Paleo “Cream Cheese” Frosting

Paleo “Cream Cheese” Frosting
  • Sumo

The only thing I’ve ever really liked about cake is the frosting. I always wanted the corner piece with the most frosting. I’m not picky about the flavor, either. Any kind of frosting is fine by me. If I had to pick a favorite though, it would be cream cheese frosting.

My husband’s favorite kind of cake is carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. For his birthday this year, I made carrot cake muffins. They would have been just muffins without the frosting. Frosting turned them into little cakes. I debated about just getting some regular old cream cheese, but my husband is even more into reading labels than I am, and he decided that cream cheese was just a little too processed. I’ve made cheesecake out of cashews for my Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars, so I figured I would be able to create a frosting along those same lines.

Boy, oh, boy did I ever! This frosting turned out so good and so creamy and so cream cheesy! Good thing I had some muffins to frost or I would have just eaten it all with a spoon.

Perfect Frosting


  • 1/2 cup grass fed butter (or ghee or you could double the coconut oil to make it all the way dairy free)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 Tablespoons cashew butter (I made my own)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Put everything into a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. I actually made half of this recipe, and it was just enough to frost 11 cupcakes. I think a whole recipe would be just right for a cake. Try not to eat it all before you get it on your cake or cupcakes…

Oh yeah…

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  1. This looks delicious! Looking forward to trying. Would you please share your recipe for cashew butter?

    Thank you,

    • Hi Sandra,
      Nut butters are super easy to make. I’ve made almond, cashew, macadamia and hazelnut. You can soak your raw nuts in cold water for a few hours to start with. This is supposed to remove some of the phytates from the nuts, but I’m usually too lazy to do this part 😉
      You can also roast the nuts in the oven before hand if you want that roasted flavor to your butter. I put about 2 cups of nuts into my food processor and let it run until my nut butter is creamy. Cashews are the fastest and almonds are the slowest. You have to stop and scrape the sides down periodically. I didn’t add any additional oil to my cashew butter and it was really thick and paste like which was fine for the frosting recipe. If you want it really spreadable, add in about 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil. You can also add salt (about 1/4 teaspoon) if you like salted nut butters. If you want it to be sweet, add in 1-2 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup….I would eat too much of it if I did that. If you add in a few Tablespoons of cocoa powder, you’ll end up with homemade nutella!

      • My frosting was really runny not spreadable like yours. What went wrong? I put all the ingredients in our Vitamix so it blended up really well but it’s not thick enough to spread. More cashews needed? Thanks!

        • Hi Rachel,
          Due to the coconut oil in the frosting, it is very sensitive to temperature. The vitamix might have heated it up too much during the mixing or you may have had it out at room temperature for too long. It would also get all melty if you tried to spread it on something that was still warm out of the oven. More cashews would make it thicker for sure, but also be sure to keep it cool. 🙂

      • My frosting turned out runny. What went wrong? More cashews needed? Thanks!

  2. Great recipe! Could I substitute peanut butter if that’s all I have on hand?

    • Hi Adrienne,
      I really don’t think it would work, but I can’t really say for sure since I don’t eat peanut butter and I’ve never tried a substitution in this recipe. I chose cashews because I’ve seen so many vegan recipes with a “cheese” made from cashews.

      • Thanks! I just followed your exact recipe, but mine couldn’t save turned out more different from yours. My frosting is the color of the cashew butter. Any idea where I went wrong? Your frosting looks so white in the photos!

        • Hi Adrienne,
          It was white right after making it, but it turned beige a few hours later for me too. You can tell in the very bottom picture that it’s not totally white for me either…..the muffin cup is white and you can tell the frosting is not as white as that. Hope you liked the taste 🙂

        • One more thought…I used raw cashews (very light in color) to make my cashew butter. If you used roasted cashews (darker in color) or store bought cashew butter that could account for some of the color difference. Also the color of the honey we used could be different.

  3. Is the vanilla, vanilla extract?

    • Yes, it’s liquid vanilla extract (vanilla paste or a scraped out vanilla pod would also work).

  4. Actually I made this frosting with real Cream cheese, because I have no problems with Milk. Instead of Honey I tok Maple syrup, and the taste is brilliant

    • Yes, the non-dairy and the real kind are both delicious. Cream cheese frosting has always been my favorite 🙂 I could eat it by the spoonful.

  5. Hi, I’m just wondering how long the frosting would stand at room temp due to the coconut oil? I was planning on making some cupcakes for a party so they would just be sat on a table (hopefully not for long before they are eaten!!) or would i be better off using cream cheese? Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Sam,
      It does get soft, but it should be okay as long as they aren’t sitting out in the sun.

  6. I only have almond butter on hand, would that drastically change the flavor? Thanks!

    • Hi Erinn.
      I’m thinking it would probably be pretty different. Cashews are generally used to mimic cheese and I have never tried it with almonds so I can’t really say. If you do try it, be sure to let me know how it worked 🙂

  7. Tastes remarkably close to cream cheese icing, however, I vote for all butter and eliminate the coconut oil for this one.

  8. We just made this today, as a trial run for our wedding cake, which is Paleo carrot cake.

    So yummy, and came out perfect.

    Thank you!


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