one based on dairy cheese (the block version of it is apparently 30% fat so it’s hard to compete with that). While you can make a dairy cream cheese frosting using 1:4 ratio (1 part butter to 4 parts cream cheese), these ratios don’t quite work with vegan cream cheese in my experience so you’ll need to use more vegan butter to get similar level of firmness.

    Another thing I wasn’t massively keen on was the taste – I found that my vegan cream cheese frosting was just sweet and lacked the tang that I associate with cream cheese frosting. When I tried to fix it with some lemon juice, it split on me and the amount of lemon juice needed was too great and was therefore making the frosting runny.

    As vegan cream cheese brands I have come across are not that firm, this got me thinking whether making a very simple vegan cream cheese from just two ingredients: cashews and lemon juice would work just as well and it will then give me full control over the resulting flavour. I did some tests, some necessary tweaking (a lot of frosting ended on my compost heap) and to my relief, I finally arrived at the perfect ratio and the frosting won the hearts of many non-vegans. Duncan shared the cake frosted with my homespun vegan cream cheese frosting with this kayaking group and the frosting got lots of compliments apparently. It was also proof that I needed (as stability was another issue I fretted about) that it’s stable enough to survive a bit of travelling and sitting in a boot of a car for quite a few hours before it was tucked into.

    Below, there are two different recipes for vegan cream cheese frosting. One that is easier and less involved as it simply uses shop-bought vegan cream cheese (I used Violife) albeit in different ratios to a dairy cream cheese frosting. The other requires a little more work but the flavour is far superior in my opinion. It requires only 4 staple ingredients and does not require you to hunt for the perfect vegan cream cheese, which can be hard to find in certain areas and because there is no standardised recipe it always adds a degree of risk. I absolutely loved both the taste and texture of that second frosting and I plan to make more variations of it from now on.

    MORE ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS

    vegan cream cheese frosting two ways ingredients

    VEGAN BUTTER: Vegan butter, the type that comes in a block (as opposed to a tub) is key to making both of my frostings. I recommend using the brand you enjoy having on your toast. I went for Violife (although Naturli is probably more of a favourite but it’s impossible to get near me). You want to leave the vegan butter out of the fridge for a bit before you start so that it can be whipped easily, but you don’t want it soft. I like to cut mine into shards before whipping as it minimises it flying out of the bowl as I work.

    VEGAN CREAM CHEESE (version 1): Shop-bought vegan cream cheese is what I used to make a vegan equivalent of traditional cream cheese frosting. I used Violife brand, which works well.

    CASHEWS (version 2): Raw cashews soaked in boiling water for at least 30 minutes are the base of my simple cream cheese. You may be able to achieve similar results with hulled sunflower seeds (I have used them in thick creamy dressings with success) but I haven’t tested with them.

    LEMON JUICE (version 2): Lemon juice is what gives my simple cream cheese its much needed tang. I use half lemon juice half water to achieve the flavour balance I enjoy, but you can modify the quantities to suit your palate.

    ICING/POWDERED SUGAR: Icing sugar (also known as powdered sugar) is needed not only to give the frosting its sweetness, but also stiffness.

    vegan cream cheese frosting blending cashews

    If making the cashew version of my vegan cream cheese frosting, place drained cashews (soak them in boiling water for at least 30 minutes or cold water for a few hours) in a small blender together with lemon juice and water.

    vegan cream cheese frosting blended cashews

    Blend the mixture until creamy and smooth, use a flexible spatula to scrape the walls of the blender if needed. Once blended transfer to a container – use a spatula to get everything out (you should end up with close to 200 g / 7 oz of the cashew mixture). Refrigerate to firm up.

    vegan cream cheese frosting whipped butter

    Cut room temperature vegan butter into shards and place in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat it until fluffy and a bit paler than how it was to begin with. Gradually add in chilled cashew mixture (or shop-bought vegan cream cheese if making version 1!) to the butter whipping after each addition.

    vegan cream cheese frosting sugar
    Once all of the cashew mixture / vegan cream cheese has been incorporated, whisk in icing sugar in small increments. Keep on whisking until mostly dissolved. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until needed.

    vegan cream cheese frosting made

    vegan cream cheese frosting side

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    HOW LONG DOES IT KEEP?

    Both versions of the frosting can be kept in the fridge for 4-5 days. Like all buttercream based frostings, the cakes need to be completely cold before you apply frosting and once frosted the cake should not be exposed to direct heat like sunshine or fireplace heat.

    vegan cream cheese frosting container

    DOES IT FREEZE WELL?

    Cashew version freezes well, I have not had tested freezing the other version yet.

    HOW MUCH DOES IT MAKE?

    This recipe makes just over 750 ml / 3 cups of frosting, which is enough to frost a 20 cm / 8″ round 2-layered cake.

    HOW DO I STIFFEN RUNNY FROSTING?

    If you follow the recipe exactly and use scale measurements, you won’t have that issue, but if for whatever reason the frosting is a little too runny (we’ve all been there – a lapse of concentration, a cat running through the kitchen at full speed at a crucial moment 😉 …), you can whisk in a tablespoon or two of cornstarch, tapioca or arrowroot as the very last ingredient. Also, be sure not to scrimp on icing sugar as it functions not only as a sweetener but as a thickener also. I know, it isn’t healthy but if you are going to eat a cake, you may as well do it in style.

    WHAT KITCHEN EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?

    If you want to make my cashew version rather than shop-bought vegan cream cheese frosting, you will need a small but powerful blender/smoothie maker like this one Ninja to blend the cashews until creamy and smooth whilst using as little liquid (excess liquid makes the frosting runny) as possible. You don’t need the same brand, of course, but the same type of blender where the blender attachment is screwed on to the motor upside down and the bowl is designed for small batch blending. You will also need an electric (hand-held or standing) mixer to make both version of the frosting.

    vegan cream cheese frosting cake

    VERSION

    • 150 g / 5.3 oz vegan butter block
    • 200 g / 7 oz vegan cream cheese (I used Violife)
    • 400 g / 14 oz (3¼ cups) icing / powdered sugar*

    VERSION 2*

    • 150 g / 5.3 oz vegan butter block
    • 100 g / ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked
    • 65 ml / ¼ cup + 1 tsp lemon juice
    • 400 g / 14 oz (3¼ cups) icing / powdered sugar*

    METHOD

    VERSION 1

    1. Cut room temperature vegan butter into shards and place in a large mixing bowl. Whip the butter with an electric whisk until fluffy and pale.
    2. Add a small portion of vegan cream cheese and whip until well combined, carry on adding the cheese in small increments (say 6) until thoroughly combined.
    3. Once the mixture is homogenous, add icing sugar in 4 or so increments, whipping well after each addition. Carry on whipping until all the sugar has dissolved
    4. Place in the fridge for half an hour before using. If not using straightaway, lock away in an air-tight container. It keeps for 4-5 days in the fridge.

    VERSION 2

    1. Place drained cashews in a small Ninja-like blender with 65 ml (¼ cup + 1tsp) of lemon juice and 60 ml (¼ cup) water. Process until smooth stopping the blender and helping with a spatula from time to time. Do not add any extra liquid, 125 ml (½ cup + 1 tsp) is enough to get the cashews blended until creamy and smooth.
    2. Scrape the mixture out of the blender with a silicone spatula into a container – you should end up with 200 g / 7 oz of the mixture. Place the mixture in the fridge for several hours (or overnight) to firm up. Alternatively, place in the freezer for 30 minutes and then transfer to the fridge for another hour or so.
    3. Cut room temperature vegan butter into shards and place in a large mixing bowl. Whip the butter with an electric whisk until fluffy and pale.
    4. Add a small portion of vegan cream cheese and whip until well combined, carry on adding the cashew mixture in small increments (say 6) until thoroughly combined.
    5. Once the mixture is homogenous, add icing sugar in 4 or so increments, whipping well after each addition. Carry on whipping until all the sugar has dissolved.
    6. Place in the fridge for half an hour before using. If not using straightaway, lock away in an air-tight container. It keeps for 4-5 days in the fridge.

    NOTES

    *VERSION 2: to make this vegan cream cheese frosting, you will need a small but powerful blender/smoothie maker like this one Ninja. You don’t need the same brand, of course, but the same type of blender where the blender attachment is screwed on to the motor upside down and the bowl is designed for small batch blending.

    *ICING SUGAR: if your sugar is grainy or lumpy, be sure to sift it before adding to the frosting.

    NUTRITIONAL INFO

    *per tablespoon (cashew version)



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    Fitnessnacks- #Vegan #cream #cheese #frosting #ways
    Courtesy : https://www.lazycatkitchen.com/vegan-cream-cheese-frosting/

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